New Class in New York on Mahayana Emptiness Teachings by Greg Goode and Tomas Sander

Greg Goode and Tomas Sander will be teaching a class in New York, Saturday, January 16, 2010, entitled:

Western Emptiness Teachings and Joyful Freedom

The Mahayana emptiness teachings are considered key for attaining liberation from cyclic existence. Yet their difficulty has made them less intuitive than they might be. This class will offer insights from the Western tradition that can come to the assistance of the Western student. We will learn several Western emptiness meditations and experience how they can foster joy, lightness, compassion, and freedom.

This class was presented in condensed form at the 2009 Science and Nonduality Conference in San Rafael, California.

This class is open to Buddhists, non-Buddhists, and anyone interested in the variety of non-dual approaches.

Location:
Nalandabodhi New York
324 West 23rd Street #2A
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212-399-2193

Schedule:
Saturday, January 16
9:30am – 5pm
(bring your lunch or lunch money to order in)

Registration fee: $25, may be paid at the door.

To enroll: Pls send e-mail to: tomas_sander@yahoo.com

For more information:
http://tinyurl.com/ya6vghp

Detailed Description: The Mahayana emptiness teachings are considered key for attaining liberation from cyclic existence. Yet these teachings have been notoriously hard to understand, and in practice not as deeply transformative as they could be.

This class will present insights and reasonings from the Western philosophical tradition that can make the emptiness teachings much more intuitive to the Western student. These Western resources will be put to use in fresh new analytic meditations, and applied with the soteriological know-how of the East. The goal is the traditional one, to dismantle the false sense that the self and other phenomena exist inherently, i.e., in a non-empty way. The meditations are inspired by the work of writers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Thomas Kuhn, Jacques Derrida, and Kenneth Gergen.

We will also cover the beautiful side to the emptiness teachings, which is an aspect very different from the analytical rigor they are usually known for. We will discover how studying emptiness leads to a joyful sense of freedom. As you meditate, the heavy, essentialist, absolutizing feelings basic to suffering melt away. Life becomes light, free, other-directed, and compassionate. You gain joy because you have lost the heaviness of absolutist demands and expectations about things. This joy frees you up for self-creation, openness towards others – and if you are so motivated – the creation of a better world.

This one-day class will teach the skills needed for Western emptiness meditations, so that you will be able to practice effectively after the class.

3 thoughts on “New Class in New York on Mahayana Emptiness Teachings by Greg Goode and Tomas Sander

  1. ramesam

    Quote: “[The Mahayana emptiness] teachings have been notoriously hard to understand ……… make the emptiness teachings much more intuitive to the Western student.”

    My comment here is on two key words taken from the two statements quoted above: “Hard to understand” and “Western student.”

    Prof. R. Nisbett, almost a decade ago and more researchers in recent times found a basic difference in the perspective between a typically western and a far eastern mind. The western (Western deducated) mind is more focused, picks up the more prominent feature against the background and is analytical in approach. The eastern mind looks at the background, deciphers the beuaty and symmetry of the whole picture and absorbs holistically the content. Work by some lingusists (e.g. S. Boroditsky) also indicated that western language structure is dependent on tense ((past, present,future) and makes us think ‘temporally’.

    So these aspects may make the emptiness teaching ‘hard to understand’ to a ‘Western student.’

    What then is essential in such calsses is a training of the brain in reorientating itself to the new perspective when ‘things’ may begin to fall in place!

    I am sure Greg may have already planned such a psychological reorientation demos before the theory lectures.

    Like

  2. Greg Goode

    Ramesam, you’re right. In fact, before we get into any prolonged definitions or lectures, we’re starting the class off with just such a reorienting guided meditation. And there will be further guided meditations as we go through the day…. –Greg

    Like

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