Because I’ve spent most of my life doing and not necessarily “being”, this is a seismic shift in my approach to living – and the benefits are profound… Being able to just be with the things that I struggle with is another level of self-care that I haven’t ever experienced before.
Because my own practice is deepening, it comes into how I teach. Last weekend I did a workshop on cultivating compassion and I could really feel the depth of my own practice supporting how I was able to hold the space.
I’ve gained more understanding in relationships with my clients and a lot more compassion for the nurses and nursing aides I work with. I’m able to see what they have to deal with and understand a lot better where they’re coming from.
I find that there is a settling that is noticeable after a few months in the 3 Doors. I am able to trust that just being there is helpful, without the pressure to make the right interpretation and say the right thing. Something is different in me. It is more enjoyable.
Our first Wednesday class, September 27, 2017, introduces the three doors of body, speech, and mind: stillness, silence, and spaciousness. Through drawing your attention inward and resting your attention on these doors you can find a sense of inner refuge that has qualities of spaciousness, awareness, and warmth. Becoming familiar with this refuge is the foundation of our training, and your capacity to abide within it is deepened and strengthened in all subsequent retreats. We introduce the informal practice of the Three Precious Pills. Recommended reading is the first half of Awakening the Luminous Mind.
The second Wednesday class, October 25, 2017, builds on the foundation of inner refuge and focuses on the fundamental ways our recognition of the inner refuge is obscured: through aversion, attachment, and ignorance. We reflect on our awareness of these patterns in our life and introduce the practice of the Nine Breathings of Purification (practice of channels and winds) to release these patterns and support a relationship with the sacred body. The source book for these teachings is the first section of Tenzin Wangyal’s Awakening the Sacred Body.
The third Wednesday class on November 29, 2017, introduces the chakra system of the body and continues to explore the principle of inner winds that hold habitual patterns and obscure our recognition of our natural mind, source of compassion and positive qualities. Through the practice of Tsa Lung (yogas of breath and movement) we increase our awareness of the subtle energy centers in order to clear habitual patterns and connect to openness, supporting us to be able to live life and respond to others in a more authentic way. The source book: Awakening the Sacred Body.
The fourth Wednesday class on December 20, 2017, explores the dimension of speech. We engage the power of sound and silence through the meditation practice of the Five Warrior Syllables. We will pay particular attention to the way we experience sound to help clear obstacles that prevent us from being fully present and to support the emergence of positive qualities such as the warmth of well-being and compassion for self and others. The book Tibetan Sound Healing will be referenced.
The fifth class, Wednesday January 24, 2018, focuses on personal reflection and identifying patterns of habitual response and obstacles to compassion in relation to oneself. We discuss pain body/identity, pain speech, and pain mind. We explore becoming conscious of these limiting experiences of self and hosting these patterns while abiding in open awareness and through using the nine breathings, tsa lung, and the five warrior syllable practices. We explore how pain becomes our path to compassion, and particularly self-compassion. One important aspect of your journey in the Compassion Project is the completion of nine transformations, three in each of three areas of your life: your relationship to yourself, your relationships with family and close friends, and your relationship to your professional life and community. In retreat number five, we focus on the first area, relation to self. Throughout the next month, using formal and informal practices of the 3 Doors methods, you will be asked to articulate the progression of your practice, reflecting on your obstacles to compassion and any shifts or changes you experience as you bring challenges into practice. We provide a four-step template for this process.
The sixth class, Wednesday February 21, 2018, increases familiarity with the transformative power of our practices. We now focus on being present to family pain and challenges in our close relationships. We reflect on the presence or absence of compassion in those relationships, hosting the collective relationship and family pain body as it lives in us. As we connect with its dissolution, we open to the warmth that emerges. This month we identify three pain identities in this area, bring them to practice, and articulate the process through the four-step template.
On the seventh class, Wednesday March 21, 2018, we focus our reflection and practice on our professional lives and on institutional and societal pain as it lives in us. We look at our relationship to organizations, to media, to information about the collective, and to the visions that we carry of this larger sense of “other.” We recognize our pain body, speech, and mind and practice with this pain as an opportunity or door, exploring how to bring pain to the path and to experience compassion. This month we identify three pain identities in this area of work and society, bring them to practice, and articulate the process through the four-step template.
Sunday, March 25, 2018 is a day of group retreat consisting of three 3-hour sessions of practice throughout the day, deepening our relationship with the practices. The meditation sessions will be guided and there will be opportunity to share experiences that come up. Meditation Intensive Schedule: 7 am – 10 am; 10:30 am – 1:30 pm 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm EST. (Two of the three sessions are encouraged/required; attending an additional session is optional.)
In our eighth class, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, we articulate the process of hosting the pain body, speech and mind as we encounter this within our relation to self, family, or institution or group. Choosing one pain identity to stay with for this class, we engage the practice of stillness, silence, and spaciousness to experience the pain and allow it fully. We acknowledge the support of group practice to host our pain with openness, awareness, and warmth, and to be present to its dissolution, recognizing a fresh and new space once occupied by pain. It is the recognition of openness—wisdom—which allows for the emergence of the healing quality—compassion. We explore the power of intention in our meditation practice as we engage the phrase: “In liberating my own being may I benefit others.”
On the ninth and final Wednesday class, May 23, 2018, we review the principles of the path of The 3 Doors Compassion Project. We review the basic concepts of the three doors, what the doors access in terms of the inner refuge, what is pain identity, pain speech, and pain imagination, and how pain becomes the path to liberation. We give opportunity to express the fruits of our experiences through our nine month journey. We end by dedicating the merits of our time together, including loved ones and colleagues who are injured, ill, oppressed or forgotten, or who have recently died by bringing them to mind and hosting them in our practice in the warmth of compassion.
TEACHERS: Marcy Vaughn and Gabriel Rocco
LIVE ONLINE DATES/TIMES:
- Teachings are presented once a month on Wednesdays from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm EST. Sept. 27, 2017, October 25, 2017, November 29, 2017, December 20, 2017, January 24, 2018, February 21, 2018, March 21, 2018, April 25, 2018, and May 23, 2018. Each LIVE video class is recorded.
- Full Day Practice Retreat on March 25, 2018. Attend at least two of the three 3-hour sessions offered: 7 am – 10 am; 10:30 am – 1:30 pm; 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm EST.
- Small Group Sessions (of up to 8 people) meet twice a month for nine months. Choose times that are convenient for you. The small group sessions are not recorded.
RECORDED TEACHINGS: Supplemental teaching videos and guided meditations are posted each month and available to stream or download.
PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP – INTERNATIONAL COMPASSION PROJECT COMMUNITY: A Facebook private group provides the opportunity for participants to share experiences and ask questions of the teachers at any time. Information is kept strictly confidential among participants.
COST: $1450.00. Early bird discount of $1395 available until Aug.15. (Represents a monthly investment of $155. You may choose to pay the entire fee or automatic monthly payments at the time of registration.)
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Health care professionals, educators, therapists, caregivers, or anyone who is motivated by compassion.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION: Participants will receive a 3 Doors Compassion Project certificate of completion.