David Lawson

Still Mountain Lead Teacher

David has been practicing various forms of meditation since 1988. He was fortunate to learn the practice of Theravada vipassana (or “insight meditation”) in 1994 from Barbara Brodsky and started to teach in accordance with that method in 1998. David has trained as a teacher in both the Theravada and Tibetan traditions (Ken McLeod). Since 1998, he has led meditation retreats, classes and workshops in a variety of settings, including meditation communities, universities, prison systems and elsewhere. He also meets individually with practitioners as support for their practice and Dharma study.

In 2014, David co-founded Still Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center and currently leads the Teachers Council for that organization. He is especially interested in exploring ways in which the Buddha’s teachings can be applied to our most pressing daily challenges.

Although his primary practice remains rooted in the Theravada tradition, David believes that much can be learned through dialogue across the major Buddhist traditions. In 2015-16, David underwent one year of training in a Buddhist chaplaincy program in the Soto Zen tradition and subsequently received Jukai from Roshi Joan Halifax in 2016.

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    Why does suffering hurt so deeply?

    David speaking about why suffering hurts so deeply.

    Dear friends,
    Today we will be talking about suffering, and especially why it hurts so profoundly and relentlessly and why it isn’t like getting a cold or having a tooth pulled, where this is pain and mental discomfort that may persist for a while but eventually subsides, with the pain having been limited in a way we understand. The conundrum and vastness of suffering has confounded me for most of my life. Growing up, I would ask my mother about it, but she never had answers beyond “that’s just the way it is, get used to it”. My father seemed to think that all of the pain, including acute agony, was beside the point because God was in control and would someday make it all go away. Understanding was not necessary, we just needed to bear it. 

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