An Engaged Dharma:

Love, Resistance and Skillful Action
For a World in Need

a Worldwide Insight Series
4 Consecutive Saturdays
24 June – 15 July, 2017

Free Registration

How can we bring our practice into the world with a wise, rather than reactive, response to the conflict, divisiveness and injustice that are intensifying in recent times? We can often feel helpless when watching news of the latest in a rise in hate crimes, the indifference towards refugees, or the recent decision of the US President to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

In this special Worldwide Insight Series, we will specifically address these types of issues and the questions that often come up around them:

  • What can I do?
  • How can I keep my heart open and still engage in this divided world?
  • What is an appropriate response that is not fueled by, or feeding, the reactivity that I see around me?

We have invited 4 buddhist teachers from various traditions who teach specifically on bringing the teachings and practices into these edgy and painful places. Zohar Lavie, Lama Rod Owens, Leslie Booker, and Nina LaRosa will each lead a 90 minute webinar session to help support us through these difficult times, beginning Saturday, 24 June.

The Buddhist tradition views teachings of liberation as priceless, and this online series is offered in the spirit of generosity, called Dana. Access to the teachings are freely offered to support your practice, and you will be given an opportunity to support both the platform and the teacher by making a donation.

Zohar Lavie

Zohar Lavie – 24 June
11am PDT, 2pm EDT
7pm UK, 8pm EU

About Zohar

Frontline Dharma:

Exploring how practice can support and nourish us in engaging with challenging times

For many of us these are times of deep questioning: How do we respond to the challenges we are facing in our societies and our planet? What can we do? How to engage in ways that are skilful and non-harming and also honour our inner sense of integrity, urgency and care? Zohar will be offering some reflections and suggestions on how Dharma practice can support us in exploring these issues using her own experience of Dharma activism in Israel/Palestine, environmental education and working with the leprosy affected in India.

Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens – 1 July
11am PDT, 2pm EDT
7pm UK, 8pm EU

About Lama Rod

Love’s in Need of Love:

The Practice of Love as Social Resistance

The great Black American singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder once sang, “Love’s in need of love today.” His words couldn’t be more true as we face a global community struggling with war, poverty, illness, climate instability, and the rise of political authorities and governments who do not seem to be grounded in compassion or kindness. We speak about love and attempt to practice love but some of us are losing faith in the transformative power of the wish for ourselves and others to be happy. Our practice of love is in need of our renewed faith in love. In this talk, we will be exploring the question of how practicing love can become a strategy that resists and undoes our experiences of fear, apathy, and numbness as we attempt to live and love in a challenging world.

Booker Leslie

Leslie Booker – 8 July
11am PDT, 2pm EDT
7pm UK, 8pm EU

About Booker

The Skillful Action of Non-Action:

Remembering Who We Be (Through Embodiment)

How do we respond to a world whose suffering is a byproduct of the systemic injustices in this world? We might wish folks well from afar, or we might understand that an engaged response is what the body is calling for. Through personal narrative, Booker will share her experiences of social activism through the lens of the Buddha’s teachings of Skillful Speech and Skillful Action, and how we can use our body to inform us how to create social action that is generative and sustainable.

Nina Larosa

Nina LaRosa – 15 July
11am PDT, 2pm EDT
7pm UK, 8pm EU

About Nina

Dismantling Racism in Our Minds and Hearts

If one lives as a human on this earth one is affected by racism. Power and privilege have been unfairly awarded throughout history to certain groups of people based on race while disempowering others.

These systems function on a systemic and cultural level, but also within each of us individually when we unconsciously internalize messages about each other, ourselves, and about race. Simply growing up in a racist world causes subtle and not so subtle habits of mind and heart to take on racist patterns.

Mindfulness meditation can help one to observe preconceptions as they arise in the mind, providing space for cultivating kindness and care. Mindfulness can illuminate implicit bias, the usually unconscious prejudices that color so much of our mind’s judging nature. Uncovering these habits of mind with a generous heart can cut through the guilt, shame, hatred, and fear that cause so much contraction and suffering in us and in our relationships around race. Observing these habits of mind with wisdom can allow a healthy transcendence of self to arise that does not bypass individual and racial differences, but includes them.

This session is for you, no matter the color of your skin, if you’re interested in investigating more deeply how racism in the world has impacted your mind and heart. We will practice ways to undo racism in our lives and uncover a generous, spacious heart that has room for differences and the universal.

Zohar Lavie

Zohar Lavie

Zohar has been practicing meditation since 1995. This journey has taken her from the meditation cushion into exploring further ways of expressing truth and love and in 2004 she co-founded SanghaSeva. She now spends most of her time facilitating retreats that offer service as a spiritual path around the world. Since 2006 she has been teaching on silent retreats and Dharma gatherings in the Insight meditation tradition in India, Europe and Israel.

Lama Rod Owens

Lama Rod Owens

Officially recognized by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Rod Owens is one of the leading teachers of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective and teaches with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) where he is also a faculty member for the organization’s teacher training program. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School with a focus on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice.

He is a co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. He has been published and featured in several publications including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Spirit Magazine, and the book Real World Mindfulness for Beginners were he contributed the chapter on working with anger and difficult emotions. He has offered talks, retreats, and workshops for many organizations and universities including New York University, Yale University, Harvard University, Tufts University, University of Vermont, and Boston College. His current writing project is an exploration of intersectional masculinity and spirituality.

Leslie Booker

Leslie Booker

Booker brings her heart, wisdom, and compassion to the intersection of social justice, yoga, and mindfulness. She has shared these practices with vulnerable populations in New York City since 2006, working in juvenile detention centers, residential treatment centers, and on Riker's Island. She travels nationally utilizing the foundation of Dharma and embodied wisdom practices to support the sustainability of front line Changemakers, and offers mindful movement on meditation retreats. Booker is on faculty with the Prison Mindfulness Institute and Off the Mat Into the World, and teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society (IMS), New York Insight, Worldwide Insight, Garrison Institute and Shambhala Mountain Center. She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute, the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street and Urban Sangha Project in NYC. Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law's paper on Gender and Trauma, and Sharon Salzberg's book 'Happiness at Work'. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader’s Training, and is currently in their 4 year Dharma Retreat Teacher Training.

Nina LaRosa

Nina LaRosa

For the past 10 years Nina La Rosa has taught the "user-friendly but industrial strength" approach to mindfulness meditation developed by Buddhist teacher and scholar, Shinzen Young. Shinzen’s pragmatic and scientific approach helped Nina experience a freeing shift in her sense of self and the world and she became inspired to share mindfulness meditation as her life’s work. In 2012, while working in clinical neuroscience research on mindfulness at University of Vermont, Nina founded a mindfulness meditation training and psychotherapy practice to support people in their meditation and mental health. She continues this work today and specializes in addressing chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, and spiritual emergence challenges. Her heart is most alive when assisting people through sticky spots on the meditative path. Making the dharma accessible and leveraging its potential for healing of systemic injustice also fuels her work. Nina offers her services in-person at Stillpoint Center in Burlington, Vermont and online. As a new mother, Nina’s also found the crucible of parenting to be a great way to put mindfulness to the test!