Online Learning

Awakening the Mind, Softening the Heart

An Introduction to the Practices of Self-Reflection and Meditation

Everyone knows the benefits of seeing a glass as half-full rather than half-empty. But few people know how to change their mindset, which colors the way they see, think, feel and act. If our habitual ways of seeing only lead us to be anxious, distressed, and dissatisfied, then why not do something about it? The Awakening the Mind, Softening the Heart Program is expressly designed for those interested in transforming their lives through changing not just their attitudes, but their entire mindset through the well-established Buddhist meditation practices of self-reflection and the four immeasurable qualities.

To enroll in this program, one need not be familiar with Buddhism, nor is there any expectation of participants becoming Buddhists. Belief in Buddhist principles, such as karma or reincarnation, is not required in order to learn and make use of these tools.

Course 1: Awakening the Mind, Softening the Heart 

Being alive necessarily involves a certain amount of conflict, dissatisfaction, and pain, but the more we try to escape the physical and emotional pain we encounter, the more we find ourselves enmeshed in it. How do we get out of the vicious cycles we find ourselves in? This course teaches two meditation techniques that directly address this question.

1.1. Self-Reflection 

The first step in freeing ourselves from our painful mental and physical habits is focusing our minds inwardly to let our natural intelligence work out whatever causes us to become stuck in cyclic suffering. This process of self-reflection begins with an investigation into the causes and conditions that lead to various negative states of mind, such as our fixation on self-importance and the five self-centered emotions (attachment, aggression, stupidity, jealousy, and pride). By looking calmly and closely at our experience, we naturally and easily come to understand how our actions fail to meet our intentions and we come to discern the best, most immediate, and uplifted way to contentment.

1.2. The Four Immeasurable Qualities

We all naturally long for greater fulfillment and meaning in life. However, our confusion leads us mistakenly to think this fulfillment lies in satisfying our own unsatisfiable desires. When we focus on developing four qualities—loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity— for the immeasurable benefit  to ourselves and all sentient beings, we discover first-hand that a good heart illuminates the way to greater happiness for all. As our openness and our heartfelt care shine forth, we glimpse the genuine path to fulfillment that we have always sought, and realize that a meaningful life has always been entirely within our reach. Once our minds become completely set upon awakening this potential within ourselves through these meditations, we are ready to set out upon the path.

Schedule

"Course 1: Awakening the Mind, Softening the Heart" is a 12 week course. Courses begin regularly throughout the year and meet online through video conferencing. Web conference meetings will be offered periodically. Exact web conference dates and times will be determined based on instructor/participant availablity. Web conference meetings will be recorded for later playback.

Course start date:

  • Winter (North America)
  • January 2017 (Europe) - registration is closed

Registration 
- North America

There is a $100 registration fee for Course 1 that is payable by PayPal here. Payment plans are available. Feel free to contact us if you would like to set up a payment plan. Please note that all sales are final. No refunds.

Once we receive your payment, you will be registered for the next available course group and a personal confirmation email will be sent to you within 7 days confirming your placement in a course group. You will be also be sent a link to access preliminary study materials that you get started with before your course actually starts.

Registration 
- Europe

Registration for our January 2017 class is now closed. The next course opening will be in Fall 2017. You can contact us at europe@mangalashribhuti.org for further information. 

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