When I encountered Buddhist psychology and meditation teachings at age 26, I fell in love. It all felt so right and true. I definitely needed a “safe and reliable refuge.” At first, the awe that I felt for my teachers was about looking up to someone, to something outside of myself, hoping to enlighten myself through connection with who they were and what they resonated. After a few years, though, a sense of devotion grew—from knowing that there was, and is, something genuinely inspiring about that to which I was so drawn. This is the devotion that connects us to the more sane and calm and clear and good qualities of our own hearts.
Whenever we envision the possibility of awakening, and begin to trust that awakening can happen in this very life in this human form, we’re connecting with this innate wisdom within ourselves. In these moments, we’re not preoccupied with wanting our life to be better, different, more…you can fill in the blanks! These are stressful thoughts that make us unhappy. As a skilled teacher, the Buddha recognized that it was uplifting for people to contemplate his way of life and be in his illumined presence. His radically generous teaching is that each of us can walk in his awakened footsteps.
The infinite gratitude I feel for my teachers still carries an element of devotion—to this path of refuge in awakening, in the teachings, in community—devotion.
I invite you to join us at InsightLA and see for yourself what unifies us—the wise and loving intention to wake up, to learn together, and grow our capacity for friendship and community. Together, we dedicate our lives to the joy, compassion, and release of freeing our hearts.