Buddhist Essentials Class Schedule

June 2020 - February 2021; Third Wednesdays

Meeting online until further notice. See Online Events page for current meeting link.


June 17

The Three Characteristics – with Lyndal Johnson and Anna Ossenfort

The Three Characteristics are the three aspects that pervade all of conditioned phenomena: anicca, dukkha, and anatta.  When we begin to see these attributes in all of experience, wisdom arises that enables us to let go of clinging.

Class materials are available here.

July 15       

The Four Noble Truths – with Lauren Wilson and Jerry Harter

It is said that the entirety of the Buddha’s teachings can be found in the Four Noble Truths.  In this class we will explore these teachings: 1) dukkha, 2) the origin of dukkha, 3) the cessation of dukkha, and 4) the path of practice leading to the cessation of dukkha.

August 19       

The Eightfold Path – with Sooz Appel and Jerry Harter

With the understanding of the truths of dukkha, the cause of dukkha and the end of dukkha, we can embark on the Eightfold Path – the path that leads to awakening and the end of suffering.  In this class we will discuss the elements and practice of the Eightfold Path: panna (wisdom), sila (ethical behavior and the precepts), and samadhi (concentration). 

September 16       

The Paramis – with Lyndal Johnson and Sooz Appel

The Ten Paramis (generosity, virtue, renunciation, discernment, equanimity, patience, persistence, truth, determination, and goodwill) are beautiful qualities associated with an awakened mind.  In this talk we will discuss the paramis and consider some ways in which we can encourage their development in our own practice. 


Books and PDFs 

Series on Paramis, 2017, Tim Geil and Tuere Sala

  1. Generosity and Virtue
  2. Renunciation and Wisdom
  3. Energy/Strength and Patience
  4. Truthfulness
  5. Resolve
  6. Lovingkindness, Equanimity and Summary
  7. Living the Parimis


October 21           

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness – with Anna Ossenfort and Susan Alotrico

Mindful examination of the body, feeling tones, mental states, and dhammas reveals the true nature of phenomena, leading to clear seeing and liberation.

November 18     

 The Hindrances; Greed, Hatred, and Delusion – with Anna Ossenfort and Steve Wilhelm

Gaining insight into obstacles on the path can turn them into possibilities. During this evening we’ll explore the Five Hindrances (desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness, and doubt), and the Three Poisons (greed, hatred and delusion). We’ll learn how these barriers to freedom arise in our lives, and how through our mindfulness practice we can transform them into doorways.

December 16      

The Seven Factors of Awakening – with Sooz Appel and Susan Alotrico

Through discussion and practical exercises of the Seven Factors of Awakening, we will explore how awareness of these mind states helps us to let go of unwholesome tendencies and to cultivate wholesome ones, in both formal practice and our daily lives.

Seven Factors of Awakening Resources

Seven Factors of Awakening talk series by Rodney Smith


Seven Factors of Awakening talk series by Gil Fronsdal


Exploring Qualities of Mind - The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, talk series  by Tuere Sala and Tim Geil


Satipatthana Meditation A Practice Guide  by Bhikkhu Analayo

Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein

Satipatthana Sutta, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Seven Factors of Awakening: Good News
Mindfulness: Here and Now Investigation: What’s This? Energy: Just Right 
Joy: Delight in Practice Calm: Be Still   Concentration: Rock Steady
Equanimity: Big View   Small moments many times


January 20        

The Brahma Viharas – with Lauren Wilson and Steve Wilhelm

How do we cultivate energies that encourage our capacity for caring and compassion toward ourselves and others?  In this class we will explore developing in our daily lives the brahma viharas, also called the four immeasurables:  loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.


February 17     

The Five Aggregates – with Jerry Harter and Lyndal Johnson

The Five Aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness) show how we create an illusory sense of self moment by moment.  By examining them we can come to understand how we are not so much a solid self as we may have thought.