This retreat will be offered fully online and is open to both FCM members and nonmembers. It is open to practitioners at any level but is especially recommended for those participating in the current Dharma Path Intensive, Deconstructing the Myth of Self.
For most of us, it certainly feels like there is a “me” or a “self” in this body and mind, doing this, thinking that. As long as we continue to believe in this solid, real me, we will suffer in all kinds of ways as we struggle to protect and aggrandize this “self.”
The Buddha taught that everything we think of as I/me/self is a function of how we experience life through our body and mind, which he called the five Aggregates (also called heaps or skandhas). Put another way, what we consider to be an individual is essentially a process of the Aggregates, which include
- Form – Our actual experience of contact with a sense object
- Feeling tone – The immediate feeling of pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral which – without mindfulness – is the root of our reactivity and suffering
- Perception – The labeling or recognition of the form that we are contacting. It is our misperception of forms (particularly our “selves”) as permanent and solid that is behind our delusion of self and separation
- Mental formations (e.g. thoughts, memories, emotions, volition) - The ephemeral arisings of the mind that we cling to and reify
- Consciousness – The attention we bring to any given situation that brings it into our experience, and this sense that there is some one who everything is happening to.
Without understanding and careful mindfulness, these Aggregates work together and subtly create the sense of a self, or an I, that we cling to. The Buddha taught that this sense of self is illusory and is at the root of our suffering. When we understand and see the true nature of the Aggregates – impermanent and non-solid – we will stop clinging to these Aggregates and the belief in a self, and will find true ease of mind and freedom.
In this weekend retreat, we will explore how we mistakenly take the experience of the Aggregates to be ourselves. Angie Parrish will share teachings and practices to help us move beyond the ‘theory’ of the Aggregates such that we can apply the teachings in a practical way in our lives.
The retreat will begin Friday evening, October 15 and end Sunday at noon, October 17. It will consist of a Friday evening session (7 pm to 9 pm), all-day Saturday (7 am to 9 pm), and a Sunday session (7 am to noon). The retreat will be conducted entirely on Zoom.
This retreat is open to both FCM members and non-members and is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about how to gain freedom from clinging to what we misperceive to be a self.
Retreat Scholarships are available; please click here to see FCM’s Retreat Scholarship Policy and for an Application, which needs to be submitted prior to the registration deadline for this retreat. The teachings are offered in the Buddhist tradition of Dana, wherein the teachers freely give of themselves to the students out of gratitude for what they’ve received from their teachers and a desire to be of service. The student’s response is also based on Dana, i.e. generosity that naturally flows from a sense of appreciation of the value of Dharma and gratitude to the living lineage. All retreat dana will go towards supporting the programs that FCM offers.
The retreat registrar will be sending additional information to registrants before the retreat, including daily schedules, Zoom instructions and suggestions to help prepare you for a meaningful retreat experience from your home.
The last day to register for this retreat is October 13th.
Angie Parrish will be leading this retreat. Angie has been a student of Buddhism and mindfulness for over 20 years. After a 1999 retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, she became a student of Fred Eppsteiner's and a member of the Florida Community of Mindfulness. Angie brought the fruits of her experience in mindfulness and meditation into her professional career as an employee benefits consultant for a wide variety of organizations, including developing many employee training programs. Angie is a qualified teacher of MBSR and is a frequent teacher of classes and other programs at the FCM Tampa Center.
For more information, please contact Angie at email@example.com.