ONLINE • Summer Seminar I: Discovering the Path of Liberation, and II: Living Wisdom and Compassion
Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Noel McLellan, Holly Gayley and Loden Nyima
June 16–July 15, 2021
Track I: has been canceled; Track II: July 1 - July 15
Tuition - 400/550/750 per two-week track
The single focus of the Buddha’s teachings was showing living beings the path of liberation from suffering and reconnecting with our natural state of freedom. The profundity and sophistication with which the Buddha expressed this journey have given his teachings a timeless relevance, as deeply needed as ever as we grapple with the challenges of life in today’s world, and as we long to help.
The Summer Seminar engages this path as taught by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, whose approach emphasizes our innate basic goodness and the importance of fully embracing and working with our complete, direct, immediate experience as authentic human beings. Coming as we genuinely are as the basis, and taking the teachings to heart, we can discover the transformative meaning to which they point.
In this third year of hosting the Summer Seminar, there will be two tracks, described below. While you are welcome to register for both if you wish, our experience is that two weeks of online retreat tends to be a full and complete experience, and we expect most participants will choose one track or the other. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions in making this decision: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Seminar I: Discovering the Path of Liberation June 16 – June 30
Track 1 has been postponed until 2022.
Taught by Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown and Noel McLellan
This first track, “Discovering the Path of Liberation” focuses on the Hinayana or foundational teachings, the first phase of the Buddha’s teachings. We will study the life of the Buddha and trace his foundational insights into the nature of mind and emotions, patterns of karma, and the path to overcome suffering. These teachings help us establish a foundation as practitioners, befriending ourselves along with all of our suffering and confusion, and learning how to live a life of liberation and freedom. If you are seeking to strengthen these foundations, or are new to Buddhism and looking for an immersive introduction, this could be for you.
Summer Seminar II: Living Wisdom and Compassion July 1 – July 15
Taught by Gelong Loden Nyima and Holly Gayley
The track entitled “Living Wisdom and Compassion” focuses on the Mahayana teachings, oriented toward awakening for the benefit of all beings. Select topics are chosen each year, and practitioners are encouraged to return and continue the journey together. The principal topic of this year’s Seminar will be the teachings of “Lojong” or “Mind-Training.” These teachings show us how to tap into our innate wisdom and compassion in order to engage in personal and social transformation and to be of service in the world. Lojong also offers pragmatic instructions for living with compassion, courage, patience, and wisdom within the challenges of everyday life.
Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., has just retired as Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has taught since 1978. As Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970’s, she became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, and was empowered as an acharya (senior teacher) by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2000. Her teaching specialties are meditation practice, Shambhala teachings, Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism, and contemplative higher education. Her book, Dakini’s Warm Breath (Shambhala 2001), explores the feminine principle as it reveals itself in meditation practice and everyday life for women and men. She has also edited Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (SUNY 2011). She and her husband, Richard, have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Noel McLellan is a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition. He has been practicing meditation for over 30 years and has trained in Kyudo, Zen archery, and other contemplative practices. Noel is a middle and high-school teacher at the Shambhala School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he is the Dean of Mindfulness and Culture. He is the author of Teaching With Bravery: Meditation and Heart Advice for Teachers (www.noelmclellan.com ). Noel lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his two children, Gabriel and Esmé.
Holly Gayley is Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on Buddhist literature in contemporary Tibet with special attention to gender and ethics. She is author of Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (2016), co-editor of A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice from the Rimé Masters of Tibet (2017), and translator of Inseparable Across Lifetimes: The Lives and Love Letters of Namtrul Rinpoche and Khandro Tāre Lhamo (2019). As a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition, Holly regularly leads meditation workshops and retreats. https://hollygayley.org/
Gelong Loden Nyima is a fully ordained Buddhist monk. He lived at Gampo Abbey from 2009 – 2017 where he practiced intensively, completed Shedra studies, and served in various roles including as a Shastri. He now lives at Shambhala Mountain Center where he serves as Resident Teacher, as a founding faculty member for the Summer Seminar, Werma Assembly, and other programs. He spends a portion of each year in retreat, frequently travels to continue his own dharma education, and can often be seen jogging around the land at SMC.