A highlight from Guy Armstrong: Illuminating Emptiness (#121)

The Wisdom Podcast


Welcome everyone to tonight's wisdom dhamma chat. I'm your host daniel laken and tonight. I'm delighted to be joined by strong. Guy is a leading figure and beloved teacher of the insight meditation tradition. He started practicing forty years ago. And since one thousand nine hundred eighty four has been teaching and leading retreats around the world. he's Training includes time as a monk in thailand under john buddha dasa and he's also a student of From the tibetan tradition so Might get into comparing traditions a little bit tonight which will be fun. Guy is author of this book emptiness a practical guide for meditators and wisdom proud publisher of this book and he's also has a course a wisdom at academy close around the same topic so no doubt. We'll be talking about emptiness tonight. And guy i wanted to thank you for joining us and welcome. You will thank you very much for having me that happy to be here with your love talking about this topic and all the other dharma that i know you and i might share wonderful and so i thought you know you've had a long history with the insight tradition and i was wondering how you You know. I got into practicing in that tradition. Well it's kind of a long story. I started off reading about buddhism. And i bought my first book on buddhism when i was sixteen years old i knew nothing about it. I was in the middle of the country growing up in a suburb of missouri. And for some reason. I picked up this book in a bookstore called the way of sam. I alan watts. I didn't read it right away. But when i got into college in all these kind of new ideas were floating through the counterculture and i got interested in started reading what i could find and mostly at that time it was about Zan by alan watts of dt suzuki. So i did a lot of reading but unfortunately nobody told me. I needed to meditate and so it was all conceptual and intellectual or mid that point but it did it did establish from me a real interest in asia A strong poll. Jj from from that time. and so. After i graduated from college. I went into the peace corps in malaysia which was right next door to thailand so when i visited thailand i really felt a good connection i felt at home and then when i got back to the states settled in palo alto and i met a meditation teacher who was a student of the tide teacher. Dear bamba who not a lot of people have heard about but she was teaching for pasta in nineteen seventy four in palo alto so i became interested in. That's where i got my start in. Actually sitting down and meditating so you started off readings in but so you wouldn't actually going to a senator or anything. you're reading about. Buddhism got you interested in in this sort of philosophy. I guess yeah i resonated. For some reason i really resonated with the ideas of san teaching and then my course of practice ended abang pasta. But it's all in the same family. So yeah. I felt a strong draw to teachings that i was reading about. And so we use seating retreats. When you came back to palo alto will you will you will just. It was just a santa doing the partner retreats patients. Yes this this one teacher who was a student of durham. So was just offering meditations in the yoga studio in her home. So i took a yoga class. And then she taught meditation. I came for the yoga. But i really stayed for the meditation. That's what caught me. So after i've been with her a couple of years. I was poking around our local spiritual bookstore and i saw an ad for retreat. Run by joseph goldstein. Jack cornfield sharon salzberg in new mexico. So some friends. And i piled into my toyota station wagon and we drove to lama foundation and that was my first retreat experience with the three of those teachers suicide. This before i am s was out of burial. Well very interesting timing

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