Some traditions say that the very nature of consciousness is infinite freedom.
Some say we are always at choice.
Whether this is true or not, it's clear that
our lives are shaped by our daily choices.
It's up to each one of us to make our choices consciously and well.
There are a few ingredients that are essential to choosing well.
EVERYTHING IS CHOICE
Office with Triangle Windows
Monks in Thailand
Girl on Red
THESE are THE RAW MATERIALS OF AWAKENING
We have to step back into spaciousness now and again so that we can find our vision. Once we touch back into spaciousness, we can see the awaken-ness that we already are. Once we're there, we can find our VISION - our insight into the truth of who we are and the beauty of life experience (in all of its complexity) returns. Upon its return, we awaken to deeper layers of willingness to change - both creating what we desire for our own lives and also in dedicating ourselves to service towards others.
Sangha means spiritual community. Sangha is one of the three jewels in Buddhism, and considered to be a critical component of almost all spiritual traditions. We need our siblings on the path around us. In isolation, we don't do so well. We need collaboration, reflection, accountability, and support.
There are liabilities to the experience of community, and great advantages. The liabilities include the tendency towards groupthink, and also the cultivation of strange views that radicalize members. We see this in cults throughout history, and currently we are seeing it in the midst of yoga communities everywhere. There is a strange lean towards anti-scientific thinking, despite the fact that the Buddha was the ultimate empiricist, and the path of the yogi transcends belief systems. There is a trend towards paranoia and conspiracy theories as far out as QANON.
All these tendencies make one distrustful of spiritual communities, with good reason. But DharmaBridge has cultivated practices and processes to encourage individuals to be critical thinkers, to trust their own empirical process when applying these practices to real life. DharmaBridge encourages people to try on the practices and to think for themselves. DharmaBridge's processes, especially Antenna Listening and Temple Gate Process, encourage people to listen without coaching each other, to look closely at projection, and to respect and tolerate difference. This doesn't eliminate risk, but it strongly mitigates it. The risk of practicing within a community is worth it. If the arc of our lives is to bend towards liberation, we need to give ourselves the advantage of a strong sangha, that can hold space for us and reflect us, while we turn towards awakening.
We need the teachings, the discipline, and the practices that show the way. These teachings and methodologies have supported and carried people towards freedom for eternities. We needn't re-invent the wheel. We will be more creative if we rest upon the discipline of practices from the wisdom traditions. The practices we lean on are derived from Non-dual Buddhism (Zen and Vajrayana, principally) and Non-dual Shaiva/Shakta Tantra.
Soma is a Greek word that means body. We use it here to refer to the wisdom of the body, and the state of aliveness that the body lives in when it is given proper attention. When we bring attention to our bodies, and our habits around how we think about our bodies and how we treat our bodies, all sorts of truths arise, and while that process of excavation can be difficult at times, it is our only hope if we wish to restore ourselves to wholeness. This program includes practices that are body-based. You will become more attuned to the body. You respect the body as integral to your mental and spiritual well-being. You will take better care of the body, and you will get stronger.
Spaciousness is actually our truest nature - we just don't have great habits around creating it. And strangely, the habit we most need is to recognize our true nature when we see it. To this end, we will begin to use ritual to craft this experience of recognition. We will explore what rituals we do have that are working for us, and then we will cultivate them so that we become more conscious of the support that those rituals are offering us. Taking this practice further, we will begin to work with deeper support from our spiritual traditions to ensure that our rituals serve us in our evolution.
There is an interesting section of the Yoga Sutras, where Patanjali lays out a formula for the behaviors which are most likely to heal our interpersonal relationships and carry us towards freedom. It's not a complicated formula - but a hard one to put into action, as it depends on our drawing from the Brahmaviharas. The Brahmaviharas are the sacred abodes, the dwelling places of the awakened ones. They are the states we access when we are most at center, connected to ourselves. Thus, the sutra is not easy; it asks us to discern what is most needed in different circumstances, and then to act in alignment with our deepest Self. The following sutra - basically says - OR , if that doesn't work, just try pranayama. That's right. Pranayama. Breathwork. So practicing Breathwork -in an easy, accessible way - will be a component of this program.
Listening is the foundation of sound communication. Listening to our own inner voices, listening to each other, is a fundamental skill in the process of waking up. We'll work on this with each other and apply it to the grand experiment that is life.
Faith is a tricky concept. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, faith is kind of a 'placeholder'. We are encouraged to have faith when we do not believe, when we are lost, when we are disconnected. This can be valuable - in the sense that hope can be valuable. But it also needs to be investigated - because if we live in a place of leaning on faith and hope then we can err on the side of departing too readily from the present moment. Spiritual bypass is a real phenomenon and a real risk. The concept of faith in Sanskrit is very different. The sanskrit word ‘shraddha’, which is translated as faith, actually more literally means ‘where you put your heart.’ So in this program we will practice becoming more conscious of where we put our hearts - thus awakening to the reality of our lives - with all of the beautiful broken-ness that they contain - and softening into a deeper faith of loving what we truly love.
This whole practice is about living in remembrance of our truest nature. So we’ll use all the tools and skills and technologies and methodologies above to bring us back to a deep knowing our our deep interconnectedness with the life force, with the unseen world, with the ground of being, with essence nature, with Ashé, with God, whatever you want to call it! This whole process is about remembrance.
Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.” ~ Rumi
Will THE PATH YOU'vE BEEN ON TAKE YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO?
OR DO YOU NEED ANOTHER ROUTE?
This program is called a BRIDGE
because it will LEAD YOU
from where you are to where need to BE.
When you get there, you'll realize you already had everything you need.
But having taken the journey was important.
DharmaBridge will Grow You.
You will step into a different level of leadership in your life, in your relationships, in your career. You will find you make decisions more easily, more cleanly. When you have breakdowns, you will have the tools to come back to center, because you will know that place intimately.
Good things are coming.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
What does DharmaBridge entail?
8 LIVE calls per month with teaching, group sharing and QA (vast majority are with Kelly, some w Guest or Mentor. Calls led on Tuesdays, 12pm PST and Fridays 7:30am PST
Private Membership Site with resources and notes from each call
Additionally, 'dharma talk' videos, plus yoga asana and meditation practices to accompany the content of the teachings
2 Options: DharmaBridge Lotus and DharmaBridge Diamond Mentor Certification Program
Lotuses receive additional monthly group coaching with a mentor, and trimesterly coaching with Kelly.
Diamonds receive one-on-one sessions with Kelly and additional group mentor training every month
In addition to the one-on-one calls listed above for Lotus and Diamond, everyone will receive an initial assessment session with Kelly (1 hour), access to monthly office hours, and a 1-hour session at the close of DharmaBridge to launch you into your next chapter.