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Long-time meditator, TV presenter, psychotherapist, and Dharma teacher, Alistair Appleton brings the life-changing magic of Tibetan protectors to the College. Through his studies in the Tibetan tradition of Vajrayana, Alistair has come to understand how the hooked knives, skull-caps of blood and ferocious flames of the Tibetan dharmapalas, dakas and dakinis are more than just hell-fire scarers. These enlightened beings hide a life-changing truth about the process of waking up. When our spiritual practice is too focused on comfort and self-soothing, then the wild, reckless and unpredictable energy of life is lost. The Protectors’ sole purpose is to cut through our sleepiness and wake us up. They can manifest in the form of illness, heartbreak, accidents, mishaps or simple surprise but when these manifestations are seen from the space of the protector realm, we can transform the ‘negative’ events of our life into the fuel that leads to enlightenment. As a therapist, Alistair is particularly interested in the experience of dissociation. This pervasive ‘greying out’ of life-experience is rampant in modern society and also crops up regularly in the world of spiritual practice and meditation. The magical and non-rational impact of the protector energy is a way of slicing through the ‘selective unknowing’ of dissociation and being suddenly and breathtakingly freed from its toils. Looking at the specific iconography and the practices around four of these colourful and sacred characters - Vajrayogini, Ekajati, Heruka and Mahakala - this talk will touch on the rich tradition of the daka and dakini energy in Tibetan tantra but more especially look at the contemporary resonance of these seemingly terrifying beings. There will be some experiential work with connecting to these earthy and unruly beings and plenty of time to discuss how they might impact our spiritual well-being and psychic health. No special knowledge of Tibetan vajrayana is necessary and there will be slides and a hand-out to illuminate this complex but fascinating world.



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College of Psychic Studies
College of Psychic Studies - The College was founded in 1884 by a group of eminent scholars and scientists. Its purpose was to facilitate formal investigation into the psychic and mediumistic phenomena that were such a topic of debate in the Victorian era. With great courage, this group of distinguished people, some notable in science, others from within the ranks of the Anglican clergy, defied the prevailing canons of respectability in order to proclaim to a world of increasing materialism that human personality survives bodily death and that this is capable of demonstration.

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