Following is information about the 2019-2020 practitioners groups. For meeting dates, times, and locations, please see the CSS calendar. Practitioners may sign up for multiple groups. These are not drop-in groups. If you are going to take a leave of absence from a group, please let the teacher know in advance.
Todd and Mora's Foundation Studies Class
Distance Studies Course
David's Online Practitioners Group
Todd's Practitioners Group
Days and Times: Wednesdays from 3 pm - 4:30 pm
We will begin, again this year, with the fundamental practices of the path, and by the end of the year, will engage the most refined and effortless ‘non-practices.’ In addition to a collection of a few mystical poems during the first couple weeks, we will begin our reading and discussions with an excerpt from Pema Chodron’s No Escape, in which she helps us to bring precision, gentleness and honesty to simple breath practice. Through this approach to the breath she encourages us to soften and open into our investigation into the imaginary limitations of separateness. Most importantly, she helps us to see how such an approach is ultimately selfless, and as such, represents the necessary basis for a genuine path of investigation and devotion. Before we move on to other authors, we’ll adapt her teachings (as well as those of Dziger Kongtrul, another Tibetan teacher) in working with difficult emotions, practicing tonglen (sending and taking), and engaging other principles and practices of compassion.
From there, the tentative line-up for reading, discussion and practices includes short excerpts from:
Joel, The Way of Selflessness;
Alan Watts, The Book on the Taboo of Knowing Who You Are;
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching;
Buddha, Lankavatara Sutra;
Meister Eckhart, Short excerpts from several of his sermons;
G. Bluestone, Journey on Mind Mountain;
Ramana Maharshi, trans T.N. Venkataraman, Advaita Bodha Deepika.
There may be other readings besides these, and except for chapters from Joel's book, I will be sending all readings out via email attachments, so there isn't a need to purchase texts. For those who do not have access to email or a printer, I will provide you with printed copies.
Matt's Practitioners Group
Days and Times: Wednesdays at 7 pm to about 8:45 pm
This year we will study two texts, The Intelligent Heart, by Dzigar Kongtrul, and The Silence of the Mind, by Ilie Ciaora.
The first text comes from the Tibetan Buddhist Lojong, or mind-training tradition, which includes but isn't limited to the practice of Tonglen, or sending and taking. The writer is a very respected and humble Tibetan lama and the text is well edited for clarity and profundity. This study will focus us on the development of compassion and Bodhicitta, or the mind-set of enlightenment.
The second text is a beautiful translation of a contemporary book written by an Eastern European gnostic which gives poetic descriptions of absolute reality, awakening, full enlightenment, and simple practices for us to employ to cultivate this spiritual nature that is our birthright. This study will focus us on the direct apprehension of the sacred in the midst of our ordinary life.
As usual, the focus of our group meetings will be upon the individual spiritual journeys of our sangha members. Study of the texts provides a jumping off point to help us in our own personal cultivation. Our shared time in honest diligence and perseverance to embody the Truth of Love in our lives forms the essence of the purpose for our meeting.
I look forward to seeing you in the Autumn!
Hiromi's Practitioners Group
Days and Times: Tuesdays at 4 pm to 5:30 pm
Description: A Year to Fully Live
Join me in an experiment of a year to fully live. You are given one year to live. What would you do?
We will take a journey of exploring death together. Primarily we will use Joel's The Way of Selflessness.
and Through Death's Gate, and Being with Dying by Roshi Joan Halifax as our texts for a whole year.
In this class you will be exposed to all the information necessary to prepare for your own death through learning and getting the opportunity to implement Swedish death cleaning, create a bucket list, work on reconciliation,write up a last will and other legal documents, and plan your own memorial and/or funeral service. Although I will share these aspect of death, these projects will be work on your own. Our emphasize will be focusing on a death prayer, the perfect Sacrifice (sending and taking) and Effortless Contemplation.