Awakening the Heart

Awakening the Heart

AN ONLINE COURSE WITH JAMES BARAZ

11 JUNE - 7 JULY, 2019

James Baraz has crafted this brand new course to support us in opening up to our own goodness, as well as to the beauty of life. 

Based on timeless Buddhist principles, as well as key findings in modern neuroscience, James guides us towards sustaining caring and compassion in the midst of increasingly challenging times.

The Buddha talked about the importance of cultivating and sustaining certain wholesome states, which if we practice long enough and deep enough, become the atmosphere in which we walk through the world.  

By awakening our hearts, opening them right up, we have the power to affect both ourselves and others in a profound way. 

With practical and accessible exercises and teachings unfolding over the course of a month, James takes us progressively deeper into the full spectrum of the awakened heart. 

We'll learn to love ourselves and extend our heart openings into relationships so that we can truly delight in the joy of others. And we'll explore how to freely express our capacity for compassionate action to those in need.  

In this way our own awakening heart becomes a gift to our troubled world.

This is the work of awakening our hearts. Join us as we practice and explore together.  

COURSE REGISTRATION

Price: $250

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Limited Scholarships available Click here for more information 


MODULE ONE  

The Spectrum of the Heart - Awakening Our Potential

In this first module, James helps us begin the process of awaking our hearts. This allows us to start to enjoy and delight in the beauty and the goodness of life.  

Rooted in teachings of the Buddha, as well as recent findings from modern neuroscience, James lays out the principles and direction for how to cultivate an open and awake heart.  

We are generally wired up to notice what can go wrong. It takes practice to change that default setting, but this is where the power of mindfulness enables deep transformation to occur.  

James reminds us of the Buddha's teaching, "Whatever the practitioner frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of their mind." In modern neuroscience the axiom that goes along with this is "neurons that fire together wire together."  

With specific practices, James supports us to change our default setting, and bring attention to the good. The more we start to incline the mind towards love, kindness, clarity and understanding, the heart can't help but open.  

And then our own goodness, love, compassion and peace can become a gift to this world.  


MODULE TWO  

Learning to Love Ourselves

Awakening the heart starts with opening to ourselves. In this module, James reminds us that we all have the capacity and potential to realize our true nature. 

Although it isn't always easy to see who we truly are, there are powerful practices that can help us see the goodness and beauty that is often covered up by our habits and beliefs.

James takes us through a sequence of practices that help us to:

  • see ourselves through the eyes of loving kindness
  • open to a state of forgiveness towards ourselves
  • understand ourselves with compassion
  • and love the whole package of who we are

We come to see that we are each beautiful and unique beings. And, at the same time, we see that we are also an expression of life living through this being, not separate from any other manifestation.

Seeing ourselves from this perspective offers the possibility of immense freedom.


MODULE THREE  

Awakening the Heart Towards Others  

“Love is essentially self communicative. Those who do not have it, catch it from those who do. True love is unconquerable and irresistible.” - Meher Baba  

In this module, James explores how our connections with others serve as as a way to expand the opening of the heart.  

We'll explore what is blocking our hearts, and how to heal these barriers to connection. 

James offers a collection of heart practices to gently guide us, utilising our felt sense as a way to deepen and embody the insights that arise.

The practices we will explore together include:  

  • The Heart of Forgiveness: the many levels, directions and benefactors it can include
  • Loving Kindness and Attachment: their subtle differences 
  • Depth of Loving Kindness: it’s breadth of practice and how to find our way in
  • The Joy Ride of Mudita: the aliveness we experience within the happiness of others  

This third module invites us to explore, with James as our expert guide, the ways in which the heart can gradually make space for all of life.  

 


MODULE FOUR  

Awakening the Heart with Compassionate Action

“Hatred never ceases by hatred. Hatred ceases by love alone. This is an ancient and eternal law” - The Buddha (Dhammapada, verse 5) 

In this final module on compassionate action, James shows us how we are wired up to care, to resonate with others when we sense their suffering. And how important it is to balance our caring heart with the calmness of equanimity so that we don't become overwhelmed.  

We are living through incredibly challenging times. How do we respond to the sorrow, anger, cruelty and greed that we see?  

James teaches that part of the practice of getting in touch with compassionate action is going underneath our reactions of negativity and outrage and anger, which are a natural part of being human, to the place where we care. It hurts so much because we care so deeply.  

The more we come from care and love the more we heal.

Finally, James encourages us to actually express our caring with compassionate action. There is a kind of relief from the anxiety that we feel when we bring our caring into the world.  

He challenges us to find our personal way to express our caring, rather than staying bottled up in feelings of despair and hopelessness.  

The joy of knowing we're making a difference in itself becomes contagious for others to want to do the same.  

In this way, the rippling effect of caring has tremendous power to impact the world. 

 


Course Details

Four Recorded Teachings

Filmed in high definition with teachings and experiential exercises to help you bring the practices into your daily life. Released each Tuesday, these teachings can be watched at your own pace throughout the week. Each recorded teaching is roughly 60 minutes.  

Guided Meditation

James provides guided meditations and practices that can be used as a support for grounding the teachings in direct experience.

Three Live Sessions of 60 minutes

This is a unique opportunity to connect with James live, ask questions, clarify your understanding and share what’s coming up for you in the course. Ask your questions on screen using your webcam, or via text. The power of being included and heard can offer great benefit in your journey with the course material.

Live Session Dates and Times

Dates: Interactive 1: Sunday 23 June Interactive 2: Sunday 30 June Interactive 3: Sunday 7 July

Times: 10:30am PT (LA), 1:30pm ET (NY), 6:30pm UK (London), 7:30pm EU (Paris)  

All live sessions will be recorded and made available for those who are not able to attend the live times.  

Online Forum

Join in a virtual online community where we can come together with other like minded souls who are learning and supporting each other as we practice.  


About James Baraz

James has been a meditation teacher since 1978. He leads retreats, workshops and classes in the United States and abroad.

James is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center where he continues to lead trainings and programs.

James has been leading the online course Awakening Joy since 2003. In recent years, he has been focusing on Dharma and Climate Change, and serves as an advisor to One Earth Sangha, a website devoted to Buddhist responses to Climate Change. 

His books include "Awakening Joy" (with Shoshana Alexander) and "Awakening Joy for Kids" (with Michele Lilyanna). 

James lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, Jane. He has two sons and three grandchildren.

COURSE REGISTRATION

Price: $250

Limited Scholarships available Click here for more information