How can the three great Asian spiritual traditions, of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taosim, fit with our experience as Quakers and/or Christians? How might their profound practices and beliefs enrich our own practices?
We will read passages from the Upanishads and practice Hindu absorptive meditation, experience Hindu chanting, and maintain a simple yoga routine.
We will study passages from the Buddha, and great teachers past and present, and engage in a daily practice of the three core aspects of Buddhist meditation: “calming,” “insight” and “lovingkindness.”
In order to experience the subtle way the Taoists saw the natural world we will practice simple Tai Chi daily and spend time in nature. We will become familiar with writings from Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, and see how Zen Buddhism is essentially a syncretism of Buddhism with Taoism. Zen is the main way that Taoism has been brought into our modern world.
Cost: Six day course $850 (single) or $675 (shared room/ concession). The price includes all meals and accommodation.
Download more detailed course information here.
Arthur Wells is an elder in Christchurch Meeting in New Zealand and a Zen Buddhist teacher. He retired eight years ago from counselling and leading stopping violence programmes for men, in order to focus on teaching meditation. He has led countless meditation retreats including some for Quakers interested in Buddhism. He has degrees in English, Religious Studies and Social Work, and taught literature and Religious Studies in universities for many years.
Helen Gould has immersed herself in Quaker writings and practice with a strong interest in interfaith relations. She practices tai chi and yoga, and has a great interest in Aboriginal spirituality, Buddhist meditation and participation in Jewish religious life. Since the early 2000s she has led many Experiment with Light sessions (a re-interpretation of early Quaker practice) in Australia, Korea and Norway. She holds degrees in philosophy and law and gave the 2009 Backhouse Lecture, entitled “The Quaking Meeting: transforming ourselves, our Meetings and the more-than-human world”.