From July 27th to August 1st (2017), Dr Alan Wallace, one of the world’s foremost meditation teachers held a 6-day non-residential urban retreat on ‘The Four Close Applications of Mindfulness.’
These techniques, were developed to help people free themselves from mental affliction by cultivating and applying mindfulness to our experience in four different domains: the body, feelings, the mind, and phenomena generally.
As we investigate these features of our lived experience, we probe more deeply into the very nature of human identity and the possibilities of freedom from established patterns of suffering. As Contemplatives for millennia have found, this application of mindfulness uncovers a deep-seated and unconscious ignorance – a mis-knowing about the nature of the world and about ourselves. Such mis-knowing is the source of mental and emotional afflictions that obscure our natural qualities of kindness, generosity and compassion. Correcting these mistakes paves the way for genuine happiness and flourishing.
A central theme in these teachings was be the cultivation of the discerning mindfulness we need to distinguish between what is presented to our senses and what is conceptually imposed by our distorting minds.
This retreat was open to people from all backgrounds, religious and secular, Buddhist and non-Buddhist. The spirit of the event is one of curious, critical, non-dogmatic inquiry and self-discovery. These teachings and contemplative practices are suitable for anyone who wants to investigate for themselves the causes of suffering in their own lives and to discover what is of universal value in a Buddhist perspective on the means of attaining genuine happiness and flourishing.
This was a teaching and practice retreat and consists of lectures, guided meditations, and discussions led by Alan Wallace.