An Introduction to a Thoroughly Relational Dharma

November 10 - 24, 2024
online

Please join us!

Email us about program
November 10 - 24, 2024
online

Please join us!

Gregory Kramer will be offering a three-session series of talk and practice sessions on relational Dharma. This series will introduce what he means by relational Dharma and why it is critical to our present efforts to address personal, relational, and global suffering. Humans are sensitive beings and we have a particular sensitivity to other humans. In the feedback loop set up by human contact, this sensitivity creates a relational multiplier effect that accelerates, amplifies and sustains mind states and actions.

This power can go towards ill and towards good. Relational contact amplifies suffering and meditative qualities, delusion and insight. It can turn aversion to war, lust to abuse, delusion to injustice. Ignorance of our relational nature and its power is at the root of this suffering and harm. This ignorance manifests individually, in relationships, and in society. We need to increase relational wisdom any way we can.

The Dharma can aim relational power towards the good. Because human beings are intrinsically relational, and the Buddha’s teachings emerge from the totality of human experience, then the Dharma must also be intrinsically relational. Why would the Buddha state that good friendship is “the whole of the holy life”? Why is sangha one of the Triple Gems, up there with Buddha and Dhamma? Why are relational meditation practices like Insight Dialogue so powerful?

Perhaps the answers to these questions can help us unify our aspirations for freedom from personal suffering and societal pain. Perhaps we can realize the nearness of wisdom and love.

We seek to revive the profound relationality of the Buddha’s transmission and evolve it to directly meet the hard problem of modern selfing and social fracture. This path needs the zeal, compassion, and intelligence of co-meditation, spiritual friendship and community. A fully relational Dharma helps us realize that a life of wisdom ripens into a life of love, and that a life of love is a path of wisdom.

We will begin an exploration of relational Dharma. This is practical and accessible to anyone willing to look closely at experience. Our investigation will speak directly to our lives in the here and now. Can we live a whole-life Dharma path without understanding how mutually sensitive and how interwoven we are?

Session 1: Overview of relational Dharma. What is relational Dharma? Why is it important? What is relational ignorance, suffering, and freedom?

Session 2: Overview of relatedness inherent in the foundational Dharma teachings.

Session 3: Overview of interpersonal practices of insight, love, and release.

*Sessions will include small-group practice in breakout rooms*