2017: A Year of Conscious Living

Join us for a series of online meditation events. We’re calling this 2017: A Year of Conscious Living!  It includes events for all levels of practice, whether you’re a beginner interested in learning basic techniques or a more experienced meditator interested in cultivating deep meditative states and insight. You’re free to pick and choose which events you participate in. There is no fixed charge for these events. Participation is by donation.

Just Being, Just Sitting: Getting Out of Your Own Way in Meditation (Jul 1-28)

Just Sitting is a form of meditation in which we simply allow the mind to settle of its own accord. It is a practice of non-doing in which, as we sit, we allow thoughts to pass through the mind unobstructedly, and without getting caught up in their storylines. In time the mind stills, and a state of pure, effortless awareness emerges. On this course you'll learn how to sit without judgement, practice radical self-acceptance, and to rest in an open and expansive state of awareness. Ultimately you will learn to recognize that it is not “you” who meditates, and allow your meditation to unfold spontaneously and effortlessly toward awakening, from within.

Living With Kindness: Lovingkindness Practices for Awakening the Heart (Jul 1-28)

"My religion is kindness." The Dalai Lama. One of the most astonishing things is that we can train ourselves to become kinder — to become more accepting of ourselves, deepen our appreciation of and care for our friends, become kinder and more patient with relative strangers, and learn to let go of resentment and negativity. By learning the powerful and effective techniques for developing kindness that we introduce on this course, you'll learn how to transform your relationships, bringing greater empathy into daily life. This event is suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners.

The Journey and the Guide: A Practical Course in Enlightenment (Aug 1 - Sep 26)

How do we make the most of life? This course is for anyone who wants their life to be a journey. With humor and profundity, mixing poetry and myth with down-to earth instruction, Maitreyabandhu — a well-known Buddhist teacher and a prize-winning poet — describes what it means to set out on the Buddha’s journey and how you can follow it, day by day and week by week. This course leads participants step by step along the Buddhist path from mindfulness and emotional strength to receptivity, spiritual death and rebirth. On the course we will be learning how to put spiritual life into practice here and now. Course participants will receive a discounted copy of Maitreyabandhu's new book "The Journey and the Guide" as part of the course.

Letting Go Into Joy: A Step-By-Step Guide to the Experience of Jhana (Aug 1 - Sep 19)

This 50-day online course offers a step-by-step guide that will lead you into deep states of calm, relaxation, joy. Jhana (or dhyana) is a joyful state of focused attention that can arise in meditation. It’s what modern psychology calls a “flow state.” Very few modern teachers are able to explain how to consistently experience this state, and so it's commonly thought of as being unattainable for all but "elite" meditators, or for those in on long and intensive retreats. None of these things are true. Jhana is doable! It can be experienced by ordinary meditators, and all that is necessary is to know the steps involved. Join Bodhipaksa on this course, and learn how to bring greater calm and joy into your meditation practice — and your life! This event can accommodate complete beginners, but is aimed at those with an established meditation practice.

Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness: Finding Peace in Every Moment (Aug 1-28)

Research shows that we spend, on average, 48% of our time in distracted thinking, and that these thoughts are often detrimental to our wellbeing and happiness. In many cases, compulsive thoughts create out-of-control states of depression or stress. Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness is a 28-day online meditation event — a practical guide showing how the power of mindfulness can reduce stress in your life and offer you access to peace in every moment. You'll learn how to relate more healthily to stressful situations, how to avoid "catastrophizing," and how to become more emotionally resilient. This event is suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners.

The Great Mystery of Being: A Practical Introduction to the Experience of Non-Self (Sep 20 - Oct 31)

On this 42-day online course we will explore a meditation practice taught by the Buddha himself — the Six Element Practice — an earth-shattering and yet profoundly beautiful reflection on the interconnected and impermanent nature of our being. Buddhism teaches us that the deepest source of our anxiety and suffering is that we have mistaken views of who we are. Our central challenge in life is therefore to critically examine these false notions and, ultimately, to let go of them. We need to learn to see not that there is a self that we have to lose, but that there never was one in the first place. We need to learn to see through our deluded views of separateness and permanence and plunge into the mystery of our own being.

Change Your Mind: Meditation for Beginners (Sep 1-28)

Literally thousands of studies have shown the benefits of meditation, including decreased anxiety and depression, boosted immune health, slowed aging in the brain, and improved life satisfaction. Meditation works! Change Your Mind is a 28-day online event introducing you to meditation practices that can transform your life. Step by step, you'll learn mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices that help you feel calmer, more patient, and more emotionally positive. This event is suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners. It's an introduction to meditation that's especially useful for those who think they can't meditate!

