Program Details

Limitless Ayatanas: Scorpion Seal and Werma Practice Intensive, Discovering the Sacredness of Sense Perceptions through the Werma Sadhana

with Judith Simmer-Brown & Richard Brown
March 23 / 6:00 PM - March 31 / 9:00 AM

March 23-31, 2013

In some religious traditions, sense perceptions are regarded as problematic, because they arouse worldly desires.  However, in the Shambhala tradition, which is a secular tradition rather than a religious one, sense perceptions are regarded as sacred.  They are regarded as basically good.  They are a natural gift, a natural ability that human beings have.  They are a source of wisdom.

          Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, from Shambhala:  The Sacred Path of the Warrior, p. 102.

One of the most provocative teachings in the Werma Sadhana is that our ayatanas, or sense gates, are limitless.  This points to a difference from Buddhist teachings on sense perceptions, and highlights additional skillful means in our Shambhala practice.  This program introduces the profundity of these teachings through Werma practice, talks, and guided sensory exercises drawn from the Buddhist and Shambhala traditions. These practices widen our awareness of the ordinary magic of direct perception.  In this Werma program, we will explore how we might bring these practices into our daily lives as householders with relationships and livelihoods.  The vividly beautiful Patzcuaro, setting of the composition of the Werma Sadhana, is a perfect place for exploring these profound teachings. 

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is professor of religious studies at Naropa University, and Dean of the Shambhala Teachers’ Academy.  She has been an acharya, senior dharma teacher, since 2000, and is author of Dakini’s Warm Breath:  The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism and Meditation in the Classroom.  She and Richard have two children in college.  For this weekend, she and Richard will draw from the Abhidharma meditations on sense perceptions from the Abhidharma-kosha, and from the Shambhala teachings.

Richard C. Brown, M.A., founded the department of Contemplative Education at Naropa University in 1990, and is current chair. Based on his experiences in Naropa’s teacher education programs, Richard has written extensively on various areas of contemplative education, including working with sense perceptions, thoughts, and emotions. He is a founding member of the Garrison Institute’s Initiative on Contemplation in Education and is one of the authors of Garrison’s CARE for Teachers program.

Program Details:

Prerequisite: Rigden Abhisheka, Kalapa Assembly, or higher

Arrival and Departure days: March 23rd is the arrival day for this program. We will begin with dinner at 6:30pm, followed by an orientation to Casa Werma and the program. If, due to travel, you need to arrive later in the evening on the 23rd, this is fine. March 31st is the departure day for the program. Breakfast will be the last scheduled activity on the 31st, but attendance at breakfast is not required.


Program tuition: $450

Housing:  Please note that housing is not included in the tuition price. Housing is available both on site at Casa Werma, and in nearby hotels in the town of Patzcuaro, in a variety of price ranges. Please contact Casa Werma for more information about housing options.

Scholarships are available for those who need them. Please contact Casa Werma to inquire about scholarships.

Go to Casa Werma Mexico's website