What is Awakening? Part II

Course Description

In this course, Tina gives an overview of awakening in modern non-dual teachings and provides an in-depth overview of dimensions of non-duality that practitioners might go through at an experiential level. She offers in-depth instructions for the remaining two categories of meditation practice rooted in tradition and confirmed by neuroscience: Open Monitoring and Self Transcending meditations. In addition, she conducts guided meditation sessions for the above two categories that can be used as additional instructions to practice on our own. Tina also talks about the path of embodiment or the different ways we can practice off the cushion to aid the process of self-transformation and dropping our conditioning and patterns that are necessary conditions for awakening. She concludes the course with the topics of ethics and practical suggestions we can leverage to be intentional about our awakening journey and maintain the practice irrespective of life circumstances.

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Course Lessons

1. Awakening in Modern Non-Dual Teachings

In this section, Tina provides an overview of the “What is Awakening Part II” course and its main components. She then continues with an overview of how awakening is viewed in modern non-dual teachings. Tina talks about core components and common characteristics of modern non-dual teachings, including attitude to practice, presence of awakened awareness, post-awakening embodiment, and more.

2. Eastern and Western Understanding of Awakening

In this lesson., Tina covers differences in understanding of awakening in the Western and Eastern traditions. She talks about how each of those traditions views individualism and original human nature. Tina continues with ways modern teachings attempt to integrate differences in both traditions to create a whole and complete view on topics of awakening, psyche, spirituality, and more.

3. Dimensions of Non-duality

In this section, Tina covers the topic of non-duality, which is an important element of the awakening journey. She provides a view on different stages of non-duality that can be experienced by practitioners engaged in different traditions. She covers stages that individuals might go through during the journey, such as physical, boundless love, pure presence, non-conceptual, absolute, and logos dimensions. Tina provides descriptions of those dimensions on the conceptual and experiential level.

4. Third Category: Open Monitoring Meditation (Vipassana)

In this lesson, Tina deep dives into the third category of meditation practice: open monitoring (vipassana). She provides a brief background and explanation of the open monitoring category of meditation and talks about a range of skills that get developed through this category of practices, including the capacity to observe phenomena, equanimity, and ability to cut through the normal perception of reality. She also covers a series of insights that open monitoring meditation enables practitioners to realize.

5. Guided Practice: Open Monitoring Meditation

In this section, Tina conducts guided open monitoring meditation. She starts with a brief review of the open monitoring meditation category, main objectives, and instructions. She then continues with a guided practice. This section will serve as an instruction for us to practice open monitoring meditation on our own.

6. Off the Cushion Practice – Embodiment

In this section, Tina talks about the path of embodiment or the different ways we can practice off the cushion to aid the process of self-transformation, thinning of sense of self, and dropping our conditioning and patterns, which eventually leads to awakening. She expands on the topics of conditioning and patterning, covering defilements, which are emotional or mental states that tend to drive our actions without us being aware of them. Tina also explains how the defilements correspond to the feeling tone of our experience (Vedanā). Tina highlights Enneagram and psychological work as tools that help us identify personality that we can work with on our journey to awakening.

7. Ethics

In this lesson, Tina deep dives into the topic of ethics and the importance of off the cushion practice and psychological work to avoid spiritual by-passing and potential ethical issues. She talks about the code of ethics for teachers, how awakening does not solve personality/psyche issues, and our responsibilities as students. Tina provides some guidelines and suggestions that we can apply to behave ethically on our journey to awakening.

8. The View

In this section, Tina introduces The View, a central idea in Tibetan Buddhism. We need to understand and cultivate it in order to engage in the self-transcending category of meditation. The View is an interpretation of our human experience that shapes and affects the content of our consciousness, including thoughts, sensations, and actions. Tina talks about three elements of the View – essence, nature, and compassion, describes each element, and highlights the importance of bringing it into our lives.

9. Fourth Category: Self-Transcending Meditation (Dzogchen)

In this lesson, Tina deep dives into the fourth category of meditation practice: Self-transcending. She provides a brief background and explanation of what the Self-transcending category of meditation is within the Dzogchen tradition. Tina continues with instructions on the self-transcending meditation based on the Dzogchen Rigpa practice.

10. Guided Practice: Self-Transcending Meditation

In this section, Tina conducts a guided Dzogchen-based self-transcending meditation. She starts with a brief review of the self-transcending meditation, main objectives, and instructions. She then continues with a guided practice. This section will serve as an instruction for us to practice self-transcending meditation on our own.

11. Awakening as a Potential for Everyone

In this lesson, Tina summarizes the topic of awakening. She discusses its accessibility for every person and provides practical suggestions we can leverage to be intentional about our journey and keep our motivation high during periods of doubt. Tina also explains the benefits of practicing for the wellbeing of others, serving as a more stable ground for staying on the journey irrespective of life circumstances.

Tina Rasmussen

Tina Rasmussen

Tina is a meditation teacher who leads retreats and offers spiritual guidance and mentoring to practitioners worldwide. Her mission as a teacher is to foster awakening and its embodiment in worldly life through the application of authentic, rigorous Buddhist and modern practices.

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