Moving Through Love: Exploring the Brahma Viharas in Body and Mind with JayachittaOn Tue, 22 February, 2022 - 12:17
Join us every Wednesday for 5 weeks as we abide in the divine realms of the Brahma Viharas through movement, meditation and exchange.
Every Wednesday for 5 weeks, 27th April - 25th May
Every session, 2 hours: USA PST: 10:30 | Mexico: 12:30 | USA EST: 13:30 | IE & UK 18.30 | Europe CET 19.30 | India 23.00 | Australia AEDT 03.30 (next day) | New Zealand NZDT 05.30 (next day)
The Brahma Viharas describe ways of being in the world that help us cultivate different aspects of positive emotion and openheartedness— loving kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy or empathy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). They are also known as the Immeasurables, or sometimes even the Abodes of the Gods…
Perhaps the poetic titles for these attitudes or meditation practices make them sound like they are almost beyond the reach of us as human beings. But Pema Chödrön describes ‘equanimity’, the fourth Brahma Vihara, in a different way, saying:
“Training in equanimity is learning to open the door to all, welcoming all beings, inviting life to come visit. Of course, as certain guests arrive, we’ll feel fear and aversion. Cultivating equanimity is a work in progress. We aspire to spend our lives training in the loving- kindness and courage that it takes to receive whatever appears – sickness, health, poverty, wealth, sorrow, and joy. We welcome and get to know them all. We could call it being completely alive.”
(The Places That Scare You, 70, 72)
What to expect:
Taking equanimity as a starting point, we will start right here, where we are now, being alive in our bodies. Over five weeks, we will study, meditate, share and listen to each other. We’ll also use exercises from improvisation to help us experience the essence of these teachings directly, finding out how these high aspirations can be something that effectively supports us in difficult times, in everyday life.
Urgyen Sangharakshita evokes this beautifully in terms of the mind and body:
“It’s on account of equanimity, in its ultimate sense, that you’re balanced - even with regard to Samsara and Nirvana, even those two extremes don’t disturb you. Subject and Object are, the same - or not different, so far as you’re concerned. You are in a state of absolute equanimity. … absolutely stable and unshakable, immovable, though at the same time you’re extremely mobile, even dancing all over the place. You don’t need to have your centre fixed in any particular spot. Your centre is everywhere.”
(Sutta Nipata seminar 1976)
Let us dance together then! And discover our unshakable stable nature within that dance…
Jayachitta has followed a Buddhist practice since 1981 and a member of the Order since 1990. She has lived and worked with other Buddhists for a lot of that time. Jayachitta has a deep love of performance and the infinity of human expression. Improvisation, movement and exploring the clown are very important to her as additional approaches to the spiritual life, as they are based in physical expression and play. She sees them as an interactive way of entering and exploring the space that one discovers in meditation. It’s in that spirit of play that we can discover who we are and can be.
She has also worked in the world of dance and theatre – which is where her teachers in improvisation come from (Andrew Morrish, John Britton, Kate Hilder and others). She holds an MA in Applied Theatre, and has studied physical theatre (after Jacques Lecoq) at Kiklos Scuola in Italy.
Jayachitta lives in Berlin, but loves to travel and has guided retreats and workshops on meditation, also involving improvisation or clown, in the UK, USA, India, Holland and Germany. Every year since 2008, it has been a special pleasure to visit Dhanakosa (Scotland) to lead a retreat.
Read more on Jayachitta’s website www.playofnow.com