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Finding Your Own True Nature—The Courage to Be Yourself

By Frank Simons

Susan Moon’s retreat at the Meditation Center last year was both lively and contemplative, and we’re glad to have her back.

Retreat with Speaker

Finding Your Own True Nature—The Courage to Be Yourself, by Susan Moon
Sat, Oct 29, 9am–1pm
Meditation Center
Callejón Blanco 4
Free, donations accepted
044 415 111 0644

Moon says, “In this half-day retreat we’ll explore courage and how we can learn to trust ourselves. The retreat will include a dharma talk and discussion as well as meditation.

We need courage because we live in a scary world, and we need courage to look within and face our own fears.

The word courage comes from the word for heart. And courage comes from a strong heart; courage comes when we act from our deepest heart.

Courage is facing what you are afraid of instead of running away from it. As that great Buddhist master John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.” The point is not to figure out how to get rid of fear, but to practice meeting it. Meditation practice is good for this. Spiritual practice is about not turning away from what’s difficult.

It also takes courage to trust yourself and express yourself as you are. Another great Buddhist master, Sir Winston Churchill, said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

We will look at some stories from the Buddhist tradition about people expressing their own true nature, and we will tell each other stories of our own. In a supportive setting, we’ll explore together—in silence, and in small-group dialogues—bringing a spirit of playfulness into our considerations. We might cry, we’re sure to laugh, and we’ll realize we are not alone on this path of learning to be a human being.

We’ll remind each other that courage is contagious. When you trust yourself, you help me to trust myself. When you are brave, I feel a little braver. So we practice trusting ourselves and not turning away from difficulty not only for ourselves but for others. There can be an unexpected freedom in not turning away. Meeting our life fully, we can live more fully.”

Susan Moon is a lay teacher in the Soto Zen tradition living in Berkeley, California. She leads meditation retreats and writing retreats in Buddhist settings in North America and Europe. Her books include the humor book The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi; This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity []; The Hidden Lamp: Stories from 25 Centuries of Awakened Women, with co-author/editor Florence Caplow []; and most recently, What Is Zen? Plain Talk for a Beginner’s Mind, with Norman Fischer [].

Presentations of the Center are offered without charge. Donations are gratefully accepted.


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