TEACHER: Jeff Warren and Avi
THEME: Devotion 4: Ye Gods!
MEDITATION: Deity Yoga
GROUP PRACTICE: Inter-Personal Adventure
Psyched to welcome my new friend Avi Craimer, a smart and rigorous Toronto-based meditation teacher with an interest in the devotional side of practice. This is rare in the West, where there is much more emphasis on dry “attentional skill” training. Check out Avi’s fascinating article on five flavours of “bhakti” or devotional love. He carefully charts how devotion-minded practitioners slowly evolve their relationship with God, that is, with reality personified as a divine Other. For the group practice, Avi will guide us in an inter-personal adventure, as we experiment with reframing how we experience each other – not as random schmucks, but as candy-haloed Happyland Olympians. Then we’ll scream AC/DC songs at each other.
This is one of the Dalai Lama’s go to practices. Involves merging with some desired attribute (patience, compassion, etc), or representative of that attribute, until you become the very thing. Speaks to the amazing plasticity of the self-identificatiion process – Tibetan practices in particular help us see that, in a way, we are our own works of art.