The Refuge of Dhamma: Exploring the Buddha’s Discourses

This course is an introduction to Buddhist thought and practice that dives into the beauty and richness of the Pāli Canon, the body of ancient texts preserved by Theravāda Buddhist cultures in South and Southeast Asia. The course is intended for students of Insight Meditation, the convert-oriented Western lineage of Buddhist practice based in the Thai Forest and Burmese Satipaṭṭhāna traditions, as well as practitioners in any Buddhist lineage. It may also may be of interest and benefit to spiritual seekers of any kind, and those interested in the history of religions.

5 Thursdays (every other Thursday)
March 4, 18, April 1, 15, 29
1-2:30 p.m. (Pacific)

Sliding scale: $0-108

Discourses we'll read

Class 1: “Thus Have I Heard…”

“With Rohitassa”

Themes: The spiritual search, embodiment, self-inquiry, the Four Noble Truths

Class 2: Self-inquiry

“The Kāḷāma Sutta”

Themes: ethics, free inquiry, cause and effect, the divine abidings (brahmavihāra), rebirth

Class 3: Ethics

“The People of Sālā”

Themes: the power of keeping the precepts, cause and effect, achieving one’s goals

Class 4: Purification

“The Simile of the Cloth”

Themes: discipline, persistence, letting go, confidence, the Triple Gem, meditative immersion (samādhi), liberation

Class 5: Cultivation

“Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma”

Themes: the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, impermanence, stream-entry

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