Series Classes

Discovering the Heart Sutra

with Kendra Arey & Rachel Nixon
Six Tuesdays, October 26-December 7, 6-8 p.m.
No class on 11/23
Via Zoom. Link sent with registration.
“Only when there is no fear can there be true peace and happiness.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Join us for a six-week exploration of one of Buddhism's most well-known teachings, the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra (Heart Sutra, for short). This sutra, which is more than 2,500 years old, is recited by millions of Buddhist practitioners everyday in monasteries and centers throughout the world. It reveals the Buddha’s essential teachings on emptiness, compassion, and fearlessness.
To discover the Heart Sutra for ourselves, we will be guided by the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh in his book The Other Shore: A New Translation of the Heart Sutra with Commentaries. Published in 2017, this translation is remarkably fresh and vast, inviting us into a space of discovery and inquiry. It offers a vision of interbeing and the middle way. Together as a group, we will practice, study the Heart Sutra text and commentaries, and share in conversation. We will also explore experiential exercises, such as chanting, writing, and drawing, to help us deepen our relationship with the Sutra and discover the possibility of true peace and happiness for all beings.
“This text is not just for chanting mechanically, or to be put on an altar for worship. It is given to us as a tool to help us work for our liberation, for the liberation of all beings.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
The recommended book for the class is The Other Shore: A New Translation of the Heart Sutra with Commentaries by Thich Nhat Hanh. The book is not required to participate but we encourage you to get a copy from a local bookstore or online, if possible. We will also share videos of the teachings during class for inspiration. Everyone is encouraged to bring curiosities, questions, and ideas to the group each week.
Level: All are welcome.
Registration: Kindly complete payment below or contact Rachel at [email protected] or 594-1694 to register and discuss other payment options. In addition to the online payment option, you may also send a check. Please contact Rachel for mailing address.
Suggested donation
If you are able to pay the full amount, you will help someone else participate.
Kendra Arey is an artist, teacher, and Buddhist practitioner. In 2015, she started the local recovery group that is now known as Rockland Recovery Dharma. In 2018, Kendra traveled to Dharamshala, India to study Tibetan thangka painting at the Center for Living Buddhist Art. During this time Kendra completed a thangka painting of the Bodhisattva Manjushri and deepened her appreciation and understanding of sacred Buddhist art. Kendra completed her Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley University in 2021, and she worked as a school-based clinical intern with Sweetser. Kendra is also the Recovery in Maine Coordinator at Points North Institute, where she works to engage communities in conversations around Maine's opioid epidemic.
Rachel Nixon has been exploring Buddhist teachings since 1999. Over the years, she has been inspired by Pema Chödrön's writings and has trained at Shambhala Buddhist Centers in the U.S. and Canada. Rachel attended the seven-week Yarne Retreat with Pema Chödrön at Gampo Abbey in 2019-2020. Rachel has also studied with the Mangala Shri Bhuti community, as well as at the Insight Meditation Society. She has been trained as a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor and a k-12 Mindful Schools Educator. Rachel loves to teach meditation and explore the Buddhist teachings with people of all ages. She also loves sailing, hiking, and swimming.
The Dancing Elephant is by donation so that everyone can participate. Donations in any amount are graciously appreciated.
This offering is part of the year-long program, Making Friends with Ourselves & Our World, January-December, 2021.