Pathway to Awareness, Acceptance and Compassion

Introducing 25 Contemplative Practices

Cairn

 

Start Date: October 17, 2022
Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: $50

Facilitator: Rakhee Sharma
Course is Online with facilitator participation

Zoom: Zoom sessions will be 2 1/2 hours in length and will be every Saturday from October 22 to November 26 at 6:30 a.m. PDT / 7:00pm IST
Use this date/time converter to check for other local times.
Keep in mind the course will span the end of Daylight Savings Time (DST), for those places that observe it. India does not observe DST.


Registration: Opening in October

A Certificate will be available to all those who complete the course

Take this 6 week instructor-led course at your convenience according to your schedule. Each of the 6 weekly lessons becomes available on Mondays, beginning August 30th. The course materials will be available for an additional 6 months as a self-directed course. There will be Zoom ‘meet & greets’ to discuss the course material and your journey during the course.

 

Life is a mixed bag of challenge, dissatisfaction, loss, joy, and contentment. Contrary to this reality, we have a strong desire to experience that which is comforting, convenient and pleasurable. So we suffer because of the gap between our desires and the reality of daily living.

How can we cope with this?

Like the cairn in the photo which is placed along trails to guide you when navigation becomes difficult, or you lose your way, this course will offer mindful and compassionate contemplative practices that you can use to navigate everyday challenges and disappointments.

 

Who will benefit:

  • Anyone who wants to build resilience in the face of life’s challenges.
  • Anyone who wants to become aware and overcome life’s disappointments.
  • Anyone who wants to become aware of the habits and attitudes that perpetuate suffering and our life struggles.

Participants will learn about the causes and conditions of dissatisfaction with life, how awareness and compassion can help us become “unstuck” from habits that promote suffering, and transform these into moments of insight for personal growth.

 

How does this course work?

Over a period of six weeks, you will have access to resources—text, video, audio and discussions with the facilitator and other students on our learning platform, Ruzuku. Each week you will learn one or more of 25 contemplative practices including meditations, reflective exercises, practice songs, as well as be exposed to the work of well-known spiritual teachers.

At the core of our course will be weekly, live 90-minute zoom calls to explore and learn how to use that week’s practices. The facilitator will also offer a story and prompts that will guide you to deeper reflection and contemplation, and how the week’s teachings can be applied to your everyday life.

Dates and times will be announced when the course opens for registration.

 

Course Overview:

Introduction

Each week of instruction will open a rich world contemplative practices:

  • articles to support that week’s learning,
  • prompts to explore during the week,
  • application of the practices in day-to-day life,
  • introduction of a spiritual teacher, and
  • other aids, such as meditation apps and videos.

 

Week 1: Starting the journey with mindfulness of senses

Our sensory organs--eyes, nose, ears, skin—help us to observe and experience the world. Similarly, contemplative practices help us to become aware, observe, and experience our inner world. In the ordinary course of life, this doesn’t happen. And if we do learn meditation practices, our body and mind may not be totally aligned, so many of us struggle to continue the practice.

The first session is all about mental alignment for this journey, including why we meditate, getting started with meditation and practices like mindfulness of senses, and learning to listen by practicing with the mindfulness bell.

Week 2: Deep relaxation and facing challenges in the day

A relaxed body and mind play an important role in promoting alignment and the maximum preparation for our practice. They create a fertile space for awareness and concentration to enable observation of issues that need solutions. Otherwise, we may dismiss our experience by labelling it as good or bad.

In the second week, we will share how to practice deep relaxation, a calming-ease meditation, and the attitude of patience.

Week 3: Mindful breathing and awareness about the truth of suffering

It seems we are constantly on the move! We have never-ending to-do lists, over-scheduling and problems that need solutions. How often do you find yourself overwhelmed, irritable, frustrated, anxious or exhausted in our challenging world?

In the third week, we will share the teachings of many spiritual guides about the truth of suffering and its nature. We will offer mindful breathing, walking meditation, an attitude of non-striving, and other practices and material to help you create a space between you and your discomfort.

