ISmile321 – It All Starts With Forgiveness

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

In this evening’s talk, Michael discusses the opportunity that each and every life event, no matter how great or how small, how wonderful or how dark, gives each of us the chance to awaken. He points to what is always prior to any experience and equates this “priority” to the teaching at the core of the Zen koan: What did …

ISmile320 – Living Without Insulation

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

When we commit to directly knowing, as we say in Zen, our True Nature, we have to be willing to give everything up. Everything. Lingering attachments work to insulate us from a full exposure to this very life that we are leading, according to Michael in this evening’s talk. “When awakening happens,” he says, “there is the realization that all …

ISmile319 – Rubber Bands and Shortcuts

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

In this talk, Michael addresses several issues; among them, how we often lose the view we’ve been offered by insight. He’s written about this and calls it “The Rubber Band Effect,” and suggests that we take pains to examine its source. Doing so helps us see not only how practice helps us develop a greater steadiness as we meet the …

ISmile318 – Thanksgiving and Emptiness

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

To begin with, all of us at Infinite Smile offer each of you well wishes as we begin the holiday season. We also are so thankful for all of your support and participation in this project of awakening. Recognizing our gratitude elevates our experience as human beings, so taking this time to appreciate all of the blessings each of us has …

ISmile317 – Stepping Beyond Heart and Mind

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

Regardless of our tradition, we can reduce our spiritual practice to its component pieces and find that Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths offers us a path toward freedom. We first recognize our anguish, we then see it’s cause as our clinging, we then realize a freedom from our clinging is possible and finally we see that there is a teaching that …

ISmile316 – Meditating Through Life’s Mess

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

Michael begins this talk with the following quotation from Rilke’s Duino Elegies: For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so, because it serenely disdains to destroy us. This sets up his talk by making the point that it’s in our desire to categorize and compartmentalize experience that …

ISmile315 – The One Precept: Do No Harm

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

In this talk, Michael speaks about how the One Precept of “Doing No Harm” can actualize the potential of awakening in any situation. Along these lines, Michael openly shares how he and his wife have separated so that their marriage might be exposed to a more powerful expanse of clarity. He relates this shared decision to the One Precept and …

ISmile314 – Poetry, Laughter, Love and Levels of Consciousness

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

Actively meeting inspiration through poetry can make a huge difference as we move through the world. The same applies to uncovering the things that crack us up. Laughter matters since it is a celebration of the unexpected and defines an unattached space that we can enjoy if we’re available to it. Similarly, being available to love changes us in that …

Encore: ISmile100 – Working With Pain

Michael McAlister Leave a Comment

Click here or on the title in order to listen to Michael’s talk. To subscribe to this podcast, paste this address directly into a podcast aggregator. This will automatically download new discussions on a regular basis. The easiest option is to download the new iTunes software and subscribe to this podcast from the Buddhist and/or Philosophy sections of the Religion & Spirituality list. ____ How can we ever become …