Fall 2019 Weekend Self-Cultivation Workshops

  • DRBU’s Dean of Academics, Professor Martin Verhoven, has led a series of workshops on self-cultivation and spiritual practices since the beginning of this fall semester.
  • On September 7, DRBU organized the first Medicine Master Buddha Recitation Session in its history, using the new translation of the Sutra by the Buddhist Text Translation Society.
  • One-day Pure Land practice at Sudhana Center on 9/22.

DRBU is unique in that self-cultivation is a crucial aspect of its pedagogy; learning and self-transformation are intimately related. Since the beginning of this fall semester, our Dean of Academics, Professor Marty Verhoeven, led three workshops on self-cultivation and spiritual practices. The topics of these workshops included how to balance contemplative practice and work/study, and the essentials of recitation cultivation. On September 7, Bhikshuni Heng Chih, Bhikshuni Jin Xiang, and Bhikshuni Jin Deng led the first recitation of the Medicine Master Buddha Sutra in English in the history of DRBU, using the new translation of the sutra text. On September 22, at our downtown campus Sudhana Center, Bhikshu Jin Fo, from Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, and Bhikshu Jin Chuan led a one-day session on Chan (Zen) Meditation and Pure Land Practice. Under the guidance of the two Dharma masters, participants explored the meditation practice of Buddha recitation to stabilize the mind and return to the “Pure Land” in the here-and-now. DM Jin Chuan also gave two introductory talks on how Chan and Pure Land practices relate to one another. On September 28, a longtime meditator and teacher, Steven Tainer, came to DRBU and led a one-day meditation workshop through a short set of experiential investigations plus discussion, emphasizing four core Buddhist themes: mind-training (shamatha meditation), “not-self,” emptiness, and cultivation beyond “practice.” Discussion centered on how such training can support Buddhist ethics, and how the overall cultivation regimen can be taken into daily life. On October 5, we hosted an Intersubjective Meditation Workshop (T-Group 2.0) facilitated by Crystallin Dillon. This practice is essentially a marriage of mindfulness practice and deep communication, cultivating the qualities of self-awareness, presence, vulnerability and embodiment. In Intersubjective Meditation, these qualities are applied to the real-time process of communicating and relating with other people, creating the opportunity for deeper connection and transparency.