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Embodied Self-Mettā and Radiating the Brahmavihārās

Residential Program
Dates: Nov 18, 2022 - Nov 21, 2022
Days: Friday - Monday
Number of Nights: 3 nights

Instructor(s): Mary Aubry

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Course Description:

The practice of lovingkindness, or mettā in Pali, is a learned practice that softens our hearts. Without guidance, it can take some meditators years to experience mettā in an embodied way. This 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 an embodied, heart-felt place. By the end of the retreat, we will use embodied self-mettā as a foundation for radiating all four of the brahmavihārās, as taught by the Buddha in the Pali Canon, outwards in all directions to all beings.

Noble Silence:
Noble silence will be observed following each evening session through breakfast the following morning. Additional silent practice periods will be scheduled throughout the program.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • 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.