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Buddhist Essentials – The Three Characteristics

March 17 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT

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.

Special Note: Until further notice, all events at SIMS are either paused or will meet remotely via Zoom software. Current event status and links are on the Online Events page.

This class is part of a nine month series on some of the essential teachings of Buddhism. The classes will include sitting meditation, dhamma talks, group discussions and will have monthly suggestions for practice.  People may join the whole series or participate in individual classes as they prefer or are able to.

The classes will be on the third Wednesday of the month from March 2021 through November 2021.  The specific dates are: 3/17/21, 4/21/21, 5/19/21, 6/16/21, 7/21/21, 8/18/21, 9/15/21. 10/20/21, 11/17/21.  There will also be two daylong retreats related to this series: Saturday July 24, 2021 – Four Foundations of Mindfulness and Saturday Dec 11, 2021 – the Brahma Viharas.  Please check the calendar for last minute changes.

These classes will be taught by SIMS’ Local Dharma Leaders (LDLs) Lyndal Johnson, Sooz Appel, Susan Alotrico, Lauren Wilson, Aravind Moorthy, Steve Wilhelm, and Jerry Harter.

The classes are open to anyone with experience in mindfulness meditation equivalent to SIMS Introductory Meditation Class.  While the class will be accessible to beginners, it will also be substantive enough for experienced practitioners.

Buddhist Essentials Class Study Guides

Upcoming Class Schedule

April 21            The Four Noble Truths – with Lyndal Johnson and Steve Wilhelm
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.

May 19            The Eightfold Path – with Lauren Wilson 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).

June 16           The Paramis – with Aravind Moorthy and Jerry Harter
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.

July 21  Four Foundations of Mindfulness – with Lyndal Johnson and Aravind Moorthy
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.

Aug.  18   The Hindrances; Greed, Hatred, and Delusion – with Susan Alotrico and Aravind Moorthy
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.

Sept. 15   The Seven Factors of Awakening – with Sooz Appel and Lyndal Johnson
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.

Oct. 20   The Five Aggregates – with Lauren Wilson and Sooz Appel
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.

Nov. 17    The Brahma Viharas – with Lauren Wilson and Susan Alotrico
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.

Registration is not needed for this class series. The suggested donation for a single evening event is $5, plus teacher dana. (Dana is a term for generosity, or freely offered giving).  Dana for SIMS can be offered online here.  Indicate ‘Buddhist Essentials SIMS dana’ in the comments field.

Teacher dana can be offered online using a PayPal link provided at the zoom event.  The LDLs will be sharing all teacher dana equally for the entire series.  No particular LDL needs to be specified.

Please use your best efforts to pay the suggested donation or another heartfelt amount. All are welcome regardless of ability to pay.
If you have questions about this class or for the teacher, please contact [email protected]

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March 17
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT
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Sooz Appel
Steve Wilhelm
Sooz Appel
Steve Wilhelm
Sooz Appel
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