The Path of Mindful Relationships: Exploring Romantic Love as a Spiritual Practice (Oct 1-28)

In this 28-day online event, we’ll look at the art of connecting spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically with our romantic partner — as part of our spiritual practice. For most of us who follow a path of personal growth and spiritual development, intimate relationships are an important area for practice. Intimate relationships can present us with opportunities for deep connection, joy, and self-transcendence, but they can also be challenging. As Robert Holden said, "Love brings up everything unlike itself for the purpose of healing." The challenge of intimate relationships is that they are like an uncompromising teacher, unrelentingly directing our attention toward that within us which needs to be transformed.

Living With Awareness: Practical Techniques for Cultivating Mindfulness (Oct 1-28)

Mindfulness has been clinically proven to reduce stress, promote feelings of wellbeing, and improve mental and physical health. It's a powerfully transformative quality that helps us develop greater presence and calmness, reduced emotional reactivity, and greater emotional stability. In short, mindfulness puts us back in change of our own lives. This 28-day online meditation event offers guided meditations, exercises, and tips to help you bring more mindfulness into your life and experience the powerful benefits of this practice. It's suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners.

Waking Up: Stepping From Delusion to Freedom in This Very Life (Nov 1 - Dec 31)

The whole point of Buddhist practice is to bring about freedom from suffering. But while can free ourselves from some of our suffering by becoming more ethical, more mindful, and more compassionate, “becoming a better person” isn’t enough. In order to bring about complete freedom from suffering we have to radically change the way we see ourselves and our world. This change comes about by developing insight. In this two-month online course we'll explore a variety of approaches to insight meditation, and come to appreciate how all Buddhist practice, including ethics and the practice of kindness and compassion, is part of the path of cultivating insight.

How to Stop Beating Yourself Up: Learning the Art of Self-Compassion (Nov 1-28)

We all long for someone who will love us unconditionally. But what if that person is us? Self-compassion is the radically healing practice of treating ourselves with the kindness, respect, and gentleness that we would ideally offer to those we love. Most us us have the habit of being hard on ourselves, but research shows that self-compassion promotes emotional well-being, reduces our risk of anxiety and depression, supports healthy habits, and leads to more satisfying personal relationships. This 28-day online meditation course teaches the four skills of self-compassion — mindful awareness, acceptance, self-kindness, and compassionate perspectives — so that we can learn to give ourselves unconditional support, love, and encouragement as we do this difficult thing of being human.

Living With Kindness: Lovingkindness Practices for Awakening the Heart (Nov 1-28)

"My religion is kindness." The Dalai Lama. One of the most astonishing things is that we can train ourselves to become kinder — to become more accepting of ourselves, deepen our appreciation of and care for our friends, become kinder and more patient with relative strangers, and learn to let go of resentment and negativity. By learning the powerful and effective techniques for developing kindness that we introduce on this course, you'll learn how to transform your relationships, bringing greater empathy into daily life. This event is suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners.

Living Creatively Through Mindfulness: Achieve More, Enrich Your Life, Free Your Potential (Dec 1-28)

Living creatively doesn't necessarily mean painting, writing, or making sculptures. It means seeing life with fresh eyes. It means being open to change. It means questioning certainties — including your own certainties. It means taking responsibility for your own destiny. On this month-long course you'll learn how to make peace with your inner critic and how to allow an open and creative frame of mind to arise. You'll learn what intuition is and how to develop it, and how to see creativity not as something you do, but as something that flows though you when you get out of your own way. While there's much on this course that will appeal to and be helpful for people involved in traditionally creative pursuits, it's designed to help anyone live in a more fulfilled and joyful way.

Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness: Finding Peace in Every Moment (Dec 1-28)

Research shows that we spend, on average, 48% of our time in distracted thinking, and that these thoughts are often detrimental to our wellbeing and happiness. In many cases, compulsive thoughts create out-of-control states of depression or stress. Stress Reduction Through Mindfulness is a 28-day online meditation event — a practical guide showing how the power of mindfulness can reduce stress in your life and offer you access to peace in every moment. You'll learn how to relate more healthily to stressful situations, how to avoid "catastrophizing," and how to become more emotionally resilient. This event is suitable for people of all levels of experience, including complete beginners.