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Claiming Agency for Our Own Awakening


  • Phuntsok Choling Ward, CO (map)

Claiming Agency for Our Own Awakening

One of the most powerful qualities of the Buddhist teachings is that we are asked to honor our own discerning intelligence. Often times when we enter the path we misunderstand this and abdicate our sense of agency. We expect the Dharma or the teacher to “do it” for us. This is not a happy situation for both student and teacher. Nowadays, talking about the teacher-student relationship in the context of a spiritual path often feels a bit like opening a can of worms. Many questions can arise: does a practice of devotion mean that you have to give up your discerning intelligence? What is the function of such a relationship and how does it work? What are the commitments, rewards, and challenges that arise in such a relationship?

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In this two-day gathering, Elizabeth will guide participants through an investigation of what it means to be a student. She will lead discussions about how a student’s eagerness to learn and evolve can be fulfilled by having a healthy and realistic relationship with a qualified teacher. And she will talk about the profound approach the Buddhist tradition, in particular the Vajrayana, where one ultimately learns to see everything in one’s experience as the teacher.