Sometimes lessons in impermanence come in small packages like the gradual turning of leaves from summer green to autumn yellow and red.
And sometimes it's a major shift that might take some skillful practice to get used to. You may remember that last spring Rebecca Bradshaw, our long-time Guiding Teacher, announced her retirement from that role. We are blessed that she will continue to teach at IPV as our Guiding Teacher Emeritus.
We'll start with a short sitting followed by a celebratory gathering, appreciating Rebecca's role of leadership at IPV. If you would like a minute or two to offer a comment or share a short poem or song,
please contact Joyce.
Join us to celebrate this exciting transition for the Sangha and to appreciate the many gifts Rebecca has given the sangha over the years.
We're also looking for people to help plan and host the evening. Click below if you're interested.
The Buddha identified 3 poisons as the cause of unhappiness: greed, hatred, and delusion. When acted upon individually and systemically they perpetuate unhappiness and suffering for ourselves, for each other, and in our world.
This evening we will investigate their nature and how their antidotes can be cultivated and nourished leading to peace and happiness of the mind and heart.
Included will be sitting meditation, a Dharma Talk, and time for discussion.
By Dawn Scott, Guest Teacher
Ruth King’s re-framing of the three characteristics — the truth of suffering, the truth of impermanence, and the truth of not-self — as not perfect, not permanent, and not personal is pithy and powerful. With the support of Patience, one of the Ten Paramis, we’ll explore the ways that patience can guide the heart into transforming reactivity into a tender and gradual acceptance of life's imperfection, impermanence, and impersonal nature.
By Manny Mansbach
Register now to join Manny for a 5-week course, The One Who Knows, beginning Monday, October 7.
Ajahn Chah’s term, The One Who Knows, refers to an innate knowing in us. Sometimes people use the term “Buddha Nature” to speak to this understanding that we’ve always had that knows about life. This quality of awareness can be a profound refuge, especially when we are able to clarify it and take that quality as the vantage point through which experience is known. One truly wonderful thing about it is this knowing is not something we have to acquire, but is an already an existing quality of our true nature!
Learning to rest in The One Who Knows is not a self-improvement project, but coming to know in accordance with the truth. As we come home to this knowing, our lives can settle and clarify. Ajahn Amaro speaks about it this way:
In this class we will keep bringing kind awareness over and over to what we are doing, encouraging a simplicity and clarity of heart and mind that facilitates a shift of identity from thought-structure identification into the spacious experience of the present moment.
By Rebecca Bradshaw, IPV Guiding Teacher
Those of us who are on the front lines of activism related to climate and social justice (or even those who are just paying attention to the immense amount of suffering happening in our world) need to find a way that we can stay engaged and yet not get overwhelmed with the scope of suffering we encounter day after day. The Buddhist teachings of the Brahmaviharas, or Heavenly Homes, offers a way for the heart to navigate compassion in the face of ongoing moral injuries that we experience by being on the front lines. They offer a sane and balanced way to keep the heart open.
A number of years ago I worked for many years in community mental health in the inner-city. At first I was overwhelmed by the amount of suffering, trauma, and oppression that I engaged with. By consciously engaging with the Brahmaviharas, I learned to care, stay connected, and avoid getting overwhelmed. We can all find that even in situations with lots of suffering, we can develop flexibility in what the heart notices, keeping the heart joyous and spacious. During this three week class, we will practice together and support each other to care for this planet and all who live on her with openness and genuine connection.
Register now for Buddhist Heart Practices for Climate and Social Justice Activists beginning October 1.
By Manny Mansbach
We humans tend to seek certain kinds of pseudo-refuge in the familiar, focusing on landing in a place that is known, seems safe and secure. We can become off-balance, disoriented, anxious, even afraid while waiting for what we think will be easier, until the employer calls with the job offer or the weather turns more to our liking, or we reach a new understanding with someone we’ve been in conflict with. There is value, we tell ourselves, in sailing in open, unprotected waters, but often we find ourselves longing for the refuge of the harbor.
There’s nothing at all wrong with returning to the safe harbor of the known, but when we have difficulty finding ease in the gaps between our comfort zones there can be wide swaths of life that become uncomfortable. Depending on how we relate to these “in-between” places, we may be mildly, moderately or severely vexed. If the distress is habitual, socially embarrassing, strongly identified with or reinforces a negative self-esteem loop, then it can become quite limiting or even debilitating.
Finding ease and freedom in these “in-between” places can be some of the most difficult and most important work of our practice. This talk will offer some direction for how we can “mind the gap” and struggle less when we are asked by life to swim in deeper water than we like or are accustomed to.
