Thinking Out Loud Autumn 2021 Series

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Description

Schedule:

  • 12th September - 8th December 2020
  • 7 Sessions - Sundays 4pm UK time
  • 7 Q&A's - Following Thursdays 7pm UK time
  • Once you register for this event, you will not be able re-register for further sessions. If in doubt register for all and let us know if you are unable to attend.
  • This programme is offered on a Dāna basis (pay what you can afford, payment link here, and in your confirmation letter)

Teachers: 

Jake Dartington, Celeste Young, Stephen Batchelor, Christoph Köck, Jaya Rugard, Martine Batchelor, Jenny Wilks, Yuka Nakamura, Christina Feldman. 

Information:

  • Please find detailed information on each session below under Event Details. 
  • If you are unable to attend the live sessions, recordings will be made available via a separate event here

An opportunity for dialogue and reflection with the Bodhi College faculty.

Bodhi College' popular Thinking Out Loud sessions are back providing a regular space to come together as sangha – practice the dharma, discuss and reflect alongside our teachers, online. As the opportunity to sit together in person remains limited, we offer this in the spirit of generosity, so that we all may sustain ourselves through the continuing unfolding of these times.

Each session is led by one or two of our teachers and explores a unique theme they have been exploring in their practice and is of use in our daily lives. A follow-up live Q&A with the teacher will take place the following week for participants to discuss the their own experience with reflections from their practice.

The sessions are offered on a dāna basis and you can make your payment here.  (pay what you can afford).   The Dana income will be shared equally between the teachers and Bodhi College.  50% of Bodhi College' share will go to the Bursary Fund to ensure that all students can access these precious teachings regardless of means.

Sessions Details:  

Session 1:

12th September at 4pm BST with follow-up discussion 16th September at 7pm BST
Joy

With Jake Dartington and Celeste Young

What is the role of joy on a path of awakening? While our practice often focuses on the challenges of human life, it is also beautiful to make space for joy. We’ll discuss how finding joy in the happiness of others is a powerful antidote to feelings of envy and lack. There will also be space to explore how practices that develop gratitude free us from habitual ways of seeing ourselves and the world.

Session 2:

26th September at 4pm BST with follow-up discussion 30th September at 7pm BST
Comprehension (pariññā)

With Stephen Batchelor and Christoph Köck

In his first sermon to the five ascetics, Gotama encouraged his listeners to “comprehend” or “embrace” suffering as the first of four tasks, which constitute the core of dharma practice. However, as Buddhism evolved, the term ‘comprehension’ was marginalised and fell out of common usage. In this session, we will explore the richness of this term, which denotes not just cognitive understanding but includes investigation, sensitivity, intuition, wonder and empathy. We will also discuss why ‘comprehension’ was sidelined in favour of ‘wisdom’ (paññā) and what the implications were for the development of Buddhism as we know it today.

Session 3

10th October at 4pm BST with follow-up discussion 14th October at 7pm BST
The Metta Sutta and the Practice of Chanting

With Jaya Rudgard 

In this session we will study the Buddha's words on loving kindness and learning to chant them in English and in Pali. Chanting is a wonderful meditative practice in its own right and a very helpful preparation for silent meditation. Learning to chant online also frees us from the self-consciousness that can arise when we chant together in an in-person group. We will study the Pali text to explore nuances of meaning and learn a beautiful centuries-old version of the metta sutta chant in Pali and another in English. The session will also include some guided meditation.

Session 4:

24th October at 4pm BST with follow-up discussion 28th October at 7pm BST
The Path of the nuns: Practice and Translation

With Martine Batchelor and Jenny Wilks

The Therigatha is one of the oldest texts which is a specific compilation of women’s accomplishment and teaching. These nuns lived at the time of the Buddha - they practiced and were awakened following his teachings.  There have been many translations of the text - some more literal and others more poetic.  In this session, Martine looks at the more recent ones and explores practice, dharma, meaning and translation.  Jenny will focus on the stories of a few specific nuns and explore how the circumstances of their lives and practice are relevant for us as Dharma practitioners in a very different age.

Session 5:

7th November at 4pm GMT with follow-up discussion 11th November at 7pm GMT
The Many Faces of Faith

With Jake Dartington and Christoph Köck

What are the different associations we have with ‘faith’? We’ll discuss how this quality can sustain us during the ups and downs of our practice. We will also look at the potential downsides of ‘faith’ as something potentially closed-minded and dogmatic. Our discussion will seek to shed light on both the helpful and unhelpful aspects of faith.

Session 6:

21st November at 4pm GMT with follow-up discussion 25th November at 7pm GMT
A Fleeting World - Reflections on Impermanence

With Yuka Nakamura and Jaya Rudgard

Impermanence characterises all our experiences. Objects, people, situations - all conditioned phenomena - are bound to change and disappear. At one level this is obvious, but how deeply do we really appreciate this fundamental truth? Through wise reflection and direct contemplation, we can better understand and realise the profound implications of this fact of constant change. We can begin to free ourselves from the compulsion to grasp and hold on to things and instead live with lightness - allowing the mind to return to a state of creativity and peace.

