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Breaking Bias with the Brahmaviharas

Online Program
Dates: Sep 15, 2023 - Oct 13, 2023

Instructor(s): Anu Gupta

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Course Description:

Dr. King famously said, “Our goal is to build a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative shift in our hearts and a quantitative shift in our lives.” Bias remains a chief obstacle for us to advance towards this goal in our Dharma communities, workplaces, families, and even within ourselves. 

Over the last two decades, the science of implicit bias has demonstrated that bias is one of the root causes of inequities and injustices that pervade our society. These inequities create and sustain the samsaric cycles of cruelty, indifference, hatred, and jealousy within institutions as well as in our own hearts and minds. Amidst the hyperpolarization around us, the brahmaviharas provide each one of us the medicine to heal from the defilements and open our heart-mind, despite the conditioning of our outer environment, to become members of a “beloved community.” 

The brahmaviharas are a cornerstone of the Buddhist path of freedom. They offer us a gateway to move from our heads into our bodies and hearts. They include loving-kindness (metta), equanimity (upekha), sympathetic joy (mudita), and compassion (karuna). In this five-week program, we will delve deeper into each one of the brahmaviharas through daily meditation practice, studying the suttas together with the science of implicit bias, and weekly discussions and reflections with one another. 

Each week’s gathering will consist of breakout groups to strengthen intimacy within our sangha and to appreciate an embodied experience of the brahmaviharas in real time.

Attendance is required in every session. Participants are expected to complete about one hour of work for each session, and a build a daily brahmavihara meditation practice. 

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. You can check the time of the group sessions in your timezone here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this program (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Meeting Time: Fridays, 12:00-1:30 PM ET

Meeting Dates: September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13

Please note that sessions will be recorded and will be available within 48 hours of each session for courses and 48 hours of the final session for retreats and events. These recordings are not downloadable. Retreat recordings will be available for 2 weeks and event recordings will be available indefinitely.

Cancellation Policy:
Registration fees for online programs are nonrefundable after the program start date. Cancellations prior to the program start date will incur a $25 cancellation fee. For intensive, application-based programs, the cancellation fee is $50.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Anu Gupta is a dedicated practitioner in the Insight and the SRF traditions. He was introduced to the Dharma through his family and has sat numerous retreats in North America and Asia since 2004. His approach to the Dharma is rooted in his intersectional identities as an immigrant, cisgendered gay man, and a person of color of Asian Indian descent. Outside of his Dharma practice, Anu runs BE MORE with Anu, an edtech company that trains organizations in breaking bias using mindfulness to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). Anu is a sought-after expert in breaking bias, behavior change, and well-being. He has extensively written and spoken about this work, including on the TED stage, SxSW, the Oprah Conversation, Fast Company, and Newsweek.