Looking Deeply is a 6-week follow on course from Be Calm Be Happy in which we will build on the learning from this foundation.
The benefits of Looking Deeply are to ground ourselves more fully in Thay’s teachings, giving deep, strong roots to our peace and contentment.
We can do this most beneficially as a Sangha, a group of people coming together to practise and support one another on the journey.
Looking Deeply develops the themes and learnings from Be Calm Be Happy and takes us deeper into Thay’s teachings, exploring topics of helping us to become more aware of our ’territory’, which is – body, feelings, mind, and consciousness. Together we will discover how to develop our mindfulness further into our experiences and life.
What to expect
The course is held online via zoom, enabling you to participate from wherever you are geographically based.
In each session we will
- meditate together
- consider a topic relating to the weekly theme
- undertake a short reflection exercise to help us look at how this is relevant to my life
- have time for feedback and discussion.
We will recommend meditations from the Plum Village App for you to use during the week. If you do not already use it, you can access it here https://plumvillage.app/
You will get most out of this course by making the time to regularly practise the meditations and reflecting on the weekly theme to deepen your mindfulness during the week between each session. The Plum Village App will be a very valuable resource to support your practices.
Themes for the sessions
- Arriving Home
- Mindfulness of the Body
- Mindfulness of Feelings
- Mindfulness of the Mind
Schedule for the Course
The course is held on Tuesday evenings, 7- 9 pm, 13th September concluding on 18th October.
This course is led by two experienced practitioners in the Plum Village Tradition, Vari McLuskie and Clare Carlile.
Vari was ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 1995 into the Order of Interbeing and as a lay Dharma teacher in 2012 and given the True name True Action of Loving Kindness. Vari arrived home on her first Plum Village mindfulness retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1990. Life became brighter, calmer, more enjoyable and understandable.
She began to recognise how, supported by a mindfulness practice community, she could cultivate peace, love, and understanding in herself every day. It was clear that developing these qualities in herself also truly benefitted others. She put mindfulness practice and sangha at the centre of her life. Bit by bit; building her practice, accepting her shortcomings, encouraging herself through the difficulties – perceived and otherwise. Through difficult times in her life, she has practised seeing that there cannot be happiness without suffering (“no mud, no lotus”)– through the premature death of a beloved friend, the sudden deaths of her parents, the challenges of parenthood, and work and health challenges.
Vari has been an ordained Dharma teacher since 2012 and combines this responsibility with work as a Strategic Consultant. She has shared mindfulness in corporate settings, with female offenders and victims of sexual abuse as well as through Plum Village UK retreats and the Be Calm, Be Happy courses which she co-developed. Vari is based in the Midlands having lived many years in London.
Clare first encountered Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings through his books and subsequently retreats from 1998.She became increasingly committed to her daily practice with the support of the Sanghas in York and Kirkbymoorside, and it is now a central part of her life.
The Plum Village tradition has enabled Clare to work with the demands of a complex life managing a large shared household to benefit the needs of adults with special needs, alongside bringing up her own four children. She provided guidance and teaching for young interns over many years. Clare’s mindfulness practice is deeply rooted in her daily practice which includes drawing and painting in the Helmsley Walled Garden. Clare studied Fine Art at Newcastle and completed her postgraduate degree at Edinburgh. Clare’s practice transforms and enlivens everything she does.
Who can attend?
Our expectation for this course is either that you have already attended a Be Calm Be Happy course or that you have considerable experience of practising in the Plum Village tradition with a Sangha, and have participated in other Plum Village UK retreats, courses, or events. It is suitable for those of all faiths and none. Our course participants come from a wide range of backgrounds.
Please note, this course is not suitable for beginners, and we recommend Be Calm Be Happy if you are looking for an introduction to the Plum Village practises, or a means of re-establishing a regular practice.
We recommend that everyone signing up for this course becomes a member of the Community of Interbeing (see our website at Join Us ).
How to attend
Please follow the link to book through Eventbrite.