April – Mantra Workshop with Ian Boccio
Sunday, April 23rd
Chants for Awakening: the Bodhisattva Path to Liberation
with Ian Boccio
This afternoon workshop is a deep dive into the nature of the spiritual journey and an exploration of the goal: Nirvana, enlightenment, liberation. The text we will be investigating is the Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutra, popularly known as the Heart Sutra, which comes from the literature of Mahayana Buddhism. The Heart Sutra attempts to explain, in a pithy 40 lines, the nature of Shunyata, infinite consciousness which is without limiting qualities and is therefore called “emptiness” in Buddhist philosophy. Shunyata is that state which we enter into temporarily when we experience Samadhi and permanently when we experience Nirvana. Knowing that the intellect is finite and can only talk and think around this concept of Shunyata, the Heart Sutra also provides a mantra, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha, which expands consciousness towards the realization of the True Self. We will be building up to the practice of this mantra with full intention and understanding.
Before we can truly harness the power of the Heart Sutra mantra however, we must equip ourselves with the proper tools and consult with the right guides who can take us to the fulfillment of our journey. Our tools are compassion, wisdom and willpower, represented by the three Bodhisattvas who will be our guides and helpers throughout this process: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. We will start with a short introduction to each of these aspects of higher consciousness as well as the importance of the energies they encapsulate to our spiritual work. Then we will chant the root mantras for each of the Bodhisattvas, drawing the vibrations of compassion, wisdom and willpower into ourselves for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The Chants for Awakening practice is available and effective for anyone who chooses to undertake it. No prior knowledge of Sanskrit, mantra meditation, or Buddhism is required. This practice is also not exclusive to people who label themselves as “Buddhists”. Shunyata is a universal experience that is open to all who seek it, and the Bodhisattvas have undertaken a vow to help all sentient beings find their way to it, if they so choose.
Date: Sunday, April 23rd
Investment: $54 advance registration, available until April 9th.
$72 there after or at the door
Using his sonorous voice and a variety of musical instruments, Ian Boccio serves as a channel for the energy of group mantra chanting events. He has been a professional musician for more than 20 years and has a Master of Fine Arts degree in abstract oil painting. Ian began his mantra yoga practice in 2005 and continues to steep himself in both the esoteric philosophies of the discipline and the everyday applications of these potent energies. He is also a chant leader in the Atlanta-based kirtan group, Blue Spirit Wheel, and the Creative Director of the ChantLanta Sacred Music Festival. Please visit www.bluespiritwheel.com
for more information.