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Spiritual Friendship and the Eightfold Path
Dates: Mar 02, 2018 - Mar 04, 2018
Days: Fri - Sun (2 Nights)

Instructor(s): Janet Surrey

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The Buddha said that, "Spiritual (noble) friendship is the whole of the Holy Life." While the traditional understanding of “spiritual friendship” is framed in Theravada monastic settings, this weekend course will investigate the cultivation of spiritual friendship as the nexus of the eightfold path in the lives of lay practitioners. In this  framework, walking  the path together can be a vehicle for embodying spiritual friendship and community. The weekend will focus on engaged relational meditation (Insight Dialogue), including speaking and listening, as a practice of spiritual friendship.  The guidelines for Insight Dialogue will be introduced and dharma contemplations offered pointing to the role of intentional spiritual friendship on the eightfold path of liberation. We will investigate the  challenges and fruits of spiritual friendship across cultural, gender, and racial divisions for contemporary women and men. We will explore the Eightfold Path as a foundation for accompanying each other through this life and for our commitment to the particular relationships in our lives, through illness, aging and death.

  • Janet Surrey, PhD is an Insight Dialogue Teacher. She teaches Insight Dialogue retreats worldwide and leads a longstanding practice group in the Boston area.  Her first meditation  teacher was Vimala Thakar . She has practiced in the Insight tradition  for over 30 years, and trained as a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock. Since 2007, Jan has worked intensively with Gregory Kramer and the Insight Dialogue Community. Jan is a practicing clinical psychologist and founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is on the faculty and board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. She is the author of The Buddha’s Wife: The Path of Awakening Together.