Awakening and Living Awake – Grounding the Earth in Unconditional Love | Winter/Spring 2023
Dates and registration – Semester two:
- January 17
- January 31
- February 14
- February 28
- March 14
- March 28
- April 11
- April 25 (rescheduled to May 2)
- May 9
- May 23
Times: Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern. The link to Zoom, which is used for all sessions, are emailed the day before the first session.
Time zones: Times listed are in the Eastern Time Zone (Ann Arbor, MI, USA). To convert to a different time zone: Use Time Zone Converter
Suggested donation: $150 – $500
No one will be excluded for financial reasons. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
For experienced students only. Must have in depth experience with insight meditation practice, or a similarly related meditation practice with a qualified teacher. Some familiarity with pure awareness meditation practice is also very valuable. If in doubt that the program is suitable for you, please contact one of the teachers.
Guided by Aaron and Mary Magdalene along with other entities, Barbara Brodsky and John Orr
Each three-hour class period (6 pm 9 pm EST) will include a talk from human and/or spirit, a meditation instruction period, meditation practice, and a small group meeting with John, Barbara or another facilitator.
My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit, the Teacher, is near— wake up, wake up!
Run to his feet— He is standing close to your head right now.
You have slept for millions and millions of years.
Why not wake up this morning?
Waking up! We are all already awake, but most people have forgotten this truth. It was necessary that we arrived sleeping—now it is vital that we awaken.
We chase that elusive awakeness, forgetting who we are. We practice on both levels: the ultimate one where everything is connected, awake and present—and the relative one where we move through awakening as a gradual process.
In this year’s class, we will use various supports as well as our all-important meditation practice.
The ten Ox Herding pictures from the Zen tradition will be a major support path that we will follow. A handout will be provided to the class participants.
We will also use parts of other texts, including Flight of the Garuda by the yogi Shabkar, Cultivating the Empty Field by Hong-zhi, and Aaron’s books—Awakened Heart and No Chain at All in order to develop a deeper understanding of Dependent Origination.
Introduction by Aaron:
The opening of the path to awakening starts with the awareness that although suffering does arise, it has causes. One has a choice about how one participates in those causes. Suffering does not arise by chance. You are not a victim.
This insight leads us into the four noble truths: suffering; the causes of suffering; the truth of freedom; the path out of suffering. Attention to these four noble truths leads the practitioner to some hope— there is freedom. (Searching for the Ox; Finding the Footprints; Seeing the Ox)
In the beginning there is a desire to escape suffering for oneself—but if one seeks freedom only for oneself, there can be no freedom. Thus, there must be some degree of insight, grounded in deep understanding, of the interbeing of all that is. At this stage the practitioner is not stable in this understanding but there are glimpses of non-duality. Intention to non-harm is strong.
Everyone in this class has deep experience. You have been meditating. Likely you have been in Dharma Path and The Eden Project classes and doing your own practices. You have commitment to awakening. We will start at the beginning to pull it together but will move on quickly.
Grounded in your committed practice and intention for the alleviation of suffering for all beings, we will observe that we have seen the ox, and will begin to understand what it means to Catch the Ox, to Tame the Ox, to Ride the Ox Home. These steps are the basis for the first classes of the academic year.
Everyone in this class has deep commitment to living from the awakened heart. You have great trust that the ox of the awakened heart-mind exists. You have already seen the ox—how do you catch it, tame it, and bring it home to where it is stable enough to support your intention to live awake in daily life?
In the middle segment of the classes, we will explore what is needed to tame the ox and ride it home. He will try to buck you off! This phase will include deeper practice with access concentration, vipassana and the stages of the path of dependent arising, states and stages of consciousness, pure awareness, and a deeper look at the multiple intentions each being carries.
What helps us to release self-centered intentions and see through the dualities in which we live? We may also look at energy (chakras), the elements, and spirit guidance as supports. What about the imaginal cells we met last year?
Our groups will offer much support too. As we look at personal intentions, we will also revisit the deeper universal intentions from The Eden Project. What has drawn us to earth at this time? Intention has great power!
During the last months of class and the final retreat, we will move on to The Ox Forgotten, the Self Remains; Forget Both Self and Ox; Return to the Origin, Back to the Source and Entering the Marketplace with Extended Hands.
What is the experience of no-self and how do we integrate it into daily life? What supports living from our awakened heart-minds—or as we phrased it in The Eden Project—living from the Center of the Bridge? Here is our commitment to awakening for the benefit of all beings and to support the transition of the earth.
This is a one-year class, but it is likely it will continue in some form into a second year. In June there will be a one-week retreat to bring it
Barbara Brodsky, Aaron and John Orr
Contact Barbara Brodsky at email@example.com with any questions.
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Deep Spring Center teachers offer their time on a dana basis, joyfully sharing the teachings. Your free-will offerings to them are greatly appreciated, as they receive no compensation from Deep Spring Center. Offer dana to Deep Spring Center teachers.