Tibetan Essence Meditations:
A Pointing-Out Style Retreat
A Non-residential Weekend Retreat with
Susan Mickel, MD, PhD
The simplicity, peace, and power of our true nature are ordinarily clouded over by our habitual patterns of thought and emotion. Our true nature is never separate from us, but always right here, and recognition of it is available to us at any moment. The Buddhist path for cultivating the conditions for recognition and stabilization of this awareness is a science of the mind. This retreat will draw on teachings from the Indo-Tibetan essence traditions of Mahamudra and Dzogchen with Theravada teachings as a strong basis.
Weekend Retreat Format:
Friday, January 27
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, January 28
9:00 – 8:30 pm
Sunday, January 29
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
About this Retreat and the Pointing Out Way
Recognition, and cultivation of dwelling in the innate love/compassion/wisdom awareness that is our true nature is the heart of meditation from the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist perspective. The simplicity, peace, and power of this true nature are ordinarily clouded over by our habitual patterns of thought and emotion. The true nature is never separate from us, but always right here, and recognition of it is available to us at any moment. The Buddhist path for cultivating the conditions for recognition and stabilization of this awareness is a science of the mind. This retreat will draw on teachings from the Indo-Tibetan essence traditions of Mahamudra and Dzogchen with Theravada teachings as a strong basis.
As clouds obscure the openness of the vast sky and the radiance of the sun, our habits of identifying with our personal experience tie us to a limited view of ourselves and others that perpetuates habitual patterns of thought and behavior. Using the stability of the mind developed by concentration, emptiness meditations help us to see how the mind constructs experience in a way that clouds over the open radiance of the mind’s true nature. Nonduality meditations help us further to set the conditions for the mind’s true nature to shine forth.
From the time of the earliest teaching by the Buddha himself, the emphasis was on individualized instruction, which can get lost when people are taught in large groups. That tradition was revitalized in 7th century India, the time of the 84 Mahasiddhas, the origin of the essence traditions as we receive them today. Using a manner of teaching adapted from that of Daniel Brown, PhD of Pointing Out the Great Way, this retreat will include active group discussion of meditation experience. The teacher offers detailed instructions for the series of meditations and their expected outcomes and the potential pitfalls, and students have an opportunity to clarify their experience and learn from each other.
Costs and The Practice of “Dana”
Weekend retreats at the Dharma Center have a 2-part “cost:” Because the teachings are considered priceless and are to be supported by Dana (a voluntary, anonymous offering of no specified amount) we ask that you make a Dana offering to the teacher, in gratitude and support of the teachings – as best fits your circumstances and brings you joy in giving.
Secondly, we ask a sliding-scale registration fee to cover the teacher’s expenses and the cost of putting on the retreat. Scholarships are always available and no one is ever turned away for lack of funds. We also have 4 spaces pre-paid for young adults who would like to sit this retreat. These options will be available among the choices when you click through to the Online Registration page.
For weekend retreats, we offer these choices and allow you to opt for the rate that best suits your circumstances:
Base Rate: $125
Student/Supportive Rate: $75
Sustaining Rate: $175
Friday, January 27
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Registration
7:00 – 9:00 pm Session One
Saturday, January 28
9:00 – 11:30 am Session Two
11:30 – 2:30 Lunch Break
2:30 – 5:00 pm Session Three
5:00 – 6:30 Dinner Break
6:30 – 8:30 Session Four
Sunday, January 29
9:00 – 11:30 am Session Five
11:30 – 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 – 4:00 Session Six and Close
During this weekend, please refrain from activities such as TV, Alcohol and other substances, unnecessary or disturbing speech and any other activity that you recognize as not helpful to maintaining continuity of practice. While this is not a residential retreat, you are asked to uphold a retreat container for yourself to support your deepening practice.
About the Teacher
Susan Mickel, MD, PhD has been meditating for over 25 years, first in the Christian tradition, then in the Burmese mindfulness (Vipassana/Insight) tradition, and since 2003 in the Tibetan Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions. She first taught Buddhist meditation in the Theravada tradition, and more recently taught with Pointing Out the Great Way for 11 years. Susan attended medical school and did her neurology residency at Emory University, followed by a fellowship in dementia and neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital and M.I.T. She worked as a behavioral neurologist and ran a memory disorders clinic for 25 years at a large nonprofit multispecialty clinic in central Wisconsin. In 2004 Susan returned to school for a clinical psychology PhD and she has since become a licensed clinical psychologist. Currently Susan’s major activity is a three-year Tibetan Nyingma Dzogchen meditation retreat, which she began in January 2015. Her current main teachers are Rahob Rinpoche Thubten Kalsang and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche.
Housing for Out-of-town participants may be available upon request. Please email us at info@BozemanDharmaCenter.org if you would like help arranging to stay with a local participant.
Please note: This calendar program automatically offers links to other events in the bottom corners of the page. These events may be from last year. Please check the dates very carefully if you access other listings via these arrows.