LIFE WITH FULL ATTENTION – AN ONLINE COURSE IN ENGLISH
‘There are hundreds of books on mindfulness, but for a practical guide I would turn first to Life with Full Attention by Maitreyabandhu…’
Alice O’ Keeffe – The Guardian (popular weekly UK newspaper)
This course is a rare opportunity to join Maitreyabandhu, best-selling author of Life with Full Attention, on 8-week practical course in mindfulness.
It’s our mindset and inner narratives that limit us. Using mindfulness as a tool we can learn to work with noisy, chaotic thoughts in order to become more creative and energetic. We can become more able to face the challenges of life: manage stress, cope better with illness, and reduce anxiety and depression. But, even if we can reap those benefits by practising mindfulness, when we take mindfulness out of context it becomes less authentic and less effective.
Life with Full Attention puts mindfulness back into its Buddhist context; it guides us (in practical ways, taking in consideration the pressures of modern life) so we can move towards reality itself and open up to the possibility of the Enlightened Mind, here and now. Join the course and, with Maitreyabandhu’s book as your guide, get a thorough grounding in mindfulness practice as we move towards the limitless potential of our mind. For newcomers and those wanting to revisit the fundamentals of mindfulness practice or wanting to renew their inspiration. Maitreyabandhu will be doing the main teaching slot each week online.
- Who is the course for?
Maitreyabandhu says: ‘When I wrote the book and devised the course I had in mind anyone who was looking for systematic guidance in how to cultivate mindfulness in their day-to-day life and who wanted to learn that from its deep source within Buddhism. I wanted to show the Buddha’s vision of mindfulness. And I wanted it to be practical. Mindfulness is primarily a practice. It’s not a theory or a phycological intervention. My book and course were created to support anyone who wants to live their life with full attention.’
- What you will do on the course?
Life with Full Attention is an eight-week step-by-step guide in how to practice mindfulness in the life you actually have. The course assumes that are a busy person with work and/or family commitments living in the modern city. At each class, Maitreyabandhu will introduce the aspect of mindfulness you’ll be putting into practice over the following week, starting with day-to-day mindfulness and concluding with mindfulness of reality. He’ll suggest two or three particular ways of cultivating mindfulness and you’ll get together with a small group of course participants each week to report back about how that’s gone. You’ll also meditate, and be encouraged to read the book between each class.
Maitreyabandhu says – ‘My idea was to create a full introduction to the practice of mindfulness. So, you read about it, learn about it, practice it in your life, and have a chance to report back on how you’ve got on with it: what worked and what didn’t.’
What is the structure of the course?
- Week 1: Day-to-Day Mindfulness. It’s hard to even start practicing mindfulness if you’re stressed out, chaotic, and conflicted. So, we’re going to start with that. ‘Day-to-day mindfulness means attending to the small things so that we can concentrate on the big ones. We need to find strategies that help us get on with what is important in life and stop us having to think about what isn’t.’
- Week 2: Mindfulness of the Body and its Movements. Once your life is running more smoothly, you can start to tune-in to the feelings and sensations of your body. ‘The value of mindfulness of the body is that it allows us to gain a greater perspective on our mind. It allows us to step back from our thoughts and rumination into direct physical experience.’
- Week 3: Mindfulness of Vedana – feeing-sensation. When you tune-in to the body you start to notice a whole world of feeling and sensations.‘Vedana is the texture of life: it is how life feels. Vedanas (feeling-sensations) are the building blocks of our experience. We build our moods and emotions out of them.’
- Week 4: Mindfulness of Citta – Mind. Once we notice the body, and the feelings and sensations of your body (vedana), you can start to become more aware of your mind. ‘Everything we experience, we experience through the mind. It is our states of mind that make life interesting or boring, enjoyable, meaningful or futile. Understanding our mind, cultivating our mind, is therefore the key to happiness.’
