Deepening the Practice,
Exploring Consciousness

An Online Course
with Martine Batchelor

 

1-26 March, 2017

Join world renowned meditation teacher Martine Batchelor as she presents a deep and comprehensive examination of the nature of consciousness over the course of a month.

This course will include four hour-long classes, followed later in the week with a live video discussion with Martine. Each class will include a teaching on a particular aspect of consciousness, a guided meditation and exercises for integrating the practice in daily life.

The course will explore the five conditioning functions of consciousness, also known as the five omnipresent factors of consciousness or, technically, the five nama factors:

contact, feeling, perception, intention, and attention

and their relevance to mindfulness and meditation practice in daily life.

The Buddha said in an early sutta:

“When what exists does consciousness come to be? By what is consciousness conditioned?” Then, monks, through careful attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: “When there is name-and-form, consciousness comes to be; consciousness has name-and-form as its condition.”

In this quote, the Buddha posits that consciousness (Pali: vinnana) is an emergent property of name-and-form (Pali: namarupa). In the early Buddhist tradition it was used to refer to the material and mental conditions that generated consciousness.

“Form” (as in form and matter) refers to the material world that impacts the senses; “name” refers to the primary mental processes triggered by our moment-to-moment encounters with the world. “Name” is constituted by five elements—contact, feeling, perception, intention, and attention.

In this course Martine will show how beneficial it can be for one’s practice and one’s life to reflect and explore these five conscious potentialities in depth.

Martine’s 4 Week Course Includes

Four 60 minute teachings, including guided meditations

Filmed in high definition with only you in mind, having an intimate and personal feel that will keep you engaged as your body, mind and heart tune in.

Each module includes a teaching from Martine, a guided meditation exploring the particular aspect of consciousness that is being taught, and suggested exercises for exploring during the week. Released each Wednesday.

Four Live Sessions of 60 minutes

Every Sunday in March

This is your chance to connect with Martine 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 the process.

Online Forum

A virtual online sangha where you can come together with other like minded souls, learning and supporting each other.

Module 1: Contact (phassa)

1 March

In the first module Martine explores contact, which is the initial impact of the world on one of the six sense organs – eyes, nose, ears, body, mind, tongue.

It is so essential to be more mindful of contact because this is where things start to happen that can lead to suffering for ourselves and others.

Martine will explore the difference between grasping and creative engagement in the teaching. The guided meditation will be connected to mindfulness of listening and of physical sensations. The exercises in daily life will suggest mindfulness of what we see, smell, taste and think.

Module 2: Feeling tone (vedana)

8 March

In the second module Martine will define and study feeling tones, the experience of that previous impact as pleasurable, painful, or neutral. Martine will present in great detail feeling tones and their particular influence on our behavior, which she will connect to ethics.

The guided meditation will be mindfulness of the feeling tones as connected to the breath, the sounds, physical sensations and thoughts. In the suggested exercises there will be an exploration of timing in terms of our experience of the feeling tones.

Module 3: Perception (sanna)

15 March

In the third module Martine will examine perception: that which identifies the object as this object rather than that object by differentiation.

Martine will look at how feeling tones condition perception. She will also explore perception in terms of the way we interpret and give meaning to the world.

Martine will investigate the mis-perceptions we might have about ourselves and the way we experience ourselves and others.

Finally she will present Zen questioning meditation.

The guided meditation will be on meditating with the question: “What is this?”

Module 4: Intention (cetana=karma) and
Attention (manasikara)

22 March

“It is intention (cetana), monks, that I declare to be action (kamma). Having willed, one performs an action of body, speech or mind.”

[A. VI, 63, p. 173] The fourth module will cover intention and attention. Intention being the movement toward and engagement with the world (but also recoiling and disengaging from it). It is connected to making moral choices and acting on them.

In this context we will look at the power of setting an intention with the help of a caring and careful mindfulness. Martine will also look at the idea of karma and its connection to intention in early Buddhist texts like the Kalama Sutta and the Sivaka Sutta, and their relevance to our situation in the modern world.

We will also look at attention, that which apprehends and focuses on an object, an important potential and quality to develop in meditation. We will see that we have great power of concentration but might not use it wisely. Martine will explore the power of attention in terms of creating a certain radar like effect if we grasp at the object or person we focus on and the usefulness sometimes of lack of attention.

The final guided meditation will be on appreciative/altruistic joy (mudita). The exercises will explore how to develop appreciative joy in daily life.

Exploring
Feeling Tone

Live Sessions

Every Sunday in March

Martine will meet with you every Sunday in March for 60 minutes. This is a unique opportunity to have personal interaction with Martine and ask questions using either your webcam to come on screen with her, or using text to submit your questions.

Each session will be recorded and available for viewing anytime.

Live Session Schedule:

5 March – 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm UK / 6pm CET

12 March – 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 5pm UK / 6pm CET

19 March – 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 5pm UK / 6pm CET

26 March – 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm UK / 6pm CET

Click here for a list of technical requirements for the live sessions.

About Martine

Martine Batchelor was born in France in 1953. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Korea in 1975. She studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of the late Master Kusan at Songgwang Sa monastery until 1984. Following Master Kusan’s death she returned her nun’s vows and left Korea. She returned to Europe with her husband, Stephen, in 1985. She was a member of the Sharpham North Community in Devon, England for six years. She worked as a lecturer and spiritual counsellor both at Gaia House and elsewhere in Britain. She is the author of Meditation for Life, Let Go, and Women in Korean Zen (2007) and The Spirit of the Buddha (2010). With her husband she co-leads meditation retreats worldwide. They now live in France.

Price: $150