Week 4: Recognizing causes of dissatisfaction and open awareness

Sometimes our day-to-day experiences feels like being caught in a web of challenges. Have you ever found yourself blaming someone or an event, your fate or even yourself for your bad experiences? Do you feel that you have the resources to deal with these feelings? And most important, will these reactions help you step out of the path of suffering?

To be able to step out of the web, this week will introduce the causes and conditions that give rise to our feelings about challenging or dissatisfactory moments in our lives, and open a new perspective. We will do this by sharing the practices of open awareness, pebble meditation, and learning how to let go.

Week 5: Insights into diminishing dissatisfactions and moments of nurturance

Awareness leads to discernment, which opens the door to insights that can help us accept the causes and conditions of struggles and suffering in our world. This week’s learning will enable us to break the imprisonment caused by habits that perpetuate our suffering.

Some of the practices we will share are resting in a moment of nurturance, eating meditation, watering the flower, and the attitude of beginner’s mind.

Week 6: Compassion and interbeing - paths to inner transformation

Having insights is not enough. True change arises when we apply insight to action. In order to meet the challenges of our life, without resorting to habits that keep us stuck, we need to learn how to maintain our practice. We can become enabled to devise solutions with a fresh set of compassionate eyes, and a mind and heart that appreciate the importance of our connection with everyone and everything in our world.

This last week of the course, we will share about the boundless mind, loving-kindness meditation, a gratitude practice and the attitude of acceptance.

 

List of meditations & Contemplations

Meditations

  • Mindfulness of senses
  • Mindful Breathing
  • Deep relaxation
  • Focused attention
  • walking meditation
  • Open awareness  
  • Guided imagery
  • Eating meditation
  • Loving kindness meditation
  • Looking deeply meditation - (titled deep-slow)
  • Resting in a Moment of Nurturance 
  • Mediation on gratitude

Contemplative practices

  • Mindfulness Bell
  • Gathas
  • practice songs to enhance mindfulness
  • Watering the flower practice
  • Journaling
  • Reflections
  • Stories
  • Practice of patience, non-striving, observer’s mindset, beginner’s mind, acceptance and letting go

 

About your Facilitator

Rakhee Sharma

Rakhee Sharma, PCC - ICF, is a Mindful Leadership & Executive Coach, Master-Spirit Life Coach, facilitator, contemplative practices instructor and motivational speaker. She is also certified by Marshall Goldsmith and CCA, Canada. She is the founder of Showers of Compassion, Coming Home and Sacred Conversations initiatives. She works as a catalyst to human flourishing and wellbeing.

Rakhee was selected for Goldman Sach’s Women Entrepreneurship Program with a full scholarship by ISB, Hyderabad. She is certified for Women Leadership Program from Case Western Reserve University, Science of Happiness from Greater Good Science Centre, UC Berkeley and Demystifying Mindfulness from the University of Leiden, Netherlands, Facilitator & Coach - Compassionate Integrity Training, CCISE, Life University. She is M.A. in Indian Classical Vocal music and B.Ed.

Rakhee is Global Goodwill Ambassador from GGA Foundation and India Education Lead, Charter of Compassion. She is a mindfulness practitioner and teacher in the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition. She has been the program lead of Compassionate Schools Network and Compassionate City Ghaziabad in India and has been a coach and facilitator with the award-winning women leadership program, Aparajita for 6 years.

Rakhee has 22 years of experience working with companies like Maersk, Accenture, Rolls Royce, Genpact, Maruti, Airtel, Microsoft, AIG, Fresenius Kabi, Schneider Elec, Flipkart, HPCL, V-Mart, Ramboll, Chowgule Shipping, ACC, Jindal Stainless Steel, HPCL etc. She has been a motivational speaker at Vedica Scholars, Siemens and Universities like – Symbiosis, GD Goenka, AIMS, VIT, SRKR and JNIT.

 

 

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