The Chögyam Trungpa Legacy Project, working together with the Shambhala Archives and the Halifax Shambhala Center, offers a Monday Night Class from September through June in Halifax, Nova Scotia, featuring the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The class has often focused on the DVDs of Trungpa Rinpoche teaching in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, going into its fourth year, we have been experimenting with other formats. This fall we decided to offer a class on the book The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology, a compilation of writings on mind, meditation, and psychology that was put together in 2006 from Rinpoche’s writings.
The Sanity Class, as we came to refer to it, was facilitated by a group of more than a dozen psychotherapists and health professionals who are practitioners in the Halifax Shambhala Community, many of whom have a connection with Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Some of the presenters taught there and helped to develop the psychology curriculum; others were trained there. Other presenters have made a connection with Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings in other diverse ways. Each week one or more of the facilitators presented material on a topic from the book, also bringing in their experience with this material in their own work.
The topics for the six weeks were:
Week One: Meditation and the View of Basic Sanity
Week Two: Mindfulness and Awareness
Week Three: Ego and the Six Realms
Week Four: The Five Buddha Families and Maitri
Week Five: Creating an Environment of Sanity
Week Six: The End of the Journey and Open Discussion
Each week between 45 and 65 people attended the class. Between 25 and 30 people were completely new to the Shambhala Center. Many were mental health professionals with an interest in Buddhist psychology. We are still reviewing the evaluations from the course, but in general, people were appreciative and inspired. One of the outcomes will be a syllabus to be used by others with an interest in presenting this material.
For further information, please contact Carolyn Gimian at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can put you in touch with some of the facilitators or the coordinator of the class.