Mirror of Mindfulness: Exploring Buddhist Nidana (12 links) to get Unstuck
March 1, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm GMT
Mindfulness is the unfailing master key for knowing the mind and is thus the starting point, the perfect tool for shaping the mind, and thus the focal point and the lofty manifestation of the achieved freedom of the mind. —NYANAPONIKA THERA (1962)
This ongoing interactive course will draw the basics of Buddhist psychological understanding on the Nidanas (paṭiccasamuppāda: translated as dependent coproduction) and current MBCT-L models to help us better understand our minds and reactions. The nidanas can be seen as an interactive, playful map pointing to how our reactive minds can either trap, leading to distress or help us liberate ourselves to peace and joy.
Relapse into unhappiness involves the reactivation, automatic patterns of low mood and negative critical thinking and behaving, which circles a particular “critical self-view” from a challenging experience. These aspects of experience interact through feedback loops to create and re-create, moment to moment, an ongoing state of mind. The mind runs down some well-worn mental grooves as old habits switch in and run off. If left unchecked, this mental state spirals to a more severe and persistent chronic unhappiness.
The central task of MBCT is to offer us an understanding and skills that will enable us to recognise and free ourselves from unhappiness—to empower us to step out of the habitual, automatic patterns of mind and body.
Pratītyasamutpāda, commonly translated as dependent origination, is crucial in early Buddhist teachings, the twelve-link chain (nidānas: wheel of life). This principle suggests – that things arise on conditions and cease again when their conditions cease – and this teaching of conditionality is the fundamental principle taught by the Buddha. The 12 Nidanas include depictions of the arising of suffering and how the right mindfulness can reverse the chain. The wheel of life describes the arising of mental processes and the resultant fixed notion of “I” and “mine” that leads to grasping and suffering.
In this Kind and Mindful Approach to Living (KAMAL), we will journey through these twelve themes weaving together MBCT-L and nidanas model :
Mystery of the scattered mind: avidya (ignorance)
Power of interpretations: sankhara (formation)
Waking up to the Autopilot: vinnana (consciousness)
Body awareness: namarupa (name and form)
Coming to our senses: salayatana (sense faculties)
Breath awareness: phassa (contact)
Allowing and letting be: vedana (feeling)
Recognising reactivity: tanha (craving)
Wisdom of letting go: upadana (grasping)
Responding Skilfully: bhava (becoming)
How can I take care of myself? : jati (birth)
KAMAL: jaramarana (ageing and dying)
How will your course go
The course consists of ongoing weekly 120mins sessions, plus a day retreat. We look at MBCT-L and nidanas theory and practices, mindful communication, enquiry skills, and RAIN (recognise| allow| investigate|nurture) technique. We also cover the building and maintain a regular kindness and mindfulness practice. A manual, as well as guided meditations for home practice, are also provided.
Avinash will provide you with the core skills necessary to build a solid mindfulness practice that can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In the sessions, Avinash will explain the core principles. He’ll lead practices and discussions to help participants develop their skills and offer tools and advice on maintaining their practice.
The retreat is immersive and expands on the weekly sessions! The retreat reinforces the skills and techniques covered. It also introduces new ones to give you a foundation to continue your practice.
Because of the intensive, collaborative nature of the course, we keep each course cohort small.
This course is for you!
This KAMAL course is for those who have completed the initial eight-week mindfulness course and have a regular meditation practice.
Having embarked on the mindfulness journey, you may be a beginner, an experienced practitioner or in between looking for a community to deepen your understanding. Or whether you want to develop mindfulness in your life and work. Or you wish to take your existing practice further. You’ll be able to get a lot from this course.
How to take part?
To take part, you’ll need a computer, laptop or mobile phone with access to the internet. If you can’t access these, you can also take part over the landline. These sessions will be online using zoom. You don’t need an account or to download software or an app.