A Year of Deepening in Compassion

April 7th—May 5th

Date details +
    Room: Meditation Room

    The path of the Bodhisattva Warrior begins with developing affection for ourselves and expands this to others, dissolving the barriers that divide us. To support this practice, the Shambhala Acharyas have offered to lead the community in a year long series of talks, contemplative and meditation practices from the Buddhist Mahayana teachings of our lineage.

    Through Shambhala Online, these talks will occur two Sundays per month, beginning on February 17th and concluding in January 2020. Throughout the year, the main practice is tonglen, which will be taught by Ani Pema Chodron with both a guided meditation and an audio talk that will be posted on the home page for the course. Additionally, live online talks by acharyas will introduce and support other practices of the Mahayana. 

    The year’s teachings are divided into four seasonal themes. Every three months a new course will begin but the program will be continuous. Within each season, acharyas will be offering talks that relate to that topic with their own personal approach.

    The schedule shall begin with stting at 9:30 AM, the talk at 10 AM, followed by community discussion at 11 AM

    The themes for the four seasons echo the virtues of the Four Dignities of the Shambhala Path:

    February 17 - April 21: Tiger, friendly to self and merciful to others: The Four Immeasurables

    May 5 - July 14: Lion, joy of discipline: The Six Paramitas

    July 28 - October 6: Garuda, space beyond hope and fear: Heart Sutra and Sunyata

    October 20 - January 19: Dragon, compassionate engagement: Lojong, mind training

    Part II

    The Joyful Snow Lion: The Paramitas  
    This series of classes includes an exploration of bodhicitta and how we put our aspiration into action with the practice of the Paramitas. In Buddhism, bodhicitta, or "enlightenment-mind", is the striving towards awakening, empathy, and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    Paramita is a Sanskrit word that can be literally translated as “arrive on the other side or shore”. By practicing the paramitas we work towards overcoming our negative destructive emotions, transcending suffering, and seeing the true nature of things. Practicing the paramitas helps us to be of benefit to the world.

    Each class will include a live discussion led by one of the Acharyas as well as suggesting readings and books to deepen our understanding of these teachings. You will also be given contemplation exercises to help you integrate these fundamental teachings into your daily life.


    Books forming the suggested readings for Part II:

    A Little Book of Love by Moh Hardin

    Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa

    The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma
    Book 2: The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion by Chögyam Trungpa

    The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa: Volume 2: The Path Is the Goal
    Glimpses of Mahayana by Chögyam Trungpa

    The Myth of Freedom by Chögyam Trungpa

    Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chögyam Trungpa

    Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chödrön

    Becoming Bodhisattvas: A Guidebook for Compassionate Action formerly published as No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chödrön


    Practice Guidelines for this Year of Mahayana Studies:

    Though we will be working with several traditional practices, such as tonglen and the four limitless ones, the foundational practice is always sitting meditation, shamatha-vipashyana. If you have not yet received instruction in this form of sitting practice, please contact your local Shambhala Center and request to meet with an authorized instructor.

    Please take advantage of any group meditation sessions offered by your local center. At the same time, to support the training we’re doing this year, it’s important that you develop the habit of meditating at home. To do this, here are some tips that many people have found helpful:

    -Choose a place in your home has a good environment for meditation.
    -If you don’t have a meditation cushion, sit upright on a chair.
    -Work with your schedule and find a regular time to make an appointment with yourself for practice and study.
    -Make a weekly commitment to do a certain number of sessions and do your best to keep that promise.
    -Use your practice booklet (from Shambhala Day) to mark the days you meditated.
    -Turn off your phone, but set the timer so that you can remain undistracted during your sitting meditation.
    -Join with a sangha friend and set up a buddy system to sit together or at least check in with each other. Some people even practice together by ‘zoom’ or ‘skype’.

    Here is a proposed schedule (which you can download here if you wish) that will enable you to benefit from this year of Mahayana training. Ideally, you would try for 3-5 sessions a week.

    Course Schedule

    Part II

    May 5  Generosity - Acharya Marty Janowitz

    May 19  Discipline - Acharya Susan Chapman

    June 2  Patience - Acharya Suzann Duquette

    June 16  Ethics - Acharya Moh Hardin

    June 30  Discussion led by the Acharyas

    July 14  Samadhi & Summary - Acharya John Rockwell

    $10 suggested donation per talk to cover the cost of the progam 
    Generosity policy applies