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Liberation in a Wounded World:
The Paramis as a Practice for Surviving

Live Online Course

May 24th, 2022 - June 19th, 2022

How can we use the teachings of the Buddha to help reclaim our humanity?

Between the impact of multiple climate catastrophes, food instability, war, homophobia, racism, and paternalism, we are living in a wounded world – but we don’t have to fall apart under its weight.

Our next 4-week live & interactive course will be led by Leslie Booker (Booker), who brings her heart to the intersection of Dharma, Embodied Wisdom, and Liberation. Through practices around the Paramis, we will learn how to turn towards the world’s suffering, and remember that we belong to each other.

In Buddhist teachings, the 10 Paramis are known as the perfections, or attainments of heart and mind. In this course we’ll focus on resolve, patience, equanimity and metta, with guest appearances by the other Paramis of generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, energy and truthfulness. These attainments can be the medicine for both our liberation and our survival. We’ll explore their power through formal meditation practice, journaling, embodiment practices, and group discussion.

This journey will offer participants:

  • A balm for the wounds brought on by systems of harm and oppression
  • Liberation practices for both on and off cushion
  • Opportunity to explore not just what the Buddha said, but how he lived and learned

This course is fit for all folks who have an interest in exploring their practice in a relational container.

You’ll be highly encouraged to meet independently on a weekly basis with pre-assigned Kalyana Mitta (spiritual friends) groups of 4-5 to reflect on Booker’s teachings and share collective wisdom.

There will be the additional option to join BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ affinity groups, which will also be encouraged to meet independently on a weekly basis. You’ll receive an email upon registration with instructions for joining these groups.

Acronym Definitions:

  • BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)
  • LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual)

Module 1: Resolve

In this first module we’ll be exploring Resolve; the aspiration and intention which gives action and follow through. With resolve, we are standing in our power, our clarity and our determination to stay…even in a wounded world.

This week we’ll explore resolve with a series of journaling prompts, formal meditation practices, and ways to engage with the world while holding this practice of commitment as our foundation.

Module 2: Patience

We cannot speak of patience without speaking to why it’s integral for the world we are living in. Our emotions of rage, anger, fear, and heartbreak can lead to further violence and separation. In cultivating patience, we can create that sacred pause, allowing our bodies to restore their dignity.

This week we’ll explore patience with a series of journaling prompts, formal meditation practices, and ways to engage with the world while holding patience as our foundation.

Module 3: Equanimity

In this third module, we’ll be exploring the practice that tends to come at the end of the Paramis, the Brahmaviharas and the 7 Factors of Awakening: Equanimity.

This quality of heart and mind is often mistaken for apathy; a lack of concern or interest. But explored and put into action, we’ll see that equanimity is love, clear boundaries, and tenderness…without attachment.

For home practice, we’ll explore equanimity with a series of journaling prompts, formal meditation, and ways to engage with the world while holding equanimity as our foundation.

Module 4: Metta

In our final module, we’ll be exploring Metta not only as a practice of kindness and benevolence, but as a practice that protects us from the hatred that kicks folks out of our hearts, and out of humanity. It takes courage and a fierce vulnerability to practice Metta; it’s a practice of heart with fists.

During our final week together, we’ll explore metta with a series of journaling prompts, radiating metta practice, and ways to engage with the world holding this heart practice as our foundation.

Praise for Booker's Teachings

Leslie Booker

“It always feels safe to explore new learning with Booker because she is trustworthy; she naturally creates a secure space to practice being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Her unique approach to exploring the Paramis, encouraged me to investigate how they may have showed up in my early life, throughout my lifetime and how they show up in my actions now, which helped me to bridge study and experiential practice with ease; attuning to the presence or absence of the Paramis in day to day life.”

“Booker’s presence is calm and gentle. I loved it. I arrived with an open mind, not knowing almost anything about the Paramis and left with a heart full of love and with a sense of calm.”

Live Online Course Details

Pre-Recorded Video Teachings

Hi-def video lessons from Booker each week will guide you through home meditation practices, body awareness exercises, journaling exercises, and invitations to observe the Paramis in your daily life. These will also be available as downloadable MP3s.

Woman Watching Martin Aylward

4 LIVE Interactive Video Q&A Sessions

Each Sunday, we’ll meet live for 1-hour to discuss our practice experiences as a collective, share wisdom and newfound insights, ask Booker questions, and receive direct, insightful feedback from our teacher. Replays will be available within 24 hrs of each live session for those unable to attend.

Kalyana Mitta/Spiritual Friendship Groups

You’ll meet independently on a weekly basis with pre-assigned Kalyana Mitta (spiritual friendship) groups of 4-5. In these groups we’ll share reflections on Booker’s course content, discuss points of resistance, and encourage and inspire each other’s practice. Partaking in Kalyana Mitta groups is strongly encouraged for all registrants.

Affinity Groups

You’ll have the option to join one of the following affinity groups, if you identify as the following: BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, or BIPOC & LGBTQIA+. In these spaces, participants can discuss Booker’s teachings through shared social lenses. Partaking in these affinity groups is completely optional.

Schedule

Photo - Alarm Clock - Schedule

Dates & Times

Course Launch: Tuesday, May 24 (First lessons posted – no meeting)

LIVE Interactive 1: Sunday, May 29 @ 9 AM PST, 12 PM EST, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST (60 minutes)

LIVE Interactive 2: Sunday, June 5 @ 9 AM PST, 12 PM EST, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST (60 minutes)

LIVE Interactive 3: Sunday, June 12 @ 9 AM PST, 12 PM EST, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST (60 minutes)

LIVE Interactive 4: Sunday, June 19 @ 9 AM PST, 12 PM EST, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST (60 minutes)

Replays will be posted within 24 hours of each live session, for those unable to attend.

About Leslie Booker

Leslie Booker

Booker brings her heart to the intersection of Dharma, Embodied Wisdom, and Liberation. She speaks nationally on expanding our vision around culturally responsive teaching, and changing the paradigm of self and community care.

Throughout her career, Booker has contributed to the advancement of her field both in theory and in practice by speaking at Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium, Contemplative Minds in Higher Education, Mindfulness in America, and Omega Institute’s Mindfulness in Education conferences, and sharing practice with NYC’s most vulnerable populations for over a decade. She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street.

Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality’s report: Gender & Trauma—Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice, and contributed to Sharon Salzberg’s book ‘Happiness at Work’. In 2020 Booker graduated from Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s  4 year Teacher Training, was a Sojourner Truth Leadership Fellow through Auburn Seminary, and was voted by her peers as one of the 12 Powerful Women in the Mindfulness Movement.

Booker’s website is at LeslieBooker.com