The Four Foundations of Mindfulness – Online
October 2, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - October 8, 2020 @ 11:00 am PDT
with Bonnie Duran, Howard Cohn, Mark Coleman & Genevieve Tregor
We are challenged, in this time of pandemic and radical change, with both a great need for the steadiness and peace that can be found in a deepening Mindfulness, and at the same time with the loss of opportunities for the kind of in-person retreat conditions that usually support this deepening.
For many the idea of an ‘online’ retreat feels both less compelling and more difficult than visiting a retreat center. The opportunity for removing ourselves from our daily life environment and distractions and practicing at a serene location where our every need is accommodated is appealing; while trying to practice at home, amidst all of our usual distractions, not so much!
Most online retreat opportunities offer either a highly intensive, continuous online experience that can become wearying over time, and doesn’t necessarily meet the needs or conditions of every at-home meditator; or alternatively, a few drop-in meditations and talks which don’t offer a ‘retreat container’ or the kind of support that a fully scheduled retreat offers. Either option making it difficult to commit or feel supported in our individual at-home environment or circumstances.
This unique live, online format provides the conditions that can ideally support your practice at home, at the level of intensity that makes sense for you; supporting both an intensive schedule or a more integrated one. While also offering teacher support in small group meetings just as you would receive with an in-person retreat experience. Creating an opportunity for a retreat experience that ideally supports your practice, with the flexibility to integrate intensive and progressive practice of varying levels into your own schedule.
There is a true happiness, which doesn’t depend upon circumstances, that can be found in the practice of mindfulness.
An Insight – “Mindfulness” – Retreat is a radically different kind of respite from daily life; one that cultivates a more reliable relief that transcends worldly pleasure and pain.
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:
One: Awareness of the experience of the body, breath, and the changing nature of sensations
Two: Exploring our response to pleasant and unpleasant experience (“feeling-tone”) with phenomena as they arise
Three: Recognizing emotions and states of mind that cause stress and reactivity
Four: Cultivating qualities that support, and working wisely with those qualities that hinder our capacity for awakening from the trance of suffering.