What gets left out of our spiritual practice? And why? “Premature transcendence” or spiritual bypassing has been described by John Welwood as unskillfully using a spiritual practice to avoid addressing psychological wounds and unresolved personal issues. This is usually discussed only on the personal/psychological level, yet a spiritual practice can be used to avoid or “bypass” unresolved collective/cultural issues as well —
this is what we are calling cultural spiritual bypassing. We will look at how cultural spiritual bypassing manifests both collectively and individually, especially within some contemporary convert Buddhist traditions . We will use practice, study and discussion to investigate often bypassed explorations including nature, culture, creativity, ritual/devotion, the body and the feminine. We will come together in a multicultural community to explore how to expand our understanding of practice,community, and freedom. There will also be time for affinity groups where people of color and white people can explore and investigate their experiences of these issues in safety.
To understand one's location both as an individual (race, class, gender, etc) and as a practitioner (lineages, practices, etc); understand the multiplicity of locations within the Buddhadharma; cultivate an appreciation for, and experience of, various practices including chanting, bowing, and devotional practices; develop an appreciation for the role of the the body, the natural world, and unseen beings/mystery in practice; and cultivate an awareness of power and oppression and how those impact the expressions of the Buddhadharma (especially as related to race, gender, sexuality and class).
Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.