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Self Is a Metaphor
Dates: Feb 17, 2017 - Feb 19, 2017
Days: Fri - Sun (2 Nights)

Instructor(s): Arnie Kozak

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 A new consensus is emerging both within Buddhist studies and in the cognitive sciences that the self, as we experience it, is—itself—a metaphorical process. The Buddha’s teaching of anattā (not-self) can be understood through the cognitive science of language, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. The Buddha was a master metaphor maker, and in this workshop we’ll look at his original teachings on not-self, dukkha, nibbāna, and the three fires as all cast in metaphorical terms. This workshop will seek to naturalize these original teachings through questions such as, Can we get beyond metaphors to reflect self and reality through our insights? Do we need to transcend language in order to experience awakening (itself another metaphor)? Can mindfulness practice help us get closer to the primordial reality that lives just before word, concept, and category? In this workshop, experiential practices will include guided meditations on the nature of self and a journaling technique that uses impermanence to disrupt our normal (attached) relationship to internal stories. Suggested reading: Arnie Kozak’s 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness: From Wild Chickens to Petty Tyrants (2016).


12 Continuing education credits are available for psychologists and social workers who attend this program in full. We are not able to offer CEU's for Counselors (NBCC). Please note that we charge a $25 processing fee for CEUs.  More information here.
  • Arnie Kozak, PhD, is a psychotherapist, clinical assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, He is author of 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness: From Wild Chickens to Petty Tyrants, Mindfulness A-Z: 108 Insights for Awakening Now, The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills for Maximizing Your Strengths and Thriving in a Loud and Crazy World, and The Everything Essentials Buddhism Book. Arnie has been practicing yoga and meditation for over thirty years and is dedicated to translating the Buddha’s teachings into readily accessible forms. In the long winters of northern Vermont when he’s not working, he rides the frozen slopes on his snowboard. During the short summers, he golfs. During all seasons, you can find him trailing running with his dogs in the foothills of the Green Mountains.