Meditative Explorations of Solidity, Space, and Absence
Five sessions from October 18th – November 15th, 2023
Time: Wednesdays from 10am-11:45am California time* / 6pm-7:45pm UK time
Teacher: Susy Keely
Registration: Using this form: https://forms.gle/4jkM9JF43p2cSjmt6
This course meets on zoom and is offered on a Dana basis.
*Due to difference in time change between Europe and the U.S., the start time of the November 1 session will be 11am California time. Only the Nov. 1 meeting will be affected for those in the Americas – UK/European time will be consistent throughout the course.
The premise of this online course is to offer a chance to play with how we percieve space, awareness, and absence through applying different meditative instructions. Cultivating perceptions of spaciousness, openness, and lack of obstruction can open lovely aspects of samadhi and mystical states of consciousness. They can also offer a basis for exploring some of the subtle aspects of the manner in which experience is fabricated.
These explorations will be framed within Rob Burbea’s approach to emptiness meditation. Some of the mediative explorations will be playing with/around practices from Seeing that Frees, some will not. While it’s not necessary that you’re familiar with Seeing that Frees, it would be helpful if you have experience with and affection for working with attention in ways that impact perception. Experienced samadhi or insight meditators would be a good fit. If it sounds interesting to you, you likely will get something from it in one way or another. That being said, it is not an introductory level offering – feel free to contact me with any questions about the suitability of this course for you.
All of the practice explorations will involve playing with different ways to shift and soften the habitual ways we perceive experience as solid and real from a particular (self-oriented) perspective. The course will approach things from an insight/emptiness perspective above all else. Some of the explorations will be riffing on formless jhana practice/instructions. If you have an interest in jhana practice you might have some fun with poking around connections between those practices and your insight/emptiness practice.
So, you might wish to join for the continued exploration around fabrication, and releasing clinging in subtle ways. You might come to explore some of the different meditative states/perceptions that could open. In some ways this course will follow kind of a lab format – the explorations are not linear, but touch on different aspects of the same theme from different angles. Regardless of your intention for joining, I hope this course makes a space to share and interact with people who love the art of meditation.
Some of the meditative themes will likely include:
- Cultivating and appreciating a sense of spaciousness within experience.
- Noticing absence/attenuation of sensory objects
- Working with softening a self-oriented perspective towards objects of experience
- Exploring vast awareness practices as a way to play with the sense of subject/object
- Playing with the sense of the locality of awareness and how it impacts the self-sense
- Applying insight ways of looking within less fabricated states
Main weekly session: we’ll explore a couple practices/meditative exercises each week, have some explanatory teaching, and have time for questions and sharing.
Outside of main session: There will be a weekly guided practice to support the explorations within the main session – this will be optional to attend in person, and a recording will be made available.
Attendance & size: The course size will be limited. Participation (reports, questions etc.) will be encouraged though not mandatory. Recordings will be made available of the weekly teaching and guided practice, but not the questions and sharing from participants. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you sign up for this course with the ability and intention to come to the main weekly sessions. This course may be offered at a later / different time if there is interest.
Prerequisites: As this is not an introductory course, it is expected that participants have the capacity to settle their own minds and bodies, and have some familiarity with buddhist meditation/mindfulness meditation principles. It will be very helpful if one is familiar with Rob Burbea’s approaches to insight/emptiness meditation, though not required. The approach to insight/emptiness medtiation in “Seeing that Frees” will underpin the explorations, but the course will not offer practices from the book.
As with any insight meditation / buddhist meditation practices, it is possible that some of the guided practices will open very different ways of sensing self and world. This is a desired outcome, but if you find yourself to be at a place in your life that is not stable and well balanced, or that you lack adequate personal support, it is recommended you take this course at a later time. There will be some chance for interaction within the sessions, but it will be minimal and individual support will not be offered.