ORIGINAL LOVE

Fall 2021 Program

Original Love is a new approach to the ancient path of meditation.

Original Love – our awakened nature – suffuses all experience, and is present in every step of the path of practice. So rather than striving for some way of being that isn’t currently present, here we let ourselves be as we are. We don’t strive for anything different. We learn to rest in the way things are, and let this rest show us that we already have what we need.

Henry Shukman

This online training program will be taught live by Mountain Cloud’s guiding teacher, Henry Shukman. It seeks to ground us in four main areas of growth that meditation can help with:

  • We tend to our suffering, through wise compassion
  • We move beyond meditation as an individual pursuit and open to trusting in a wider field of support
  • We slip into the awe of flow states and the beauty of this moment
  • We nourish our readiness to awaken to “original” love

The course this Fall will significantly expand the Original Love concepts and practices introduced during our earlier programs. If you took the summer course, for example, your understanding will be enhanced and your practice will deepen.  For those of you new to Original Love, this is a great place to start, and will help you deepen your practice, no matter what your background in meditation. In fact, it’s a feature of this program that we can enter it at any point, and it will always meet us where we are. 

Original Love helps us to love meditation, and to grow through that love. It teaches us:

  • the importance of self-love
  • to trust the support available to us in the here and now
  • to taste the wonder of meditative flow and fall in love with the moment
  • to prepare for letting go of self and awakening to boundless love

Dates and Times

Eight week course: Sunday mornings, 10am-Noon MT,
beginning October 3-November 21

Weekend retreat: Saturday and Sunday November 27-28,
9am-3pm MT each day

Cost
Eight week course: $225
Weekend retreat only: $175
Eight week course + Weekend retreat: $375

You can take the eight-week course, the weekend retreat, or both.  You can also register once the course has started and receive video recordings of any classes you may have missed.

For those of you in different time zones – the course/series is being recorded and you will have access to each recording within a day or two of the event. All of Original Love is online. You will receive a zoom link when you register. 

REGISTER HERE

Original Love eight week course description

This Fall’s course is an introduction to the whole sweep of the path of meditation covered by Original Love. It teaches us how to settle down; to make space for the difficulties and challenges that commonly arise in meditation, and learn to enjoy it; to open up to different kinds of support; to relax and come home; to feel into our body experience more; to start to become absorbed in the present moment in peaceful and deep states of meditative absorption; and to begin to taste the wonders of awakening.

Sessions will be two hours long and will include:

  • Guided meditations
  • Talks
  • Q&A
  • Breakout discussion groups (voluntary)

Recordings will be available a few days after each class for all participants, including people who can’t make it live.

Additional support will include:

  • New supplemental videos of guided meditation practice for each “zone” will be emailed to each participant between classes.

Here is how it breaks down week by week…

Sundays October 3 and 10

These two classes will cover the first “zone” of practice – mindfulness. We tend to pull away from our unease and discomfort. Meditation can teach us instead to turn toward it, and allow it. By making space for it and welcoming it, we start to taste greater love for ourselves, and grow in our enjoyment of sitting. We will be covering:

  • What is mindfulness
  • Awareness of sense experience here and now
  • Coming home to the body
  • What blocks or hinders mindful awareness
  • Getting caught by thoughts and feelings so we are no longer present
  • Learning to love our feelings and emotions
  • Developing more self-love in the moment

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Getting grounded in the body
  • Noting and labeling
  • Allowing and welcoming
  • Parsing out sense-experience

 

Sundays October 17 and 24

These two weeks will cover the second “zone” of practice – support. Support is essential to growing in our practice, and it comes in many forms. Guidance, community, families, ancestors, friends, the incidents of daily life, our breath in each moment — all of them may be turned to as forms of support, and can benefit and amplify our practice, as we learn to open and trust the support that is always with us, in some form or other.

Henry will be discussing how various forms of support are vital for progress towards both healing and awakening. Specific practices and discussion points will include:

  • Understanding the role of support in practice
  • Dismantling the notion of meditation as a solitary pursuit
  • Exploring the limits of our trust in support
  • Learning to recognize and welcome physical support — such as warmth, breath, the seat beneath us, our posture, and the body itself
  • Understanding guidance and community as forms of loving support
  • Learning to taste love in the here and now as we sit.
  • Relaxing into the loving support that is available to us, even when we don’t recognise it.

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Receiving the breath as support
  • Becoming aware of the skeletal structure as intrinsic support
  • Getting to know bodily warmth as an element of support
  • Tasting support as love
  • Opening to non-material forms of support

Sundays October 31 and November 7

These two classes  will explore the third “zone” of practice – meditative absorption. Henry will be discussing how meditation can help us experience flow states while sitting. There are various flavors of “samadhi” that can arise in our sitting, and we’ll explore why these can be so helpful for healing and the path towards awakening. Specific practices and pointers will include:

  • Becoming absorbed by sensations
  • Opening to the whole sense-field of the body
  • The importance of framing and concepts that can help deepen meditation
  • Understanding the characteristics of flow and samadhi
  • Falling in love with the present moment
  • Becoming more open to the beauty of practice and life
  • Finding deeper happiness and love in just being

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Exploring the boundary between self and world
  • Discovering space within the body
  • Opening to space around the body
  • Exploring the boundaries of awareness
  • Tasting boundless love

Sundays, November 14 and 21

The final two classes in this series  turn to Awakening, a more radical shift in experience that the prior forms of practice help to prepare us for. Even though it is always here with us, Awakening can be elusive and kind of hard to apprehend. But there are ways to begin to catch glimpses of the vast ease and love it offers. Specific practices and pointers will include:

  • Understanding what awakening is
  • Exploring different faces of awakening
  • How awakening helps us and may shift our life priorities
  • Koan practice and awakening
  • Integrating awakening in daily life
  • Allowing boundless “original” love to infiltrate our experience
  • Becoming more effective in our service
  • Healing the wounds of the world

Methods and techniques taught:

  • Opening and expanding awareness
  • Falling back into the broader field of sense experience
  • Glimpsing nondual awareness
  • Tasting the infinite embrace of original love
  • A taste of practicing with koans

Original Love Weekend Retreat / Workshop
November 27-28

This weekend will bring together everything explored in the previous eight weeks in a comprehensive approach to healing, and awakening. We will have more time during this weekend to taste the infinite embrace of original love in many of its forms –  experiencing the supportive sense-field of your body, cultivating self-love, tapping into flow and samadhi states, opening to space within and outside the physical body.

This compassionate and accessible new approach to meditation, inspired by Zen, mindfulness and other practices, opens our hearts to living life more fully and for real, as we follow the gentle, natural path of meditation, made simple and easy when we integrate and live the four zones of practice: mindfulness, support, meditation absorption and awakening

If you have any questions, please contact Jeremy. We’re happy to answer any questions and look forward to having you join us!

To awaken, liberate and protect all beings.

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