This course will be guided by Eve Pleydell
During this short course we will explore some of the basic concepts of Kadampa Buddhist philosophy and practice as presented by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in his books Introduction to Buddhism and How to Transform Your Life.
Westerners who become interested in Buddhism can find concepts such as rebirth and karma challenging at first. Such concepts may initially appear to be strange, out-dated, Eastern ideas of little relevance to modern society. However, if we keep an open mind, listen to, discuss, contemplate on Venerable Geshe-la’s clear explanations, then we can gradually understand that these teachings of Buddha all arose from his deep experiential realisation of the conventional and ultimate natures of ourselves, our minds and our worlds. Frome the experience we can gain in our own Buddhist practice, we can come to appreciate the value of these teachings and see that they are as relevant and beneficial to us today as they were 2,500 years ago when Buddha first taught them.
Each class will consist of presentations of Buddha’s teachings, group discussion, and guided meditations. Each successive class will build on the material explored in the previous classes using the following class outline:
Week 1: Everybody has the potential to become a Buddha
- Who is Buddha?
- Who was Buddha Shakyamuni?
- What can modern people learn from him?
Week 2: Our mind does not come from our body
- What is our mind and where does it come from?
- What s the power of our mind?
- How can we increase our own mental peace?
Week 3: Training in clear and joyful meditation
- What is meditation and why is it beneficial?
- How do we learn to meditate?
- What does it mean to “train in the meditation break”?
Week 4: Our lives are the experience of an unenlightened mind
- What is meant by rebirth?
- What are samsara and nirvana?
- How can we control the process of rebirth?
Week 5: We are the sole creators of our own happiness and suffering
- What is meant by karma?
- What are the virtues, non-virtues and neutral actions?
- How can we create the causes for our future happiness?
Week 6: There is no guarantee that we will not die today
- Why is it beneficial to maintain an awareness of our own mortality?
- How is it possible to meditate on death with a joyful mind?
- How can we approach death without fear?
Optional supplementary material:
If you would like to read the books this course is based on, they are available to read in the Amitabha Buddhist Centre library. Alternatively, they can be purchased from the Amitabha bookshop, or ordered on-line from Tharpa Australia (http://tharpa.com/au/). How to Transform your Life is also available to download as a free e-book at this address: https://howtotyl.com/.