MAPLE FundamentalsWake Up. Unlock Your Potential. Guide the World.
Gain the tools needed for personal flourishing and transformative leadership.
The Monastic Academy for the Preservation of Life on Earth (MAPLE) has spent the past decade refining a culture and training system that empowers people to awaken to their potential and serve the world.
Drawing on ancient mindfulness practices and modern methods of personal growth and leadership development, MAPLE Fundamentals is an interactive online program that will help you build the behaviors and mental habits needed to show up fully in all aspects of your life.
"This course helped me embody and live out my core values by offering a toolkit that can be applied to the personal, the professional, and all the messiness in between"- Benjamin Haynes
MAPLE Fundamentals offers a modern, integrated approach to development that gives you practical tools for personal and collective transformation. The 6-week journey begins with an Awakened Leadership module that establishes a global and personal context for the training. You will connect with your intention for showing up fully, foster friendship and accountability processes for supporting you on this path, and explore a remarkable insight: the same practices that we use to generate meaning and joy create the trustworthy leaders the world desperately needs.
In the subsequent modules, you will use introspection, communication, and meditation tools to help you make sense of the world, deepen your relationships, and navigate life with greater compassion and clarity. During the final week, you will integrate your insights and weave together the practices in the form of a self-retreat. This will enable you to dive deeper into what resonated most and establish a momentum and action plan for your journey ahead.
How You Will Grow With MAPLE Fundamentals
- Integrate mindfulness into each aspect of your life and walk the path of realizing a joy beyond circumstances
- Release emotional blockages to enhance your clarity, performance, and choice-making
- Deepen intimacy and authenticity in your relationships and leadership
- Make sense of our social and ecological challenges and strengthen your response to the issues you care most about
- Invigorate meaning by clarifying your highest aspiration and making practical commitments to hold yourself in integrity with it
- Connect with a network of practitioners dedicated to a life of personal transformation and service to the world.
0. Awakened Leadership
We will open the course by deepening our relationship with the planetary crisis as the context in which we engage in our transformative work. Whether it’s the threat of social inequality, nuclear warfare, the mental health crisis, or global warming, it’s clear that business as usual is unsustainable.
Although many are putting forth great efforts to reform these broken systems, we will focus on the root of these issues – the human mind. By shifting our focus to the mind that is unknowingly participating in the destruction of life on earth, we face the horrifying prospect that the very thing that is burning down the world is the exact same thing that is running our lives.
The purpose of MAPLE is to help us discover a new mind that resolves this fundamental issue. This is a path that enables us to become leaders in a time of crisis and to receive the greatest joy life has to offer. By engaging in the MAPLE ecology of practices we can realize this potential and offer our gifts to the world from a place of wisdom, love, and power. This is a momentous undertaking that not only requires courage and humility, but also deep friendship and community. In this first module, we will establish this context and companionship in which we practice for the preservation and flourishing of life on Earth.
In this week we will explore:
- The need for awakened leaders to address our collapsing social and environmental systems
- How the integration of wisdom, love, and power creates the basis for trustworthy individuals and cultures
- Clarifying your vow, purpose, or soul’s calling and understanding the power it holds over your life
- Making practical commitments that enable you to align your day-to-day activities with your vow
1. Circling – Interpersonal Meditation
In this module, we will use the skills of mindfulness and emotional intelligence to experience rich connection and presence with others. Each of us holds relational blindspots and patterns, and through interpersonal meditation we learn to slow down to see these patterns as they arise and pass in connection. We focus on the “how” in relationship rather than the “what”—the content—of relating, just as we do in our mindfulness practice.
Through this method we learn to stay grounded in our bodies while remaining in connection. We practice feeling our feelings in connection with others. This radically different way of relating opens up vulnerability, trust, and connection. We move beyond needing to present our selves in a “good” way and instead feel the aliveness and joy of being with the cutting edge of experience as it is.
In this week we will explore:
- Deep Listening and Presence
- What it’s like to receive the full attention of a group
- Learn relational techniques with each other
- Staying/Speaking what’s alive (staying with direct, present experience)
- Owning our experience
- Noticing and breaking common ways we get stuck in relationship (relational blindspots)
- Support each other in deepening our presence and connection
Meditation exists to gain control and insight into the workings of the mind and spirit. Today, many interests compete for control of our attention, and thus our minds. Whether it is social media, advertising, or the corporations driving these; we are affected by it all. We may feel disconnected from the core of our being, our minds fragmented and distracted by trivial matters. Practicing meditation we regain the skill of directing our minds towards what is most essential.
