Training the Mind and Awakening the Heart

with Acharya Gaylon Ferguson & Acharya Susan Skjei

November 7th—January 23rd (2019)

Date details +
    Price:
  • $225 Full Price
  • $108 BSC Member
Room: Main Shrine Room


"There is nothing more important than coming together and soaking in the mahayana—for healing, for support, for renewal and repair, for tenderness and for authentic relationship to our world and to each other." —Acharya Susan Skjei

We are inviting all levels of practitioners to attend this extended course to build community, deepen our understanding, and strengthen the application of the mahayana teachings in our lives and in our community. We will study and explore the relevance of the six paramitas—generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, meditation and wisdom—and the seven points of mind training with Atisha's lojong slogans. Participants will learn tonglen, the practice of sending and taking, and will have the opportunity to learn from one another through experiential exercises, conversation and dialogue.

It is our aspiration that these gatherings promote soothing and connection in our community in a "cradle of loving kindness." By deepening our understanding of these teachings, we can work towards healing and strengthening ourselves and all our relationships.

Through these teachings we learn the powerful and humbling lesson that we have a choice in how we respond. When circumstances are difficult or challenging, we do not have to try to control or manipulate them. We can actually cultivate compassion by gently training our minds and hearts. We can learn to access courage and kindness with whatever arises in our lives, to become more responsive and resilient in the moments that matter.

Our basic text is Training the Mind by Chögyam Trungpa. Copies will be for sale at registration on the first night.

Full Schedule for Training the Mind and Awakening the Heart
Wed November 7th: 7–9pm
Sun November 11th: 9–12pm – Introduction to tonglen
Wed November 14th: 7–9pm
Wed November 28th: 7–9pm
Wed December 5th: 7–9pm
Wed December 12th: 7–9pm
Sun December 16th: 9–12pm – a practice morning
Wed January 9th: 7–9pm
Sat January 12th: 9:30am–4pm – a one-day intensive
Wed January 16th: 7–9pm
Sun January 20th: 9–12pm – a practice morning
Wed January 23rd: 7–9pm

We are offering a substantial discount to BSC members with the aspiration that our community will deepen in practice and study of the foundational teachings of benefitting others. If the member price is an obstacle, please contact Danny Goldsmith or another staff member—no one will be turned away.

If you cannot attend each session, please come when you can. The single class price is $15 for members and $25 for non-members.

PLEASE NOTE: This program is intended to prepare our community for the transmission of the Sadhana of Kindness, March 1–3, 2019 with Acharya Dale Asrael.

About the Teachers

Acharya Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, graduated from Exeter, Yale University, and Stanford University and received a doctorate in cultural anthropology at Stanford. A senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, he has led meditation retreats for 35 years. As a core faculty member at Naropa University, Gaylon teaches in both Religious and Interdisciplinary Studies. He is the author of Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With and Natural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as a Direct Path of Awakening.

Acharya Susan Skjei, PhD, is an educator, coach and organizational consultant specializing in leadership and transformative change. In 1972 she began her studies with the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and at his request she became the first Shambhala Training resident director in the San Francisco Bay area. Later, she became a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and served on the Shambhala Board of Directors for over 10 years. During that time she was also Vice President of Human Resource Development for a large high-tech company.

Susan has taught extensively in Shambhala and has provided mentoring, training and facilitation to many Shambhala Centers in North America and Europe. Currently she is the director of the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University, which includes the ALIA Institute. She also consults internationally with leaders of non-profit organizations and businesses worldwide.