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.
Format for the series: Class begins at 7 pm on Tuesdays with a dharma talk, followed by a sitting practice, a walking meditation, then a contemplation based on each week’s theme, and ends with a discussion and/or council practice, where we share from the heart and from our experiences. We end at 9 pm. This class is suitable for any level of practice and is best suited for those wishing to deepen their Buddhist-informed practices and understanding.
See the description of the upcoming series below:
‘Living Today As If It Were Your Last: Exploring Mindfulness Now and Dying Tomorrow’
In the Dhammapada, Buddha said:
“You are as the yellow leaf. The messengers of death are at hand. You are to travel far away. What will you take with you? You are the lamp to lighten the way. Then hurry, hurry.”
The beginning of any moment is also the end; birth is the beginning point of our dying. Both may be true. Yet, we seem to have a bit of aversion towards endings, much like we dislike changes to our routines and patterns and being taken care of. Not knowing and uncertainty are the source of anxiety for many of us, and so we prefer the predictable, then we can avoid the discomfort of change, including our relationships, our aging bodies that can become ill, and even the planet that appears to be in crisis.
A meditation practice is a set of skills that is cumulative and cultivates nourishing states that lead to peace, inner freedom, and insight. Where is your meditation practice leading? What is it revealing to you about life and how you are living it? What does your mind tend to focus on? And how might reflecting on and studying death bring greater aliveness and intention towards how you are living?
Please join us for our next 10-week Tuesday night, “little sangha” group where we will deepen our silent sitting practice and touch the awareness that lights the lamp of living by unravelling the threads that bind us to the self and lead us towards what lies beyond death. In this session, we will reconnect to our intentions for our sitting practice and sit with the truth that we each meet death one day, whether we are ready for it or not. Remember, the Buddhist teachings on death and impermanence are not a formula for how to die, but rather a kaleidoscope of perspectives that inform us how to live our lives as if this moment was the most important one.
We look forward to sitting with you and sharing our experiences with you. This class is designed for anyone wishing to deepen their meditation practice and embody and study Buddhist teachings and contemplations.
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.
February 7th – April 11th, 2023
7 – 9 pm EDT
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