Calendar

Upcoming Events with Robert A.F. Thurman & Friends

Kalachalra 2017 Study and Practice Group EventsLearn about upcoming events, teachings & appearances with Robert A.F. Thurman both in-person and online, please visit: Robert A.F. Thurman Upcoming Events.
Sep
15
Sun
Buddha & the Yogis London with Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman
Sep 15 @ 4:30 am – Sep 19 @ 12:00 pm
Buddha & the Yogis London with Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman @ The Hellenic Centre

In today’s world, difference and diversity are being used as roots for divisiveness, and there is no room for understanding the common thread of compassion that is at the centre of every human heart. Lies are replacing truth, conscience is out of vogue, and diversity is becoming a breeding ground for hatred and violence. This sort of intolerance is not new, but it has reached epic levels in current times.

Yet the insight that invites transformation arises where seemingly contradictory or opposing things meet; where night meets day, inhale meets exhale, or peace meets war. If each differing side stands unwavering in its own form, intelligence can grind to a halt. However, instead of resisting the other, a healthy mind learns to compare and contrast, while both contemplating differences and questioning similarities. This is the path of yoga, and this is also the Mahayana path of Buddhism.

In this intensive, we will go deeply into practices and philosophical underpinnings of both Buddhism and yoga. We will train body and mind, opening both to new perspectives. We will explore central themes and corners of these two great schools, which share a common root yet have healthy dissimilarities. In doing so, we will aim to see beyond surface differences that might fool us into divisively pitting them one against the other.

We will do this using asana, meditation, chanting and lively philosophical discussions. We will cultivate the questioning mind and the clarity that is an open, tender heart. In particular, by comparing and contrasting the devotional Bhagavad Gita with the study of Mahayana Buddhism we will explore how these teachings may inform us on a path toward insight and compassion.

The intensive is open to all with an interest in yoga and/or Buddhist philosophy, so long as you have at least 6 months’ regular asana practice and are willing to come with an open mind and heart. No specific understanding of philosophy, yoga or Buddhism, is needed. Each day will begin with a two hour guided asana class which will focus on the internal forms of breathing, bandha, mudra and dristi. In this way, we will work to cultivate the natural intelligence of the body by joining together the complementary aspects of breath, movement, sensation and mind. Working carefully and with attentiveness to subtle detail in this way allows us to move into, out of, and between postures with ease and integrity so that the mind may remain open, clear and steady. This will then lead us into chanting, guided meditation, lecture and discussion.

Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968, and teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa method of yoga as taught by his principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard’s metaphorical, often humorous, teaching style appeals to students of many backgrounds and nationalities. He teaches workshops and trainings throughout the world, and remains an avid student fascinated by the linking points between different traditions and cultures. He is the co-founder, with Mary, of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado; has produced a number of highly regarded yoga audio and video recordings; and is the author of The Mirror of Yoga and co-author of “The Art of Vinyasa”

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 and upon finding her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, in 1988, and the Ashtanga Vinyasa system that she experienced the profound and transformative impact that a dedicated and daily practice can have on all aspects of life. She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings, travels and co-teaches with Richard Freeman and co-founded with Richard the Yoga Workshop.

To learn more and to register, please visit: www.yogacampus.com.

Sep
16
Mon
Role of Bliss in the Path: Teachings of Jey Tsong Khapa
Sep 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm
Role of Bliss in the Path: Teachings of Jey Tsong Khapa @ St James's Church

Robert Thurman dedicates his talk this evening to the great Tibetan scholar-adept, Jey Rinpochey Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) in this 600th anniversary year. He will discuss Tsong Khapa’s life and significant contributions to world Buddhism in his day and how ‘great bliss’ (mahāsukha – bde ba chen po) serves as the key element in Jey Rinpoche’s teaching and in the Buddhist path generally.

He will discuss how the cessation of suffering is the most conservative possible way to refer to the bliss of total release, and how what might be called, provocatively, the ‘Four Nobler Truths’, revealed in exoteric Mahāyāna Discourses such as the Vimalakirti and the Lotus Sutra and in the esoteric Mahāyāna Tantras, are subtly conveyed by intimation in the Pali traditions. He will conclude by discussing the significance of all this in the current planetary crisis.

To Learn more and to register, please visit: www.alternatives.org.uk

Oct
3
Thu
Shamans and Siddhas Retreat with Isa Gucciardi Ph.D.
Oct 3 @ 3:00 pm – Oct 6 @ 1:00 pm
Shamans and Siddhas Retreat with Isa Gucciardi Ph.D. @ Menla

This retreat focuses on the traditions of the “psychonauts,” explorers of the subtle realms of dream, death, and all “between” states. Such people are known as “shamans” in indigenous traditions and as “siddhas” or “adepts” in Buddhist and Hindu Tantric traditions.

Isa Gucciardi Ph.D. joins Robert Thurman in exploring the deep and vast dimensions of these traditions, focusing on our planetary welcoming of various forms that consciousness takes in this time of global crisis, as she has done from time immemorial. Shamans and siddha-adepts provide us with resources from long-developed, time-tested positive sciences and arts that help us celebrate the blessings of reality and live meaningfully in the midst of the ups and downs of our daily lives ever more realistically and happily.

In this retreat, we will review the historic encounters between these two spiritual traditions from world indigenous and Indic regions and learn how they have informed one another over the centuries. While steeped in philosophy and psychology, this retreat is also highly experiential in nature. We will explore methods of going inward drawn from both traditions including the Shamanic Journey and Indo-Tibetan Deity Meditation.

The Shamanic Journey is an ancient and time-tested method that shamans around the world have used to develop a deep relationship with the powers of the Earth and Cosmos. Deity Meditation is a form of meditation that brings the meditator into an intimate understanding of the fields of wisdom, sensitivity, and power held by the deities of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.

We will explore the role of ritual and ceremony in both contexts and learn what role ritual and ceremony provide in bringing forward the realizations, sensitivities, and powers that are the fruits of these deep forms of inner exploration.

We will not only learn the basics of the shaman’s journey but also meditate, dialogue together, and create and perform ceremonies in order to align ourselves with the power that these two traditions have provided humanity for millennia.

This program is appropriate for health care professionals as well as the general public. Health care professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients or patients.

Daily all levels yoga will also be offered. Ideal for long time Yogis + Yoginis or for those looking to begin a practice.

To watch free previews from past programs please visit the Tibet House US Membership Community Facebook Group or subscribe to the Tibet House US YouTube Channel.

To learn more about this all levels program click on the tickets link or visit: www.menla.org.

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