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May 2017

A Three Week Online Course with Stephan Bodian

Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ 9:00am-11:00am (Pacific Time) - Saturday & Wednesday, May 6 to 24
Online Retreat,
Web Video Meetings - (phone access also available)
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Dancing on the Razor’s Edge:
Realizing Our Inherent Perfection,
Embracing Our Imperfect Humanness

"We're constantly losing our balance
against a background of perfect balance."
"You're perfect the way you are--and you can use a little improvement."

~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

At the absolute level, everything is perfect and complete just as it is. There's nothing to realize, nothing to do, nothing to improve--this is it! At the relative level, as one Zen master said on his deathbed, with utmost honesty, serenity, and a dose of humor, my life has been an endless series of mistakes.

True awakening involves embracing both levels-- pristine, radiant perfection and messy, imperfect humanness-- without trying to impose one on the other, yet at the same time holding the aspiration to bring this unconditional embrace to every moment of life. Welcome to the paradoxical path of embodied awakening!

This three-week online retreat combines the perspective of awakened awareness with the insights of Western psychology to help us explore the razor’s edge where inherent perfection expresses itself through this particular, imperfect body and mind. Though there will be no pre-established agenda, we will inevitably deal with some or all of the following themes.

  • Recognizing the impersonal nature of thoughts and feelings, rather than constructing a self out of them
  • Welcoming stuck places, habitual patterns, and difficult emotions like fear, rage, and shame with compassionate, nonjudgmental attention
  • Allowing awakened awareness to flower as love and compassion—especially toward yourself
  • Bringing your awakening into the realm of work and intimate relationships
  • Finding the deepest authenticity by being willing to tell the truth at every level
  • Embracing the paradox of being no one and nothing, yet awakening each day in this particular body and mind, with these preferences, patterns, and personality
  • Surrendering to the flow of life as it is, without argument or resistance
  • And any questions, insights, and experiences that you bring to bear

Each session will include teachings, guided and silent meditations,
and plenty of time for dialogue and discussion.

This online course format is a powerful container that allows for deeper work with the consistency and support of a teacher and community — without the normal cost and logistics that an on location retreat entails. It also provides the unique opportunity to be opening and exploring deeply in integration with living your daily life. You will be held in the container of the meetings and the small groups and by email support if necessary by Open Circle facilitators.

~~

Stephan Bodian has been teaching meditation and spiritual awakening for more than 40 years. Trained for a decade as a Zen Buddhist monk and licensed as a psychotherapist, he has been a pioneer in the integration of Eastern wisdom and Western psychology and in the embodiment of awakened awareness in everyday life. He spent 10 years studying Advaita Vedanta with Jean Klein and in 2001 received Dharma transmission (authorization to teach) from Adyashanti, in a lineage dating back to the historical Buddha. Stephan is the bestselling author of Meditation for Dummies, and the featured presenter on the PBS special Meditation for All of Us.

For a taste of Stephan's teaching and the upcoming retreat check out Stephan's web page at stephanbodian.org and click here for video of his April 15th online satsang, No Place to Hide

This Three Week Online Course will consist of:

  • Six 2 hour meetings - On Wed and Saturday Mornings Pacific Time
  • Three small group meetings with fellow participants and Open Circle facilitator
  • Homework explorations
  • Audio and Video Recordings of all six meetings

Meeting Dates USA & Europe:

May
Saturdays: 6, 13, 20
Wednesday: 10, 17, 24
Time: 9:00am – 11:00am Pacific Time (San Francisco, CA USA)

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Price:

Early Bird Price: $175 extended to April 29th
After April 29th: $195

Some partial scholarships available.

Registration Closes May 6th at 8am Pacific Time

For questions contact
onlineretreat@opencirclecenter.org

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Richard Miller ~ The Ultimate Cure: Awakening to Essential Nature through Welcoming Opposites

Sunday, May 7, 2017 @ 10am-12noon (Pacific Time)
Worldwide Web Event,
Online Video Meeting - (phone access also available)
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10 am to 12 noon (Pacific Time - San Francisco, CA, USA)

Beliefs that have been programmed into us—through family, culture, genetics, and personal experiences—keep us bound to suffering, separation, isolation, and aloneness. Nourishing the felt-experience of nondual being, while welcoming opposites of core beliefs, fosters an inner environment that empowers us to heal core wounds that otherwise bind our attention, and enables us to glimpse our underlying Essential Nature—that which lies beyond all beliefs of suffering and separation.

Join Richard for an experiential exploration of research informed self-inquiries that take us beyond our core beliefs so that we can experience the ultimate cure that enables us to truly live the awakened and authentic life we were designed to be living.

Richard C. Miller, PhD, is a spiritual teacher, yogic scholar, clinical psychologist, and researcher who has devoted his life to integrating western psychology and neuroscience with the ancient wisdom teachings of Yoga, Advaita, Taoism, and Buddhism. Richard is founding president of the Integrative Restoration Institute, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and founding past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology. Author of iRest Meditation, Yoga Nidra, The Meditative Heart of Yoga and The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, Richard serves as a consultant researching the Integrative Restoration ~ iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation protocol he’s developed, studying its efficacy on health, healing, and well-being. Grounded in over 30 studies, the US Army Surgeon General and the Defense Centers of Excellence have recognized iRest Meditation as a complimentary program for healing chronic pain and PTSD, and restoring resiliency and well-being. Richard leads international trainings and meditation retreats on the integration of enlightened living into daily life.

