Friday, March 20 – 7 pm to 9 pm
Saturday, March 21 – 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday, March 22 – 10 am to 1 pm
The Four Brahmaviharas, commonly called The Four Immeasurables, are incredibly important aspects of the awakening mind. The four qualities are loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. Translated literally, “bhrama” means “superior,” and the name of the supreme god in Hinduism shares this word as a name. “Vihara” means “to dwell, live, or abide.” As these words indicate, from a fruitional perspective, the four brahmaviharas indicate four different ways that an awakened person “abides” and relates to others. They are intrinsic aspects of the mind that shine forth in the presence of awakened beings.
As practitioners on the path – and especially in the context of the Nalandabodhi Practice Path – we learn to tune in to these intrinsic qualities of our own mind. They are not something that we have to create or summon in order to progress on the path. Instead, they are natural attributes that shine forth in our experience when we know how to access – even just a bit – our inherent wakefulness.
In this program, we will discuss the four immeasurables, exploring what they mean for us experientially in our daily lives. We will also contemplate them in analytical meditation, exploring tools for contacting these inner qualities and making our connections with them more robust. Please join us as we explore our minds!
Mitra Lee was born in Glen Cove, New York. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College, BA in English and Drama, and later The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Lee was working as an actress when she discovered Buddhism in 1973 while attending a theater conference in Boulder, Colorado hosted by members of the Buddhist community of Chogyam Trungpa. Subsequently, she was invited to teach acting at the Naropa Institute where she began meditating and attending talks by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.In 1975 Chogyam Trungpa asked Lee to head the Theater Studies program at Naropa. She studied Mudra Space Awareness practices and shepherded the theater program through its precarious early years. She also helped launch the Ngedon School of Buddhist Studies and taught courses in that curriculum for many years. In 1996 she received an MA in Buddhist Studies, Tibetan language track, from Naropa University.At Naropa, Lee met Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and became his formal student. She soon became the practice coordinator in Boulder and later the national practice coordinator for Nalandabodhi. Lee says that she bascially sees herself as a practitioner and would like to be a role model and champion of meditation practice both on and off the cushion. “I look for the truth that underlies the dharma,” she explains, “and seek ways to bring it into moment to moment life beyond any dogma.” Mitra Lee lives in Boulder, Colorado where she is Professor of Theater and Contemplative Education at Naropa University. The “Mitra” title: In 2005, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche appointed a group of his long-time students to be senior Western teachers of Nalandabodhi. He gave each of them the title Mitra, or ‘spiritual friend.’ The Mitras teach in Nalandabodhi centers throughout North American mainly, and provide continual guidance and leadership for the practice and study paths of Nalandabodhi.
Saturday, March 14 – 10 am to 1 pm
Saturday, April 11 – 10 am to 1 pm
$20.00 per session
No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Join us for two Saturday morning sessions devoted to Mahamudra meditation. Our practice will be based upon the text by Karmapa IX Wangchuk Dorje, Pointing out the Dharmakaya, and on Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s book, Wild Awakening. Laura Kaufman will introduce and lead the practice. These sessions are suitable for both those new to Mahamudra practice and those already familiar with these precious instructions of the Kagyu lineage.
Laura Kaufman has studied Mahamudra with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and has practiced it under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in the three-year retreat at Sopa Choling, Gampo Abbey.