Raghu shares a conversation with author and meditation teacher Spring Washam about finding liberation by turning towards suffering from a clear mind and compassionate heart.
Spring Washam is a meditation teacher, author and visionary leader based in southern California. She is the author of the newly released book entitled A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment. She is one of the founders and core teachers at the East Bay Meditation Center, located in downtown Oakland. She has been extensively trained by Jack Kornfield and is a member of the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California.
Links from this episode: Spring Washam | Find Satsang Near You | For the Benefit of All Beings | Insight LA
Turning Towards Suffering (Opening) – Spring talks about some of the motivations and influences that turned her inward to answer some of her biggest questions about the world. She and Raghu talk about the uncomfortable process of personal transformation, including spiritual bypassing, and the perseverance we need to work through the discomfort.
“Often time when people are feeling stuck, or plateaued, I believe that it is a matter of the heart. The longing for awakening has to be this longing to open the heart. We bring people back to that, having them do practices of Metta, bringing them back to compassion practice so that they can live in the heart, not just think about it.” – Spring Washam
The Prison of the Mind (13:25) – How do we free ourselves from the destructive narratives we hold about ourselves and the outside world? Spring explores the power that spiritual practice has in freeing us from the thought prisons created by our minds.
“How do we wake up? I tell people a lot that it really is about practice, the simplicity of present moment awareness. I don’t know any other way. When those movies start playing we just press the pause button. There is another reality and the more that we pause the more we see that we have the power to disengage.” – Spring Washam
Beauty in the Dark Night (16:40) – Spring talks about experiencing her own “Dark Night of the Soul.” She and Raghu talk about some of the methods for rising out of periods of darkness.
Stepping Out of the Margins (29:30) – What does contemplative practice offer to marginalized communities to ease the unique suffering they experience? Spring talks about the lessons she has learned around this and reflects on the cultural polarization that America is experiencing.
“This is a story within a greater story. We are playing these roles out right now; it is important but it is also a relative reality, there is another one. This is a chapter in a vast book.” – Spring Washam
Making Friends with Change (40:05) – Spring reflects on the importance of making peace with impermanence. What are some practices available for embracing change and accepting impermanence?