Meditation + Talk: The Essence of Practice – Loving, Knowing, and Growing
November 23, 2023

This Wednesday Night Meditation included a 34-minute meditation and a 47-minute talk from Rick’s series on Wise Effort, focusing on The Essence of Practice: Loving, Knowing, and Growing.

Life happens to us, and we happen in life, in nature, in reality. Then what?
We can either be swept along, in ignorance, fueled and poisoned by hatred, greed, and heartache.

Or we can practice:

In our relationship to and how we respond to what is happening to us, our experiences of that, and the nature of reality itself.

Practice is like a three-legged stool, with three key elements. In Pali: Metta. Sati. Bhavana. — loosely translated into English: Loving. Knowing. Growing.

This talk and meditation featured several quotations which can be found under the video players below.

Meditation: The Essence of Practice – Loving, Knowing, and Growing

Download the Audio of this Meditation

Talk:  The Essence of Practice – Loving, Knowing, and Growing

Download the Audio of this Talk

This talk touched on the three elements of practice: Loving, Knowing, and Growing.

Here are the quotes Rick offered for each:


May all beings be happy and secure.
May all beings be happy at heart!
Omitting none, whether they are weak or strong,
seen or unseen, near or distant, born or to-be-born:
May all beings be happy.

Let none deceive another,
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or ill will wish for another to suffer.

Just as a mother would protect her child, her only child,
with her own life,
even so you should cultivate a boundless heart toward all beings.

You should cultivate kindness
toward the whole world with a boundless heart:
above, below, and all around,
unobstructed, without enmity or hate.

Whether standing, walking, sitting, or lying down,
as long as you are alert,
you should be resolved upon this mindfulness.

This is called a sublime abiding here and now.

—Adapted from the Metta Sutta

There are those who do not realize
that one day we all must die.
But those who do realize this
settle their quarrels.
—Dhammapada 1.6

“As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I.”
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.
—Sutta Nipāta 3.710

Knowing that the other person is angry,
one who remains mindful and calm
acts for one’s own best interest
and for the other’s interest, too.
—Saṃyutta Nikāya 1.188

Original love is the ocean, it’s been there all along.
Finally, there is no difference anymore between us and it.
And that is a great great blessing.
—Henry Shukman


About this mind…. In truth there is nothing really wrong
with it. It is intrinsically pure. Within itself it’s already
peaceful. That the mind is not peaceful these days is because
it follows moods. The real mind doesn’t have anything
to it, it is simply (an aspect of) Nature. It becomes
peaceful or agitated because moods deceive it.
—Ajahn Chah

I’m thinking of the three facets of awareness (tibetan): open/empty; cognizant/wakeful; unconfined responsiveness (sensitivity/warmth/capacity to respond); when our empty wakeful awareness engages with form, there is spontaneous responsiveness (love, compassion); ..subtle (wish); active (donate).
—Tara Brach

In truth we are always present; we only imagine ourselves to be in one place or another.
—Howard Cohn

One should learn to let thoughts arise and be freed to go as soon as they arise, instead of letting them invade one’s mind. In the freshness of the present moment, the past is gone, the future is not born, and if one remains in pure mindfulness and freedom, potentially disturbing thoughts arise and go without leaving a trace.
—Mathieu Ricard

The state of pure consciousness without content… is something that all contemplatives have experienced.
—Mathieu Ricard

. . . an awareness that is free from thought and movement, has no sense of
inside or outside, and is utterly clear and transparent, like space.
—Ju Mipham, quoted by Ken McLeod, “Anger,” Tricycle Fall 2019, p. 93

Not impassioned with forms
— seeing a form with mindfulness firm
dispassioned in mind,
one knows
and doesn’t remain fastened there.
While one is seeing a form
— and even experiencing feeling —
it falls away and doesn’t accumulate.
Thus one fares mindfully.
Thus not amassing stress,
one is said to be
in the presence of Unbinding.
—SN 35.95

In your investigations of the world, never allow the mind to desert the body.
Examine its nature, see the elements that comprise it, kindly see the
impermanence, the suffering, the selflessness of the body while sitting,
standing, walking, or lying down. Then its true nature is seen fully and lucidly
by the mind/heart; the wonders of the world become clear.
—Ajahn Mun, quoted by Roxanne Dault, Buddhadharma, Spring 2021, p. 13


With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below, & all around,
unobstructed, without hostility or hate.
—Sutta Nipāta 1.150

To avoid all evil,
to cultivate good,
and to purify one’s mind –
this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
—Dhammapada 14.183

Think not lightly of good, saying, “It will not come to me.”
Drop by drop is the water pot filled.
Likewise, the wise one, gathering it little by little,
fills oneself with good.
—Dhammapada 9.122

No mother nor father nor
any other kin can do
greater good for oneself
than a mind directed well.
—Dhammapada 4.43

The doer of good rejoices here and hereafter;
one rejoices in both the worlds.
One rejoices and exults,
recollecting one’s own pure deeds.
—Dhammapada 1.16

Wonderful it is to train the mind,
so swiftly moving, seizing whatever it wants.
Good is it to have a well-trained mind,
for a well-trained mind brings happiness.
—Dhammapada 3.35

These teachings are offered freely, at no charge. 

And if you like, you may wish to participate in the age-old tradition of generosity through making an offering yourself – called “dāna” – to support Rick and the Wednesday Meditations. Generosity itself is a beautiful practice that opens and gladdens the heart, relaxes the contraction of “self,” and ripples out into the world to touch many people – and perhaps, eventually, even oneself. 

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