In our previous post, WJ 020, we shared an excerpt from the recent book, The Logic of Faith, by Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, Buddhist teacher/student, writer, and long-time friend of Windhorse Community Services. Because of our contemplative roots, we often seek out the wisdom of those who ardently pursue the spiritual path of Dharma (i.e. teachings of the Buddha) to provide inspiration for our work.
This post features part 1 of a conversation about that word “faith”—the discomfort and misapprehension it gives rise to. Elizabeth is joined by Gretchen Kahre (Windhorse Senior Clinician, and Elizabeth’s fellow student and close friend), and Chuck Knapp (Windhorse Co-Director). Besides allowing us to hear about Elizabeth’s initiation and evolution as a student/teacher of the Dharma, the dialogue invites us to reconsider our understanding of faith. It implicates faith as an essential component of Windhorse work; what appears unreliable about the world and our own minds is something we take up with our clients. As Elizabeth and company address the interdependent relationship of all things, the way to engage with the complexities of extreme mind states is illuminated.
Thank you for listening, and in this holiday season, we wish you joy and peace.
Lori S. Heintzelman
Elizabeth has studied and practiced Mahayana Buddhism, as well as the Vajrayana tradition of the Longchen Nyingthik, for over 30 years under the guidance of her teacher and husband, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She has been intimately involved with Rinpoche’s work in bringing Buddhist wisdom to the West, in particular the development of Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization dedicated to the study and practice of the Longchen Nyingthik lineage. She is also a founding member and teacher of the Wilderness Dharma Movement and on the advisory boards of Prison Mindfulness Network and the Buddhist Arts and Film Festival.
Elizabeth has an academic background in anthropology and Buddhist studies. After many years of solitary retreat, Rinpoche appointed Elizabeth as Retreat Master at Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, Mangala Shri Bhuti’s retreat center in southern Colorado. Elizabeth is the author of The Power of an Open Question and The Logic of Faith. She has edited Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s two books, It’s Up to Youand Light Comes Through, and teaches the Buddhadharma throughout the United States and Europe. When she is not traveling, she enjoys riding her horse through the vast planes of the San Luis Valley in Crestone, Colorado. For more information please go to: https://www.elizabethmattisnamgyel.com/
Gretchen earned her master’s degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University in 1989 and has been licensed as a professional counselor in Colorado since 1994. She served as adjunct faculty at Naropa University for 5 years. Gretchen has been part of the Windhorse community, practicing this approach since 1990, and has held several positions in the organization. She also has a private practice in Boulder, CO.