Awakening the Five Wisdom Energies: The Practice of Maitri with Alexandra Shenpen: Registration for Full Paying Participants

Jenny Bondurant

October 22–29, 2010

Tuition $150 + 7 nights

The five wisdom energies, also known as the five Buddha families, are traditional Vajrayana Buddhist teachings on how we can transform neurosis into wisdom.

Created by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as a meditation practice for his Western students, Maitri Space Awareness practice involves practicing five postures in five rooms of different shapes and colors to evoke these energies. Manifesting as different personality types, in their wisdom aspect they are experienced as spaciousness, clarity, richness, passion, or skillful action, and in their confused aspects as dullness, anger, pride, grasping, or envy.

Working in the spacious and accommodating environment of Maitri, or loving kindness, one can begin to access the wisdom found at the heart of one’s most confused and difficult states of mind. We will practice meditation both individually and in groups. The weekend will include talks, discussions, and meditation instruction. Because it has 10 permanent rooms designed and constructed specifically for Maitri practice, Shambhala Mountain is uniquely positioned to offer this powerful retreat.

Besides bringing insight to one’s own psychology, this practice has been taught to psychologists and educators as a means of understanding how to work effectively with others. This program is open to meditation practitioners of all levels of experience.

Note to sadhakas: Many sadhakas find that integrating sadhana and Maitri practices enhances the potency of both. If you are interested in including your sadhana practice during the program there will be an opportunity for you to do your sadhana practice once each day on the second floor of the Great Stupa. Shambhala Mountain Center is blessed with unparalleled facilities for both sadhana and Maitri practitioners.

Alexandra MacKay Shenpen, Ph.D., Buddhist practitioner since 1978, has taught at Naropa University since 1987. She began maitri space awareness practice in 1981, and after completing 5 10-week retreats as a meditation instructor, led many monthlong retreats for NU, and shorter intensives in North America and Austria. A shambhala/dharma art teacher, immersed in the contemplative arts of brush and flowers, she has been an ikebana/kado instructor for 15 years. A mindfulness-based psychotherapist in private practice since 1985, she is devoted to the transformation of confusion into wisdom through understanding, befriending and developing ourselves.

Register below if you are able to pay full price to attend the program. If you are unable to pay full price return to the main program page.

Jenny Bondurant

Jenny Bondurant has been a dharma teacher for 30 years, both in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, and in the tradition of Anam Thubten from whom she received ordination as a teacher.  An adjunct faculty member in the Contemplative Psychology Department at Naropa University, she leads retreats on Maitri Space Awareness and working with the energy of the emotions.

Program Details

Financial aid is available for this program.