Meditation for Challenging Times
1.30-3.30pm Sunday 19th March 2017
@ the little Bangkok Meditation Centre, Ekkamai
Second meeting in this format and topic. The first one went well, with group discussion leading to practical means to keeping a practice going during challenging times – political, personal, physical …
For meditators interested in coming together to consciously use their practice to help them learn from, and respond wisely to, the rapidly changing world in which we now find ourselves living. With former Buddhist psychotherapist Mary Pipes, and yoga teacher, healer and long-term student of Tibetan Buddhism Denise Tomecko.
- 1:30-3:30pm @ the little Bangkok Meditation Center, Ekkamai
- free of charge and no need to book in advance
About the Topic:
The world in which we are living is in deep trouble. Millions are fleeing war and poverty; the planet, its ecological diversity and countless species are being trashed for profit; political and financial institutions are crumbling; values we took for granted are being overthrown.
Witnessing this on a daily basis can provoke a whole range of feelings – from a subtle sense of unease to full blown fear, shame, guilt, anger, depression, rage, grief, denial, powerlessness. It’s easy to lose balance, become overwhelmed, go numb or look for an “other” to blame, (after all, there is no shortage of good candidates right now). But this only divides us further – not just from those who share different views to our own, but also from ourselves and our innate wisdom and compassion.
In Meditation for Challenging Times, our intention is to practice with our own disturbance, so that rather than let it divide and disturb us, it becomes a bridge that unites us – with ourselves, with others, with the world and with the Dharma.
Specifically, it is hoped that we can take steps towards:
- Using the events of the current time as an encouragement to deepen our practice;
- Heal inner divisions by owning, welcoming and holding disturbance with compassionate wisdom;
- Increase our ability to be with what feels hard and thereby reduce our tendency to blame and project our distress on to the others;
- Acknowledge the universal nature of both suffering and the enlightened mind;
- Support each other;
- Discuss ways we might engage constructively at a practical level.
- 1.30 pm A chance to meet with other meditators, have tea and coffee
- 1.45 pm Welcome and Introduction
- 2.00 pm Meditation – to establish a sense of stability, connecting with a bodily felt sensation of arising disturbance.
- 2.15 pm Brief sharing within the group
- 2.30 pm Preliminary introduction and practice of Tonglen Meditation (the Tibetan Buddhist practice of “sending and receiving”).
- 3.00 pm Sharing: A space for asking questions, sharing insights, reflections, short readings from all wisdom traditions.
- 3.30 pm Tea and cakes. Please bring some to share. It’s very important we take care of ourselves at all levels.
We don’t expect the afternoon to provide instant solutions. However, we hope these practices and a sharing with friends will help to develop a trustworthy and reliable place from which we can respond to the world around us, and help lessen any contributions we might make towards the destructive forces currently being unleashed.
Everyone who has meditated before is very welcome. If you have any short teachings that are relevant and that you would like to share, please bring them along. They don’t need to be Buddhist or “spiritual” – just wise.
Mary Pipes has worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer for twenty years in Asia and the UK. For over half of this time, she worked in a Buddhist-based psychotherapy tradition in the UK. For the last five years she has been living in Bangkok.
Denise Tomecko is a yoga teacher who has also trained in several healing modalities. She is the author of two books and a long-time Tibetan Buddhist practitioner in the Mahamudra/Dzogchen traditions. She took refuge with HH the 16th Karmapa and was the student of HE 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, as well as Ven Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. She has lived in Bangkok for over twelve years.