Working With Western Wounds
Original sin is a concept that pervades western culture. It emphasizes that human beings are corrupt, born bad, and that only God has the power to forgive and redeem us. Buddhism has no such concept and emphasizes Buddha nature, that all being are inherently worthy and good. We only need to see it, experience it and be it. As Buddhism took root in the west, many gravitated to this refreshing idea. But even though Buddhism has no original sin, this concept still weaves through every fabric of our society, including western Buddhist sanghas. How can we live into our Buddha nature when our larger society’s foundation is built on the opposite? How can we build sanghas in the west that can support us to heal the core wounds of seeing ourselves as inherently evil and help us dispel the symptoms of guilt, shame and saviorism when they arise in our practice?
Aarti Tejuja (she/her/they) is a mind/body healer, spiritual activist and coach, meditation and embodiment teacher, contemplative art instructor, student of Buddhism, and a sacred space holder/facilitator. Aarti has also been a community organizer, youth mentor and advocate for those impacted by the justice system. She graduated from DePaul University with an MS in Technology Project Management. She worked in the IT/Finance Industry for over ten years, including 6 years at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After completing a one month meditation retreat in 2008 with Shambhala, Aarti left the corporate world and went to work for Shambhala for ten years. During this time, she trained as a mindfulness meditation instructor, interplay instructor, art of hosting facilitator and circle keeper. Aarti co-created three self-care mindfulness conferences with multiple non-profit organizations working to end violence in Chicago. She developed several mindfulness and team building trainings for non-profits and youth in schools throughout Chicagoland.
Aarti has personally witnessed how the magic of creativity and movement, the power of meditation and the art of holding space has transformed the lives of so many people and hopes to bring the same tools into the workplace.
Aarti lives in Berwyn, IL with her partner Matt and their 3 kitties, Mochi, Buttercup and Fiona.
If you can't join us live, this recording will be available on the Weekly Dharma Gathering Platform. You will receive an email when the talk is posted.