Program Details

Limitless Ayatanas: Discovering the Sacredness of Sense Perceptions, A Vajrayana Retreat and Feast

with Judith Simmer-Brown
February 17 / 8:30 AM - February 17 / 9:00 PM

"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, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, p. 102.

One of the most provocative teachings of the Vidyadhara, the Druk Sakyong, 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 tradition. This short Vajrayana retreat introduces the profundity of these teachings through guided sensory exercises drawn from the Abhidharma-kosha meditations on sense perceptions and from the Shambhala teachings. These practices widen our awareness of the ordinary magic of direct perception. In this retreat, we will explore how we might bring these practices into our daily lives as householders with relationships and livelihoods.

The program will finish with a Werma Feast.

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is professor of Buddhist studies at Naropa University, and Dean of the Shambhala Teachers' Academy. She has been an acharya, a senior dharma teacher in Shambhala, since 2000 and is author of the books, Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Bulddhism and Meditation in the Classroom. She is married and has two young-adult children.

This program is restricted to Shambhala Vajrayana pratitioners.

For more information contact Sandra Ladley,

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