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- Thursday June 6 6:30 – 9 PM
The 4 Noble Truths are the very first discourse the Buddha gave after becoming enlightened – these teachings still have tremendous relevance and power.
1. Truth of Suffering – Dukha
In the pursuit of happiness, peace and enlightenment, it is essential to start where we are. The truth of suffering (dukha in Sanskrit) means that if we’re genuine in evaluating our actual experience, we will most likely discover that there is some underlying sense of stress or anxiety about our existence. This recognition promotes further inquiry.
2. The Cause of Suffering – Attachment or Ignorance
According to the Buddha – the fundamental cause of our suffering is attachment to a solid and inauthentic sense of self, and ignorance about our true nature. We explore further.
3. The Cessation of Suffering – Nirvana or Peace
It is possible for us human beings to completely uproot the causes of suffering, releasing us from the repetitive cycle of habitual patterns (samsara), and experience cessation, or peace (nirvana).
4. The Eightfold Noble Path
The Eightfold Noble Path describes the way to the end of suffering. It is a guide to ethical and spiritual development to free one from ignorance and attachment.
The Eightfold Noble Path consists of:
1. Right View
2. Right Intention.
3. Right Speech.
4. Right Action.
5. Right Livelihood.
6. Right Effort.
7. Right Mindfulness.
8. Right Concentration.
- Thursday Sept 28 6:30 – 9 PM
Mindfulness is the foundation practice of Buddhism. It has recently become extremely popular on its own footing and is making inroads into sports, business, medicine, therapy, even fashion! Many people with no particular interest in the rest of Buddhism have taken up mindfulness meditation.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, has defined mindfulness as:
“… the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally...”
The classical Four Foundations of Mindfulness are frames of reference for how to place your attention in order to develop a stronger sense of presence and clarity. In this way, the student begins with a simple mindfulness of breath and progresses to mindfulness of everything.
-Mindfulness of Body
-Mindfulness of Feelings
-Mindfulness of Mind
-Mindfulness of Dharma (Mental Objects)
- Thursday Nov 16 6:30 – 9 PM
An exploration of a traditional contemplation that strengthens our intention to practice and rouses us from resistance and lethargy:
"1. Contemplate the preciousness of being free and well favored. This is difficult to gain, easy to lose, now I must do something meaningful.”
2. “The whole world and its inhabitants are impermanent. In particular, the life of beings is like a bubble. Death comes without warning, this body will be a corpse. At that time the dharma will be my only help. I must practice it with exertion.”
3. “When death comes, I will be helpless. Because I create karma, I must abandon negative actions and always devote myself to virtuous actions. Thinking this, every day I will examine myself.”
4. “The homes, friends, wealth, and comforts of samsara are the constant torment of the three sufferings. Just like a feast before the executioner leads you to your death, I must cut desire and attachment, and attain enlightenment through exertion."
- Thursday Dec 8 6:30 – 9 PM
In this workshop we will learn about what is involved if and when we are ready to make a deeper commitment to the Buddhist path. The Refuge Vow can be taken at any time by a Buddhist student in order to indicate his or her commitment to the Buddhist approach toward study, practice and life in general.
The vow expresses the principle of “sticking to one boat” - going more deeply into a particular wisdom tradition rather than jumping around from workshop to workshop.
- Friday Feb 2 6:30 – 9 PM
The Wheel of Life is a Buddhist allegorical painting dating back to ancient India. The painting describes how our sense of self and our life in this world take shape, portraying how we think, how we act, how we feel, and how we manifest our own personal reality. The Wheel of Life also illustrates how karma works in our lives—how we get trapped in confusing, painful and repetitive patterns, and how we can liberate ourselves from those patterns.
The Wheel of Life breaks down our various states of mind into six distinct realms that mirror our own inner psychological and emotional landscape. We are the co-creators of these environments, based on past and present thoughts and actions – based on our karma. The six realms depicted are:
1. The God Realm
2. The Jealous God Realm
3. The Human Realm
4. The Animal Realm
5. The Hungry Ghost Realm
6. The Hell Realm
level 3 budhist studies
with David Nichtern
Level 3: take as a whole weekend: dates TBA
Or as individual sessions that are listed below.