Join Manny and other sangha members for a sitting at 7:00pm and talk at 7:35pm.
By Adi Bemak, IPV Teacher
Through the lens of practice what do you know about conflict yourself?
We will work with the Buddha's teachings on right speech, praise and blame as a way to look at how the use of our language as well as our habitual views can either provoke or reduce conflict. This evening will be interactive since each of us can contribute to the wisdom for finding harmony.
Join Adi for an open sitting and Dharma Talk/Exploration at 7:00pm on Wednesday, August 21.
No registration necessary. All are welcome.
By Rebecca Bradshaw, IPV Guiding Teacher
The Buddha, in his amazing analysis of our human existence, taught about the existential stress of being human in the sense that we are sensitive and vulnerable creatures embedded in a world of change. We'll explore the secret to moving through this sensitivity and vulnerability with grace and poise.
Join Rebecca and other sangha members for a sitting at 7:00pm and talk at 7:35pm.
Rebecca Bradshaw is the Guiding Teacher of Insight PV, and one of the Guiding Teachers at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. She has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1983 in the United States and Myanmar (Burma) and teaching since 1993. She completed her dharma teacher training at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where she is part of the three month retreat teacher team and leads retreats for young adults. She also teaches at other locations in the United States and abroad, including a Spanish language retreat. Rebecca has a master's degree in Counseling Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and works as a psychotherapist with meditators interested in supplementing their meditation practice with psychotherapeutic work. For Rebecca's 2019 Teaching Schedule, click here.
Seeking Freedom of the Heart and Mind in Care for the World: Buddhist Perspective on the Ecological Emergency
By Karin Meyers, Extinction Rebellion
As Buddhists, we seek freedom from suffering through insight into the impermanent and selfless nature of phenomena and the cultivation of our hearts. Both promote freedom through the elimination of greed, hatred and delusion. Historically, Buddhists have sometimes sought this freedom through withdrawal from society and worldly affairs. Today, however, we are facing an existential crisis, the sixth mass extinction and rapidly deteriorating climate stability.
Buddhist meditative practices provide resources to help us face this crisis with compassion, discernment, and deep resilience, while Buddhist ethical precepts not to cause harm compel us to examine how we participate in (or resist) social, economic, and political arrangements that endanger ourselves and future generations, as well as countless species of other-than-human beings.
This dharma talk will examine this situation from a “Socially Engaged Buddhist” perspective, reflecting on the interconnection between personal freedom and the collective well-being of all forms of life on earth. There will be time for sharing and discussion following the talk.
Join Karin and other sangha members for a sitting at 7:00pm and talk at 7:35pm.
From 2011 to 2018, Karin Meyers was Associate Professor at Rangjung Yeshe Institute Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies, where she also served as Director of the Masters Program in Buddhist Studies (from 2013-2018). In 2018 she taught at Princeton and George Washington University, and will be at Smith College in the fall. She is currently a Retreat Support Fellow at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Karin’s scholarly work focuses on Buddhist psychology, ethics, and contemplative systems; Buddhism and free will; and philosophical and religious studies perspectives on Buddhist ideas. From 1997-1998 she worked at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and has taught several courses on “socially engaged Buddhism” over the years. She has practiced meditation in both Theravāda and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
Monday, July 1, 7:15pm
Feel free to join us for an open sitting at 5:30
The planet is in ecological crisis. We are in the midst of Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Scientists believe we may have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown. This is an emergency.
In this presentation (free and open to the public), a speaker from Extinction Rebellion Massachusetts will share the latest climate science on where our planet is heading, discuss some of the current psychology around climate change, and offer solutions through the study of non-violent social movements. Afterwards, there will be time for discussion about the implications of this existential threat from the perspective of Buddhist practice and shared aspiration for the freedom and well-being of all.
All persons interested in a Buddhist perspective are welcome to participate.
Karin Meyers: From 2011 to 2018, Karin was Associate Professor at Rangjung Yeshe Institute Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies, where she also served as Director of the Masters Program in Buddhist Studies (from 2013-2018). In 2018 she taught at Princeton and George Washington University, and will be at Smith College in the fall. She is currently a Retreat Support Fellow at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Karin’s scholarly work focuses on Buddhist psychology, ethics, and contemplative systems; Buddhism and free will; and philosophical and religious studies perspectives on Buddhist ideas. From 1997-1998 she worked at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and has taught several courses on “socially engaged Buddhism” over the years. She has practiced meditation in both Theravāda and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
Blog posts are written by various IPV and guest teachers. Biographies can be found on the Teachers page.