LISTENING TO THE BUDDHA BY ENCOUNTERING THE DHAMMAPADA
If you had the opportunity to sit at the feet of the Buddha and hear him teaching the Dharma, would you take it? I know I would. Of course that is no longer possible. But there is another option: to hear and know the words of the Buddha as recorded in the discourses of early Buddhism.
Beginning in October, 2014 there will be openings in the Dhammapada Encounter group that began in 2013. Participating in the group will offer an opportunity to immerse oneself in the words of the Buddha as recorded in the Dhammapada, a much loved collection of short, pithy verses that covers the range of the Buddha's teachings.
There will be two forms of practice in this course:
We will read, on our own, the verses in the same short chapter each day of the month, which should take from 5-15 minutes. As we read these verses repeatedly, we can notice which words resonate for us, where there is reactivity, and how our understandings change over the course of the month. As we read them in this way, we will also be internalizing them. Then they will be easily available as we go through our daily lives, reminding us of the Buddha's wise words and the guidance they offer.
Then once a month we will gather together to read these verses in a contemplative way, to share our questions, reactions, reflections and understandings of them in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The emphasis will be on the meaning of the text in our personal lives and practices rather than on textual analysis, though an effort will also be made to connect the verses with the full range and depth of the teachings in the sutras.
The plan is to read chapters 19-26, one each month.
Gil Fronsdal's translation, The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations.
All participants will be expected to use this version. It is available in paperback, hardback and ebook formats.
While there are many translations, this one has the benefit of combining accurate translation from the Pali with contemporary English. It draws from Gil's 30+ years of practice and study in both the Zen and Theravada Buddhist traditions as well as his PhD in Buddhist Studies.
This group does require a commitment to engaging with the text each day as well as participating in the monthly meetings.
WHO CAN ATTEND
This course is open to anyone who has completed a basic introductory course in Insight Meditation, or its equivalent, and has been practicing for six months. If you are interested but uncertain whether you qualify, please contact Phil. Registration is required. Please register before Oct. 1.
LOCATION & TIME
The monthly group meeting will generally be held on the last Tuesday of the month from 7-9 pm, beginning with October 29. Meetings will be held at a residence near the public library in Columbia.
The course is offered on a dana (donation) basis.
TO REGISTER OR FOR MORE INFORMATION