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What Gets Left Out? Expanding Practice, Community and Freedom

  • Cambridge Insight Meditation Center 331 Broadway Cambridge, MA, 02139 United States (map)

with Brian Lesage

Buddhist traditions are vast. Even within a single tradition, such as Theravฤda, there is a wide range of practices. Why don't we practice them?

In this course, we will investigate some of the cultural frameworks (including patriarchy, colonialism and norms of modernity) that we bring to our study and practice of Buddhism and how they shape what is included and what gets left out. Exploring these frameworks can help us understand the prevalence of contemporary practices that emphasize individuality, autonomy and rationality. Having this understanding can open a space for us to explore practices that explicitly engage nature, ritual, devotion, the body, the feminine and identity.

Together we will investigate the ways in which our own practice is constrained and can turn us away from addressing questions of identity and social location. We will experiment with practices that liberate us from our constraints and expand our understanding of practice, community and freedom. There will also be time for affinity groups where people of color and white people can explore and investigate their particular experiences.

This program is appropriate for both new and experienced meditators. Some familiarity with Insight Meditation is the only prerequisite for this workshop.