This course will explore ways of accessing and settling into our innate awakened awareness through practices adapted from Tibetan Buddhism (Nyingma Dzogchen) with assistance from modern psychology. By participating in an empowering field of loving spiritual connection, we can become increasingly receptive to the unconditioned openness, wisdom, and compassionate energy of our Buddha nature. Yet parts of us, often unconsciously, tend to prevent us from more fully accessing such qualities of awakening. We will focus on ways that healing powers of buddha nature can help harmonize all such parts of us with that nature, so our innate capacities for compassion and wisdom can unfold more freely. Throughout the course, we will also explore how perspectives from modern psychology can inform and empower this process of awakening—attachment theory, internal family systems, and the constructed nature of concepts and emotion. No scientific background is assumed; these concepts will be introduced in approachable ways. This course is both for Buddhist practitioners and people of all backgrounds who seek an accessible way to cultivate unconditional powers of love and wisdom for action. Guided meditations, explanation of key principles, and discussion will clarify and empower our collective practice.
Uncovering the Unconditional Love and Wisdom of our Buddha Nature
Dates: Jan 18, 2023 - Mar 01, 2023
Instructor(s): John Makransky, Paul Condon
About the Instructor(s):
John Makransky, PhD, is a professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, senior advisor for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Centre of Buddhist Studies in Nepal, a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, and developer of the Sustainable Compassion Training model for accessing innate capacities of compassion and awareness. John's scholarly writings have focused on connections between practices of devotion, compassion and non-dual wisdom in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, on adapting Buddhist practices to meet contemporary minds, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning. In 2000, John was ordained as a Lama, a meditation teacher of innate compassion and wisdom, within the Nyingma Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. As a meditation teacher, John is known for guiding participants in their discovery of underlying powers of unconditional love and wisdom. For the past twelve years, John has taught meditations of innate compassion and wisdom, adapted from Tibetan Buddhism, for modern Buddhists, those in other spiritual traditions, and for people in caring roles and professions.
Paul Condon, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University. He has also served as a visiting lecturer for the Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute and is a fellow of the Mind & Life Institute. His research examines how psychological science can inform meditation practices in dialogue with contemplative traditions to support training in compassion and wisdom. His research and writing also examine the constructed nature of emotion and concepts, attachment theory, and the impact of meditation on compassion and prosocial behavior. Paul teaches meditation practices adapted from the Tibetan Nyingma tradition. He has collaborated with John Makransky to develop and teach Sustainable Compassion Training, a system of compassion and wisdom practices for multi-faith practitioners and secular application.