Buddhist Essentials Talks and Resources

Buddhist Essentials Class Series - 2022

Resources, Reading, and Listening

This evening we will explore the Buddha’s life 2,600 years ago, how he was a real person with bodily pains and difficult relatives just like us, and how he found complete freedom in the midst of everything. Then we’ll share the evolution of the Buddha’s teachings across Asia, and how over centuries Buddhist practice adapted to many cultures and peoples.

Resources

Audio

Reading

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.
Resources
Audio Reading

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).

Resources

Audio

Reading

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.

Resources

Books, PDFs, Audio

Talk Series on the 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 Paramis

The Three Characteristics are the three aspects that pervade all of conditioned phenomena: anicca, dukkha, and anatta -or impermanence, suffering, and not-self. When we begin to see these attributes in all of experience, wisdom arises that enables us to let go of clinging.

Resources

Audio

Reading

This class will examine Buddha’s teaching on the five spiritual faculties (or indriyas) of faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and discernment. The development and balancing of these five faculties provide the support needed to navigate our spiritual life from faith to wisdom to liberation.

Resources

Audio

Reading

In this evening’s class, we will explore the four foundations of mindfulness – the body, feeling tones, mental states, and dhammas.  Mindful examination of these foundations reveals the true nature of phenomena, leading to clear seeing and full awakening. In the satipatthana sutta this is described as the direct path to liberation.

Resources
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.
Resources
Audio Readings
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.
Resources
Audio Books
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
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.
Resources

How do we cultivate energies that encourage our capacity for caring and compassion toward ourselves and others?  In this class we will explore the heart practices called the brahma viharas – loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. We will also consider other qualities of the heart including generosity and forgiveness.

Resources

Ten Percent Happier Podcast series on the Brahma Viharas

Metta (Loving Kindness)

Karuna (Compassion)

Mudita (Sympathetic Joy)

Upekkha (Equanimity)

  • Equanimity by Gil Fronsdal | Article on equanimity from Insight Meditation Center

Upcoming Buddhist Essentials Classes

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