“If you’re invested in security and certainty,
you are on the wrong planet.” 
– Pema Chödrön


Learning from Subverted Expectations – Steven Tierney

Dec 3, 2023

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We often come with specific expectations about how the practice will help us reduce our suffering. But how do we react when these expectations are not met? What can we learn from these experiences?

In this talk, Steven Tierney helps us explore:

  • We often get attached to fixed views because we crave certainty, knowing that we are doing something the “right” way so as not to be criticized. This fear is often the richest place in which to explore our practice.
  • How can meditation allow us to examine from a fresh perspective if our beliefs and expectations align with reality?
  • Why fixed views are only helpful if they provide guidance that is skillful. If not, abandon them.

Steven Tierney (Kai Po Koshin) is a Dharma-transmitted teacher in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi. Steven practices with: Meditation in Recovery, Great Spirit Sanghai SFLGBTQA Sangha, Gay Buddhist Fellowship and the Harford Street Zen Center. Steven believes that we can find wisdom, compassion and awakening wherever good people come together for practice, healing, service and joy. Dr. Tierney is a psychotherapist in private practice and Professor Emeritus in Counseling Psychology at CIIS.