Loving from the Open Field – Somatic Compassion
November 14 - November 15£60 – £120
Somatic Compassion is effortless
Many of us, especially Buddhist practitioners, feel that we need to work at being compassionate. Subtly or not a sense of effort and tension creeps into our loving. Shoulds and shouldn’t start popping up.
Exploring the Buddhist path of compassion or ‘awakening heart’, Alistair Appleton reconnected to the effortless quality of truly embodied or ‘somatic’ loving. He draws on the teaching of Chögyam Trungpa who makes a distinction between ‘maitri’ (appreciation of self) and ‘karuna /compassion’ (appreciation of others).
In other courses, Alistair has explored how resting in the open space of awareness allows us to have a different relationship with the parts that make up our self. This is maitri practice.
Embodied and somatic practice of Compassion
Once we have some tender relationship with these, often warring, parts and can breathe the gentleness of Big Self or ultimate bodhicitta on them, then the space clears for us to connect truely with the vast panoply of the world around us – people, animals, the natural world, the Universe.
It’s like we’ve been hypnotised into thinking that the endless spiralling of our inner world is the world, but the World with a capital W is a sacred one that is dazzling and ego-shattering when we really touch into it. The move from maitri to karuna is one that brings great joy but also a huge spur to wise action. We recognise how our own patterns have held us back from this luminosity and great space, then we can’t help but want that others feel it too. Their constriction becomes part of our expanded awareness and we are unable to judge in anyway whatsoever.
In the embodied space of the expanded heart, the illusion of a separate ‘other’ falls away and we rest in a state of Mahakaruna or Great Compassion.
What this workshop on Somatic Compassion will cover:
- revisiting the somatic understanding of relaxation and awareness
- connecting with the open-field of awareness accessed through the heart-centre
- requesting our ‘parts’ to step out of the way as we connect outwards
- ‘beholding’ practice
- being with another human being without fear or tension
- being with the natural world
What you can expect on a Mindsprings weekend course
- We aim to provide a safe, friendly and tolerant space to explore the benefits of body-based meditation
- There’s a good mix of teaching, experiential practice, and discussion. Talking helps make sure we’ve got it.
- Some practices are done lying down, some sitting up. Weather permitting, we may work outside too.
- Alistair’s training as a therapist is always available for one-on-one support when things arise during practice
- We start at 10am and finish at 5pm each day – with an hour’s break for lunch and some tea/pee breaks
- You’ll receive electronic notes and a recording of the teaching and guided meditation after the course.
- After the weekend, we will try and keep the group together online and with email updates
How to book and financial support
Mindsprings tries to offer good quality instruction at a reasonable cost. We offer a concessionary rate to anyone who is struggling financially, to students and to the unemployed. We never want to turn someone away because they can’t pay. However, the full-price tickets help subsidise these cheaper places, so we ask people to use their discernment when buying a concession.