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Alistair Appleton is visiting Cardiff from Friday 23rd of February until Sunday 25th. On the Friday evening, he will give a talk about meditation and on Saturday and Sunday he is running a workshop title I See You Mara.
You can read more about these events below.
About ALISTAIR APPLETON
It was in 2000, alongside his successful career in television, that Alistair Appleton began his serious involvement in meditation. Trained mainly in the Buddhist tradition, Alistair took refuge with Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, the abbot of Samye Ling Monastery in 2000 and sat several retreats at this extraordinary monastery in the Scottish borders and in the meditation hermitage on Holy Island near Arran. In the following years, however, it was the simpler, more direct teachings of the Thai Forest tradition that caught Alistair’s attention. He studied at Chithurst Monastery in Sussex with the sangha around Ajahn Sumehdo and completed a retreat at the famous training monastery in Thailand, Wat Pah Nanachat.He also studied with the teacher Ajahn Amaro who is abbot at Abhayagiri Theravadan monastery in Mendocino County, California.
Since 2004, Alistair has also drawn inspiration from outside the Buddhist world, working with the shamanic practices of the Amazonian Indians in Brazil. This colourful and powerful practice has brought him back into contact with the more shamanic aspects of Tibetan meditation. He is currently studying with the contemporary Vajrayana teacher, Reggie Ray.
And in 2004, his Tibetan preceptor, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche requested Alistair to teach a meditation course for beginners up on Holy Island: his “ABC of Meditation”. Since then he has led numerous courses on mindfulness, compassion training, self-soothing and the creation of joy - many of these weekend courses held in the beautiful Abbey in Oxfordshire.
In 2014, Alistair also completed his MA in Advanced Psychotherapy at the Minster Centre in London. This is an integrative training institute which looks at combining aspects of psychodynamic and humanist therapy and wonderfully complements the work in mindfulness and compassion, Alistair has learnt through meditation. He practices as a psychotherapist in Brighton, UK.
Alistair’s lively and non-dogmatic workshops seem to appeal to a very broad audience not usually attracted to spiritual practice and his easy manner brings the techniques of meditation alive for a practitioner living in the modern world. He is interested in combining the worlds of therapy and meditation in new directions and has led workshops on anxiety, dissociation, the issues arising for gay men in the world and the need for embodiment in our digitalised world.
Is Meditation enough? The dangers of spiritual bypassing
Date & Time: 23rd Feb 19:00-21:00
The suggested donation for the event is £5. You can use this product to book and donate in advance or you can email email@example.com to book your place and donate on the day. Alistair gives generously of his time to give these talks for us as fundraisers. He is also running a workshop on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend. This is a public talk given by Alistair ahead of his weekend course on ‘I see you Mara’ at the Cardiff Samye Dzong.
Central to all our spiritual practice is the needful awareness of what John Welwood calls “spiritual bypassing” or Chogyam Trungpa called “spiritual materialism”. There is a constant danger that the thing we do to free ourselves from the damaging patterns of the past gets co-opted by those very patterns.
Most acutely we can notice this when we subtly or not so subtly use meditation in order to make us feel protected from the knocks of life. It’s natural to want to be more comfortable, to want to minimise the stress of life and to get some ‘me-time’ but when meditation is hitched to this project of “ego-snugness” then the safety can soon become suffocation.
Looking at ways in which we can keep our practice connected to the realities of life and prevent ourselves from becoming isolated, uncompassionate cocoon-dwellers, this talk is open to all.
All proceeds from the collection go to the Samye Wales Centre.
Led by Alistair Appleton
You can book this through our site here: Is meditation enough?
Note: This is a fundraising event and the suggested donation is £5. Alistair gives generously of his time to help support us by giving these talks. You can book and donate through our shop or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place and donate on the day.
I See You Mara! With Alistair Appleton
At the moment of his enlightenment the Buddha defeated the force of ignorance and suffering, known as Mara, by uttering the words: “I see you, Mara”.
Taking that as the starting point, Alistair will use this weekend to unmask the ‘psychological Mara’ that confounds our natural happiness and warm-heartedness with layer upon layer of deadening beliefs about our selves and the world.
Meditation and therapy give us tools to cut through those heavy stories about ourselves – in particular, the Buddha’s insight into ‘dependent origination’, which explains how they arise so compulsively. Once we see ‘Mara’ in action then we can cut through the distortions and start living in a freer, more spontaneous and more light-hearted way.
This is a course suitable for beginners and practitioners wanting to refresh their practice. Some of the practises will be done lying down.
Starts at 10am and finishes at 5pm each day.
Note: This course is being run by Alistair Appleton and you will need to book through his site which can be done with the Buy on Mindsprings.com button.