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Radiant Heart Workshops

What is the relationship between breathing and mindfulness?

What IS mindfulness?

How is it possible to be “one” with everything?  How are all living beings connected?

Do you feel that happiness is elusive?  How can we cultivate joy?

What is the intelligence of the heart?  How can I hear what my heart wants to tell me?

You are warmly invited to participate in a series of five online workshops exploring classic Buddhist texts and the yoga and meditation practices we can use to cultivate awareness, mindfulness, compassion, happiness and joy. If you are local to Pittsburgh, I will be facilitating a series of five special classes so that we can explore these texts in-person as a community.  Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn more about Buddhist philosophy and how to live in deeper relationship with your heart-mind.

The Radiant Heart Series is Yoga Matrika’s signature course on Buddhist philosophy and meditation.  I am facilitating a series of online courses that explore five unique Buddhist texts in translation and yoga and meditation exercises that will help us embody the philosophy of the text.  Learn the origins of awareness, breath as a tool in meditation, mindfulness and how to cultivate bliss and happiness through practice.  Each individual workshop is $10 and includes readings, basic meditation instructions for a daily 5-minute meditation commitment, an MP3 download of a guided audio practice, Sharon’s notes on the key concepts of the text and at least one webinar lecture that you can attend live online or download the recorded video to watch at your convenience.

Here is a list of topics and courses along with the suggested assigned readings for each workshop:

WORKSHOP #1: Finding the Breath of the Heart

First Sutra: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing (Pali of the Anapanasati Sutta)
Required Reading: Awakening of the Heart: 9-55

In this workshop, we will read the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing, practice full awareness of breath and learn how to define awareness according to this sutra.  Our discussion will be around the relationship between breath and mind and how the cultivation of awareness impacts our health and relationships.


Textbook: Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Parallax Press (2012)



WORKSHOP #2: The Heart’s Intelligence

Second Sutra: The Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness ( Satipatthana Sutta)
Required Reading: Awakening of the Heart: 99-216

In this workshop we will discuss and practice the four establishments of mindfulness.  Our discussion will be around defining mindfulness, a term that many people use, but very few can define.  We will explore ways to cultivate mindfulness both in yoga and meditation practice and also in our daily lives.  Finally, we will look at how mindfulness impacts mind and well-being.  There are two options for this workshop!  One is an online version with text, video and audio guides and links to additional resources ($15).  The second is a workshop in Pittsburgh at Mookshi Wellness Center on Sunday, October 25, 2015 that includes both a special class from 2:00-3:30 pm AND access to the online course ($25).



WORKSHOP on SUNDAY, October 25, 2015:

Date: Sunday, October 25, 2015
Time: 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Tuition: $25 (Includes tuition in online course)*


Textbook:Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Parallax Press (2012)
Pages for this workshop: 99-216

*The online course includes a copy of the sutra in both PDF forms and with links to a number of online websites that offer both the text and commentaries.  The version translated by Thich Nhat Hanh is the one that will be used in the workshop and referred to by Sharon.  You are not obligated to read any particular version.

WORKSHOP #3: Mindful Heart Practices

Third Sutra: The Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutra)
Required Reading: Awakening the Heart: 407-442

The Heart Sutra is an important Buddhist text because it invokes Avolokiteshvara (a bodhissatva known as Kuanyin in East Asian Buddhist traditions) and is argued to be an original Chinese contribution to Buddhism after it left India with monks who traveled through Central Asia.  The text itself introduces the concepts of both emptiness and the idea that we are all “one”.  Our practices will be around how to use emptiness as a tool for yoga and meditation practice.

Date: Sunday, November 22, 2015
Time: 1:00-4:00 pm
Tuition: $35

Textbook: Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Parallax Press (2012)

WORKSHOP #4: Radiant Heart

Fourth Sutra: The Radiance Sutras (Vijnana Bhairava Tantra)
Required Reading: The Radiance Sutras (entire book)

In this workshop we will read select sutras from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra and learn about Tantra and how important it is in this tradition that we are in a human body.  We will explore the importance of the gift of a precious human life and the opportunities that we have that are unique to the human experience.  Our practices will focus on cultivating joy and blissful states of being through practice and in daily life.

Date: January 24, 2016
Time: 1:00-4:00 pm
Tuition: $35

Textbook: The Radiance Sutras
Author: Lorin Roche
Publisher: Sounds True (2014)

WORKSHOP #5: Cultivating Joy and Abundance

Fifth Sutra: The Sutra on Happiness ( Mangala Sutta)
Required Reading: Awakening of the Heart: 493-510

In this workshop we will define happiness within the context of Buddhism through reading and discussing the Mangala Sutta.  Our practice will focus on how the cultivation of awareness and compassion helps us attract an abundance of generosity, joy and ultimately leads to a happiness that can’t be destroyed by daily circumstances of our lives.

Date: February 28, 2016
Time: 1:00-4:00 pm
Tuition: $35

Textbook: Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Parallax Press (2012)



When you register for the entire series of five-workshops, you also get access to an online course that includes video lectures and audio-guided meditations. Yoga instructors who are taking the course for CEU credits must enroll in and attend all five workshops for credit.

Series Information

Individual Workshops

You are warmly invited to enroll in individual workshops of interest to you. Read more about each workshop and register online. Students who attend individual workshops are not eligible for a CEU certificate and do not have access to the online course, audio recordings or video lectures.

Individual workshops

This is a course designed for adults who are seeking an intellectual, physical and energetic approach to yoga and meditation for health and well-being.  For yoga instructors, this is an opportunity to explore five Classical Buddhist texts and learn an approach to meditation and the practice of asana that will enhance their teaching, regardless of style or level of experience.

The series combines five-workshops supplemented by an online course module including lectures, audio guided meditation, handouts, a reading list and discussion boards.  Curriculum includes:

    • Reading and discussion of five Classical Buddhist texts in translation
    • Hatha Yoga: gentle physical yoga practices for heart health, stress reduction and happiness
    • Guided meditation instruction
    • Poetry and inspirational readings
    • Energetic and embodied anatomy of the heart
    • Heart Chakra activation techniques
    • Stress, anxiety and panic management and reduction techniques

The workshops will be active with some lecture and discussion of the texts, but with an emphasis on movement practices that help us embody the themes in the reading.  No experience with yoga, meditation or reading and discussing philosophy is required.  All practices are secular and you do not need to be Buddhist–adults of all religious orientations are welcome.  Workshops are facilitated by Sharon Fennimore, MA, E-RYT, RPYT.