The Sacred Feminine in Buddhist Philosophy

The Sacred Feminine in Buddhist Philosophy

With Robert Thurman and Isa Gucciardi  •  May 11–25, 2019

Recording of a 3-part Webinar Series

The expression of the great feminine has been found in the art, mythologies and spiritual practices of many cultures and spiritual traditions around the world. It is often represented in the form of female deities and goddesses who are revered for their creative and nurturing power. In Buddhist philosophy, there are many forms of the sacred feminine. The most well-known is Tara.

She is considered to be the mother of all Buddhas – a deity of love, compassion, nurturance, and longevity. If we consider what it means to be the mother of all the Buddhas, the awakened ones, on a symbolic level, we quickly perceive that the awakened state is understood to emerge out of the generative power of the great feminine in Buddhist philosophy. The import of this vision cannot be overstated. It means that the immense wisdom and teachings relative to the evolution of consciousness in the Buddhist tradition is generated and mediated by the power of the great feminine. This is a tradition that has cultivated and elucidated many aspects of this knowledge for thousands of years.

We have much to learn about this power by exploring the emerge in this tradition. We will not only explore all of the different manifestations and meanings of the different expressions of Tara, but we will also explore the nature of Prajnaparamita. Prajnaparamita personi emptiness and wisdom and is often referred to as ‘the Great Mother’. We will also discover other aspects of the sacred feminine within Buddhist practice, including the teachings of Vajrayogini, a tantric deity known for her capacities to transmute passions into enlightened virtues and ordinary manifestations into a higher spiritual path.

This webinar will focus on the aspects of Buddhist philosophy that are mediated by the Sacred Feminine:

  • Compassion through Tara
  • Wisdom through Prajnaparamita
  • Transformation through Vajrayogini

 

Course Description:

Week 1 – Tara

We will look at the origins of Tara and the roles she plays in liberation. The lecture will focus on:

  • Tara as the embodiment of compassion
  • Tara as saviouress
  • Tara as engaged liberative activity
  • Focus of meditation: Guided meditation with Tara, focusing on particular issue of personal difficulty

Duration: 90 mins

Week 2 – Prajnaparamita

We will look at the nature and experience of Prajnaparamita. The lecture will focus on:

  • The nature of Prajnaparamita
  • What is emptiness
  • Wisdom
  • Focus of meditation: Spaciousness and stillness

Duration: 90 mins

Week 3 – Vajrayogini

We will look at the origins of Vajrayogini as a

  • Tantra
  • The role of transformation within tantra
  • The transmutation of obstacles into wisdom

Duration: 90 mins

See Bob Thurman's talk at SAND 2018:

 

 

Watch or listen on demand

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Module 1: Tara

May 11, 2019 9:30am - 11:00am PDT

We will look at the origins of Tara and the roles she plays in liberation. The lecture will focus on:

  • Tara as the embodiment of compassion
  • Tara as saviouress
  • Tara as engaged liberative activity
  • Focus of meditation: Guided meditation with Tara, focusing on particular issue of personal difficulty

Duration: 90 mins

Watch or listen on demand

Purchase this item to access

Module 2: Prajnaparamita

May 18, 2019 9:30am - 11:00am PDT

We will look at the nature and experience of Prajnaparamita. The lecture will focus on:

  • The nature of Prajnaparamita
  • What is emptiness
  • Wisdom
  • Focus of meditation: Spaciousness and stillness

Duration: 90 mins

Duration: 1 hours, 26 minutes

Watch or listen on demand

Purchase this item to access

Module 3: Vajrayogini

May 25, 2019 9:30am - 11:00am PDT

We will look at the origins of Vajrayogini as a

  • Tantra
  • The role of transformation within tantra
  • The transmutation of obstacles into wisdom

Duration: 90 mins

Duration: 1 hours, 28 minutes

Robert Thurman

Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur. Time chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “isconsidered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”Thurman is known as a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including The Central Philosophy of Tibet, Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Artof Tibet, Worlds of Transformation, Inner Revolution, Infinite Life, the Jewel Tree of Tibet, Why The Dalai Lama Matters: HisActofTruth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World, and, most recently, with Sharon Salzberg, Love Your Enemies. https://bobthurman.com/

Isa Gucciardi

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, CA. Isa is also the creator of the spiritual counseling model, Depth Hypnosis, and author of two books, Coming to Peace and Return to the Great Mother. In addition to her teaching schedule that includes teaching classes in Applied Buddhist Psychology, Applied Shamanism, Integrated Energy Medicine and Depth Hypnosis, she has active practices in Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Counseling in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please see sacredstream.org