I first encountered Buddhism in 1974, and it blew the doors wide open for me with its profound and practical insights into the mind, suffering, and true happiness. Over time I gravitated to the original teachings of the Buddha, embodied in the Theravadan tradition, for their down-to-earth clarity, and important sources for me have included the teachers of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Pali Canon itself. More recently, I've explored grounding the dharma in modern evolutionary neuropsychology - "neurodharma" - recognizing how mind arises dependently upon the body, especially the nervous system as it tries to meet ancient needs for raw survival. I am especially interested in using these approaches to heighten the learning - the cultivation (bhavana) - from beneficial experiences (otherwise often wasted on the brain) to reduce the underlying sense of deficit and disturbance that causes the craving that causes suffering and harm. Overall, I feel amazingly blessed to have the opportunity in this life to ride the dharma stream and share its gifts with others!
To be able to enter deeply into relationship, it is necessary to be able both to forgive and to assert yourself skillfully. Forgiveness and assertiveness support each other. Forgiveness clears out ill will so you can assert yourself with compassion and Wise Speech. Self-assertion takes care of your own needs so forgiveness can emerge without the sense that you are a doormat.
This experiential workshop will get into the nitty-gritty of how to bring the Buddha’s profound teachings on interrelatedness, lovingkindness, and virtue (sila) into the messy real world of relationships with family members, lovers, friends, bosses, and co-workers.
This workshop - led by a world renowned expert on forgiveness, and by an experienced couples and family therapist and meditation teacher - will offer user-friendly information with lots of practical methods. We'll cover:
-- The Buddha’s teachings on non-harming, wise speech, compassion and kindness, and releasing ill will -- as well as his teachings on self-care, respecting your own needs, and looking out for your own happiness
-- The primacy of relationships in evolution, and the deep capacities for both loving altruism and fearful aggression
-- The neural machinery of emotional reactivity and developing grievances with others
-- Why forgiveness and assertiveness are both important
-- The foundation of basic mindfulness, precepts, Wise Speech, compassion for oneself and others, and emotional self-care
-- Forgiveness practices
-- Assertiveness practices
There will be some voluntary paired activities as well as time for questions and discussion. While the teachings are appropriate for use in health care professions, no background with psychology or meditation is needed. Also please know that this workshop is not psychotherapy or any substitute for professional care.