- Week 5: Mindfulness of Dhammas – Bringing the Teaching to Mind. Then you need to learn how to act in your best interests. ‘Mindfulness of dhammas means training ourselves to notice that when we act out of positive states of mind and emotion we feel happier, more creative, tolerant, and expansive; whereas when we act out of negative states and emotions we are liable to feel destructive, reactive, constricted, and unhappy.’
- Week 6: Mindfulness of Art, Objects and Nature. Mindfulness is about more life: more appreciation, more beauty. So, this week you’ll be encouraged to enrich your life with art and beauty. ‘Our aim should be to simply appreciate life, to stand back and enjoy it all. Yes, we needto work and plan. Sometimes we need to push ourselves beyond the comfort zone in order to grow. But we shouldn’t take all this too seriously. We need to remember to enjoy things.’
- Week 7: Mindfulness of Other People. Most of your life is about other people. This week you’ll be exploring your relationships to other people and how mindful you are of them.‘Mindfulness of others means making a conscious effort to see things from other peoples point of view. It is an act of imaginative sympathy. If we become aware of another person as a person, we will find that feelings of concern and appreciation naturally arise.’
- Week 8: Mindfulness of Reality. The goal of mindfulness in the Buddhist Tradition is a life-changing transcendental insight into how things really are.‘Buddhism affirms the existence of a wholly new way of perceiving. It is completely different from our everyday mind. This new dimension is not ‘me’. It is not even ‘me’ ina very good state of mind – it goes beyond ‘me’ altogether. But it is not God, or union with the Absolute, or oneness with nature. It is something else – beyond the duality of science and religion.’
The Life with Full Attention App
Life with Full Attention has been found to be so successful and helpful that we have developed an app to help guide participants through their weekly mindfulness ‘home practice’. The app includes a brief reminder of each week’s mindfulness theme, followed by led exercises. It will guide you in your ‘mindful walk’, it will take you through your daily meditation, it will lead you in the ‘three-minute breathing space’, and you can listen to a poem to inspire you each week. We’ll be encouraging you to use the app to get the most out of being on the course.
WhatsApp Group – Connect and Share
This year, the course will be running simultaneously with Triratna Centre’s in Berlin, Barcelona, and New York as well online from the London Buddhist Centre where Maitreyabandhu will be teaching from. We really want everyone to feel, wherever they are, that they are taking part in the same course. So we’ll be offering an WhatsApp group that will introduce the leaders, help each participant to stay connected, and help us all to share our experience.
What we’ll be asking from you
- Come every week – whether you feel like it or not. If you look for motivation before you do something, you reverse your motivation; mostly you only want to do something when you’re actually doing it.
- Come early – so that you are ontime and we are not holding up other people waiting for you.
- If are going to miss a class – email the group leader so we know and can let others know. And do come back the following week. Don’t feel guilty for not having attended, justcome back and start again.
- Put aside some time to read the book – think of it as an 8-week crash-course in learning and practicing mindfulness.
- Do your ‘home practice’ every day – then each week you’ll be in a small group to check in about how that went.
Throughout the course we will have direct teaching input from Maitreyabandhu. We will join him online for a 45 minute teaching slot each week presenting key teaching points and guiding meditations.
The remainder of the Barcelona class will be led by Sugarbha, an experienced member of the Triratna Buddhist Order based in Barcelona. We will have time to meditate, discuss home practice in small groups and explore the content of Maitreyabandhu’s teaching.
Maitreyabandhu is a senior teacher at the London Buddhist Centre, he has been ordained for 33 years and has written 3 books on Buddhism.
Note: Although this is an online course we will offer two short day retreats during the 8 weeks. The days will be on a Sunday from 10:15h to 15:00h and will take place in the Triratna Buddhist Centre in Barcelona. The Sunday slots are not compulsary to joining the course. We will arrange these dates after the course starts.
RESERVE YOUR PLACE ON THE COURSE
Price: 100€ full price or 75€ low income
Place: Online using Zoom
Dates: Each Tuesday night for 8 weeks starting on the 20th of February
Times: 19:30 to 21:30 CET