About The CCN
About The Contemplative Consciousness Network and its roots.
ABOUT THE CCN
The Contemplative Consciousness Network – is an international network with charitable status which is dedicated to the development and practice of contemplative science. Contemplative science, a term coined by our spiritual director Dr. B. Alan Wallace, is the bridge between the empirical study of the science of consciousness and the subjective, experiential study of consciousness through contemplation.
To promote contemplative science and its practical applications, we organise a wide range events focused on the cultivation of genuine mental wellbeing. These include residential and non-residential retreats, training corses, online and offline workshops, and talks by prominent researchers and contemplatives.
CCN has no religious affiliation but we draw on wisdom traditions that have contemplative practice, such as Buddhism, Vedanta and Christianity. Our network is made up of people from all walks of life, including many from the mindfulness movement, along with practitioners of secular humanism.
Our shared interest is to find genuine happiness, mental and emotional balance and flourishing for ourselves and our communities.
The root of our work as a charity (and as a practice community) is an aspiration to cultivate genuine wellbeing—eudaemonic happiness—and to assist numerous others in that quest. To achieve this goal, we organise educational events and create digital resources centred around contemplative life and four different ways of approaching it: through broadening, deepening, applying, and integrating. Here are the four pillars of our programming, described one by one:
Broaden your understanding of the contemplative traditions of the world
This category includes events and courses related to the history and philosophy of the great contemplative traditions of the world, including Buddhism and Christianity. A comparative study of the four philosophical schools of Buddhism, an intro to the writings of the Desert Fathers, a practical introduction to some techniques central to a particular lineage — all of these fall under this heading, and the general aspiration here is to develop a profound appreciation of humanity’s contemplative heritage and its common themes.
Deepen your experience of the quintessential methods of contemplation
All the events in this category revolve around a quintessential combination of practices taught by our spiritual director, Lama Alan Wallace—all equally contributing to the experience of genuine happiness. These vitally important practices are:
(1) Attentional training (śamatha)
(2) Cultivating of a kind heart (the four immeasurables)
(3) Developing special insight, or vipaśyanā, by means of the four applications of mindfulness
(4) Transforming our attitudes by means of mind-training (lojong)
(5) Extending clarity into the world of dreams by means of lucid dreaming and dream yoga
(6) Understanding the true nature of the mind with the methods of Great Perfection (Dzogchen) and Great Seal (Mahāmudrā)
These events and these types of training constitute the very heart of our program and what we have to offer as a community; each practice can bring about a powerful transformation and strengthen our resilience, kindness, wisdom, and overall wellbeing. Please join us in this step-by-step practical training.
Exploring the connection between contemplative life, ethical values, and modern issues
This category includes events on the application of contemplative values—mainly related to wisdom and compassion—to modern issues, such as environmental ethics, social transformation, and even the world of our personal emotional wellbeing. We explore these topics by listening to experts and studying specific tests, all to make sure our entire vision of human existence is pervaded by kindness and mental clarity.
Talk about the dance between contemplative life and daily existence
While the previous category covers big ideas, we also might need to look at the very mundane occurrences of our daily existence and the way we’ve been able to infuse them with mindfulness, introspection, ethical awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Sometimes that means simply taking a pause to take an overview of our most recent experiences; sometimes we undertake a more elaborate and orderly exploration, or simply share things with other practitioners. The point is to become more energised by whatever was done well, and to recommit ourselves to this gradual and gentle training.