Following is information about the 2018-2019 practitioners groups. Todd and Matt will teach regular practitioners groups. Also, Hiromi will teach the Foundation Studies Course, which is also open to veteran practitioner members. See Foundation Studies class for a description.
For meeting dates, times, and locations, please see the CSS calendar. Practitioners may sign up for multiple groups. These are not drop-in groups. If you are going to take a leave of absence from a group, please let the teacher know in advance.
Days and Times: Tuesdays from 3 pm - 4:30 pm
The tentative plan for the year will be to investigate, through various readings and practices, the mental, emotional and sensory boundaries that sustain delusion, and that seemingly prevent recognition of our original nature. We will begin our reading and discussions with an excerpt of Ken Wilbur’s No Boundary, in which he helps us see into the nature of boundaries. Then, we’ll read an excerpt from Shinzen Young’s new book, The Science of Enlightenment in which he offers precise mindfulness instructions for deconstructing the sticky boundaries of self.
As we begin to see more into our own nature as the boundlessness of Being, we will shift from g’nani practices to a Sufi approach of devotion through an excerpt from Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s book Love is a Fire. Here, we will try out the practice of dhikr for a month or so, as a path to reconnect with that spark of the Divine inherent within our endless striving for abiding happiness and peace. While reading Vaughan-Lee’s book, we will be reading a few passages from Sufi Sheik Ibn Arabi as well as some excerpts from Plato’s Ascent to Beauty Itself. If anyone in the group has not awakened at this point, we will return to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi excerpted from Guru Vachaka Kovai and open into his very precise instructions for Atma Vichara (AKA: Self-Inquiry/Self-abidance).
There will likely be some other readings as well, and except for chapters from Joel's book, I will be sending all readings out via email attachments, so there isn’t a need to purchase texts. For those who do not have access to email or a printer, I will provide you with printed copies.
Days and Times: Wednesdays at 7pm to about 8:45pm
This year, we will begin by reviewing the practices and chapter's in Joel's Way of Selflessness on Choiceless Awareness, Liberating Thought, and Transforming Emotions.
Next we will delve into the teachings of the great 20th Century mystic Ramana Maharshi. We will read Be As You Are, an anthology of Ramana's teachings compiled by David Godman. It can be found on Amazon here.
Time permitting, we will also look into some of the poetry of Muruganar, Ramana's close disciple, most particularly his masterpiece: the Guru Vachaka Kovai, or Garland of Guru's Sayings. A translation by Michael James and Sri Sadhu Om is available here for free: Guru_Vachaka_Kovai
Accompanying the study of Ramana's teachings we will practice his method of inquiry and continue to use the language and theoretical structure of Matt's Eight Gates to feel into what it means to be truly free in this life. More gates will likely be unveiled during this process, as well. Interested students are suggested to review Matt's videos on the 8 Gates if they haven't already:
- Intro and Overview of the 8 Gates
- Love, The First Gate of Freedom
- Lecture 3: Three Main Themes in the 8 Gates
- Balance, the Second Gate of Freedom
- Creativity, the 3rd Gate of Freedom, part 1
- Creativity, the 3rd Gate of Freedom, part 2
- Compassion, the 4th Gate of Freedom
- Wisdom, the 7th Gate of Freedom, part 1
- Wisdom, the 7th Gate of Freedom, part 2
- Wisdom, the 7th Gate of Freedom, part 3