An Online Course with Susy Keely and Sari Markkanen
Dates: May 27 – June 17, 2021 (Four Sessions)
Time: Thursdays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm UK time
(7:00 – 8:30 pm Helsinki time / 9:00 – 10:30 am Pacific Time)
Where: Zoom meetings
This short course will offer teachings, practices, and connection for committed dharma practitioners who are parents, as well as those who play an important role in a child’s life in different ways. While it can be at times challenging to maintain our practice within the demands of family, there are many rich and tender ways the Dharma can be practiced in the relationship with our children. A depth of practice is very possible within family life, although it will most often look very different than a practice based on solitude and retreat time. It will likely require creativity and flexibility, and finding our own way in our particular lives to keep a sustaining connection to practice alive. We hope to offer practices and perspectives that may support parents in finding this combination of depth, beauty, flexibility, and balance for themselves in relationship to their practice and parenting.
Perceiving parenting as a beautiful possibility for practicing dharma can be deeply meaningful, and the practice can be an invaluable resource for us in our parenting. Our meditation practice can make more open-heartedness and wisdom available to us as we parent our children. Our practice can help us bring skill to how we parent, but also create more space to be delighted and connected in a nourishing way.
We will be exploring the Brahmaviharas, the four immeasurable capacities of the heart/mind the Buddha encouraged practitioners to cultivate: Friendliness, joy in others good fortune, compassion, and equanimity. Each week we will look into one of the Brahmaviharas through teaching, practice, and discussion.
We will be inviting creativity, sensitivity and playfulness to the exploration of these beautiful heart qualities with the intention for everyone to find skill and their personally meaningful relationship to these ancient practices, so that they can become alive in our practice.
We hope that offering this space to practice and connect with other committed meditators and parents will offer a sense of sangha and support.
If you are unable to participate at the time this course is offered, the teaching and guided meditation portions of the sessions will be available to those who register (please make a note when you register that you will not be able to attend the live meetings).
About the Teachers
Sari Markkanen has practiced meditation for over 15 years and spent time on retreats in the UK in Gaia House, in Finland and in monasteries in Thailand. She did her teacher training guided by Rob Burbea, Martine Batchelor and Caroline Jones. Sari has deep love for jhana and emptiness practices astaught by Rob Burbea, as well as exploring brahmaviharas creatively and bringing dharma” into all areas of life like parenting. She has been sharing dharma in her sangha for 10 years. Earlier Sari has taught secular mindfulness (MBSR) and mindful self-compassion and mindfulness in schools, and has written two books about mindfulness, kindness and compassion practices for children, but nowadays she concentrates in sharing dharma. She is the mother to a lovely 3 year-old boy.
Susy Keely has practiced Buddhist meditation since 2001, and began practicing insight meditation five years later. In 2015 she began studying and training with Rob Burbea, and completed her teacher-training with him in 2020. She is also a practicing artist. She is passionate about exploring the intersection between creative energies and contemplative practice, and supporting practitioners wishing to pursue deep practice in the midst of daily life. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner and 7-year old son.
We are happy to offer the course on a dana (donation) basis, which means that the teachers will not receive any salary apart from these donations given by the participants. Dana is a core principle in the Insight tradition, and it has enabled the spreading and preserving of Buddha’s teachings for more than 2500 years after Buddha’s death, and we both wish to be able to continue offering dharma with this beautiful principle, which feels so unique in the modern world. There is no right amount, and everyone is welcome to participate on the course, but we hope that you take some time to consider, what would you like to give, what feels possible for you considering you conditions, and how you can participate in caring for the dana tradition to continue, so that the teachers can continue offering teachings this way in the future as well. Both teachers are relying on dana for their living .