In a famous statement, the Buddha said that he taught one thing and one thing only: suffering and the end of suffering. Although this sounds like two things, he meant what he said. Within longing, behind addiction, beneath rage and under confusion lies a joy that is accessible to all. Uncovered during a period of self-investigation preceding his enlightenment, this joy became the wellspring of the Buddha’s psychology and the foundation of what he called the Middle Path. In more recent times, it has been rediscovered by some of the more thoughtful psychoanalytic practitioners of our own culture. This evening’s gathering, bringing together three Western Buddhist therapists and teachers, will explore this platform of joy, what makes it available and unavailable, and how it can contribute to our psychological and spiritual health. Meditation will provide some relief from the discussion (or vice versa).
Friday September 6; 7-9PM
Saturday, September 7; 10am-4:30pm – Mindfulness and Beyond
Today’s workshop will focus on the role of mindfulness in the Buddha’s path to awakening. As it has become more and more popular in the West, mindfulness has sometimes been removed from the context in which it was originally presented. Rather than understood as a precursor to insight, it is often presented as an end in itself. This puts too much of a burden on mindfulness to solve all of our problems. Today’s discussion brings together three longtime practitioners of mindfulness to bring fresh perspective to our understanding of the spiritual path. Mindfulness is a means of training the mind to observe itself. To what end? We will explore, through discussion and meditation, the Buddhist view of self and selflessness, compassion and emptiness, and suffering and its release. Particular attention will be paid to how to make mindfulness relevant to the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
Saturday, September 7; 10am-4:30pm