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The Nature of Consciousness and Meditative Development
Dates: Nov 02, 2018 - Nov 07, 2018
Days: Fri - Wed (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Culadasa

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Through a series of guided meditations and discussion, this retreat will explore the nature of mind and consciousness. By combining descriptions of the mind from the Abhidhamma, the Lankavatara Sutra, and modern neuroscience, we'll arrive at a straightforward and coherent model of the mind. When applied in meditation, this model reveals through direct experience the nature of consciousness itself, and how interactions between consciousness and the unconscious cause the mind to behave as it does. This, in turn, allows for a better understanding of how and why various meditation systems work, thus greatly enhancing our practice of any of them. In particular, we will examine the importance of stable attention and strong introspective awareness, clarify exactly what mindfulness is, and see how cultivating stable attention and mindfulness give rise to Insight, and Awakening. The conceptual model will be supported throughout by experiential practices. This integration recognizes that the Abhidhamma and Lankavatara models are based on the experiences of highly skilled meditators, and those same experiences are available to every meditator. This integration builds upon the contribution of neuroscience and modern psychology to expand into a more thoroughgoing framework for our own time and place. 

Enrollment in this course will be by lottery.  The lottery will close on July 2, and lottery participants will be notified of the results by email on July 9.
  • Culadasa has practiced Buddhist meditation for over four decades and is the guiding teacher at Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona. He has studied in both the Theravadin and Tibetan traditions, and this unique lineage allows him to draw upon a broad and in-depth perspective on Buddha’s Dharma. He also taught neuroscience for many years as a college professor, and worked at the forefront of new fields of complementary healthcare education and physical medicine. In his teachings, he combines the original teachings of the Buddha with an emerging, scientific understanding of the mind to give students a rich and rare opportunity for rapid progress and profound insight. He retired from academic teaching in 1996 to live a contemplative life in the wilderness of an old Apache stronghold in southeastern Arizona. He recently published the acclaimed “The Mind Illuminated. A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdoms and Brain Science,” which is recommended reading for this course.