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Uncovering the Unconditional Love and Wisdom of our Buddha Nature

Online Program
Dates: Feb 23, 2024 - Feb 25, 2024

Instructor(s): John Makransky and Paul Condon

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Program Description:

This program 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 program, we will also explore how perspectives from modern psychology can inform and empower this process of awakening. No scientific background is assumed; these concepts will be introduced in approachable ways. This program is both for Buddhist practitioners and people of all backgrounds who seek to cultivate unconditional powers of love and wisdom for action. It is also for those interested in exploring how aspects of psychological science can support deepening in meditation experience. Guided meditations, explanation of key principles, and discussion will clarify and empower our collective practice.

Attendance at all sessions is expected. 

Required Reading Before the Retreat

  1. Condon P., Makransky J. "Sustainable Compassion Training: Integrating meditation theory with psychological science." Frontiers in Psychology 2020
  2. Please also read John Makransky’s book Awakening Through Love, or as much of it as possible, before the program. A meditation manual will be provided for use during the program.
  3. Five Key Principles of SCT


Previous contemplative experience would be helpful, involving regular meditation, contemplation or prayer.

    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 twenty-five 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 is an associate professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University. His writing and teaching explore the use of diverse scientific theories in dialogue with contemplative traditions to inform contemplative training in compassion, mindfulness, and wisdom. He teaches meditations adapted from the Tibetan Nyingma and Kagyu traditions for multi-faith and secular application. His academic research also examines the relational basis for empathy, compassion, well-being, and prosocial action, and the influence of compassion and mindfulness training on those capacities.