Author and teacher Thanissara joins Raghu for a conversation about waking up together and breaking our karmic patterns.
Thanissara, author of Time To Stand Up: A Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth, was a Buddhist nun for 12 years. She has been teaching meditation retreats with her partner Kittisaro since 1992. Together they founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000 in South Africa and co-authored Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Guide to Engaged Buddhism. Keep up with the writings of Thanissara at thanissaradharma.wordpress.com
Links from this episode: A Brutal Year Ends as Extinction Rebellion Rises | Mind & Life XXXII – Botho/Ubuntu | Dharmagiri | Sacred Mountain Sangha
Out of the Darkness (Opening) – Thanissara and Raghu reflect on the difficult year that we are nearing the end of, addressing the intense polarization that we have been going through internally and socially. They look at the opportunities for collective growth that are presented by the recent uncovering of so many dark aspects of humanity.
“There is an awakening of consciousness happening and it is happening through the enormous force of what the shadow brings to us. The eternal play of light and shadow that unfolds, within that crucible there is tremendous pressure with an evolutionary possibility in it.” – Thanissara
We’re All in the Same Boat (15:40) – We learn about a recent conference on the African Ubuntu philosophy, organized by the Dharmagiri Hermitage. Thanissara talks about some of the special guests at the event, like H.H. The Dalai Lama and Mandaza Kandemwa, and shares some of the universal truths at the heart of Ubuntu philosophy.
“These indigenous people have managed, in spite of the decimation they have experienced, to hold this kernel of truth and wisdom.” – Thanissara
Learn more about Ubuntu philosophy and mindfulness in the Zulu tradition with South African shaman John Lockley on Ep.163 of the Mindrolling Podcast
Recognizing Our Karma (30:10) – Raghu and Thanissara explore what self inquiry can teach us about our habitual patterns and karmas that we are trying to work through. Thanissara shares her experiences with altered states of consciousness and how these states can allow for profound moments of connection with our true nature.
“To engage we need to have our full essence of consciousness that is free, but historically and personally we are so not free. We are so bound by these ancient fears, guilt and shame – all of us – externally and internally. What is it to free ourselves of this?” – Thanissara
Love for All (46:35) – We close with a conversation about the importance of loving and honoring our small sense of self, without indulging our egos. How can love for all beings, including ourselves, allow us to move towards a greater sense of connection with the sacred and our true nature?
“This great spirit of Ubuntu, this relationship. I think that is the thing that we need to reclaim, the sense of relationship with the sacred and all beings. Once we start to feel into that, then we start to move into a whole different kind of journey and way of being.” – Thanissara