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What Gets Left Out? Expanding Practice, Community, and Freedom
Dates: Jul 22, 2020 - Jul 26, 2020
Online Course

Instructor(s): Sebene Selassie, Brian Lesage

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Buddhist traditions are vast. Even within a single tradition, such as Theravāda, there is a wide range of practices. Why do we practice some and not others? In this series, we will investigate some of the cultural frameworks (including patriarchy, colonialism, and norms of modernity) that we bring to our study and practice of Buddhism and how these frameworks shape what is included and what gets left out. Exploring these frameworks can help us understand the prevalence of contemporary practices that emphasize individuality, autonomy, and rationality. This understanding can then open a space to explore practices that explicitly engage nature, ritual, devotion, the body, the feminine, and identity. 


This course consists of three evening meetings held from 6:30 - 8:30 EDT on the following dates:


Wednesday, July 22

Friday, July 24

Sunday, July 26

  • Sebene Selassie began studying Buddhism over 25 years ago as an undergraduate at McGill University where she majored in Comparative Religious Studies. She is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader (CDL4) program at Spirit Rock and continues her training with her primary teachers, Thanissara and Kittisaro. Sebene serves on the board of Sacred Mountain Sangha. She has an MA from the New School where she focused on race and cultural studies. Sebene is passionate about making the dharma accessible and relevant for our times.

  • 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.