Dharma Study

Study Group: Exploring the Heart Sutra

with Rachel Nixon & Kendra Denny
Five Tuesdays, September 17-October 15, 6-8 p.m.
By registration
 
This class is full! If you would like to be on the waiting list, please email Rachel at rocklandyoga.com.
 
The prajnaparamita mantra is said in this way: Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha...
 
Exploring the Heart Sutra is a five-week "deep dive" into one of Buddhism's most well-known teachings, the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra or The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge (Heart Sutra, for short). This sutra, which is more than 2,000 years old, is recited by millions of Buddhist practitioners everyday in monasteries and centers throughout the world. So, what is it all about and how can it inspire and inform our daily lives?
 
To explore these questions, we will practice, chant, study the text, and share our ideas. Each class will begin with meditation instruction and sitting practice. We will take time to chant the Heart Sutra together as a group. What does it feel like to chant the words of the sutra? What happens when we let go of intellectual study and simply experience the sutra in our heart? Each class will also include an exploration of the text itself, with the help of translations and commentaries from notable Buddhist teachers. We will get to know the characters in the Heart Sutra, including the Buddha, Avalokiteshvara (pictured here), and Shariputra, and we will share insights, questions, and curiosities about their essential teachings on emptiness and non-duality. And, perhaps most importantly, we will explore how this famous sutra can give us support to live a life of true compassion.
 
The topics for the five classes include:
Class 1: Mahayana Buddhism and the Heart Sutra
Class 2: Setting the Stage and the Boddhisattva Path
Class 3: Teachings on Selfessless
Class 4: Teachings on Emptiness
Class 5: Bodhichitta and Beyond
 
The environment is relaxed and friendly. Everyone is encouraged to bring ideas and questions to the group each week. We will co-create the learning and practice space.
 
The primary text for the class is the Essence of the Heart Sutra by H.H. Dalai Lama. We will also provide photocopied readings from The Other Shore by Thich Nhat Hanh and The Heart Attack Sutra by Karl Brunnhölzl.
 
Level: Everyone is welcome, including beginners and advanced practitioners.
 
RegistrationThis class is full! If you would like to be on the waiting list, please email Rachel at rocklandyoga.com. Early registration is recommended to save your space and it also helps the staff plan for the program. Kindly complete payment below or contact Rachel at [email protected] or 594-1694 to register and discuss other payment options.
 
Suggested donation: $85 
 
Note: Copies of Essence of the Heart Sutra will be available for purchase at the class.
 
Generosity policy: We have a generosity policy to make our offerings available to all who wish to participate. If the suggested donation is an obstacle for you, please consider what is possible in your current situation and offer as much of the program fee as you can. Kindly register ahead by email and plan to pay at class. Thank you.

Study Group: Active Hope

with Erika Bjorum & Cynthia Trone
Five Tuesdays, October 29-November 26, 6-8 p.m.
By registration
 
“So this is where we begin – by acknowledging that our times confront us with realities that are painful to face, difficult to take in and confusing to live with. Our approach is to see this as the starting point of an amazing journey that strengthens us and deepens our aliveness.” -- Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone
 
Active Hope is a five-week study group based on the book, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. The book offers insights and practices that open up the possibility of facing our fear, anxiety, and despair about the condition of our world today with curiosity, strength, and intention.
 
Each class will begin with meditation instruction and a brief period of sitting practice. From this foundation of mindfulness, we will focus on a different aspect of the process and practice of fully engaging with ourselves and the challenges our world faces — climate change, natural resource depletion, social division and war, mass extinction of species. Together, we will discover and share ways in which the practice of Active Hope can strengthen, enliven, and more deeply connect us with each other and our world.
 
The topics for the five classes include:
Class 1: Active Hope
Class 2: The Great Turning
Class 3: Seeing with New Eyes
Class 4: Going Forth
Class 5: Strengthened by Uncertainty
 
Classes will include meditation, contemplation practices, an interactive synopsis of the week's reading, and sharing/discussion. Everyone is encouraged to bring questions, ideas, and curiosities to the group each week.
 
Level: Everyone is welcome, including beginners and advanced practitioners.
 
Registration: Early registration is recommended to save your space and it also helps the staff plan for the program. Kindly complete payment below or contact Rachel at [email protected] or 594-1694 to register and discuss other payment options.
Suggested donation
 
Note: Copies of Active Hope will be available for purchase at the class.
 
Generosity policy: We have a generosity policy to make our offerings available to all who wish to participate. If the suggested donation is an obstacle for you, please consider what is possible in your current situation and offer as much of the program fee as you can. Kindly register ahead by email and plan to pay at class. Thank you.