Introducing Peter Fenner
This podcast features a deep conversation with Australian non-dual teacher and author Peter Fenner. Peter Fenner has come through the Mahayana Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Non-duality. Currently living in Canberra Australia with his wife, to be close to his grandchildren. Please scroll down for our inspiring conversation on youtube. Or listen to the pod here or on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Peter Meets Lama Thubten Yeshe
Peter had the good fortune to meet his Guru the Tibetan Lama Thubten Yeshe at a difficult stage in his life. As they say when the student is ready the master appears. Lama Thubten Yeshe accepted Peter Fenner as his student and directed him to teach Dharma (the Buddhist teachings of life) in a University setting. Peter was directed to do his Ph.D, and to become a professor and teacher of Mahayana Buddhism. Peter shares with this instruction from Lama Yshe the next 20 or 30 years of his life were set in that path. In 1978 Peter was ordained as a monk and he lived (and studied) as a celibate Tibetan Buddhist monk for nine years.
Teaching In Universities
After completing his Ph.D in the Mahayana Buddhist practice of emptiness in 1983, Peter taught in Deakin University in Australia. His teaching included East-West philosophy of Hinduism and Buddhism. However after a period of time Peter found that this was a very limited and intellectual way of sharing such a precious gift.
In 1986 he began offering adaptations of Mahayana wisdom to mental health professionals. His workshops integrated Buddhist non-dual wisdom with an understanding of group dynamics. He moved away from teaching in universities to his own teaching style……scroll down for more
What is Dharma
The Buddhist interpretation of Dharma is a set of teachings that can take us from Darkness to Light. It was the Dharma teachings that Peter was asked to share in the Universities, and went on to teach in his own style. The Indian interpretation of dharma can be slightly different, (which I am more familiar with) and can mean ‘the way things are’ through ‘the laws of nature unfolding.’
Intimacy from a Non-dual Perspective
In this pod we discuss the intimacy that comes from dwelling in expanded presence. In the non-dual space there is an experience of a profoudly deep sense of intimacy. There is no sense of being greater or lesser than another. There is no sense of a separate self, no boundary between between self and other. There is nothing to defend and no sense of ownership or being separate from. When all boundaries melt away we enter this delicate loving expansive all encompassing field or sense of oneness. Intimacy becomes completely natural…and compassion and loving connection results.
A Life of Relative Distraction
Peter shares how we humans live a life of relative distraction. Mind with its mental patterns and reactivity is fed by the senses: visual, auditory, taste, touch, smell. We tend to give our attention to the objects of awareness rather than to awareness itself. In Spiritual Endeavour we turn our awareness to awareness itself. It is here in the boundless field of awareness we are freed from the sense of separation.
Preparing the Soil to Rest In Awareness
Peter and I explore preparedness for awakening. Just as we prepare the soil for the planting of seeds to grow to fruition so too can we prepare to open: to live and rest as awareness in peaceful presence. And this is the developing or growth of wisdom, knowing or understanding.
There is still a sense of journeying back to this presence – of preparing to be here now, which is our natural state: of seeing through the illusions with investigation of thought, body and belief…. through Self-Inquiry…more below.
Peter shares there is a saying in Mahayana Buddhism that ‘life is profoundly unthinkable’.. We cannot understand the Unfolding of the Universe. I myself tend to see this as the great Mystery. This begs the question. Do we need to intellectually understand everything with the mind?
Resting in This together
Resting in the precious delicate Peaceful Presence together as we are now through the work of inquiry is powerfully liberating. Yet in truth there is no seperate-self here to claim this as an experience. When we try to claim experience we are lost in the quagmire of duality again. And the natural state or the Buddha Mind can only ever is in this moment , Yes, it is Profoundly Unthinkable 🧡 Beyond notions of real and not real.
We Make the Mistake Of Making Presence into an Event
We cannot make this experience of presence into an event or something spectacular because then it is no longer this… We then try and bring it into the world of duality and so it is then not this..Knowing this delicate sense of presence as consciousness without an object is not a state to achieved.. It is only ever present now and we can return here time and time again until we can finally rest here in the field of natural presence, in love.
We are Not our Thoughts
Time is created by thought and if we investigate thought we see it is no-thing……
Connect with Peter Fenner
Peter’s books include Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness (Sounds True, 2007), The Ontology of the Middle Way (Kluwer, 1990), Reasoning into Reality (Wisdom Publications, 1994), Natural Awakening: An Advanced Guide to Sharing Nondual Awareness (Summer Press, 2015),The Edge of Certainty: Paradoxes on the Buddhist Path (Nicolas-Hays, 2002), Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy (Editor, Omega Books, 2003).