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


Straw Into Gold – Laura Burges

Nov 12, 2023

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In some of her books, Laura Burges writes about addiction, which she sees as a metaphor for the craving we all experience that leads to suffering. To counter this, the dharma, much like recovery, is passed from person to person.

In this talk, she examines the fable of Rumplestiltskin and how greed and craving can take hold of us like a curse or a spell. By facing our demons and naming them, we break their power to control us or diminish our courage, integrity and potential.

She points out that the tale also refers to family karma passed on over generations, much like addiction can be.
Ryuko Laura Burges, a lay-entrusted dharma teacher in the Soto Zen tradition, lectures and leads retreats at practice centers in Northern California. She received monastic training at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the first Zen Buddhist Monastery in the United States. Laura taught children for 35 years and mentored other teachers, helping to bring mindfulness practice into the elementary classroom.

Laura is active in recovery, co-founded the Sangha in Recovery Program at the San Francisco Zen Center, and is the abiding teacher at Lenox House Meditation Group in Oakland. Her two children’s books are “Buddhist Stories for Kids” and “Zen for Kids.” Her latest book is “The Zen Way of Recovery: An Illuminated Path Out of the Darkness of Addiction.”