Practicing compassion in the face of pain

with Alexis Shotwell

April 20th—May 11th

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  • $110 Program Price
  • $125 Patron Price
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We are in a global period of intense suffering; already-existing difficulties have been immeasurably increased in the face of the coronavirus. In times of great suffering, the Buddhist path offers us time-tested practices for meeting pain with compassion. These meditative practices allow us to extend softness and care to ourselves, and give us an immediate way to respond with an open heart to the suffering around us.

This class focuses on teachings from the 10th century master Atisha called the "Lojong Slogans." Pithy and relevant, these teachings help us take difficulties and problems as our path, as things we can work with directly rather than trying to evade. We'll practice mindfulness meditation as well as "Tonglen," a breathing practice for working with suffering that is extremely useful for us if we may be feeling isolated and helpless.

Grounded in particular in Pema Chodron's approach to compassion, we follow her aspiration. As she says: "For those who feel prepared to practice sitting meditation and tonglen meditation and to work with the lojong slogans in an ongoing way, doing so may be the beginning of learning what it really means to love. This is a method for allowing a lot of space, so that people can relax and open. It is designed especially for people who find themselves living in times of darkness. May it be of benefit."

The course will include meditation, contemplation, study and discussion. It will take place online, using the program Zoom. As always, we operate on a pay-what-you-can policy; you are very welcome to attend the program without offering money, but please register and we will send you the link.

Recommended books:

Training The Mind and Cultivating Loving-kindness by Chögyam Trungpa

Start Where You Are, A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödron