Courses

Introducing Buddhism

This eight-week course is an introduction to “Basic Buddhism”

It is for people who want to know or inform themselves about Buddhism. The original, core teachings of the Buddha (the Buddha Dharma) underpin and are found in all schools. They are known as “Basic Buddhism” in the West and contain the classic formulae of the Buddha’s teaching – the Law of Conditioned Co-production, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Three Characteristics of Conditioned Existence. They are the necessary starting points for any serious study/discussion of Buddhism. There is an information explosion on Buddhism currently in the West, which can lead to confusion, so the course is also designed to clarify the teaching. These teachings are fascinating and mysterious, but also very practical, and thus can help us develop attitudes that are more aligned with reality to help us overcome suffering.

The fresh, open approach of the emerging Western Buddhism, adapting itself to Western culture, is emphasised. The practical use of the teachings to address the myriad of contemporary issues in society, such as, social ones (‘Engaged’ Buddhism’), the Environment (‘Green’ Buddhism’), Skilful Living, Sexuality and Relationships, Work and Money, Reason and Emotion, Knowledge and Wisdom, are discussed where relevant in the course. Courses in Buddhist Meditation are available to prepare for, support, or follow on from this course.

Course Outline:

WEEK 1

Aims of the course
History and Central Characteristics
Life of the Buddha

WEEK 2

Buddhism in the West
Human consciousness
The origins of craving

WEEK 3

The Law of Conditionality
The Three Characteristics of Conditioned Existence
Non-self

WEEK 4

The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path
Strategies of Action to end Suffering

WEEK 5

The Eightfold Path in detail
A Holistic Formula
The condensed Threefold Path

WEEK 6

Ethics in Buddhism
Skilful Speech
Skilful Action
Skilful Livelihood

WEEK 7

Buddhist Meditation
Complete Effort
Complete Mindfulness
Complete Samadhi (Concentration & Integration)

WEEK 8

Insight & Wisdom in Buddhism
Perfect Vision (Wisdom)
Perfect Emotion (Compassion)

***Contact Roger on 07 4564 9636 or 0410608791 for more information

Introduction to Traditional Buddhist Meditation and Mindfulness

This eight-week course is an Introduction to Traditional Buddhist Approaches to Meditation & Mindfulness

The Buddha stressed two meditation practices during his lifetime – the Mindfulness of Breathing and the Metta Bhavana (Development of Loving-kindness). He also stressed the cultivation of Mindfulness in daily activity. This course explores all three of these practices and how they mutually support each other. The first practice develops calmness, tranquillity and mental clarity; the second helps cultivate positive emotion towards self and others; whilst the third carries this over into everyday activity. They have been found, within the Western Buddhist tradition, to be particularly appropriate for Western people. We initially aim through these practices to become more fulfilled and thereby healthier, happier and saner, human beings (also true individuals).

The course also aims to develop more overall awareness in participants, and the ability to regain intentional control of our attention. A series of exercises, as well as the meditation practices themselves, are used to help understand the workings of the mind. Traditional Buddhist formulae are also used to illustrate how negative, unskilful mental states can be transformed into positive, skilful ones. Another aim is to meet others interested in meditation in order to discuss and process our understanding of meditation and mindfulness.

Course Outline:

WEEK 1

Introduction to Meditation – Meditation Posture Guidelines.
What is meditation and why do it?
Practice: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness/Body
Meditation

WEEK 2

Setting up the Right Conditions for practice: lifestyle; direct & indirect methods of raising one’s level of consciousness
Practice: Mindfulness of Breathing I (annapanna sati)

WEEK 3

The Five Hindrances & the Reactive Mind
Vertical & Horizontal Dimensions to Meditation & Mindfulness
Practice: Cultivation of Loving-Kindness I (Metta Bhavana)

WEEK 4

The Five Mental Hindrances (and their antidotes)
Practice: Mindfulness of Breathing II

WEEK 5

The Nature of Mindfulness Practice
Practice: Metta Bhavana II

WEEK 6

The Importance of Ethics
Happiness & concentration
Practice: Just Sitting

WEEK 7

A brief introduction to the Dhyanas – higher states of consciousness
Directing our Attention – raisin experiment
Practice: Mindfulness of Walking

WEEK 8

Conclusion - Insight and other Practices
Working in Meditation
Introduction to Devotional Practices
Practice: Five Elements (Insight) practice

***Contact Roger on 07 4564 9636 or 0410608791 for more information

Introduction to Meditation

This is a seven-week, daytime course, offered from time to time, during the week or at weekends.

The purpose of the course is to introduce the basic theory and practice of meditation and to help participants establish, develop and maintain a meditation practice.  Each week a Practice Journal is provided to assist this process.

Course Outline:

WEEK 1

The meditation process

WEEK 2

Mindfulness and the breath

WEEK 3

Curiosity and gentle effort

WEEK 4

Cultivating loving-kindness

WEEK 5

Know your mind

WEEK 6

Fruitful attitudes to meditation
Establishing a personal practice

WEEK 7

Where to from here?

***Contact Viryaja on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07 4634 4303 for more information.

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