Upcoming Events

Mysticism

A five-week seminar

An exploration of the unique nature of the mystical experience. How does it arise? How does it differ from other religious experiences?  What effects does it have on the mystics themselves?  Using arts and texts from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and shamanism, we will focus on:  the nature of the divine, mystic pathways, the role of spiritual language, nature mysticism, and the transformed life.

1. Christianity: The Love Allegory

2. Islam: The Illumination of the Soul

3. Hinduism: The Body as Temple of the Divine

4. Daoism: Being the Patterns of the Natural World

5. Shamanism: On the Journey

Tibetan Buddhism Mindfulness Center, Elizabeth Street, Hartford 

Dates to be scheduled; Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Please call E. Findly to register.

The Taj Mahal

A 5-week seminar

 

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal represents the epitome of beauty, balance, and proportion in Indian architecture. Built as a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal, the fourteenth wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666), the Taj Mahal is set in a traditional four-part garden, with flowing waters, along the Jumna River in northern India. Its surface is clad in luminous white marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones in arabesque flower designs. We will explore Mughal history behind the family of Shah Jahan, the Mumtaz legend of love and loss, the debates around the origin of the marble inlay, and the Black Taj. A slide lecture/discussion.

History of the Mughals, and the Six Emperors in India

The Architecture of the Taj

Women, Love, Leisure, and the legend of the Mumtaz Mahal

Trade with the Portuguese, the English; Portraiture; Inlay & Carved Surfaces

Mughal Gardens

Dates to be scheduled; Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Tibetan Buddhism Mindfulness Center

Elizabeth Street, Hartford

 

Please call E. Findly to register.

Asian Healing Traditions

2-week seminar

 

An exploration, in theory and practice, of the Indian systems of Healing Yoga, the Cakras, and Ayurveda; and the Chinese systems of the Five Elements and of Acupressure. We will also look at the modern practice of reflexology - derived from old sources in Egypt, India, and China.

 

Dates to be scheduled; Wednesdays 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Tibetan Buddhism Mindfulness Center, Elizabeth Street, Hartford

Please call E. Findly to register.

Karma, The Afterlife, and Rebirth

A five-week seminar

How might we think about the power of karma in our lives?  Could there be an afterlife?  Is it possible that we have lived before, and that we will live again?  And are our lives connected to themselves and to each other’s?  Using texts and art from Asian traditions, we’ll explore the concept of karma and its place in our understanding of the “self” as it evolves through time. We’ll look at individual as well as group karma, at the concept of Bardo – or the “in-between period” – past this death and before our future rebirth, and at how much free will we might have in shaping our current lives.

Dates to be scheduled; Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Tibetan Buddhism Meditation Center, Elizabeth Street, Hartford

Please call E. Findly to register.

Gods, Demons, Traders, Kings: Indian & Islamic Paintings

Five-week Seminar

Miniature paintings ask us to look closely at details, and this is especially satisfying when exploring the paintings of Islamic Persia, Mughal India, and the Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Drawn from albums illustrating traditional histories and legends, these small, minutely painted objects express the religious values, aesthetic norms, and creative genius of 15th - 17th century cultures found in western and Southern Asia.

1. Persian Poetry and Romance

2. Islamic Arabesques and Flowering Gardens

3. Foreign Traders: Portuguese and English

4. The Mughal Empire: Battle Scenes, Emperors at Court, Portraits

5. Hindu Gods and Indian Aesthetics

To be scheduled

Tibetan Buddhism Mindfulness Center

and West Hartford Senior Center

In the Footsteps of the Buddha: Buddhist Ethics in Modern Times

Five-week Seminar

The Buddhist understanding of the world as marked by transience, suffering and desire impels us into action as we identify with others. Beginning with a focus on non-violence, generosity, and strict adherence to moral rules, the ethical dynamics of Buddhism flower as practices of empathy and full attention to alleviating suffering are set within the expanse of samsara and the inclusion of all sentient beings. We will apply our study of Buddhist ethical ideals to various issues in contemporary culture: relating to our own health, our lives as social beings, and our ties to the natural world.

1. Early Buddhism: Generosity, Compassion, Non-Violence

2. Later Buddhism: The Six Perfections, Skillful Means

3. Medical Ethics: Abortion, Drugs, Euthanasia

4. Social, Political Ethics: Advertising, Copyright, Moral Dissent

5. Environmental Ethics: Population, Logging, Vegetarianism

To be scheduled

Tibetan Buddhism Mindfulness Center

and West Hartford Senior Center

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas: Portraits in Art & Literature

Five-week Seminar

An exploration of figures belonging to the Buddhist path. Both historical and devotional, these figures are understood through their depiction in sculpture, painting, music, dance, poetry, and religious texts.

1. The Historical Buddha: Siddhartha Gautama and the Quest for Meaning

2. The Bodhisattva of Compassion: Avalokiteshvara and the Identification with Others

3. The Feminine Face of Buddhism: Green Tara, White Tara: "Kindly Bent to Ease Use."

4. The Five Meditation Buddhas: Working Through the Hindering Emotions

5. A Children's Advocate: Jizo and Abortion in Japan

To be scheduled

Tibetan Buddhism Mindfulness Center

and West Hartford Senior Center

Mark Twain: The Man, the River, the Humor

A four-week Seminar

Explore the life and adventures of the man known as Mark Twain. Born in 1835, Samuel Clemens, he took his pen name from a river term marking the depth of "two fathoms feet below." As "the father of American literature," he gave us such memorable characters as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He celebrated the great Mississippi as the pilot of a riverboat, spent time as a miner in Nevada, and lost serious money on promotion of a mechanical typesetter. Sometimes controversial, Mark Twain was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Letters from Oxford University in 1907. He died in Redding, Connecticut in 1910. Mark Twain has been called the "greatest humorist this country has produced." We will read selections from such works as "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Roughing It.

Dates to be scheduled; Thursdays 2:45 - 4:15 pm

West Hartford Senior Center

Please call E. Findly to register.

Great American Families: The Adams, the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and the Rockefellers

A five-week slide discussion

Every so often a family emerges that is so distinctive that its power, its energy, and its creativity has a lasting effect on the history and culture of a nation. In the case of the United States, there have been a number of such families and, in this series, we will explore five of them: the Adams, the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and the Rockefellers.

Their contributions can be found in politics, philanthropy, architecture, education, fashion, social justice projects, and the arts. We see the fruits of their efforts in magnificent homes, in cultural centers, and in the universities, and in the objects and values of so much of our lives.

Dates to be scheduled; Thursdays 2:45 - 4:15 pm

West Hartford Senior Center

Please call E. Findly to register.

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