Foundations of Buddhism: Karma, Mindfulness, and the Wheel of Life

March 4th—April 8th

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  • $169 Program Price
  • $195 Patron Price
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This six-week course March 4 - April 8/2021, offers an exploration of the Buddhist teachings on life, karma, and the dependent causes of dissatisfaction and suffering. It also offers an exploration of the meditation practice known as Mindfulness of Life (the second of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness) as a way to skillfully work with them. We will examine the ways in which we generate patterns of dissatisfaction and suffering, and ways in which to begin to mindfully recognize and transcend them.
There are no pre-requisites for the course. All are very welcome!
The foundational teachings of the Buddha indicate that the suffering we experience in our lives can cease if we recognize, deeply and profoundly, how that suffering has arisen.  This requires gentle bravery and deep contemplation, bypassing simplistic notions of what causes our suffering and how it arises.
The Buddha provided powerful models for this contemplation through the interrelated teachings of karma and klesha, or destructive emotions, as exemplified in the symbolism of the Wheel of Life.  In this course, we will focus on these teachings as one way of working with and contemplating our experiences and journey through life.

Class 1: Introduction to Mindfulness of Life & the Second Noble Truth on the Origin of Suffering    

Class 2: The Origins of Afflictive Emotions (kleshas) and Karma    

Class 3: Exploring the Kleshas    

Class 4: The 12 Links in the Chain of Dependent Causes (nidanas): Cause (1-2) and Result (3-7)  

Class 5: The 12 Links Continued: Present (8-10) and Future lives (11-12)    

Class 6: The Long View: The Six Realms of The Wheel of Life 

There will be suggested readings from the following books:

Chögyam Trungpa, Glimpses of Abhidharma
Chögyam Trungpa, The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume One: The Path of Individual Liberation

About the teachers:

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown has just retired as Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she was a Founding Faculty member. She is an Acharya in the Shambhala lineage, and was Director of Shambhala’s Ngedon School for Higher Learning for many years. She is the author of Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism and Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies.

Gelong Loden Nyima is a fully ordained Buddhist monk. He lived at Gampo Abbey from 2009 – 2017 where he completed shedra studies, practiced intensively, and served in various roles including as Shastri. He now lives and teaches at Shambhala Mountain Center, and spends a portion of each year in retreat.