Starting in January 2018, Crimson Gate is offering a class on the fundamental texts on Buddhist psychology, the Abhidharma. We want to bring some old, beautiful, and practical teachings to life, and make them usable for 21st century mental health clinicians.
The Abhidharma give us a comprehensive model of how the mind works, then shows us how to engage in a life devoted to cultivating compassion and wisdom for the benefit of all beings. It embraces a radical vision of non-duality and interdependence.
There are a number of versions of the Abhidharma in Buddhist literature; we will focus on the poetic rendering of the text by Vasubandhu, a fourth-century Indian teacher who helped pave the way for the Mahayana traditions of China and Tibet.
Vasubandhu's verses present a model of first understanding how the mind works, then helps us see how to put this understanding into practice. One aspect of this teaching that is especially intriguing is that it offers us a rough parallel to the unconscious, an aspect of mind the Abhidharma calls "storehouse consciousness." According to the Abhidharma the storehouse consciousness is the place where all the seeds of karma, from our own lives and also of our family, culture, and history gather and ripen. A goal of practice according to the Abhidharma is to become more aware of our karmas so that their weight gets lighter and eventually our karma can be exhausted.
In this class we will work our way through Vasubandhu's Abhidharma to understand its implications for our understanding of our minds, our practice, and our clinical work. There is a limit of ten participants, so early registration is essential. Join us!
Megan Rundel is the resident teacher at the Crimson Gate Meditation Community in Oakland, CA..