For information visit www.irest.us
Suggested donation: $10 to $15

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Neelam ~ Freedom in Every Moment – What does it mean to Be Here?

Sunday, May 14, 2017 @ 10am-12noon (Pacific Time)
Worldwide Tele-satsang,
Meetings by phone or internet access (audio only)
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A TeleSatsang with Neelam
10 am to 12 noon (Pacific Time - San Francisco, CA, USA)

"Awakening is a shift from identifying yourself as this body to knowing yourself as Presence.

Freedom means a true independence from the past -where our ability to Be Here and the action in the moment is not guided by our attachment to.the arising past .

To truly be Free we need to Embody our recognition of Presence and that requires growing of the capacity of our nervous system to Be Here"

"It is in the meeting of what arises that we find true and lasting freedom."

A TeleSatsang with Neelam is an opportunity to explore a particular topic and get Neelam’s direct guidance on any related questions that arise for you. You’ll gain a deeper peace by engaging in Neelam’s inquiry process and come away with clear discrimination and a better understanding of how to deal with these issues in real life situations.

Neelam is a direct disciple of HWL Poonja, Papaji, whose teacher was Ramana Maharishi. Her unequivocal commitment to Truth helps us turn inward and release underlying patterns of conditioning which block the recognition of our True Nature. With the utmost tenderness while helping us to address all aspects of daily living, including past conditioning and trauma, she invites us into the same recognition of Truth that her teacher, Papaji, transmitted to her.

www.neelam.org
Suggested donation: $10 to $15

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Jeannie Zandi ~ Resting and Relating

Sunday, May 21, 2017 @ 10am-12noon (Pacific Time)
Worldwide Web Event,
Online Video Meeting - (phone access also available)
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10 am to 12 noon (Pacific Time - San Francisco, CA, USA)

Join Jeannie and friends for an exploration into resting in Being and relating to others. Jeannie’s gift for inviting people to join her in resting and rooted presence evokes a deep meeting with oneself and reality. Within that, Jeannie’s humor and iconoclasm serve to bring people into an understanding that is beyond the intellectual. Through silent and guided meditation, a spontaneous talk and exchange with participants, Jeannie will host a space of clarity and warmth where the richness of relating can be explored safely and your innermost questions met fully. Come join us!

Jeannie is the director of Living as Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeding a culture of the Heart on the planet, inspiring, teaching and supporting people to live from their essence as Love. A year before the birth of her daughter, Jeannie was plunged into a dark night of the soul that culminated in a radical shift of consciousness. She is known for her fearless clarity, tender mercy toward humanness, and a juicy, poetic and often humorous style that draws from Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Christian mysticism and the ongoing revelation of fully engaged living. Residing in Colorado, she travels widely in the US and Canada, bringing a down-to-earth embodied teaching of living as love.

www.jeanniezandi.com

Suggested donation: $10 to $15

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Pamela Wilson ~ Rest as Yourself

Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 10:00am-11:45am (Pacific Time)
Worldwide Tele-satsang,
Meetings by phone or internet access (audio only)
Pamela Wilson_2013

Pamela evokes through dialogue, inquiry and her very presence the qualities of unconditional love and radical acceptance. She is celebrated for her ability to open the heart and create a space in which long-cherished struggles and notions about one's identity relax. Featured in the book Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdom, Pamela is at her best in heart-felt dialogue, so please join us and bring your questions!

"Every thought, every feeling, is a visitor. You just say: Welcome. Come in and sit with me."
"There is a notion that we left paradise a long time ago. But this secret garden was the Heart, always here, just waiting for our return."
"Love is a magician. Everything it touches turns into itself."

Suggested donation: $10 to $15

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Ellen Emmet ~ The Awakening Body

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 10:00am-11:30am (Pacific Time)
Worldwide Web Event,
Online Video Meeting - (phone access also available)
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Time shown is Pacific Time (San Francisco, CA, USA) Time Zone Converter

In our daily lives, the body is seldom tasted as it is. We rarely listen to its language or allow it to simply unfold and blossom in its natural original intelligence and to discover its real essence.

In fact we have deeply disconnected from this level of experience. Even when we turn back towards the body, we come with agendas and ideas that we project upon it, forcing the body into yet another mode. This only perpetuates a felt identification with a body, that may seem improved, but in fact remains a mere projections for the separate limited self that seems to live in its center.

Using guided meditation, simple postures, free movements, breathing, and visualizations we will reestablish our true identity as ever-present and unlocated Awareness and reacquaint ourselves with our body directly, as free of concepts or images as possible. In this contemplation, resistances and chains of bodily contractions, the habits that create the illusion that our identity is limited, located and separate are revealed for what they are: feelings and sensations that rise and unfold in Awareness. We come to feel our true identity as an open field of tactile openness, limitless, vibrating and ever-present in which the body can rise out of and return to moment by moment.

Please sit comfortably on a chair or on a cushion in as comfortable and alert a position as possible with some space all around you.
There will be time for questions and sharing.

Ellen started to teach after studying for many years with her teacher Francis Lucille. She is also a licensed transpersonal psychotherapist with a background in movement, dance and somatic therapies.

www.ellenemmet.com

Suggested donation: $10 to $15

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