How can we become the person the world wants and needs us to be? Buddhism intrigues us with the notion that the answer lies in a mysterious realization of non-self. How do we reconcile the Buddhist teaching of non-self with our pragmatic, everyday experience?
We are sensitive beings. We resonate with everything around us. This innate capacity is the basis for empathy and compassionate action. However, it can be obstructed when we cling to the idea of a permanent, separate self. This “self-obstruction” is often too close to see and feel. Yet we have glimpses of it: on a bodily level, we may feel stuck in our “skin bag,” separated from the world; we may be getting tired of the effects of our emotional defensiveness; we may notice a kind of mental restlessness in our incessant need for narrative continuity; and spiritually, we may find ourselves clinging to ideas of a higher or transcendent self.
When these bodily, emotional, mental, and spiritual patterns are recognized as constructions rather than givens, we can learn to deconstruct the obstructions they cause. This is the process of transforming the self.
In this seminar, we will explore how Zen practices such as meditation, embodied-energetic engagement with the world, and investigation of worldviews can facilitate this transformation and support us in doing the work in the world that our resonant body-minds are calling us to do.