The Buddhist Mind – Yin Yoga & the Four Foundations of Mindfulness

A Weekend Intensive with Whit Hornsberger

When: January 24th, 25th, & 26th, 2020

The weekend consists of four sessions:

Friday, January 24th, 7:00 – 9:15 pm
Saturday, January 25th, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Saturday, January 25th, 4:30 – 7:00 pm
Sunday, January 26th, 12:30 – 3:30 pm

Where: Harmony Yoga & Wellness Center, 360 Duncan St, Duncan BC

The transformative teachings of the Buddha are increasingly becoming popularized by the rapidly growing interest in mindfulness and the practice of vipassana or insight meditation among western yoga enthusiasts. Mindfulness is being applied everywhere and in all realms from yoga studios to athletic training to increasing corporate profit. But what exactly is mindfulness and from where did this ideal of living intimately within the present moment emanate?

The practice of insight (vipassana) meditation is built upon the teachings of the Buddhist discourse, the Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta or The Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness. Colloquially referred to as The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, these teachings form the bedrock of mindfulness meditation practice and are considered the domain of the meditator. Once established through ardent application, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness give rise to transformative experiential insights into ultimate reality, liberating the individual from the fetters of physical and mental suffering.

Vipassana is a way of intimately engaging with life in every moment, in every posture and within every experience. It is accessible to everyone and an applicable practice for daily life, whether in the monastic setting or within the urban environment.

The integration of mindfulness meditation (vipassana) with the methodology and practice of Yin Yoga has yielded life-changing insights for Whit and the many students with whom he has worked via this approach. The extended stays and stillness of theYin posture practice provide a fertile and potent receptacle for the arising of insight as taught by the Buddha.

Our weekend of insight will encompass discussion on Buddhist theory, and exploring and integrating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and vipassana meditation with the practice of Yin Yoga. Each of our sessions will include discourse and application of one of the foundations of mindfulness to our meditation and Yin posture practice, building systematically and progressively throughout the weekend. Through direct felt experience, each practitioner will bear witness to insights capable of radically shifting how we engage with the mind, body and life itself.

Sessions can be taken individually. However, for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of vipassana meditation practice, the full weekend will give rise to both an intellectual and experiential understanding of what is mindfulness, the psychological experience of Yin Yoga and the transformative power of insight (vipassana) meditation.

These workshops are created for and are accessible to all levels of practitioners and geared specifically to anyone driven by an innate curiosity for insight into the enigma of life and a passion for moving beyond the limitations of the conditioned mind.

Session 1: Foundation #1 – Contemplation of the Body (kayānupassanā)

In the first foundation of mindfulness, the Buddha expounded upon the contemplation of the physical body. Although the Buddha taught fourteen different ways in which the body can be contemplated, in this workshop, we will focus upon the most relevant and accessible of these bodily contemplations: the contemplation of the breath.

Developing mindfulness (sāti) of the breath is vital for the development of insight. It is through the foundation of mindfulness upon the breath that a platform of concentrated stability arises (samādhi), enabling the practitioner to explore and investigate the myriad psychophysical phenomena from an objective perspective.

Session 2: Foundation #2 – Contemplation of Feeling (vedānanupassanā)

The second foundation of mindfulness is the contemplation of feeling tone, the mental experience of physical sensation. The Buddha taught that the mind experiences physical sensations and the accompanying mental feeling tones in three ways: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.

In this workshop, we will integrate foundation #1 and foundation #2, applying concentrated stability (samādhi) to objectively observe the unadulterated expression of sensation and feeling tone, from the refuge of witness-consciousness.

Session 3: Foundation #3 – Contemplation of Consciousness (cittānupassanā)

The third foundation of mindfulness is the contemplation of consciousness or more specifically, the study of those mental factors which colour and condition consciousness.

From anger to fear, from joy to sadness, this workshop will provide the practitioner, through the integrated support of foundations 1, 2 and 3, the opportunity to observe objectively and thus study the true nature of all emotionally charged mind-states.

Session 4: Foundation #4 – Contemplation of Phenomena (dhammānupassanā)

The fourth and final foundation of mindfulness is an extensive contemplation of sensory-phenomena. In this final workshop, we will contemplate what are referred to as the six-internal and six-external sense bases:

eyes / visual objects; ears / audible objects; nose / olfactory objects; tongue / gustatory objects; body / sensations; mind / mental factors.

This final practice will integrate all four foundations of mindfulness, providing the practitioner the opportunity to apply and experience the transformative practice of vipassanā meditation.

Cost

Full Weekend: $145 + GST
3 Sessions: $120 + GST
2 Sessions: $90 + GST
1 Session: $50 + GST

Contact 250-597-1919 or harmonyyogaduncan@gmail.com for more information.

About Whit

Whit Hornsberger - Yin Yoga & the Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Whit Hornsberger (Vancouver, Canada) is a student and teacher of the wisdom traditions of Classical Yoga and Theravada Buddhism.

A former athlete, Whit found the path as a result of a career-ending knee injury and the subsequent emotional and mental suffering inherent in losing one’s (supposed) self-identity and self-worth. His daily practice and teaching methods stem from the traditional practices of Vinyasa Krama (Krishnamacharya) and Buddhist meditation (Mahasi Sayadaw). A passionate advocate of traditional teachings, Whit expounds the ancient wisdom of these lineages in a relevant manner, making them readily accessible to students at every stage of the path.

A lover of surf, travel and nature, Whit resides with his partner in the Spanish Canary Islands, teaching international classes, workshops, retreats and trainings.