The Buddha himself, despite his spiritual achievements, endured human predicaments and difficulties. This course examines the Buddhist ideal of a life beyond suffering alongside the reality of day-to-day living, balancing the Buddha’s radical optimism with the practical concerns of our human lives: physical and emotional health challenges, past regrets and future desires, social injustice, relational challenges, and enduring questions related to finding and sustaining purpose in our life. Through this approach we learn to appreciate our own vulnerability, empathically acknowledge it in others, and allow it to bring us closer to our own freedom while creating caring communities where connection, compassion, and mutual support encourage each other’s awakening.
Combining meditation and sutta study with dialogue and relational mindfulness practices, we will co-create an experience that merges the clarity of wisdom with the acceptance of compassion.
To recognize how self-judgment and doubt can arise in response to archetypal images of progress on the Buddhist path; understand Buddhism’s ideal of cessation, while experiencing the value of vulnerability in serving that goal; promote self-awareness and empathic connection amongst group members through relational mindfulness practice; understand how vulnerability can be practiced and expressed through three modes of action: body, speech, and mind; integrate two modes of understanding: relative and absolute; recognize and become familiar with sutta passages that convey both the ideal of going beyond suffering and the inevitable human task of embracing suffering.
Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.