Loading Events

« All Courses

Creatively Engaging Consciousness and the World
Dates: Sep 08, 2020 - Sep 13, 2020
Days: Tue - Sun (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Martine Batchelor, Judson Brewer, Anurag Gupta

Course Navigation

This course is a comprehensive and experiential investigation of the Buddhist teaching of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). By exploring contact, attention, feeling-tone, perception, and intention, we will examine how consciousness relates to the experience of the self, the body, and the world. Martine Batchelor will lead a progressive investigation into how to refine attention to recognize more clearly how we perceive objects in our interior and exterior worlds, create meaning, take action as a result of our perceptions, and with discernment, reduce suffering (dukkha) for ourselves and others. 

Judson Brewer will build upon this investigation by exploring the parallels between dependent origination and modern-day theories underlying reinforcement learning with a particular emphasis on how unskillful behaviors arises, the sense of self is experienced, and how knowledge and wisdom can be developed through direct experience of feeling tone, craving and clinging. 

Building on Martine and Judson’s framework, Anurag Gupta will lead an experiential process to investigate how feeling tone relates to concepts of identity – particularly race and ethnicity – by way of experiential meditations on how racial biases are formed, journaling exercises to discern how these biases touch different aspects of one’s experience, and small group discussions to recognize and deepen shared insights. 

Learning Intentions:

To recognize how the teachings of dependent origination can be investigated in one’s meditative practice; to more clearly discern how our perceptions inform our behavior and sense of self; to understand the parallels between dependent origination and modern day theories of reinforcement learning; and to understand how feeling tone relates to identity formation and the arising of bias.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:

Noble silence will be observed for the first two days of the program. The last two days of the course will include a combination of noble silence and mindful speech with some periods devoted to intentional discussion and other times for informal speech. 

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.

  • Martine Batchelor lived in Korea as a Zen nun under the guidance of Master Kusan for ten years. She is the author of Meditation for LifeThe Path of CompassionWomen in Korean Zen and Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. She is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council and on the faculty of Bodhi College.  She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in France. Her latest work is the The Spirit of the Buddha.

  • Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine. He also is a research affiliate at MIT. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. Dr. Brewer founded Claritas MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers. He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

  • Anurag Gupta is the Founder and CEO of Be More America, a social enterprise that trains professionals in evidence-based mindfulness strategies that eliminate conscious and unconscious biases. Anurag is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher and a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga & Meditation Training (MYMT). He has a JD from NYU School of Law and a master’s from Cambridge University. He was introduced to mindfulness through his family and has sat numerous retreats in North America and Asia.