Buddhist Essentials Class Series 2020-2021

Buddhist Essentials Class Series (June 2020 - February 2021)

Homework, Reading and Listening

with Lyndal Johnson and Anna Ossenfort (June 17, 2020)

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.

Suggestions for reflection

  • Notice the ending of things in daily life and formal practice (anicca)
  • Notice the mind’s response to the endings (dukkha)
  • Notice the mind’s response when things are canceled or don’t go as planned (dukkha)
  • Notice how it feels to take things personally (dukkha)
  • Notice the lack of control, the randomness, the impersonal nature of the stuff that comes into your mind (anatta)

Sutta Readings

Vipalassa Sutta courtesy of Access to Insight 

Dharma talks

Ruth King courtesy of Dharma Seed

Anushka Fernandopulle courtesy of Dharma Seed

Gil Fronsdal courtesy of Audio Dharma

Anna Douglas courtesy of Dharma Seed

Anushka Fernandopulle courtesy of Dharma Seed

with Lauren Wilson and Jerry Harter (July 15, 2020)

It is said that theentirety of the Buddha’s teachings can be found in theFour 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.

with Sooz Appel and Jerry Harter (August 19, 2020)

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).

with Lyndal Johnson and Sooz Appel (September 16, 2020)

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.

Resource List

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

with Anna Ossenfort and Susan Alotrico (October 21, 2020)

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

with Anna Ossenfort and Steve Wilhelm(November 18, 2020)

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.

with Sooz Appel and Susan Alotrico (December 16, 2020)

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 NowInvestigation: What’s This?Energy: Just Right 
Joy: Delight in PracticeCalm: Be Still  Concentration: Rock Steady
Equanimity: Big View Small moments many times

with Lauren Wilson and Steve Wilhelm (January 20, 2021)

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. 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.

BRAHMA VIHARA PHRASES – a downloadable PDF Resources for Brahma Viharas Class (20 January 2021) Metta (Loving Kindness)

Karniya Metta Sutta

The Chant of Metta (Imee Oof) 

Loving Kindness Sharon Salzberg

Karuna (Compassion)

Self-Compassion Kristen Neff

Forgiveness & Compassion Eric Kolvig

Practicing Metta with a Difficult Person by Jeff Haozous

Mudita (Sympathetic Joy)

Sharing in Joy by Ajahn Sucitto

Upekkha (Equanimity)

Article on equanimity from Insight Meditation Center

with Jerry Harter and Lyndal Johnson(February 17, 2021)

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 for Five Aggregates


Five Piles of Bricks:  Khandas as Burden & Path by Thanissaro Bhikku

The Five Aggregates:  A Study Guide by Thanissaro Bhikku

How your Mind Works by Gaylon Ferguson


Five Aggregates Talk Series by Rodney Smith


BRAHMA VIHARA PHRASES (Adapted from Kamala Masters and Adrianne Ross) – downloadable PDF

A Brahma Vihara Chartdownloadable PDF


Ten Percent Happier Podcasts:

  • 10/05/2020 # 288 Joanna Hardy on Metta
  • 10/12/2020 # 290 Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams on Compassion
  • 10/19/2020 # 292 Tuere Sala on Sympathetic Joy
  • 10/26/2020 # 294 Roshi Joan Halifax on Equanimity Dharma

Talks by Kamala Masters on each of the Brahma Viharas

Karaniya Metta Sutta The Buddha’s Words on Loving Kindness 

The Chant of Metta by Imee Ooi on YouTube

Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness Sharon Salzberg 

Upcoming Buddhist Essentials Classes

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