Workshops being offered in 2016
Freedom and Fear: Eight Ancient Ways to Work With Fear and Anxiety
In this class we explore an ancient practice on how to cultivate infinite compassion in our hearts and be free of the grasping and anxious mind. Based on the advices of the 11th Century meditation master Dorje Sengye we explore how to use these ideas in our jobs and in our daily lives.
The Dark Side: An Uplifiting Exploration of Freuds Death Drive and the Buddhist Notion of Evil
A lively and fairly deep dive into some heady terrain. Be prepared to pipe in your comments as we explore cultural relativism, emptiness, the erotic, the aggressive, the pornographic and the didactic. Freud, Lacan, Joyce, Nagarjuna, and Chandrakirti all join in as we ultimately look at our own multi-leveled maturation. Be forewarned; a full throttle and heady tour de force.
Born to be Wild: Shiva, Nagarjuna and the Power of Polarities.
In this workshop we explore the teachings of 2nd century Buddhist master Nagarjuna in relation to the symbology of the Dancing Shiva. These ancient teachings offer us four profound and relevant tools for becoming more vibrant in our relationships, jobs, and spiritual practices.
Meditation Essentials: The Key Ingredients to a Practice.
A lively introduction to the key components of a vibrant and manageable meditation practice. The why and how of meditation and some key factors to help make your practice joyful and successful. Appropriate for brand new beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
The Two Truths: Understanding Spiritual By-Passing
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that the Two Truths Doctrine is perhaps the most important aspect of the Buddha Dharma for Westerners to understand. In this class we explore some of the foundational ideas of the two truths and how they relate to emotional maturity, and the subtle tendency to hide behind our spiritual practices.
The Buddhist Toolbox: An introduction to the Classic Literature of Buddhism.
A lively survey of the most relevant and applicable tools and techniques from the ancient Buddhist Scriptural Traditions.
When the S#%@ Hits the Fan: Buddhist Advice on Thriving in Difficult Situations
All of us have to deal with physical and emotional pain and suffering. The question is not “if” something bad will happen to us but rather “when” will something bad happen to us. In this class we explore 5 techniques for actually using the difficult times as part of our spiritual practice. A fun discussion about un-fun situations.
Lessons Learned from Three Years of Silence
Five tools for vibrant living learned from three years of stillness.
The Essential Yoga Sutras: A Timely Look at the Relevance of the Yoga Sutras in Modern Times
The mother of all Yogic texts, The Yoga Sutras, offers us profound insight into the workings of the mind and how our misperceptions lead to suffering and confusion. In this class we explore the depth and profundity of the Yoga Sutras through the framework of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and see the remarkable similarities between these two systems gaining deeper insights into both of them as a result.
The Yogis Scriptorium
From the moment of dissatisfaction with a trivial life all the way up to the liberated state of awakening the Yogis Scriptorium is a tour de force through the relevant work of great yogis like Nagarjuna, Bhartrhari, St. Teresa of Avila, Patanjali, Svatmarama, the nun Dhammadinna and Narada as well as some modern voices like Anna Ahkmatova, Ken Wilber, Bernadette Roberts, Dacher Keltner, and Shaila Catherine.
The goal of this course is to give us an authentic and mature foundation for exploring the spiritual path as well as to simply spend time with these great yogis. The people and voices and ideas we spend time with influence how we perceive the world. In this series we look to elevate our hearts and minds by being in "conversation" with some of the immense hearted teachers of the past.
Class 1 - Foundations Level 1 - The Spiritual Journey – A survey of how the various traditions understand the goal and the path of the spiritual journey. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 2 – Foundations Level 2 - Practice - The techniques and different paths for moving through the spiritual stages. We explore the surprising similarities of some of them like St. Teresa's 7 levels and the Buddhist 5 path model as well as the nuanced differences and understandings of how the path unfolds. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 3 – Foundations Level 3 - The Razors Edge – We explore both the importance of working with polarities and balance on the spiritual journey and also the importance of times of being out of balance. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 4 - From Drama to Dharma
A lively introduction to the birth of renunciation found in Bhartrhari’s Vairagyasatakam and Je Tsongkapa's Lam Rim Chenmo. (2 1/2-hr) (includes new unreleased translations of Bhartrhari's work)
Class 5 – Madhya – Journey to the Center
A deep dive into the Mūlamadhyamakākarikā: Root Verses of the Middle Path; a legendary text from the ancient yogi Arya Nagarjuna. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 6 - Heart Warrior
Shantideva's seminal 8th century text, Bodhisatvacharyavatara on becoming a heart warrior. Full of practical and humorous advice on developing fierce patience in the face of annoying people. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 7 - Fearless Joy
A look at an ancient access root to joy and affective leadership in the midst of broken institutions and a broken world by way of the deep and relevant teachings of The Bhagavad Gita. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 8 - The Yoga of Devotion
Exploring the depth of the path of devotion through a comparative look at the Narada Bhakti Sutras and The Imitation of Christ. We also take a unique look at what devotion might look like for a modern secular person. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 9 - The Lord of Death
A look at the endless search for pleasure and the Katha Upanishads instructions on how to slake off the weight of want. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 10 - Sit Down and Sit Still
A robust introduction to meditation from Patanjali's 3rd Century meditation manual The Yoga Sutra. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 11 - Scandal
A modern look at gurus, yogis and teachers gone wild. From sexual and financial corruption to narcissistic and emotional abuse. We explore a number of "high-commitment communities" that have strayed into abuse. Using Ken Wilber's articulation of stages and states and the four quadrant model we unpack what a more discerning and less naive spiritual path looks like. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 12 - The Art of Pleasure
Using Svatmarama's classic 15th century text, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika we take a fresh look at the yogis code of conduct laid out there. These yamas and niyamas, often taught as a simple moral code, can be understood more deeply in relation to how they undermine Avidya, the universal misunderstanding that traps us in mental suffering. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 13 - Becoming Wild
The modern yogi is more wild then domestic. Exploring some of Dacher Keltner' recent research into the state of awe
we look at the difference between a wild and a domesticated heart. Using the work of poet Anna Akhmatova as a jumping off point we delve into ideas on how someone in the modern world can begin to rewild themselves and why this rewilding becomes so essential on the spiritual path. (2 1/2-hr)
Class 14 - The Cloud of Unknowing and Moving into the Second Half of Life
At the end of a profoundly prolific life that changed the course of Christianity, Thomas Aquinas had an insight that led him to see his many thousands of published pages no longer meant anything. "All that I have written seems like straw to me" he famously said. In this final installment of the Yogis Scriptorium we look at the movement from the Kataphatic to the Apophatic. Mysticism, an often overused term, has real signs of its arrival and a kind of inner destruction it leaves in its wake. All of us at some point feel the seismic shifts of this process in our souls whether we have a name for it or not. We look here at the gorgeous 14th Century text, The Cloud of Unknowing on what happens when the need to know is replaced with something more elusive and intimate.