Memorable Quote: “People can get very intellectual with Buddhism…I always go back to the basics. Sitting on the earth with a warm heart. Focus on that.”
Synopsis: Spring describes the cultivation of love (“lovingkindness”) as training the mind to see the truth. We have a lot of junk in our mind, and we often struggle to be compassionate and kind to other people and to ourselves. Love and compassion are necessary for our survival, says Spring, and also our spiritual growth. Spring describes lovingkindness as awakening to our true nature. Our delusion covers our inner beauty. Through meditation and the cultivation of compassion, our ego dies and what is left is warmth.
Through her experience, she has seen three main obstacles to uncovering our inner goodness: hatred of others and ourselves, numbness, and sorrow that we’ve been distanced from ourselves for so long. We need to work through these obstacles because, for Spring, lovingkindness and compassion are necessary for meditation practice. We can’t do it through intellectual effort alone. We need to meet the mind, with kindness, for whatever happens in the moment. In this way, we will be able to love ourselves and other people, heal our mind, and begin to heal the world.
I like: I enjoyed Spring’s focus on love, kindness, and compassion for opening up the mind to greater self expression, acceptance, and fluidity for practice and care. It is great to remember the need to be kind to ourselves with whatever comes up in meditation practice.
I wish: I wish Spring focused more on the idea of “cultivating” goodness within oneself, as opposed to simply “remembering” how fundamentally perfect and beautiful we always were. These ideas are at tension, at least intellectually (which I am guilty of focusing on), and I think the former is more compelling than the latter.
More about the Speaker: Spring Washam is a well known meditation and dharma teacher based in Oakland, California. She has studied numerous meditation practices and Buddhist philosophy since 1997. She is a founding member and core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center located in downtown Oakland. Read more at SpringWasham.com