10 Week Meditation Study Series

Meditators! Join (Rev.) Andrew Blake for this powerful 10 week study series to strengthen your your meditation practice and integrate the profound impacts of mindfulness with your daily life.

Practicing Dharma is a path of discovering wisdom and compassion or transformative actions. To get there we sit and meditate weekly together.

Meditation practice is built on a foundation of skillful methods of insight, and feeds the development of compassion as the means to meet suffering and transform our life into meaning and joy.

 

Meditating with the Heart (Sutra): How does your practice really transform suffering?

A perfect practice doesn’t really exist; we are all working, though, to “perfect” our practice. This distinction reflects in the theme of our fall 10-week meditation series. Join (Rev.) Andrew and a growing community of practitioners as we continue our exploration of the paramitas.  Paramita is often translated as “perfection,” but some refer to it as transcendent actions. These actions that transcend are about a radical transformation in our view. Moving from one where the self exists independently, or in a more self-centered way, to an insight into our interdependence and buddhanature that transcends this idea of I, me, mine as separate from the world. The world and beings from another view exist inseparably and this leads us to most challenging concept and insight in Buddhism, emptiness or shunyata in Sanskrit.

In addition to culling the Six Paramitas, (our third series of study for returning participants), we will recite and study the Heart Sutra. The Prajnaparamita is a famous teaching in 25 verses that expresses this experience of transcendent wisdom and the actions necessary to achieve this. 

What do we hope to gain from practicing and studying the Prajnaparamita or wisdom of the Mother of the Buddhas? All the Buddha’s teachings are about relieving the causes of suffering. Here, we explore an additional aspect of the teachings from the Mayahana school, the bodhisattvas. These beings not only commit to free all beings from suffering, but also commit to becoming enlightened so they can help others. How do we help ourselves to transform our conditioned and adaptive patterns rooted in the past and transform them into actions in the present moment that heal? 

Join us to travel this ancient, yet modern, path through practice, study, teachings and community sharing.

Please note this series is aimed to support current meditation practitioners. If you are new to the practice of meditation please contact us before registration.

Tuesdays,
October 5th – December 10th 2021
7 – 9 pm EDT
Via Zoom

Registration Fee: $250*

*The dharma, as spiritual gift, is not a commodity that is bought and sold. Our registration fees go to support Rev. Andrew and the work at Sarana Institute. If the suggested fee is a challenge for you, pay an amount that works within your finances. Everyone is welcome in our sangha, and finances must never be a reason not to join us.

 

Series Teacher: (Rev.) Andrew Blake, Buddhist Chaplain, Psychotherapist and Co-Founder of Sarana Institute

Andrew is the Director of Program Development at Sarana Institute and along with his wife, Angie, is a co-founder. In 2010, Andrew was ordained as Buddhist Chaplain by Roshi Joan Halifax, a leader in the fields of compassion, caregiving and end-of-life. His thesis, Mindful Listening at End-of-Life, was recently published and explores the roles of mindfulness, empathy and compassion, from both neuroscience and Buddhist psychology perspectives, as skills to prevent caregiver “empathy fatigue.”

A teacher and educator of mindfulness meditation, Buddhism, End-of-Life caregiving, and his Mindful Listening work, Andrew has created training and curriculums at University of Toronto through the Applied Mindfulness Mediation Program, at Sick Kids Hospital through The Mindfulness Project, at Hincks Dellcrest Centre, as well as numerous conferences, hospitals, hospices and organizations involved in service, healthcare, end-of-life care, volunteer caregiving. In addition to his teaching, he guides individual and families at end of life and serves as an officiant at memorials and funerals.  www.andrewblake.ca