with Mark Coleman and Genevieve Tagor
The Buddha taught a direct way to alleviate suffering and discover peace, wisdom and happiness – and that was through cultivating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
In this unique, live, online retreat format, we will be co-creating a container for continuity of practice supporting the development and deepening of your capacity for awareness. Participants will cultivate these foundations in the context of formal meditation practice and with the support of respected and skilled teachers in the Insight Meditation Tradition.
Practicing with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness allows us to awaken from suffering and find peace, even in the midst of difficult experiences.
The Buddha began teaching the practices of Mindfulness over 2600 years ago, with the sole purpose of finding relief from the various ways we experience suffering in our lives. He understood that the usual distractions and pleasant experiences did not offer a reliable refuge from difficulty – even contributed to it – and discovered a radically different way for alleviating suffering through the cultivation of Mindfulness utilizing the Four Foundations of practice.
During this retreat we will systematically explore each of the four foundations, in a progressive fashion:
The first foundation: Awareness of the experience of the body, breath, and the changing nature of sensations. Awareness of the body cultivates embodied present moment attention which supports our capacity to stay present and centered, and serves as a profound vehicle for awakening.
The second foundation: Exploring our response to pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral experience (“feeling-tone” or in the Pali, “vedana”) with phenomena as they arise. Cultivating attention to the realm of feeling-tone and the building-blocks of our experience supports non-reactive presence to the ups and downs of life, and insight into our conditioned instincts and reactivity which allow us to break free of the patterns that cause our suffering.
The third foundation: Recognizing emotions and states of mind that cause stress and reactivity. Focusing on developing a wise relationship to thoughts, emotions and mind-states by recognizing their impersonal and changing nature; so that we may cultivate our capacity to respond rather than react.
The fourth foundation: Cultivating qualities that support, and working wisely with those qualities that hinder, our capacity for awakening from the trance of suffering. A culmination of the practices helps us to see the ways we become caught, as well as the ways we can free ourselves, through the common obstacles we encounter in our practice and the wholesome states that can be cultivated to support it.
This retreat will support an establishment of, and deepening into the practice of Mindfulness for a greater capacity to meet whatever difficulty and chaos our external experience may bring. It serves as an introduction to those new to practice, providing the essential teachings, and an opportunity to refresh and strengthen practice for experienced practitioners.