deeper resources for action

17th November to 1st December 2018

a training in meditation skills to empower social engagement

Those of us turning to meet the social and ecological challenges of our times know how demanding that can be. The range and scale of the problems, the depth of change required, the complexity of the process, and the seriousness of the struggle ask a lot of us. But the mind and heart offer a wellspring of powerful resource, if we know how to draw on them. Through well-developed meditation practice we can learn to access those resources to empower our action.

This training will help us acquire meditation skills to increase our:

Emotional resilience, so that we have greater capacity to sustain our engagement
Focus and clarity, so that we can turn the mind where we need its brightness and creativity
Centred calm, so that we can remain open and grounded through tough times
Energy and vitality, so that we can bring ourselves fully and repeatedly to the things that matter
Self-awareness, so that we can transform unhelpful and limiting habits
Sense of compassionate connection, so that our solidarity and care remain nourished
Courage, so that we can meet the world with commitment, passion, and strength
Capacity for learning, so we can avoid ideological rigidity and keep our strategies responsive and relevant

You’ll learn:

• An integrated system of practice, providing a core repertoire of meditation forms/practices
• Specific frameworks for understanding meditative experience
• Core principles of working in meditation – from effective ways of working with hindrances through to the subtle skills for establishing deeper absorption and insight practices
• How to apply these tools and skills in an on-going way

The two week course will be divided into three main sections. The first few days will include a series of sessions laying down theoretical frameworks, and using a meditation workshop approach to help acquire skills in the application of core principles. The central part of the training will be in silence, with daily one to one coaching to help you to develop the practices in the direction most useful to you, as well as a few shorter periods of input. The last couple of days will be looking at how we carry this learning back into our everyday engagement. We will include exploration of tips, tricks and tactics for most effectively drawing on our practice to empower action in different situations.

The training is aimed at for people with previous meditation experience. So, it could work for you if you have picked up some basic practices on one of our sustainable activism or collaboration trainings. We will be asking people to arrive on the training on the basis of a regular practice. To support this we will ask you to commit to practice daily and keep a meditation journal for the month leading up to the training. We will prioritise places for people with a shown history of social engagement.

To support the meditation programme there will be optional daily bodywork sessions (led yoga).

The Team

Alex Swain has been facilitating courses geared towards social and personal transformation at the ecodharma centre for the past 6 years, where she lives and works as Project Coordinator. She has been part of building the programs for engaged buddhism and sustainable activism at ecodharma as part of the Centre team, and supporting others to gain skills in building and propagating this work throughout Europe.

Her commitment to social justice and history of political activism have involved her in direct action and affinity group work focused on climate justice, ant-capitalism, queer politics and gender identity. A strong focus on the somatic dimension and embodied practice (informed by her work as a dance artist and yoga teacher) underpins both her approach to the dharma and work to promote social change. Her Buddhist practice has been influenced by teachers of various traditions and she’s currently undertaking the ordination training of the Triratna Buddhist Order.

Alex will be joined by a guest facilitator…more details to follow soon!

Suggested contribution in the Dana Economy €300 to €850 (euros). Make a booking. Some bursaries and/or work exchange options are available.

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