Mindfulness & the Mahayana: An In-Depth Exploration of the Mahasatipatthana Sutta | Archive Online Retreat
with Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman
This online retreat offers a unique opportunity to study the art of mindfulness directly from the source material itself with two of the leading Buddhist teachers in America. Together we will consider the Buddha’s original teaching to the mendicants, as recorded in the Great Focus of Mindfulness Discourse (Mahāsatipatthānasutta) in the Long Discourses collection, to be his leading of a guided meditation, and we will follow along by meditating on the different key passages.
The four focuses of mindfulness in the sutta are the body, the sensations, the mind, and the mental objects, among which the last is the longest and most elaborated. In addition to meditating as directed, many of the elements used by the Buddha to aim and structure the meditations, such as the five aggregates, the eighteen elements, and the twelve sense-mediums, need to be explained and incorporated in mind, in order to be able to meditatively follow the guidance effectively.
We will make special effort to keep our mindfulness going throughout, before, and after the retreat, by encouraging such practices as, for example, observing silence during meals at home whenever possible, practicing walking meditation, and even doing sleep meditation! We will provide Mahayana perspective on the traditional Theravadan Discourse and may compare it with a Sanskrit sutra on the same topic from the Mahayana canon.
Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and New York Times bestselling author. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching.
She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and the author of ten books including NY Times bestseller, Real Happiness, her seminal work, Loving Kindness and her most release by Flatiron Books, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection.
Renowned for her down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to Huffington Post, and the host of her own podcast on The Be Here Now Network: The Metta Hour.
To learn more about Sharon visit: www.sharonsalzberg.com
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University as well as Co-Founder and President of Tibet House US/Menla in service of HH Dalai Lama & the people of Tibet. A close friend of the Dalai Lama’s for over 50 years, he is a leading world-wide lecturer on Tibetan Buddhism, passionate activist for the plight of the Tibetan people, skilled translator of Buddhist texts, and inspiring writer of popular Buddhist books. His most recent book is the 300 page graphic novel, Man of Peace: the Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet.
In partnership with Nena Thurman and dedicated contributors, he now focuses on making Tibet House US and its Menla Retreat & Spa a global center for the promotion, study and practice of Tibetan Buddhist healing arts and sciences of body, mind, and spirit, dedicated as a complement to the vast life work of its patron, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.