Following is information about the 2016-2017 practitioners groups. Todd and Fred will teach regular practitioners groups, and there are tentative plans for online practitioners group with Matt which would start later in the year. Also, Matt will teach the Foundation Studies Course, which is also open to vetran practitioner members. See Foundation Studies class for a description.
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.
Days and Times: Tuesdays, 3 pm - 4:30 pm
Description: This year, we will be reading a collection of short manuscripts from different mystical traditions, while formulating specific practices from them with which to cut through delusion in our own experience. These readings will draw from Joel’s book The Way of Selflessness, as well as from excerpts from the works of various mystics, such as the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh, Tsultrim Allione, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, Scott Kiloby, and others. Through the Fall, we will be looking into the nature of death and will take up practices working with difficult emotions, in part, through a version of Tibetan Chöd practice. The material for the rest of the year has yet to be revealed, and will unfold based on what is needed by the group. (For most of these readings, except for chapters from Joel's book, I will be sending out scanned excerpted manuscripts via email attachments, so there shouldn’t be a need to purchase texts, and for those who do not have access to email or a printer, I will provide you with printed copies.)
Days and Times: Tuesdays, 7 pm - 8:30 pm
Description: The class will have three sections: 1) We'll begin with the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Mary, etc. and the formation of the early Christian church. The text will be Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels. 2) Then we will do some dream work. We’ll keep a dream journal and discuss as many dreams as we can in class. The text will be, The Myth of the Eternal Return: or Cosmos and History by Mircea Eliade. 3) Finally, we'll delve into Islam with The Alchemy of Happiness by Al-Ghazzali. He presents a way to transform mundane things in our life into the “gold” of spiritual insight.
Days and Times: Mondays, 7 pm - 8:30 pm (starting March 6, 2017)
Description: This is a drop-in class, open to those members of CSS who have completed (or are currently enrolled in) the Foundation Studies or Distance Studies courses. The focus will be concentration practice and mantra practice, but since it is a drop-in class what we cover will depend partly on who shows up and what meditation practices they are interested in going over. We can even practice Qigong if everyone is interested. After a practice session there will be time for discussion, and if no one has questions I will pick an aspect of the practice, and go over it more in depth. Recommended text is Joel's book The Way of Selflessness.
Matt's Group (Online)
Day and Time: Video conferencing dates TBD
Description: Most likely a continuation of the material presented last year. For more details of that, see Online Practitioners Group.