In the spiritual path of our meditation community, our mindful awareness practice emphasizes awakening in our daily lives. As we meditate, settling into a deep stillness and spaciousness, we sense the opening and closing of our “heartminds”.
We begin to see the layers of suffering - The First Noble Truth - as a universal reality of human life. When our hearts are open, still, and spacious, we experience the most natural response to suffering - we care.
We do not learn to care in isolation. We have many experiences of caring and being cared for (otherwise we would not make it to adulthood). Yet we do not live in a culture that often encourages openheartedness. Rather we learn early on to close our hearts in the face of pain and suffering – our own and others – and thus we reinforce a sense of loneliness, fear, anxiety – of separateness.
What can help us to respond to suffering with open hearts, to connect with care, and to choose appropriate action?
This inquiry calls for deepening mindfulness and compassion practice.
Cultivating Compassion, a 6-week course for committed practitioners, taught by 5 IMCC teachers, will include opportunities for direct experience and reflection, for sharing with others in the group, and for traditional Buddhist meditation.
Prerequisites: This group is suited for those who have established a personal practice of mindfulness meditation and who have participated in an organized Introduction class that includes the basic understandings of the Insight Meditation path. Compassion practice is deeply interrelated with mindfulness practice, so experience will be useful.
Dates: February 20- March 27, 2014 (six Thursday evenings – 7-8:30pm)
Daylong Retreat – March 29, 2014 (Saturday – 9:30-3:30)
Location: Sojourners UCC church, 1017 Elliott Avenue, Charlottesville, 22902
Teachers: Jackie Erskine, Helen Farrar, Teresa Miller, David Silver, Pat Coffey
Fee: $60 (includes the 6 weekly classes and the daylong retreat)
Online registration required.
Registration is limited to the first 30 paid registrants.
(If cost is problematic, please contact Jackie Erskine at firstname.lastname@example.org)