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The Convergence of Vedanā, Our Mammalian Physiology, and Buddhist Awakening
Dates: Aug 12, 2016 - Aug 14, 2016
Days: Fri - Sun (2 Nights)

Instructor(s): Brian Lesage

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The Buddha spoke of “feeling tone” (vedanā)—pleasant, unpleasant, neutral—as one of the basic structures of our mind-body experience. Current physiological theories speak of the mammalian threat response we have inherited as part of our evolutionary journey. How do we navigate and honor this response and still move along the path of freedom the Buddha described in the Pali discourses? How do we fully embody our humanness in a way that does not detract from, but actually supports a path of Awakening? The confluence of the Buddha’s teachings as found in the Pali discourses and current theories of mammalian physiology provide fertile ground for freedom blossoming in our daily lives and in our society. Through study and practice, we will explore how feeling tone can be correlated with our mammalian threat responses to provide the basis for cultivating a skillful relationship to these responses. By combining the traditional teachings with information about our physiology we will seek a nuanced way of understanding freedom and a practical application for how we live our lives and how we interact with others. Selected readings from the Pali discourses on vedanā as well as readings on Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory will be sent to participants prior to the course.

12 Continuing education credits will be available for psychologists and social workers who attend this program in full. We do not offer CEU's for NBCC. Please note that we charge a $25 processing fee for CEUs.  More information about continuing education credits for this course.

Read Brian's interview in the April 2016 Insight Journal   IJ2016
  • Brian Lesage has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught meditation since 2000.  He has studied in the Zen, Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996. His training in Vipassana Meditation includes doing extended meditation retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S. He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide. Brian also has a private practice in Somatic Experiencing, which is a naturalistic approach to healing trauma.