Embodying Practical Wisdom Series
COURSES RUNNING FROM AUGUST 2019-APRIL 2020
Full participation in each course recommended but drop-ins are possible—please read Times and Dates section below for details of this possibility. To participate in any course, one need not have participated in the preceding course. Students can benefit from multiple courses. This is suitable for all levels and those brand new to meditation are most welcome
Mindfulness & The Teachings of the Buddha
In this series of courses, we will both learn about and practice Insight Meditation as well as exploring the bigger picture of the teachings of the Buddha. Insight meditation uses mindfulness to settle the body and mind in order to allow for the arising of wisdom or insight into the reality of our experience. Each course will have 7 sessions and meet on Monday evenings from 6:15-8:00pm. Each session will feature the following elements
gentle movement to release tensions from the body
mindfulness meditation instruction and practice. please know from the outset that meditation can be done in a variety of ways—sitting, standing, walking and lying down. it is never necessary to force yourself into a position that is stressful for you and options will always be given and chairs will be available to those who prefer this way of sitting
exploration of a particular teaching of the Buddha. this will take the form of what is called a “dharma talk” and will allow for questions and discussion.
metta (lovingkindness) practice
Each course will focus on a particular set of teachings so that we can deepen our understanding and have time for questions and dialogue.
Many people are familiar with the concept, if not the practice, of mindfulness, but fewer are actually familiar with the practical wisdom of the Buddha. A legitimate question may be, who was the Buddha and why would I want to learn about what he had to say?
The Buddha’s Story
This abbreviated story and statement of the value of the teachings of the Buddha is taken from the website of The Spirit Rock Center in California where I trained in Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation. I adhere to the approach I learned there which is to combine the teachings of the Buddha (aka Dharma) and the practices of Insight Meditation (aka Vipassana) and loving-kindness meditation (aka metta). As Spirit Rock explains:
“Practicing Insight Meditation develops mindfulness, the capacity to pay attention to each moment of life and to see clearly the truth of our experience. Studying the Dharma provides insights into the conditions that define and limit our experience of life. And cultivating an attitude of loving-kindness allows us to stay present to what's true and what's difficult in our lives with compassion for ourselves and others. Ultimately, our relationship to life is transformed as we learn to live more wisely and kindly.”
The teachings of the Buddha provide maps to the experiences that arise not only in the practice of meditation, but also in the context of our everyday lives and so working with these maps can help us find our way out of difficult situations, especially the sense of being lost and without clear path ahead.
DATES & TIMES
All courses will meet for seven session and all sessions will take place on Monday evening from 6:15-8:00pm. Some Mondays are either public holidays or studio holidays so check details for each course.
The first course run from Sept 2nd—Oct 21st (no session Mon Sep 30th) and will focus on The Four Noble Truths.
The second course will run from Nov 4th—Dec 16th and will focus on The Noble Eightfold Path.
The third course will run from Jan 13th—Feb24th and will focus on the The Three Poisons and The Three Jewels, also known as the three refuges.
The fourth course will run from March 2nd—April 20th (no class on Mar 16th and April 13th) and will focus The Three Characteristics of Existence and The Five Hindrances.