Session 7:

5th December at 4pm GMT with follow-up discussion 9th December at 7pm GMT
Perception and Papanca

With Christina Feldman

Our personal world of experience is shaped by perception.  Perception can be a simple navigational tool that steers us through life.  Perception can also be shaped by emotional memory, association with past experience and underlying patterns.  When perception is coloured by all of this it becomes the ground for papanca - the proliferation of thinking. This is rooted in underlying patterns and habits which colour and distort our capacity to see things as they actually are. The process of awakening and the development of inner clarity is instrumental in severing the link between perception and distortion. Thus bringing distress to an end.

Event Details

Format:

A Two-hour Zoom Broadcast on a Sunday at 4 pm BST / 17:00 CEST (2 hrs)
Two teachers (whenever possible) of Bodhi College will present reflections on a chosen theme related to Early Buddhism. They will give their responses to each other’s presentations, and participants will be invited to engage with the topic in break-out groups. There will also be a period of silent reflection, and an opportunity for questions and comments from the audience.

The session will conclude with suggestions for deepening one’s practice and contemplative inquiry in the days ahead.
(No Zoom account is needed to participate).

Follow-up Session on the following Thursday 7 pm BST / 20:00 CEST (1 hr)
One or both of the teachers will discuss with each other and the audience their insights into the theme presented the previous Sunday. They will explore further ways of interpreting the material, while offering practical advice to help us embody its content in daily life.

  • Once you register for this event, you will not be able re-register for further sessions. If in doubt register for all sessions and let us know later if you are unable to attend.
  • If you are unable to attend any of the live sessions, please register to receive the recordings here.
  • The link to donate dāna can be found here and will be in your 'further Instructions' letter with your email detailing the course information.
  • An email reminder with all essential information will be sent to participants on the day of each session.

Teachers: 

JAKE DARTINGTON has practised Buddhist meditation since 1995. After training as a Dharma teacher with Christina Feldman, he started teaching in 2007. He has a background in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies and has trained as a teacher of MBSR/MBCT. Jake lives in Nottingham where he teaches mindfulness and Insight Meditation. 

 

CELESTE YOUNG began formally practicing Buddhist meditation in 2002. In 2011, she was invited Celeste Youngto join the first teacher development cohort at InsightLA, where she’s served as a core teacher for the past decade. Celeste has maintained a strong interest in and commitment to long retreat practice over the years. She also teaches Insight Meditation retreats, works with individual students, and mentors new teachers globally. 

STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a translator, teacher, artist and writer known for his secular approach to the Dharma. A co-founder of Bodhi College, his books include Buddhism Without BeliefsLiving with the Devil, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and After Buddhism. His most recent publication, The Art of Solitude, was published by Yale University Press in 2020. He lives in southwest France with his wife Martine.

 

CHRISTOPH KÖCK was born in Vienna, Austria, and spent 17 years of his life as a Buddhist monk in the Theravadin tradition. He lived mainly in monasteries connected with Ajahn Chah in Thailand and the West. Currently he lives in Vienna, working as a psychotherapist in a private practice. He teaches Buddhism and meditation internationally, and is trained to teach MBSR and MBCT. 

 

Jaya new
JAYA RUDGARD
began meditating in the 1980s and practised for eight years as a nun in the Thai Forest tradition in England with Ven. Ajahn Sumedho as her teacher. She is a graduate of the Insight Meditation Society/Spirit Rock Teacher Training and teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness in the UK and internationally. Jaya is a qualified yoga teacher and a certified Holden Qigong instructor.

MARTINE BATCHELOR author of Meditation for Life, The Path of Compassion, Women in Korean Zen and Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits. Her latest works are the The Spirit of the Buddha, What is this? and The Definition, Practice and Psychology of Vedana.  She is a member of the Gaia House Teacher Council.  She teaches meditation retreats worldwide and lives in France. Recently she has been involved with the Silver Sante Study, teaching meditation, mindfulness and compassion to seniors in France to see if this could prevent ageing decline.

jenny-wilks1JENNY WILKS has practised in various Buddhist traditions since the late 1980s, and has an MA in Indian Religions. She has taught for several years at Gaia House, the Barn Retreat near Totnes in Devon UK, and local meditation classes. She trained in clinical psychology and works as an MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) therapist and trainer at Exeter University.

 

YUKA NAKAMURA has practised Buddhist meditation in different traditions since 1993, has a PhD in Developmental Psychology and is a certified MBSR-teacher. Trained as a Buddhist meditation teacher by Fred von Allmen she teaches meditation at Beatenberg (Switzerland), Gaia House (UK), Insight Meditation Society (Barre, MA) and other places. Yuka offers MBSR-courses and MBI-trainings at the CFM Zentrum für Achtsamkeit (CH).

CHRISTINA FELDMAN is a co-founder of Gaia House and a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachussetts. The author of a number of books, she has been teaching insight meditation retreats internationally since 1976. She is one of the teaching faculty of the CPP programme, dedicated to the study and application of the early teachings of the Buddha and is engaged in teaching the Buddhist psychological foundations of mindfulness to those training to teach mindfulness-based applications in England, Belgium and the Netherlands. Her most recent book Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology, written with Willem Kuyken, was published in the summer of 2019.