Kim Allen practiced with Gil Fronsdal for a dozen years, and now serves on the Teacher’s Council at Insight Santa Cruz. She has spent cumulative two years in silent retreat, and lived for another two years at the Insight Retreat Center. She has studied the suttas with Gil, Bhikkhu Bodhi, and Shaila Catherine, and offers classes for dedicated students. She has completed the Sati Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy training program, and is the founder of the Buddhist Insight Network. Her teaching emphasizes the willingness to look truthfully at experience, and to soften in light of what is seen.
This talk was given as part of the series “Strengthening Mindfulness.” Dukkha, or suffering, includes pain, illness, and death; yet these are inevitable visitors to our lives. It is our practice to gently turn towards what’s difficult and painful in our lives, and understand truly these human experiences. When we are mindful, we become aware that there are the bodily sensations of pain and discomfort that we may not control, and there are our mind’s reactions to these sensations that we may observe and change. Mindfulness of death can lead us to a sense of spiritual urgency, and help us to cultivate compassion for this shared experience among all human kind. This knowledge of commonality can also help us to overcome fear.