Part 1: Mindfulness, Soulfulness, and Socially Engaged Practice – Retreat 1
This retreat is part of a year-long path program called Mindfulness, Soulfulness, and Socially Engaged Practice. Please click here for more information on the full program.
The Buddha, famously, rejected the idea of an unchanging soul. And yet…one quality of human experience that may arise with mindfulness practice can be described as “soulfulness.” Since the mid-20th century, psychologists in the tradition of James Hillman (author of The Soul’s Code) and Thomas Moore (author of The Care of the Soul) have explored soulfulness. This dimension of human experience resonates with the grounded connectedness to the elements and ways of being in relationship to earthbound everyday life that mindfulness enables and Buddhist principles and practices support. At the same time, the term soul has been associated with a Black American cultural aesthetic.
Grounded in Buddhist approaches to the establishment of mindfulness, we will explore varieties of soul and soulfulness in our practices and lives. What are soul and soulfulness, and how do Buddhist practices reveal or assist in understanding them? How might mindfulness practices support us in cultivating soulfulness and caring for the dimension of soul in our lives and communities? We will explore mindfulness, soulfulness, and social engagement in the face of such challenges as climate distress, immigration and demographic changes, economic inequality, the increasing implications of extractive technology, and the increasing visibility of White supremacy-based ideology and politics. Together, we will explore the quality of soulfulness and attend to what might be called the soul of awareness, in relationship to ethically-grounded, socially-engaged mindfulness in everyday life.