Drawing inspiration from the world's great wisdom teachings and insights that have blossomed from years of meditative inquiry, I facilitate retreats and workshops that explore the silent awareness that arises when the mind is very quiet. This perceiving awareness lovingly sees that there is no “other,” and when there is no “other,” there can be compassion rather than conflict. This heightened dimension of awareness is always available to us, but it is veiled by the constant noise of the talking, thinking, and judgmental mind. I've come to realize that a truly quiet mind is a non-violent mind. My book Silent Awareness offers a framework for understanding and quieting the mind, and summarizes our challenges and our possibilities.
My commitment to contributing to a more compassionate world is shaped by the experience of war. During the Balkan War, I worked with United Nations humanitarian organizations as a photojournalist in front line hospitals and traveled to refugee camps to help document the impact of war, particularly on children. It was the most difficult work I have ever done, but it helped me face the truth of our individual and collective crisis. A very positive outcome was that with the help of some wonderful people, I was able to bring one child back to the United States for surgery that saved his leg from amputation. He had been wounded by a landmine.
The most important lesson I learned in war is that if our species is ever to go beyond violence and exploitation, we need to fully understand the structure of the conditioned mind and why it divides us against each other. A concise way of expressing this is from Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti: “When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love.”
My aim is to help bring about an inner transformation that can save us from ourselves.
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