The Discovering Buddhism Module 9, Samsara and Nirvana class will meet from 10 am to noon (instead of 1:00 – 3:00 pm). I’ve decided to extend the class by half an hour in order to ensure that we have time for meditation as well as group discussion. In some of the previous classes, we seemed to run out of time particularly for the group discussion.
Samsara and Nirvana concentrates on people of the middle scope — that is, people whose main motivation is to seek liberation for themselves.
Those who seek peace for themselves alone —
Turning away from worldly pleasures
And avoiding destructive actions–
Are said to be of middling capacity.
~ Atisha, Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment
To put this in context, people of the lower scope are driven by the desire to avoid taking rebirths in the lower realms. Practitioners of the great scope strive to attain Enlightenment not just for themselves but for the benefit of all sentient beings. The topics of meditation are the four Noble Truths, primarily suffering and its origin and the twelve dependent links. Through our discussions, we’ll explore how these concepts help us understand our human condition and how we can use them to break free of negative thought patterns.
If you’re interested in joining this class but haven’t attended any of the earlier Discovering Buddhism modules, I’d suggest that you pick up one of the many books on the Lam Rim such as Geshe Sopa’s Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Pabongkha Rinpoche’s Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, or Yangsi Rinpoche’s Practicing the Path. It would be helpful for you to come to class with some familiarity of what the Buddha taught and why it is so relevant in today’s society.
As in our other classes, discussion and meditation questions will be posted on the blog after class.
The June 5th class is open to everyone — not just students in this class. It will be a silent meditation retreat and will provide an opportunity to reflect more deeply on what we’ve learned.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 27, April 10, April 17, May 8, May 15, June 5
(Spring break April 3, no class)
10:00 AM- 12:00 pm
The Unitarian/Universalist Church, 1625 Wiehle Ave., Reston VA 20190, downstairs