The End of Suffering: Claiming our Vulnerability as Strength

with Acharya Susan Chapman

April 26th—April 28th

Date details +
  • $200 Program Price
  • $250 Patron Price
  • Pay what you can afford (enter amount in registration)

Restoring a vision of Noble Sangha as Refuge

“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. 
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.” 

--Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Whether we’re looking back through the centuries of human history or we’re revisiting the stories of our own life, we learn that people survive the worst of times by supporting each other with kindness, generosity, patience and courageous action. Without this support, our relationships to each other and to our authentic selves are fractured and our pain freezes as unhealed trauma.

For over 2500 years, the teachings of the Buddha have been protected by taking refuge in a Noble Sangha, communities that allow transformation and openness to occur.

Now is the time to restore a vision of Noble Sangha, beginning by creating safe spaces called ‘green zones’. We need these intentional relationships because we are presently living through a time of great risk, when external socio-political forces are driving wedges between us, and internally our attention is being swept away by a dis-embodied social media. It is critical right now that we look to the Four Noble Truths to re-learn the art of human being-ness, being together with awake body, tender heart and open mind.

The intention for this weekend retreat is to offer time, space and guidance to restore the vision of what it means to be ‘sangha’, connection to our authentic selves and to each other.

You do not have to be a buddhist to participate in this retreat. We offer a special welcome to people of colour and members of other marginalized groups.

About the Teachers: 

Elesa Commerse is the founder of Touching Earth Mindfulness Learning Center, in Evanston, IL, where she develops and produces curricula, creates teaching tools and teaches teachers. As founder of National Meditation Month and the Willing to Listen initiative, Elesa helps people embrace the precious, fragile and fleeting nature of life. She leads several Deep Study® intensives, including one titled "Good Life…Good Death" that helps people: understand the death and dying process from Western medical and eastern philosophical perspectives; articulate and embrace their legacy; and come to terms with their mortality—all within a context of loving kindness and compassion.

Acharya Susan Chapman has been a student of Shambhala since 1974. She has an MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University, worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist. She has one grown child. With her husband Jerry she founded the Juneau Shambhala Center and later completed Gampo Abbey’s three year retreat, where she went on to serve as druppon “retreat leader” for six more years.

After moving back to Vancouver, Susan started a business which offers workshops and training in mindful communication, and is on the faculty of Karuna Training, teaching twice yearly in Europe. She was empowered as a Shastri in 2010. In April she published her book, The five Keys to Mindful Communication. The Sakyong gave her the acharya name Jinlap Wangmo “Blessing Lady.”