Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fall Class with Flint Sparks: Waking up and growing up

Here are further details and the schedule for Flint's upcoming class at Ordinary Mind.

Waking Up and Growing Up:
Maturing in Life and in Practice

A six-month series in studying the Self
with Flint Sparks

The great twentieth-century Zen master Uchiyama Roshi was once asked his definition of a Bodhisattva. After a brief pause, he replied in his very limited English, “I think, maybe a grown-up.” What is this “grown-up” that Uchiyama is referring to and how is this an expression of the Bodhisattva ideal in Buddhist practice?

In Norman Fischer’s book, Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up, he writes, “I have always been struck by the language the sutras use to describe bodhisattvic altruistic activity: the bodhisattva matures beings, the sutras say. The work of the bodhisattva is, in other words, to become mature and in doing so to work for the maturity of others.” (p. 20)

In this class we will investigate the interplay among all the streams of human development - neurological, emotional, relational, spiritual. These strands of development form our personalities and inform our relationships. They are the source of all of our joys as well as our sorrows. When Dogen famously wrote, “To study the Buddha Way is the study the Self,” I believe he was suggesting that we explore this map of human growth that opens most fully as human awakening. This is the path of the Bodhisattva which is nothing but the path of the human being.

The class will meet monthly over a six-month period. The program will follow the Ordinary Mind principle of experiential work, rather than following a classroom or academic model. We will incorporate into each meeting some time for sitting, some writing, small experiments or exercises, some inquiry work, and discussion. I believe that in this series, I will have a chance, for the first time, to draw on all I have learned over the years as a therapist and as a Zen teacher. I hope you will join me.

We will generally meet the second Tuesday of the month of each month except for November and January from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Here are the class dates:

Sept. 9
Oct. 7
Nov. 4
Dec. 9
Jan. 13
Feb. 10

The fee for the entire class is $150. Application forms may be downloaded here:

Questions? Call 512.689.5301 or email or

Mail or bring this form:
Ordinary Mind Zen-Austin
913 East 38th St.
Austin, TX 78705


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