The Four Thoughts that Turn Mind to Dharma – Choden


Weekend course Sat 5 Aug – Sun 6 Aug

The Four Thoughts that Turn Mind to Dharma

The path of Dharma starts with genuine renunciation.  In the words of the Tibetan masters of old, we will not be able to enter the door of the Dharma until we give up all concerns for this life.  This is radical indeed.  How can we be true to this noble aspiration within the context of our busy modern lives?

This term ‘renunciation’ is often misunderstood: it does not mean that we have to abandon our jobs, homes and loved ones. The essence of renunciation is honestly facing our limiting patterns of grasping at what we like and rejecting what we dislike, and choosing not to live our lives constrained by our narrow egocentric tendencies. This opens the door to Bodhicitta:  focusing more on others than oneself, and making the aspiration that all living beings wake up to their limitless potential.  This is viewed as the sacred mystery that leads to true happiness.

We will engender renunciation by contemplating the four thoughts that turn the mind to the Dharma. These are: appreciating the preciousness of our human lives; reflecting on the fragility and impermanence of everything; seeing how we shape our experience through how we think, speak and act; and allowing ourselves to be touched by the suffering inherent in all of life.

We will explore these key Buddhist reflections in an experiential way.  The weekend workshop will take the form of teachings, guided practices and sitting, with group sharing and inquiry.

Donation for weekend talk R240 members, pensioners, students R280 non-members

Package deal early bird - weekend & evening talk combo - paid upfront

R250 (members)  R300 (non members)


About Choden

Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) formally a monk for seven years within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Choden completed a three year, three month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from Cape Town where he trained as a lawyer and where he learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He recently published a book with Paul Gilbert, entitled ‘Mindful Compassion’ that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training.