Thanissara, originally from London, started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school of U Ba Khin in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK.
Thanissara has facilitated meditation retreats internationally for the last 30 years and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. With Kittisaro, she co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000 in South Africa, where they taught in-depth retreats, including annual month-long retreats. During their 28 years working in South Africa, they also co-initiated and supported several HIV/Aids response projects in rural KwaZulu Natal.
Learn more about Thanissara: https://thanissara-dharma.com/about/
2:15 – Sean Fargo introduces Thanissara
7:02 – The relational field in which we find our practice, our planet and each other
9:19 – Causes and conditions for climate change: How did we get here?
12:09 – Sean shares his personal commitment to climate change, and that of the teacher training program
15:30 – An invitation to become mindful of the somatic (versus cognitive) reactions to climate change
22:00 – Understanding felt wounds and the parallels between climate justice and racial justice
23:10 – When belonging requires disassociation and lack of sensitivity, how do we reclaim what’s been lost?
26:35 – The core meaning of metta/maitri as to accept or to soften – before we challenge and change can we really feel into what’s present and allow for what is present to be here?
31:15 – Reading of a quote from William Shatner on the experience of grief and overwhelming sadness when seeing earth from space
37:25 – Mindfulness (and the training of being present with feeling) as part of the process of awakening
38:00 – Slowing down and moving outside of the norm as methods of understanding
40:11 – What is being called for at this moment? Can we allow ourselves to be led in unexpected ways to bring about healing?
42:20 – Mindfulness in ancient texts as reflecting on (versus merely applying attention)
47:30 – Mindfulness as inquiry and intentional relationship with felt sensation
51:50 – The Samadhi King’s advice to be inside of the breath versus outside, observing breath
53:07 – Mindfulness as the recognition that “everything is conscious here” on earth
57:20 – The difficulty of listening to the consciousnesses of the earth (and our own body)
58:30 – The need for a deeper revolution, and mindfulness as that which stops the flood
59:50 – A pause to sense into what’s present
1:09:00 – The imbalance toward the archetype of the solo hero versus felt belonging to the collective
1:13:30 – The illusion that we can somehow split from nature and exist without her
1:14:44 – Question about the gender of mindfulness and its yin and yang aspects
1:19:58 – Reading of a quote from Edward Edinger
1:21:50 – The potential available in this moment of breakdown
1:23:22 – Sean shares the leaps he’s taken lately
1:35:25 – The search for a new source of power (embodiment, forgiveness, love, deathlessness)
1:38:28 – What would we now like to embody? What qualities, what edges, what reframing?
1:45:10 – The power of making space for both failure and the miraculous to occur
1:46:45 – Humans as the immune system of the earth
1:50:00 – A reference to Earth as Goddess – Conversation with Baba Mandaza