Emotions, Awakening and Beauty
Course Length: 12 weeks • Time: Sundays at 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm UK time
Dates: September 13 – November 29, 2020 (should we skip Yom Kippur?)
Location: Online (Zoom)
This course will support committed meditators in developing skill and artfulness in practicing with emotions and mind states. Cultivating emotional discernment and emotional capacity is an integral part of the path. If we lack capacity and range in how we work with and conceive of emotions, we will be limited in our practice and our relationships (with ourselves, with others, and with the world). Having the freedom to relate to our emotions in different ways opens up dimensions of depth, beauty and meaningfulness within our lives. When are confident with our emotional expression, we are free to question or set aside limiting ideas of what awakening “looks like”, or how it might feel.
This course will be grounded in the meditative practices, approaches, and teachings of Rob Burbea. We will explore ways of practicing with emotion that support the deepening of insight, samadhi, and beautiful qualities of the heart. Cultivating familiarity and sensitivity with the emotional body / energy body will be a central practice. Teachings will aim to make connections between emotional work and other aspects of practice. We will explore assumptions about emotions that may limit us. How might we, through practice, be free of unnecessary suffering in regards to our inner life, while avoiding a flattening or oversimplification of emotional and psychological experience? How might we integrate dynamic forces like passion, anger and grief (so central to action and activism) in ways that are healing and empowering?
Developing these capacities is a necessary foundation for working within the Soulmaking Dharma framework. This is not a course in Soulmaking Dharma (developed and taught by Rob Burbea and Catherine McGee). However, this course is intended to support people interested in those teachings through offering relevant tools, practices and approaches. These same approaches will also be useful to any committed meditator.
Meetings: Each session will last 2.5 hours and be held on the Zoom platform. There will be guided meditation instruction each week, with time for question and reports. We will offer teachings about the practices, as well as teachings that explore the larger context of emotional work, meditation, and the path of awakening. There will be ample time each week for discussion and sharing.
We will also offer the chance to meet… (DO WE WANT TO ADD INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEW /SMALL GROUP OR LEAVE IT OUT?)
Some of the topics/practices this course will cover are:
- Practicing with the emotional / energy body
- Developing resources that allow for skill with challenging emotions.
- Working with states of mind (in including thoughts and modes of attention)
- Practices that simplify, clarify, or differentiate emotional experience
- Cultivation of confidence with manifesting a range of emotions / emotional intensity
- How emotions are fabricated (emptiness of emotions)
- Conceptions of awakening & emotions.
- Mind states, emotions, and emptiness
- Well-being and the cultivation of samadhi.
Cost: This course will be offered on a Dāna basis (SUGGESTIONS YAHEL?)
Prerequisites: It is expected that those who take the course will have a working familiarity with mindfulness and insight meditation, and a regular meditation practice. This course will not offer basic meditation instruction. Therefore, we ask that you:
- Have been practicing meditation for one year or longer.
- Have attended at least 1 weeklong retreat or 2 weekend retreats.
- Practice with a group, community, or have recently taken other dharma courses.
If you do not meet those requirements exactly, but feel yourself to have equivalent experience, you will be able to clarify that on the application.
Teachers: This course will be taught by Yahel Avigur and Susy Keely, who were trained to teach by Rob Burbea. The course is offered at Rob’s request, with the intention to support those interested in deepening their exploration of the wide range of practices his teachings encompass.