FREE! Disrupt Your Life - A Weekend of Buddhist Meditation and Contemplation

With Venerable Gyalten Lekden – January 25-27, 2019

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Our lives are full of habits, which we have been picking up since before we can remember, and many of them are invisible to us.

These habituations can be preventing us from experiencing genuine happiness, and yet we come to believe them to be the status quo, something to be practiced, not avoided.

This weekend offers the opportunity to use Buddhist wisdom and experience to disrupt all the aspects of our lives that are holding us back and discover how to be happy, even in the midst of difficult times.

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All events are open to everyone with any level of Buddhist study or meditation experience. Some of the sessions seem long but even people completely new to meditation should not worry, accommodations can be made to meet everyone's needs.
All events are completely free of charge.
The three Dharma talks are each standalone; they complement each other, but you do not need to attend one to attend another. You are welcome to attend the talks even if you're not participating in the meditation session.
If you want to attend the meditation sessions but cannot attend all of them that is okay, but it is required to attend either the first session or the Friday evening talk that precedes the sessions.
The "Morning Prayers & Meditation" are not part of the retreat, they each stand alone.

Dharma Talks

One of the most important, if not the most important, characteristic of Mahayana Buddhist practice is a dedication to serve all sentient beings.

Yet if we are only focused on serving others it can be difficult to understand how taking care of ourselves fits into the practice, and how to avoid "compassion fatigue" and similar obstacles.

We are taught that while no one is able to benefit us but ourselves—we create our own happiness and suffering—we are, paradoxically, responsible for also creating others' happiness, too, and prioritizing others' benefit.

So while no one can help us but ourselves, we are responsible for helping everyone else, which is the paradox of bodhisattva practice, and yet also what makes the practice so powerful and fulfilling.

This talk approaches these ideas and does so through the lens of Gyalsay Thogme Zangpo's text The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. (This text will also serve as the backbone for the remainder of the retreat.)
As Mahayana Buddhists we are called upon to practice compassion in every moment, especially those occasions when doing so is difficult.

But what does compassion look like, especially when the world around us seems to be coming apart at the seams? Is it possible to protest, to engage in social activism, and even to participate in civil disobedience while still practicing compassion?

Learn what compassion is and what it isn't, and how to make it more central in your life.
When Siddhartha Gautama renounced his royal station and became a renunciant some 2,500 years ago his actions were anything but safe and ordinary.

He observed his life, as part of the 1% reinforcing the status quo, and realized that nothing about it led to freedom from suffering. He radically overturned all sense of what was expected of him, in many ways the same is expected of contemporary Buddhist practitioners.

Whether our worldly activities seem pleasurable or not, if we want to find true freedom from suffering we need to disrupt what we think we know and discover a capacity for true happiness and meaning that we never thought possible.

This talk will uncover the radical nature of the Buddhadharma, using Geshe Lanrgi Thangpa's Eight Verses of Thought Transformation as the basis for the discussion.

Full Schedule

7:00p – 9:00p
Self-care and Serving Others: The Bodhisattva Paradox
6:30a – 7:30a Morning Prayers and Meditation
8:00a – 9:45a Opening talk, meditation session 110:00a – 11:30a Meditation session 2
11:30a – 12:15p Q & A
(12:15p – 1:00p lunch break)
1:00p – 2:30p Meditation session 3
2:45p – 3:45p Group discussions
4:15p – 5:30p Meditation session 4
5:30p – 6:00p Q & A
(6:00p – 7:00p Dinner break)
7:00p – 9:00p Empathy and Outrage: Buddhist Compassion in Turbulent Times
6:30a – 7:30a Morning Prayers and Meditation
8:00a – 9:30a Workshop closing talk, meditation session 5, final reflections
10:00a – 12:00p Disrupt Your Life: Creating Happiness and Living a Life that Matters
Ven. Gyalten Lekden was born and raised outside of Boston.

He first started studying and practicing Buddhism during his undergraduate schooling, and after completing BAs in Theatre and Religious Studies he continued on to complete his Masters of Divinity in Buddhist Ministry at Harvard Divinity School.

Ven. Lekden started leading Buddhist communities while an undergrad, and has studied, served, and taught at various Dharma centers since then. In 2012 he joined Sera Je Monastery in southern India, where he continues to study and practice.

Ven. Lekden is a registered teacher in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, and has given talks and meditation instruction in India and the USA.

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