Programs and Talks

Though our primarily specialty is mindfulness, we offer a variety of workshops and public talks. Below is a list of the most commonly requested programs. In addition to those listed below, John also gives talks at universities, schools, private industry, juvenile halls, recovery programs, dharma and spiritual communities. We are always happy to design a program to meet your specific needs. If you are interested in hosting a program, please contact us at (970) 510-0583 or admin@wocompassion.org.

 

To see our currently scheduled programs, click on this link – Event Calendar.

To see photos of past workshops and retreats, click on this link – Photos.

Programs

The Mindful Life Program (MLP) is a mindfulness course developed by John Bruna and Mark Molony to provide you with skills that are practical, accessible, and universal. Skills that empower you to engage in the moments of your life with attention and intention, enabling you to cultivate beneficial tendencies and develop mental and emotional balance. MLP is designed to help people lead a meaningful life in alignment with their inner values. Everyone can benefit from mindfulness – regardless of your cultural, economic, or spiritual background. To learn more about MLP, visit Mindful Life Program.

Emotional Mindfulness – This retreat will provide you with skills to identify and work with your emotions in a balanced and healthy way. By integrating mindfulness training with the emotional awareness skills developed by Dr. Paul Ekman, you will be able to reduce emotional responses that are destructive and to enhance those that are beneficial. During the retreat, participants will learn how to combine wisdom derived from two very different traditions, psychology and meditation.

Cultivating Emotional Balance Through Mindfulness – In response to a request by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Dr. Paul Ekman and Dr. B. Alan Wallace developed a training program that integrates Buddhist contemplative practices (meditation) with Western techniques for dealing with negative emotional experiences. The training program, called Cultivating Emotional Balance, has been scientifically measured to reduce emotional responses that are destructive to self and others and enhance those that are beneficial. CEB is an intensive 42 hour training that provides students with valuable tools to improve the quality of their life as well as the lives they come into contact with. The meditation component includes training in shamatha (calm abiding), the four applications of mindfulness, and the Four Immeasurables (Brahmaviharas) .  The  John is a certified teacher of CEB. To learn more, visit the CEB website – Cultivating Emotional Balance.

Metta (loving-kindness) – Metta practice is one of the most popular vipassana techniques. This practice and meditation is used to bring peace and tranquility into one’s own heart and to send loving-kindness and compassion to others. Metta practice endows the four universal wishes (to live happily and to be free from hostility, affliction, and distress), with a very personal inner love, and by so doing, it has the power for personal transformation. This is a universal practice that can be benefit people of all spiritual traditions.

Brahmaviharas (The Four Immeasurables) — The Four Immeasurables are practices that open the heart, allowing us to deepen our relationship with ourselves and others. The cultivation of equanimity, loving-kindness, compassion, and empathetic joy helps us to counteract distorted and harmful mental and emotional states. This provides the foundation for living a meaningful and fulfilling life in alignment with one’s own personal spiritual beliefs and values. One does not need to be a Buddhist to benefit from these practices; they are universal to people of all faiths, traditions and cultures.

Shamatha (Calm Abiding) Meditation – Shamatha meditation helps you establish attentional balance and free your mind from disturbing emotions. It is a foundational meditation practice that builds concentration, clarity, inner peace, harmony and balance.

Practical Buddhism in Everyday Life – This presentation focuses on the essence of Buddhism and how it applies in our modern world.  John often calls this talk “Buddhism 101 in plain English.” During the presentation, he will help us unpack the framework of Buddhist philosophy and demonstrate how it applies to our everyday life. According to John, “Buddhism does not need to be complicated and mysterious. The philosophy is actually quite simple, practical, and has many universal themes that can be integrated into our own spiritual lives.”

226277_179290378787523_1431311_nThe Inside Job: Journey of a Western Buddhist Monk – This is an inspirational talk given by John in which he shares his personal journey. John is the eighth of nine children raised by a widowed, working mother. His journey is filled with both adversity and wonder. Raised in a low-income environment, surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and violence, his life took many turns – from homelessness to corporate management, from being an at-risk youth to teaching them in a low-income, minority high school. Throughout the journey a transformation is takes place, one in which a kind heart is finding its place within him. 

12 Step Mindfulness Talks and Workshops – John has been a  member of the recovery community since 1984. Combining his years of recovery with his training and experience in counseling, education, and as a Buddhist monk, John provides practical tools to integrate mindfulness training and meditation with 12 Step programs. 

Genuine Happiness – Most of us spend much of our life trying to acquire and sustain jobs, relationships, and material things with the hope that they will make us happy.  In other words, we make our happiness dependent upon external events and people.  While this strategy can bring temporary happiness, ultimately it cannot produce long-lasting results. In reality, people, events, relationships, jobs, material things, and even our health are constantly changing. Genuine happiness, as defined by B. Alan Wallace, is not contingent upon an outside stimulus. It does not come from what we get from the world; rather it comes from what we bring to it. We can cultivate the tools that can lead to a deep sense of well-being, regardless of the outer circumstances of your life.

Inspirational Talks – Due to John’s diverse, personal life experience and his trainings, he is able to speak and provide workshops on a variety of topics.  He is a very inspirational speaker and can draw upon his personal life story, overcoming drug addiction, violence, and homelessness to becoming a corporate manager, school teacher, counselor, and Buddhist monk.  Over the last 28 years he has transformed his life and truly wants to be able to help others transform theirs. John often says that every dream in his life has come true beyond measure.

Documentary Happy – This is a great documentary about the quest to be happy.  We can have a fundraiser screening of the film and follow it with a discussion on happiness.   Here is link to view the trailer – Happy trailer.

Individual and small group sessions – John is also available for personal or small group sessions.  All sessions are always offered on a free-will donation basis.  Contact John directly to schedule by calling 970-510-0513 or email at john@wocompassion.org.