UNCOVERING THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
& WISDOM OF OUR BUDDHA NATURE
Yellow Springs Dharma Center
Daylong Online Retreat
April 7, 2024
Led by John Makransky
10am to 1pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm, Eastern Time
At the Yellow Springs Dharma Center
Online via Zoom
In this retreat, we will adapt a pattern of meditation practice from Tibetan Buddhism, with some assistance from modern psychology, to make it accessible both for Buddhist practitioners and for people of all backgrounds and faiths who have previous contemplative experience and seek an accessible way to cultivate unconditional love and wisdom.
From a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, our Buddha nature is the basic space of our being undivided from vast capacities of awareness, warmth, love, compassion and wisdom. These capacities are always available below our surface consciousness, but often hidden by our habits of self-clinging thought and reaction. One way that Tibetan practitioners start to access them is by bringing to mind the Buddha as an enlightened field of refuge, and experiencing themselves and their whole world as held in the Buddha’s unconditional love, compassion, and wisdom. Other contemplative traditions follow an analogous pattern: being held in the love, compassion, and wisdom of God, saints, prophets or spiritual ancestors. This evokes the practitioners’ own corresponding qualities of warmth, love, compassion and openness. In Tibetan Buddhism, all such qualities are then drawn on in meditation to help the mind settle into the source of those qualities—the basic space, pure awareness, and vast capacity of our Buddha nature, from which to recognize others in their deep nature and hold them in warmth and compassion.
As a meditation teacher, John is known for guiding participants in their discovery of underlying powers of unconditional love and wisdom. For the past 24 years, John has taught meditations of innate compassion and wisdom, adapted from Tibetan Buddhism, for modern Buddhists, those in other spiritual traditions, and for people in caring roles and professions.
John Makransky is a professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, senior advisor for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Centre of Buddhist Studies in Nepal, a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, and developer of the Sustainable Compassion Training model for accessing innate capacities of compassion and awareness. John’s scholarly writings have focused on connections between practices of devotion, compassion and non-dual wisdom in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, on adapting Buddhist practices to meet contemporary minds, and on theoretical issues in interfaith learning. In 2000, John was ordained as a Lama, a meditation teacher of innate compassion and wisdom, within the Nyingma Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.