Claiming Agency in One's Own Awakening

Mahayana Essentials at Pema Osel, Vershire VT with Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, June 1-2, 2019

Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

One of the most powerful qualities of the Buddhist teachings is that we are asked to honor and develop our own discerning intelligence or prajna. In fact, the Buddha himself said: “You are the agent of your own awakening.” This statement is a call to our natural intelligence—our ability to rise and discover our deepest potential.

However, when we begin to investigate the point where our discerning intelligence meets with the teachings, many questions and challenges may arise:

  • Does a practice of devotion to the teachings or teacher mean that you have to abdicate your discerning intelligence?

  • Does exercising agency mean then that you are not genuinely open to the teachings? How do you discern between egoic intention and open clarity?

  • What are the qualities of an authentic student? How does one poise one’s mind for insight?

  • What is the difference between “being right” and an experience of genuine certitude?

  • How do the teachings shape our relationships to our community, friends and family, and our teacher?

In this two-day gathering, Elizabeth will guide participants through an investigation of what it means to be a student, and how a student’s eagerness to learn and evolve can be fulfilled by having a healthy and realistic relationship with a qualified teacher, sangha, and the teachings themselves. 



Four talks will be offered over this two-day teaching event at Pema Osel Do Ngak Choling.  



8:00 - 8:30 am Registration

8:30 – 9:30 am  Opening Chants/Sitting Meditation

9:30 - 10:00 am Break

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Talk 1

12:15 – 1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 - 2:15 pm Discussion Groups

2:15 – 2:30 pm Break

2:30– 3:00 pm Sitting

3:00 - 5:00 pm Talk 2

5:00 - 5:30 pm Closing Chants


8:30 – 9:30 am Opening Chants/Sitting Meditation

9:30 - 10:00 am Break

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Talk 3

12:15 – 1:45 pm Lunch/Discussion Groups

1:45 – 2:00 pm Break

2:00– 2:30 pm Sitting

2:30 - 4:30 pm Talk 4

4:30 - 5:00 pm Closing Chants

Please be in touch with any questions here.