Over 10 years ago, I was going through a very difficult time in my life and a friend gifted me a new years eve meditation retreat. At the end of the 3 days, I was beginning to see glimpses of my true self again. When we first arrived, we were offered the opportunity to receive the 5 mindfulness training on the closing day. At the time I did not know what they were or how they would come to mean so much in my life. The morning of the closing day, I read them carefully. At the bottom of the page was space to write a paragraph. I wrote from my heart- it was a moment of tenderness and vulnerability. As I wrote I began to realize that if I could turn my life, my heart and my mind toward the dharma, there was a good chance I could be free from the suffering I had arrived with just 3 days earlier. At the end of the closing ceremony, they asked all who were taking the 5 mindfulness trainings to stand up. Out of several hundred attendees, only about a dozen of us stood up. They read each mindfulness training individually and then asked us, was it our intention to do our best to live by that mindfulness training, with each one, the group answered Yes, then we bowed and touched the earth. When the ceremony was over, the head nun said "dear friends, Thay (Thich Nhat Hahn) has read your reasons for taking these vows today and he has given each of you your own Buddhist name. One by one they called people up. John Sansome, You are now "Walks Mindfully in Peace"; Rachel Lewis, you are now "True Dedication" I could feel my heart beating as they called my name: Tanya McCrory, you are now "Luminous Grace of the Heart" upon hearing this extraordinary name, tears quickly began to roll down my face, I vowed to myself that day that I would spend my life at least trying to live up to such a beautiful name. I was asked to bow once more, this time to the Buddha within myself.
I decided to create this website so I could share the beautiful path that has so deeply shaped my life. Buddhism has taken me on the greatest adventure of all, the one that goes inwards, where we find our innate goodness and where we also fearlessly learn to meet our neuroses, our strong habit patterns, and our suffering, alongside our wisdom. Through meditation, mindfulness, and the timeless teachings of the Buddha, we can learn to hold it all (the countless joys and sorrows of this life) in the open expanse of awareness.
I understand how difficult it can be to know where to begin on a spiritual path or where to head next... this site was created to help people begin and grow on their own radiant path. This site is also a place for the community to share your thoughts and experiences and also to stay informed with the upcoming gatherings and events in and around Orange County, California.
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