By Tara Mulay, IPV Teacher
Due to cultural conditioning, many of us find it difficult to imagine the potential of our minds to experience the sure heart’s release from suffering. However, the message of the Buddha was clear – each of us has this innate capacity for freedom. The path of awakening the Buddha identified is a natural process leading to non-clinging, intuitive wisdom, and deep compassion for ourselves and others. In order to make space for the liberative process to emerge more fully, we need to understand the mind’s potential and recondition ourselves to be free of false, self-limiting views and mind-states.
In this four-week class, we will explore the process of liberation that unfolds in our practice as we naturally, sequentially cultivate the wholesome qualities of mind known as the seven factors of awakening: mindfulness, investigation (of physical and mental experiences), energy, tranquility, rapture (rapt attention), concentration, and equanimity. We will begin and end this four-week class by exploring awakening itself and what awakening means for each of us.
Join Tara for The Seven Factors of Awakening beginning on Monday, November 18, 7:15pm.
By Peggy Gillespie, IPV Teacher
Fall is here. It gets dark earlier, gardens have been touched with frost, and it's time for many of us to hunker down and figure out ways to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually warm-hearted despite the coming of the snow and ice outside.
I will share some of my recipes for living well in the New England wintertime—meditation practices that can lead to self-care and self-nourishment. I hope you'll bring some of your practices as well (and bring some copies of your favorite soup recipes, too, to share with our community). Together, we can create a very yummy evening and take the leftovers to "eat and digest" at home.
Join Peggy to sit together with other sangha members in a relaxed atmosphere on Wednesday, November 6, 7:00pm.
by David Loy, visiting teacher
Does Buddhism offer any special perspective on the ecological crisis?
The climate emergency is not something the Buddha talked about, but his teachings have important implications for how to understand and respond to the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced.
There are profound parallels between our usual individual predicament, according to Buddhism, and the present situation of human civilization. This suggests that the eco-crisis is as much a spiritual challenge as a technological and economic one.
Does this mean that there is also a parallel between the two solutions?
Does the Buddhist response to our personal predicament also point the way to resolving our collective one?
Join visiting teacher David Loy for a dharma talk and fundraiser for IPV on
Thursday, November 14, 6:30 - 8:30pm. (6:30 refreshments / 7:00 program)
plus music by Robert A. Jonas playing the shakuhachi
all are welcome ~ no registration necessary
by Mark Hart, IPV teacher
Our culture places a lot of value on mental acuity and on conceptual learning and knowledge. Most of our work involves extensive planning and concern about the future. It is no wonder that when people meditate, the conceptual mind often keeps running.
In meditation, the instruction is often simply to notice thoughts as they arise and then return to the breath or some other focus point. While this does indeed usually settle the mind at least somewhat, and over time gets us to notice and to dis-identify more from thoughts, meditators may find thoughts still dominate.
In this retreat I'd like to introduce some other techniques for stepping out of the conceptual mind that I have found useful in my practice. Some focus on moving energy and will sound more like Taoist teachings than Buddhist -- though in fact I discovered them for myself; some come from non-dual traditions. I will probably also talk a bit about the process of coming to trust non-conceptual intelligence more than Planning Mind, what I sometimes refer to as "falling out of love with thinking."
Come with a willingness to experiment and play with what I present.
by Jean Esther, IPV Guiding Teacher Council Member
So often we come to Buddhist practice looking for relief from pain, particularly when it’s emotional. Paradoxically our meditation practice leads us to opening to ‘what is’. Not uncommonly, what can surface in meditation is the unresolved pain in our hearts.
Whether new or experienced in meditation please join Jean for this evening of exploration. Wednesday, October 23, sitting at 7:00pm and talk at 7:35pm.
By Rebecca Bradshaw, IPV Guiding Teacher Emeritus
In this dharma talk and discussion, we will explore the cultivation of the qualities of connection, belonging, fullness and enoughness that come from engaging openly in gratitude and generosity.
Sit together with other sangha members in a relaxed atmosphere on Wednesday, October 16 (7:00pm-7:30pm). Dharma Talk by the IPV Guiding Teacher Emeritus (7:35-8:30pm).
By Manny Mansbach, IPV Teacher
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:
“Training the heart to rest in that quality of awareness, to be that very knowing, that space that receives and knows the world without confusion, that holds the whole world and all of its beauty and ugliness and ordinariness, and all its arising and ceasing. And the more that we are able to abide with this quality of knowing—be the one who knows—then we find a quality of integration, a quality of peacefulness.”
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.
Join us for The One Who Knows: The Wisdom Teachings of Ajahn Chah,
5 Mondays, October 7 - November 4; 7:15 - 8:45pm
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.
Blog posts are written by various IPV and guest teachers. Biographies can be found on the Teachers page.