Once established through ardent application, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness give rise to transformative experiential insights into ultimate reality, liberating the individual from the fetters of physical and mental suffering.
Our weekend of insight will encompass discussion on Buddhist theory, exploring and integrating in detail The Four Foundations of Mindfulness and vipassana meditation with the practice of Yin Yoga. Each of our sessions will include discourse and application of one of the foundations of mindfulness to our meditation and Yin posture practice, building systematically and progressively throughout the weekend. Through direct felt experience each practitioner will bear witness to insights capable of radically shifting how we engage with the mind, body and life itself.
These workshops are created for and are accessible to all levels of practitioners and geared specifically to anyone driven by an innate curiosity for insight into the enigma of life and a passion to move beyond the limitations of the conditioned mind.
Session 1: Foundation #1 - Contemplation of the Body (kayānupassanā)
In the first foundation of mindfulness, the Buddha expounded upon the contemplation of the physical body. Although fourteen different ways in which the body can be contemplated were taught, in this workshop we will focus upon the most relevant and accessible of these bodily contemplations: the contemplation of the breath.
Developing mindfulness (sāti) of the breath is vital for the development of insight. It is through the foundation of mindfulness upon the breath that a platform of concentrated stability arises (samādhi), enabling the practitioner to explore and investigate the myriad psychophysical phenomena from an objective perspective.
Session 2: Foundation #2 - Contemplation of Feeling (vedānanupassanā)
The second foundation of mindfulness is the contemplation of feeling tone, the mental experience of physical sensation. The Buddha taught that physical sensation and the accompanying mental feeling tone are experienced by the mind in three ways: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.
In this workshop we will integrate foundation #1 and foundation #2, applying concentrated stability (samādhi) to objectively observe the unadulterated expression of sensation and feeling tone, from the refuge of witness-consciousness.
Session 3: Foundation #3 - Contemplation of Consciousness (cittānupassanā)
The third foundation of mindfulness is the contemplation of consciousness or more specifically, the study of those mental factors which colour and condition consciousness.
From anger to fear, joy to sadness, this workshop will provide the practitioner, through the integrated support of foundations 1, 2 and 3, the opportunity to observe objectively and thus study the true nature of all emotionally charged mind-states.
Session 4: Foundation #4 - Contemplation of Phenomena (dhammānupassanā)
The fourth and final foundation of mindfulness is an extensive contemplation of sensory-phenomena. In this final workshop we will contemplate what are referred to as the six-internal and six-external sense bases:
- eyes / visual objects
- ears / audible objects
- nose / olfactory objects
- tongue / gustatory objects
- body / sensations
- mind / mental factors.
This final practice will integrate all four foundations of mindfulness, providing the practitioner the opportunity to apply and experience the transformative practice of vipassanā meditation.
Whit Hornsberger (Vancouver Island, Canada) is a student and teacher of the wisdom traditions of Classical Yoga and Theravada Buddhism.
A former athlete, Whit found the path as a result of a career ending knee injury and the subsequent emotional and mental suffering inherent in losing one’s (supposed) self-identity and self-worth.
By integrating knowledge from his degree in primatology with over 17 years of dedicated practice and 12 years of teaching, Whit has developed a unique spiritually scientific approach to the understanding of the mind and body.
His daily practice and teaching methods stem from the traditional practices of Vinyasa Krama (Krishnamacharya), Buddhist mindfulness meditation (Mahasi Sayadaw) and Yin Yoga. He continues to pursue his insatiable passion for truth and understanding by way of solo retreats amongst the courageous monastics in the Buddhist monasteries of Burma (Myanmar).
A passionate advocate of traditional teachings, Whit expounds the ancient wisdom of these lineages in a relevant manner, making them readily accessible to students at every stage of the path.
A lover of surf, travel and nature, Whit offers international and online classes, workshops, courses, retreats and trainings and spends his time between his home in Canada on Vancouver Island, Europe, and Mexico.