Interview with Visiting Teacher, Ven Sean Price


Ven Sean Price will be teaching a four-part series, Stepping Stones to Freedom beginning this Friday, December 7th in Reston, VA. (details at: http://www.guhyasamaja.org/calendar.html#Dec)

He’s a close friend of Amanda Noonan, the Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors. I called Ven Sean, who had just arrived in D.C. after spending several months on retreat in Bhutan and Nepal and was recovering from serious jet lag. Ven Sean is friendly and easy to speak with, so I overcame my initial shyness and asked him a few questions about his upcoming series.

Q: How did you become interested in Buddhism?
A: When I was seventeen, I wandered into a bookshop in London and happened to pick-up John Snelling’s book, A Buddhist Handbook in part because it had a lovely picture of Amitabha on the cover. It really captured my interest. I then studied with Geshe Sonam Gyaltsen (who was then the Dalai Lama‘s translator) in Tokyo when I was 20 to 24. Many visiting teachers visited the small center in Tokyo during that time including Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The FPMT Center was officially founded during his visit in 1992 and is still active today.

Q: Could you please tell us a little more about your series of upcoming classes?
A: The classes are loosely based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, from the Theravadan tradition. The first three of these simple meditation practices provide a grounding in single pointed concentration which serves as the basis for analytical meditation discussed in the fourth foundation. I will also introduce a Shakyamuni Buddha meditation, and we’ll practice it together during some of the sessions. I will also introduce several of the key concepts that underlie the Buddha‘s path to enlightenment such as the Four Noble Truths. The classes will also include plenty of time for informal questions and answers, and I welcome a lot of audience participation.

Q: Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation is one of the texts that inspires you. For students who might want to learn more about this text, is there a particular translation or commentary that you’d recommend?
A: Yes, Snow Lion has a good publication,
THE JEWEL ORNAMENT OF LIBERATION: The Wish-fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings by Gampopa, translated by Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche, fore. by H.H. the Dalai Lama, ed. by Ani K. Trinlay Chodron. http://www.snowlionpub.com/search.php?isbn=JEORLI

* * *
The last two classes of “How to Meditate” will be going on at the same time as Ven Sean’s series, and Ven Sean will be teaching the class on Dec 15th. I think you’ll find that Ven Sean’s series complements the “How to Meditate” series very well and provides a natural bridge to the next Discovering Buddhism class which starts in early January, “Presenting the Path”, an introduction to Buddhism.

I wanted to ask Ven Sean a lot more questions about his life, but I guess that will have to wait for another blog entry. To learn more about Ven Sean’s very interesting background, please see his short biography on our website: http://www.guhyasamaja.org/Bio_Teachers.htm#venprice.

Posted by: Dina Li, Spiritual Program Coordinator

Copyright @ 2007 The Guhyasamaja Center

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