The Four Noble Truths

What are the Four Noble Truths? There are countless books, podcasts, and dharma talks devoted to this subject so I am not going to try to equal any of those. My goal is simply to provide a quick review so you have a basic understanding of this profound teaching as context for the Serena system broader teachings. The four truths can be summarized as the 1) truth of suffering, 2) the cause of suffering, 3) the end of suffering, 4) the way to end suffering. The First Noble Truth says that suffering is a defining characteristic of this existence of ours. It bears emphasizing that this word "suffering" is a translation of the Pali word "dukkha." In fact, this word might be better translated as u

The Hidden Life of Trees

I recently read Peter Wohlleben’s best-selling book, “The Hidden Life of Trees.” It turns out that trees do all sorts of extraordinary and almost human-like things (or maybe we should say humans do almost tree-like things?). For example, they care for each other, have memories, make friends, think, and talk with each other. And scientists have shown that humans can hear this tree conversation, albeit at an unconscious level. I have been thinking of these abilities that trees have to communicate and work together as a metaphor for the human connection to the divine. Let me explain. In Wohlleben’s book we learn that following the lessons from the higher or greater elements in the natural chain

What does "Grok" mean?

Los Angeles-based spiritual teacher George Falcon would frequently use the term Grok and for a long time I wasn't sure exactly what he meant. Now that I see its importance in advancing towards self-mastery I thought I would provide a brief definition for those that would like to understand the word better. Grok is a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science-fiction novel “Stranger in a Strange Land.” It has since become incorporated in various literary, sociological, mystical, philosophical and computer programming communities. When you grok something, you become it, you are identified with it, and now you can’t tell yourself apart from that which you groked. If you experience t

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