Dates: TBD; likely Jan/Feb 2023
Cost: Gift economy (see below)
This course is essentially an answer to the question, “how does one live like a Buddhist in a life of 21st-century responsibilities, relationships, and challenges?” It will approach Buddhism not as a religion, an academic textbook, or a set of stripped-down secular practices, but rather as a well-rounded path for how to live well. You’ll learn the core philosophies, meditation techniques, and behavioral practices, focusing mostly on “trying it out in your daily life” and “seeing for yourself what happens.”
The course content will revolve around the two main teachings in Buddhism: the Four Noble Truths & the Noble Eightfold Path. We’ll also explore things like:
- How our speech, consumption choices, sexual conduct, livelihood, and other “everyday actions” are just as important as meditation for developing well-being.
- How to change your mind, adjust your attitude, and steer your inner life.
- How to develop and maintain love & non-reactivity amidst the challenges of life
- How to tell the difference between wise & unwise desire, and to use the wise version to step into deeper love, wisdom & inner freedom
- How all the pieces of Buddhism fit together, such as the teachings on generosity, ethical conduct (i.e. the five precepts), the sublime attitudes (i.e. loving-kindness, appreciative joy, compassion, and equanimity), mindfulness of body+mind+feelings, styles of meditation, right view (i.e. karma, not-self, impermanence, and the nature of suffering), and, ultimately, how all these work together to slowly lead us into liberation.
The course sessions will include a mixture of short lectures, small & large group discussions, guided meditation, and journaling exercises. There will also be optional but highly recommended between-week readings, reflections, and guided meditations. The attendance will be capped in order to ensure a community feel.
People of all backgrounds are welcome & respected, including atheists, Christians, the spiritually curious, longtime Buddhists, and everyone in between. Just come with an open mind!
Cost & Commitment:
In staying in integrity to the 2,600-year-old Buddhist tradition, this course will be offered on the “gift economy;” aka on donation, as a practice of mutual giving and receiving!
Also, as donation-based offerings are a bit foreign in our culture, I would love for you to read over this article on how I think about the financial part of donation-based courses. I trust that whatever you donate will be the perfect amount! No one will be turned away or judged for lack of funds!
Also, just as importantly, offered-on-donation doesn’t mean “come when you feel like it” or “only participate halfway.” While of course life happens and you may have to miss a week, I’d request that you make a genuine commitment to showing up and doing the practices — that’s the only real way to turn these teachings from a good idea into something you truly live and embody.