In this week we will explore:
- Meditation techniques that can guide your practice as you cultivate qualities like clarity, concentration, and equanimity
- How to work with common obstacles in meditation such as posture, relaxation, sleepiness, and wandering mind
- A suite of strategies to work with any situation to turn your life into a meditation practice
- How to establish a regular meditation practice with group support and accountability
- Access to a community of practitioners that can answer questions about your practice
3. Bio-Emotive Emotional Processing
Stuck emotional energy dampens our vibrancy and keeps us from living our full life. As our head teacher Soryu Forall has said, “We would rather destroy life on earth than feel our feelings”. When we refuse to feel and deal with the difficult and painful feelings that hide below our thoughts we end up acting in stupid ways. Stupid, in this case, often mean ways that directly contribute to the destruction of life on earth.
In the week, we will learn the importance of emotional processing, use the Bio-Emotive process to release stuck emotional energy, and work in small groups to discover and release emotional wounds.
In this week we will explore:
- The nine ‘core feelings’ that all emotional activation derives from
- How to engage the emotional system through language and resonance
- How to release and resolve limiting feeling beliefs
- How unblocking stuck emotional energy facilitates meditative concentration
4. MAPLE Peer Coaching
What is standing between you and your true life, your life of deepest alignment and purpose? The MAPLE Peer Coaching protocol is designed to move us from unclear stuckness to clarity and action. This practice of peer coaching can be used for any situation in our lives that we want more clarity on.
In this week of the training we will learn the fundamental practice of peer coaching and use it to sense into and plan our self-retreat for the following week. What are your primary developmental objectives? How will you deploy the practices you’ve learned in your lives? What do you love that drives your discipline?
In this week we will learn:
- How to support a friend in their process of living in alignment with their vow
- To tap into different ways of knowing in order to build a full picture of a challenge in your life
- To refine your choice-making by thinking and feeling through a situation to reach a more complete and trustworthy decision
5. Week of Self Retreat
In this week of the training we will support you in designing and engaging in a week of intensive practice. We’ll help you figure out how to intensify your practice life while continuing your normal responsibilities, and design a schedule that is both challenging, doable, and rewarding.
In this week we will:
- Layer practices together in a way that supports your growth
- Be held accountable by others in your cohort and the MAPLE community
- Challenge yourself to commit more fully to transformational practice
In this highly interactive 6-week online course, you will be guided by expert facilitators, enjoy talks from MAPLE’s head teacher, Soryu Forall, and engage in experiential exercises, meditations, dyads, group conversations, and peer coaching. You will also have access to our online community where you can ask questions, share your experiences, and deepen your connection with a network of committed practitioners.
This course contains both shared and individual practice components: 12 hours of live facilitated training, small peer group support, and audio lessons from the MAPLE campus. The personal practice portion will be tailored to your goals and schedule and at a minimum requires 30 minutes a day of meditation practice.
Daniel Ryū Thorson has been meditating for the last thirteen years and has a passion for the intersection of contemplative practice, adult development, and trauma healing. He was inspired to create the MAPLE Peer Coaching protocol from the conversations on his popular podcast, Emerge.
Alexandra Hōji Tataryn is trained in Counseling, Expressive Arts Facilitation and Bio-Emotive Focusing. She is a 10+year practitioner of Buddha Dharma and meditation. She is keenly attuned to creating conditions for we-spaces to emerge. Integral Theory informs her work. She also leads workshops in movement and art for emotional healing.
Joe Pucci is focused on creating lifelong systems of education that help all people flourish and contribute to a more peaceful world. Prior to his residency at MAPLE, he taught mindful leadership with SIYLI and did research on innovative learning environments and exemplary models of human development.
Renshin Lauren Lee comes from the Bay Area Rationalist and Effective Altruism communities and is currently a resident at MAPLE. She is trained in the Circling Europe style, with experience in all the other major schools of practice, and facilitates MAPLE’s weeklong Circling retreats.
Price and Time Commitment
MAPLE Fundamentals is offered on a sliding scale of $600-$1200 with financial aid available.
Please keep in mind that the more you’re able to pay, the more accessible this transformational training will be to those in need.
- 1 facilitated group per week led by a teacher [Zoom] (total 2h per week Sundays, 3-5pm EST)
- 1 coordinated small group practice meeting with your cohort [Zoom] (total 1 hr per week)
- Weekly learning material from MAPLE’s archive of talks and programs (total 2h per week)
Note: Registration is dependent on your availability and alignment with the program.