Intensives are a wonderful opportunity to deepen one's practice and broaden knowledge of Buddhist teachings and practice. Intensives are structured to include a commitment to daily practice, Dharma talks, mentoring in small groups, and specific readings. Some Intensives are aimed at beginning practitioners; others offer more advanced study. All support us in solidifying new habits of happiness and awareness in our lives.
Practitioners within the Florida Community of Mindfulness are laypersons who live in the world, and as such, have the usual responsibilities of work, family, and community involvements that limit capacity to attend extended retreats away from home. Thus, periods of Intensive practice, offered online and via Zoom, provide members with opportunities to deepen meditation practice, and enhance the quality of their lives without leaving home.
Intensives are typically offered in Winter/Spring (beginning in February), Summer (beginning in July) and Fall (beginning in October) and last for 8 to 12 weeks. Some Intensives involve a longer series, combining two or three periods. Each Intensive is designed to support one of FCM's Three Paths of Practice (Mindful Living Path, Dharma Path or Wisdom Path) and has an appropriate theme. (Please click here for an overview of the Three Paths of Practice at FCM.) The Mindful Living Path topics rotate every two years and the Dharma Path topics rotate every three years.
Mindful Living Path (MLP) Intensives
Mindful Living Path Intensives provide the foundational practices of mindfulness, emotional healing and transformation. Even long-term practitioners of Dharma find the MLP Intensives beneficial for renewing and strengthening practice, deepening the path of personal healing and transformation, and providing the strong foundations for further Dharma study and practice. There are two stages to the Mindful Living Path.
The first stage involves the foundational practices of calming and stabilizing the mind through consistent daily meditation practice, learning to bring mindfulness into everyday activities, and nourishing the wholesome qualities of mind such as loving kindness, generosity, ethical living, patience and compassion.
The second stage of the Mindful Living Path focuses on emotional healing and transformation and may involve uncovering and healing the emotional wounds that many of us have carried since childhood. Emotional healing within the context of our Intensives requires a grounding in mindfulness practice. That is why the MLP Emotional Healing Intensives (*starred below) have the prerequisite of one or more MLP Intensives so that members are ready for this work.
The MLP Intensives are listed below. Members generally spend two or more years participating in the MLP Intensives, before moving on to Dharma Path Intensives.
Dharma Path (DP) Intensives
Grounded in the foundational practices of the MLP Path, and with the aspiration for continued awakening, healing and transformation within the context of the teachings of the Buddha Dharma, FCM members are ready to participate in the Dharma Path Intensives. Three essential year-long Intensives are offered consistent with our Mahayana Buddhist aspiration to awaken and to be of benefit to others.
These three DP Intensives are a deep exploration into the Dharma teachings. Beginning in February each year, they are a full year of study and practice divided into three parts in Winter/Spring, Summer and Fall sessions. These three year-long Intensives are meant to be taken over and over again for deepening within the Path of Dharma Practice.
Wisdom Path (WP) Intensives
After a full grounding in practices within the Mindful Living Path and the Dharma Path and working with our teacher, experienced and longer-term members may be ready for the Wisdom Path. Wisdom Path Intensives support the path of meditation and direct realization of the nature of mind.
Please note: Because Intensives are part of a comprehensive development path of practice they are offered to FCM members only. (Please visit our membership page to learn how to become an FCM member.)