Contemporary forms of Buddhism are rediscovering ecological, embodied, and engaged forms of practice in response to our contemporary challenges. This retreat will be a deep-dive into the Dzogchen, or Great Perfection, teachings from Tibet, exploring this tradition’s ecological practices and teachings. Integrating body, psychology, and awareness, we will practice meditation and inquire into an ecological contemplative life in the Anthropocene, our current epoch of environmental mutation, climate chaos, and loss.
Introduced directly in effortless awareness, the primordial Ground of the Great Perfection is known as the Three Wisdoms: emptiness, cognizance, and compassionate responsivity. These are connected with the Three Buddha Bodies (Trikāya). Through embodiment, inquiry, and sensory practices on the forested land of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, we will explore how these Three Wisdoms and Three Bodies may offer ecological guidance today.
From the first wisdom—an open, empty, vastness—we can discover a spaciousness and nonconceptual rest that heals and lets be. From the second wisdom—a cognizant, vibrant, emotional expression of Buddhahood—we can discover a vital, imaginative, and nuanced psychology. This can help metabolize eco-anxiety and collective climate trauma. From the third wisdom—a spontaneous, compassionate, and elemental expression of Buddhahood—we can discover an embodied ecological contemplative practice.
Together, these three are considered the very Ground of being. If the Ground of being is also this very Earth, how might this change our practice? We will enjoy and explore the possibility of an engaged ecological life that coalesces meditation and action, mind and body, contemplation and our living planet.
Each day of retreat will include guided meditation, teachings, land-based and elemental practices, inquiry and discussion. Weather permitting, we will be doing some practices outside so please bring appropriate clothing.
Both those with no exposure to the Great Perfection, as well as seasoned practitioners are welcome and will enhance the experience.