A spiritual approach to ecological, social and personal transformation
6 online evening meetings with
Every Thursday from 20:30 to 22:00 (CEST)
(check you local time on timeanddate.com)
From 21st April to 26th May 2022
A course organised by four FPMT Italy centres: Centro Lama Tzong Khapa (Treviso); Centro Ewam (Firenze); Nyingje Ling (Verona); Thubten Kunkyen (Napoli).
This programme is designed for the times we are living through. It is based on the ancient buddhist tradition of Kalacakra, the Wheel of Time, which understands the rise and fall of individual life, universes and civilisations to be cyclical and interconnected. As part of a project to create a Kalacakra tradition for the 21st century, this programme explores our current crisis and how we as individuals might participate in the creation of a new civilisation.
The Key to Human Survival
Our world is becoming one community. We are being drawn together by the grave problems of overpopulation, dwindling natural resources, and an environmental crisis that threatens the very foundation of our existence on this planet. Human rights, environmental protection and greater social and economic equality are all interrelated. I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace.
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The whole course, which is spread over six online classes via Zoom, will be very interactive: there will be sharing and discussion sessions, which will be led by Andy Wistreich.
The course is in English language, with simultaneous translations in Italian, Spanish and Russian.
You can download the first class for free: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-2-AT5LjWmyZFa0Js4UqH8KqqadE0rUg
To register to the entire course: see below.
- Seeing through and beyond the barbarian culture
The Kalacakratantra speaks of the barbarian culture as the doctrine or ideology of materialists who utilise violence and cruelty in pursuit of their sociopathic narcissistic goals. We can see this culture manifestly prevailing in many parts of the world today. We begin by exploring the roots of this harmful ideology, and then consider a radical positive way to see through and beyond it: the pure Dharma of wisdom and compassion, whose seed lies in the heart of every living being. These are seeds of positive ecological, social and personal transformation. Their seedlings are already sprouting everywhere in the hearts of those who recognise and reject the destructivity of barbarism.
- The process of societal collapse and how to respond positively
Our global civilisation that promotes greed, selfishness and aggressive competition is breaking down. It has drawn us into a spiral of species extinction, social, economic, agricultural, and political collapse. The world’s political and economic structures do nothing to stop this, because they are thoroughly invested in the old order. Huge numbers of living beings face threats to life, wellbeing, community cohesion and environment. How should we, as seed-carriers of the pure Dharma of wisdom and compassion, relate positively and effectively to this process? By rejecting greed, embracing the universal responsibility that cares for all beings unconditionally, and by participating in embryonic peaceful, ecologically harmonious cultures.
- Deep adaptation
Recognising the probability of collapse, many movements for deep adaptation are emerging all over the world. Based on personal inner work, and mindful of the needs to develop new societal processes and forms, these movements work to develop inner and outer resilience, relinquishment of what we don’t need, restoration of abandoned wholesome cultural forms, and reconciliation with spiritual transcendence. The inner aspect of deep adaptation is the path of taking universal responsibility right up to non-dual altruistic enlightenment. These times of crisis make this path much more powerful and rapid than it is in times of inertia and social stability.
- Harmonising the elements
Traditional cultures recognise the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space. These elements are intimately connected to consciousness, so that when consciousness is badly disturbed, the elements become chaotically disharmonious. This can cause natural, ecological catastrophes, as well as severe damage to the health and wellbeing of individuals and populations. Methods that reharmonise the elements within the individual, not only benefit that person, but have a wider impact on society and the environment. Such practices can restore the inner and outer stability and balance of elemental harmony.
- Beyond patriarchy
One of the fundamental tenets of our harmful civilisation is patriarchy, which for thousands of years has conditioned most human cultures. Not only does it entail the subjugation of women and the feminine in everyone, but it also generates the brutal extractivist rape of mother nature, imperialism and colonialism, slavery, and racism. It has led to the extreme social inequalities we witness in the world today. Unless and until we collectively emerge from the era of patriarchy, these oppressions will continue. Overcoming patriarchy begins within the individual, female, male or otherwise, who has innately absorbed millennia of cultural conditioning. When we harmonise and transcend the duality of our feminine and masculine aspects, we can move ahead and eventually attain the inner harmony of inseparability. This becomes a powerful resource for supporting others and helps to transform the entire culture.
- The new civilisation
The Kalacakratantra speaks of a new civilisation that emerges from the dissolution of the barbarian culture. It calls this civilisation Shambhala. This civilisation is non-oppressive, beyond patriarchy, and based on the ecological harmony of the inner and outer elements. Even as the old civilisation collapses, there are many signs across the world, of this emerging new eco-civilisation taking root. To contribute towards its creation, we may purify ourselves through wisdom and compassion, transforming our selfishness into universal responsibility. How we engage practically in the outer process depends on our situation, our capacity and our predisposition. Opportunities for positive practical engagement are everywhere to be found, as the old system gradually loses its grip.
HOW TO JOIN THE COURSE
The first meeting is completely free and open to everyone. Zoom credentials for the first meeting:
ID: 830 1885 5920
To join the entire course you need to register. Thanks to the project “Dharma 2.0”, which has contributed to the sustainability of the course, it is possible to participate with a contribution of 50€.
TO REGISTER FOR THE ENTIRE COURSE:
It is necessary to register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with:
– Name and surname
– Email address
– Phone number
– Payment receipt
After sending the email you will receive Zoom credentials to access the entire course.
You can pay your contribution:
- Via Current Account IT81J05018028000015112303
Made out to: Fondazione FPMT Italia
Reason for payment: Kalacakra
- Via PayPal: https://bit.ly/3ioNgks
Sign up or ask for information by writing to
Andy lives in Southwest England with his wife, Shan. They are members of Saraswati Study Group, where they present the FPMT Basic Programme. Andy has been studying, practising and teaching within FPMT for 40 years. He has taught the Kalacakra and the New Civilisation course in 2020 and led the retreat on the same lines in 2021. He places a lot of emphasis in bringing the Dharma into 21st century culture, with reference to the special challenges of our times.
This course has also been realised thanks to the contribution of the 8×1000 of the Italian Buddhist Union.