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Embodied Self-Mettā: A Foundational Practice for the Brahmavihārās
Dates: Feb 05, 2021 - Feb 07, 2021
Online Course

Instructor(s): Mary Aubry

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The practice of lovingkindness, or mettā in Pali, is a learned practice that softens our hearts.  For some meditators, it can take years to experience mettā in a fully embodied way without specific instruction.  This weekend retreat is intended as both an introduction to and a deepening of our embodied practice of the brahmavihārās of mettā, compassion, muditā (sympathetic joy), and equanimity.  We will begin by learning and strengthening our capacity for sending embodied mettā internally to ourselves. A regular practice of embodied self-mettā can enhance our overall sense of well-being with residual benefits that endure and suffuse our daily life beyond the sitting period.  Embodied self-mettā is also a particularly supportive practice during difficult times as it can naturally transform into self-compassion.  As we develop our capacity to experience self-mettā viscerally, we will explore using it as a foundational practice for extending all four brahmavihārās externally to others from a body-centric, heart-felt place.  By the end of the retreat, we will use embodied self-mettā as a cornerstone for radiating outwards in all directions to all beings all four of the brahmavihārās, as taught by the Buddha in the Pali Canon.

Online Course: Our intention is to build sangha and provide meaningful virtual interactions with each other and teachers in our online courses. When registering for an online course, please note that you should plan to commit to attending all scheduled sessions. The schedule of Zoom meetings and individual practice sessions (off Zoom) for this course (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Friday, February 5
7:00 – 9:00 pm, Opening Session (learning and practicing together on Zoom)

Saturday, February 6
10:00  - 11:30 am, Morning Session
1:00 – 2:30 pm, Individual practice (off Zoom)
2:30 – 4:00 pm, Afternoon Session
4:00 – 5:30 pm, Individual practice (off Zoom)
7:00 – 9:00 pm, Evening session

Sunday, February 7
10:00  - 11:30 am, Morning Session
1:00 – 2:30 pm, Afternoon Session
2:30 – 3:30 pm, Individual practice (off Zoom)
3:30 – 5:00 pm, Late afternoon Session

Please check the time of the group meetings in your timezone here, and please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Registration fees for online courses are nonrefundable after the course start date.  Cancellations prior to the start date of the course will incur a $50 admin fee. Thank you for your understanding.

  • Mary Aubry leads meditation retreats on insight, the jhānas, abiding in emptiness, and the brahmavihārās.  In addition, she has taught for programs that support mindfully meeting aging, illness, and dying, as well as training meditation companions for the aging, ill, and dying and those who love and care for them.  Mary also offers meditative support to parents of deceased children, having lost her son to cancer in 2015.  Additionally, Mary is one of the facilitating teachers for Bhikkhu Anālayo’s online Satipaṭṭhāna course offered by the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.  Prior to becoming a full-time meditation teacher, Mary worked as a lawyer at the U.S. Justice Department for 24 years.