Guidance & Support

recruiting and supporting teachers offering guidance in retreat, daily practice, and study

a good person = sappurisa

  1. dhammaññū = is one who has a sense for truth, and the teachings of it;
  2. atthaññū = is one who has a sense for meaning and purpose, especially of the teachings;
  3. attaññū = is one who has a sense of themself, the nature of what they are;
  4. mattaññū = is one who has a sense of moderation, the appropriate measure for things;
  5. kālaññū = is one who has a sense of timing, the appropriate time for things;
  6. parisaññū = is one who has a sense of the group, and group dynamics;
  7. puggalaññū = is one who has a sense of people, their individual differences.

- (e.g.) Dīgha Nikāya 33

The Guidance & Support team will make decisions regarding invitating and supporting teachers for study, daily & retreat practice, in accordance with the Range of Practice policy.

At retreats, teachers will take primary responsibility for creating and protecting an emotionally safe space, online and at residential retreats, and for guiding individuals towards breadth and depth of practice. Meditation instructions and individual interviews will be provided as needed. Question & Answer sessions with teachers in the evening will not have a set finish time, but instead will continue until we are satisfied as a group that we can go on practicing with confident and settled minds.

At retreats, we will allocate time for short talks given not by the teachers but instead by each participant in the retreat. These will draw on sources engaged with during the online study modules, and will also allow participants an opportunity to share aspects of their personal practice journey with the group. Past experiments have shown that this supports individuals in making sense of their own path and supports the group in developing a deeper sense of community.

The aim of having students give talks is not to transition towards the role of a contemporary lay teacher at institutional retreat centers. On the contrary, the program aims in part to question, and perhaps replace, aspects of that model. One aspect of this challenging of what has come to be the standard model at many institutional lay retreats centers in the West is that we will inquire rigorously into how teachers ought to be supported.

We aim to proceed with selecting and inviting teachers for the retreats in as transparent a way as possible. To that end we will maintain list of all those who express interest in being considered by the Guidance team for guiding roles at the retreats, and we will only select from those who have indicated an interest in being considered. As the Guidance team will not convene until 2020, for now please let Jake know by writing to atthakusala[at]gmail.com. Thanks!

2020:

  • Tasks:
    • Decide if & how teachers of study & retreat portions are to be supported financially
    • Recruit teachers to guide study, daily life, and retreat practice (interviews and Q&A)