Practitioners groups are on-going groups that meet once a week starting in October and ending in the summer. For exact meeting dates, times, and locations, please see the CSS calendar. Practitioners may sign up for multiple groups. To attend a practitioners group you need to be a current CSS member.
Practitioners groups are not "drop-in" groups. If you need to take a leave of absence from a group, or need to be absent, please let the teacher know in advance. In addition to these on-going year-long practitioners groups listed below, CSS teachers may also offer shorter duration workshops or seminars, which last a few days or a few weeks.
2020-2021 Practitioners Groups
Foundation Studies Class
Unfortunately, we will not be offering Foundation Studies this year.
One alternative would be to take our Distance Studies Course, which you can begin at any time. Distance studies is divided into eight phases, the first four phases of which cover much of the same material as Foundation Studies. Moreover, if you complete these four phases, you will be eligible to join any of our regular Practitioners' Groups, as well as begin attending our retreats.
A second alternative would be to join this year's Practitioners Group led by Todd Corbett, a veteran CSS teacher. Todd's Group will be starting with some of the same material covered by Foundation Studies. In addition, you would meet with Todd via Zoom for a half-hour one-on-one session before the start of each meeting.
Distance Studies Course
The distance studies course is a self-directed course of study following a curriculum with guidance from a mentor. For details, see Distance Studies Course.
Practitioners Group (David)
Practitioners Group (Todd)
Location: Zoom (until CSS re-opens, then maybe hybrid)
Days and Times: Wednesdays from 3 pm - 4:30 pm, starting Oct 7 through mid-June
Description: As in previous years, we will be contemplating excerpted readings from various traditions, with emphasis on practices bringing compassion into direct experience, here and now. Our readings will begin with a selection of mystical poems and quotes, including a short excerpt from a book entitled Journeys on Mind Mountain, by G. Bluestone. Then we will explore an excerpt from Zen Master Robert Lowe, from his book: Hakuin on Kensho. Following this, we will begin reading and practicing excerpts from Judith Blackstone’s book, The Enlightenment Process. Through Blackstone’s teachings, we will deepen our investigation into experiences of self and other through non-dual, “embodied” mindfulness. Other readings we will consider for contemplation will be short excerpts from: Death, the End of Self Improvement by Joan Tollifson; a portion of the Lankavatara Sutra from the Buddha, a short sermon by Meister Eckhart and occasional reference to various chapters in Joel’s book The Way of Selflessness. I will be sending all readings out via email attachments, so there is no need to purchase texts. For those who do not have access to email or a printer, I will provide you with printed copies (by USPS).
Practitioners Group (Andrea)
Days and Times: Wednesdays from 6 pm to about 8 pm, starting Sept. 23 for 6 months or so.
Description: Investigate Fundamental Consciousness as the ground for the healing of Trauma.
Our course of study would begin with the reading Trauma and the Unbound Body by Judith Blackstone, PhD.
We will go through the 180 pages, consisting of 10 chapters together - along with commentary by me, and group discussion. We will also be introduced to 6 audio sessions of guided meditations, approximately one hour each, from an earlier 2012 work of hers entitled The Realization Process which will further support the process of daily application in our lives. Emphasis will be placed on process rather than on content in our discussions. Trauma may refer to any unpleasant experience that has not been given enough attention in awareness to acknowledge and process in the body mind complex. Trauma often accompanies the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a state of health, a job or a home. Trauma most recently is a daily experience of the effects of global warming, drought, fires, floods, our current pandemic, and its concomitant effect on our lives.