Matthew Brensilver, MSW, PhD, serves on the Guiding Teachers Committee and Board of Directors at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He was previously Program Director for Mindful Schools and for more than a decade, was a core teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. Each summer, he lectures at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center on the intersections between mindfulness, science and mental health. Before committing to teach meditation full-time, he spent years doing research on addiction pharmacotherapy at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine. He is the co-author of two books about meditation during adolescence.
This talk was given as a part of the series "Where Rubber Meets the Road: A Series on Mindful Living." A real place for us to check our practice is in our relationships. After all, we are deeply relational beings. Sometimes, our deepest grooves in our minds are only stimulated in relationships. Defilements and habits of mind, such as greed, anger, and delusion, arise in ways that they don't in other situations. In other words, forces of suffering that are latent in other situations can arise in the context of close relationships. Fortunately, this is actually not bad news. Rather, it offers us opportunity to practice, to see ourselves more clearly, to become more free, and to see how we can untangle the love from clinging.
This series of talks provides insight and practical advice as to how to take the wonderful and serene mind that we develop during our meditation practice into our daily lives, into our relationships with others. Sometimes, the deepest grooves in our minds are only stimulated in our relationships to others. Defilements and habits of the mind, such as greed, anger and delusion, arise in ways that they don't in other situations. Fortunately, these daily life encounters offer us opportunities to practice, to see ourselves more clearly, and to become more free. This is the liberating power of awareness and mindfulness.