2021 Beyond Mindfulness: From Calm Abiding (Samata) to Insight (Vipassana) Meditation
From 11am to 12
201 Tibet Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850
Namgyal Monastery office / email@example.com or Call: 607-279-8805
Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies - online - Zoom meeting – Calm Abiding (Samata) to Insight (Vipassana) Mediation program for 8 Saturdays beginning from October 2nd to November 20, 2021
Date: Saturdays – October 2, 9, 15, 23 , 30 , November 6, 13, 20, 2021
Time: Morning - 11am to 12.
• To register for the Samata & Vipassana Meditation program you are requested to send email to : firstname.lastname@example.org
• For payment please visit our website: www.namgyal.org Click Donation and make payment or send a check to Namgyal Monastery - 201 Tibet Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850
Beyond Mindfulness: From Calm Abiding (Samata) to Insight (Vipassana) Meditation
What is Samata Vipassana? This eight-week Zoom program offers weekly one-hour sessions of guided instruction and discussion on both calm abiding and insight meditation also known as Shamata Vipassana.
- Samatha or calm abiding, steadies, composes, unifies, and concentrates the mind, and
- Vipassanā, or insight, gives one perspective into the true nature of our existence, and how things really are.
This practice is ideal for helping with the anxiety and loneliness brought on by the pandemic and other stresses of life, perfect for those who are new to meditation and interested in learning and developing a regular practice, and essential as a foundation for accessing the more complex practices of the Vajrayana. It is based on original teachings of the Buddha as a way to support personal transformation through self-observation and exploration. The practice starts with Samata or mindfulness, and once stability in concentration is gained, it moves on to Vipassana and investigating perception, mind, and mind’s nature.
What makes it special? This style of meditation goes beyond the widely popular mindfulness training program which itself was derived from Shamata Vipassana. Whereas mindfulness focuses on finding relief from whatever level of negative stress we are experiencing, Shamata Vipassana focuses on the root of all forms of positive and negative stress caused by our constant pursuit of the next best thing and avoidance those things unwanted. Always concerned with looking good and not looking bad, we are caught in an endless and often mindless search for ways to satisfy our needs, but are never, ever satisfied for long. In learning to work with our world from more from a vantage point of equanimity, we observe both attraction and aversion as just movements of the mind, and that simple recognition gradually diminishes their grip. In not to following them heedlessly, we find freedom, become happier and more adaptive, and open to beginning a genuine spiritual journey.
It also goes beyond simply being aware, to encompass how we are being aware. A common reaction to meditation is, “I am a terrible meditator, I can’t do it, I try so hard, and every time I just get more scrambled and can’t ever settle. This must be for more spiritual folks, or calmer minds, and not me.” That reaction comes from a place of impatience, judgment, frustration and striving, the very kinds of things that cause stress in the first place. So, in Shamata Vipassana we focus not only on what is observed but also the observer. We nurture not only awareness, but also awareness of awareness and its primary attribute compassion. Shamata Vipassana is a compassionate awareness where instead of being angry with our mind when it wanders, we infuse our attention, our awareness with an interest, an openness, and a caring like a parent is with a child. Understanding this connection is essential to fruitful growth and even personal transformation in meditation. The result is that as we learn to open and care for our self, we also learn to care for others too.
In the end then, the practice becomes a self-exploratory journey of personal growth.
Program Instruction. Each week we will explore a new topic, practice meditation, and discuss any questions participants may have. Every other week, we will introduce a new Shamata-Vipassana technique that progress gradually from a structured to a more formless meditation practice. In between sessions, participants are asked to commit to two twenty-minute meditation sessions per day. A topical outline follows.
- Day One
- How Shamata Vipassana meditation works
- Introduction to Shamata – developing simple awareness
- Preparing a container for practice
- Day Two
- The Five Supports for meditation practice
- The Five Stages of practice
- Further Shamata instructions
- Day Three
- This Hungry Spirit – our incessant urges and its consequences
- Introduction to Vipassana I – the sweeping technique
- Insight and awareness, the impermanence of thoughts and sensations, and the implication of emptiness
- The Three Allies of practice
- Day Four
- More on awareness and insight into impermanence and emptiness
- What Makes You a Buddhist
- The nature of our inherent nature – awareness and compassion
- Day Five
- Introduction to Vipassana II – the six senses technique
- The compassionate aspect of our inherent nature
- The Six Perfections
- Day Six
- Cause and effect
- Compassion and karma
- Becoming an Awakened Warrior – Bodhisattva
- Day Seven
- Introduction to Vipassana III – the formless technique
- Two edges of the sword slicing ego – awareness and compassion
- Analytic reflection on emptiness of mind
- Walking meditation
- Day Eight
- Review progression in technique
- A complete integrated package of view, meditation and conduct
- Working with bliss, dullness and agitation
Clint Sidle has been a Buddhist practitioner for 40 years. Starting with his first teacher Sri Goenka, he practiced Shamata Vipassana meditation for seventeen years including annual nine-day silent retreats at Insight Meditation Society where his teachers included the founding directors Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield as well as with Anagarika Munindra teacher of Joseph and a wandering yogi compatriot of Goenka. He then studied Shambhala training at Shambhala International, a legacy of Trungpa Rinpoche who was among the first to introduce Tibetan Buddhism to the West. Since 1998 has been a student of Vajrayana Buddhism and has studied with Tibetan masters Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Kenchen Palden Serab Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, and Tulku Sang-nyak Rinpoche all within the Nyingma tradition. He has edited two books of by Khenpos based on their teachings on the foundation practices of Ngondro and a commentary on the Great Perfection practice manual Yeshe Lama. He is currently editing a third book, also a commentary by Khenpo Tsewang, on The Flight of the Garuda, a book of songs on the Great Perfection by the legendary 19th century master Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol.
In professional life, Clint is the retired and founding director of the prestigious Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and a former consultant in leadership development primarily for other institutions of higher education. His leadership programs earned him national recognition, drew on his spiritual background, and is based on the premise of servant leadership and the discovery of one’s basic goodness – the pinnacle of the authentic self. His last three books, The Leadership Wheel: Five Steps for Personal and Organizational Greatness, This Hungry Spirit: Your Need for Basic Goodness, and Empowered: Leadership Development for Higher Education are all based on this premise and how it is developed.
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