14 Green Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
(map and directions) Every Thursday 11am – 12:30 pm
Dhamma Study Group
This group is open to experienced meditators on a drop-in or continuing basis. The current format is guided meditations followed by discussion. Please contact Doreen at Contact Us before attending for the first time. This sit is offered on a donation basis.
As always, it is not necessary to be reading any suggested essays or books to follow the teachings and to take part in the discussion.
We have recently begun an in-depth investigation of the Five Hindrances, the mind states that all of us have that hinder our ability to quiet our mind and see clearly. All three sits will be following basically the same curriculum, described in detail here.
• Beginning in September, we will gather on the last Thursday of the month from 12:30–2:00 p.m. for lunch and study of a particular chapter section.
• On September 28 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., we will be working with Aging, section 3.1 “The Lucidity of Age.” You can read the whole chapter if you like, but our discussion will focus on 3.1.
• On October 26 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm, we will focus on Illness with 4.1, etc. The use of Buddhist scripture in this book as a tool to reflect upon our lives in this rapidly changing, contemporary world has been enriching. The role of metaphor in this process helps us to loosen the hold of our “predictive brains” on our understanding of reality. Please feel free to join us for one or all of our meetings. Please contact email@example.com for more information or before attending for the first time.
From the fall ’16 through spring, ’17, all 3 sits investigated the foundational Dharma teachings called The Eightfold Path, the fourth of the Four Noble Truths. Much of the material we used was from dharma teacher Gil Fronsdal’s excellent online program on this topic.
During August ’16, Doreen led an investigation of the Five Spiritual Faculties. If you wish to understand these in more depth, she suggested the following essays by Bhikkhu Bodhi Five Spiritual Faculties – Bhikkhu Bodhi and Edward Conze Five Spiritual Faculties-Conze.
Between April through July, the Thursday group moved from its study of the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness and the early Buddhist teachings on Compassion and Emptiness into an investigation of the 4 Noble Truths, which can be seen as an extension of the mindfulness teachings and as an expression of compassion. Two books that we used as resources were Ajahn Sumedho’s The Four Noble Truths (a short book available as a pdf here The Four Noble Truths – Ajahn Sumedho) and Phillip Moffit’s Dancing With Life, a very accessible exposition, which uses Vn. Sumedho’s book as a starting point.
Spring, 2016 had a course of study loosely titled CULTIVATING A SOFT JOY THROUGH PRACTICE AND REFLECTION, in which we explored the Venerable Analayo’s approach to the Satipatthana Sutta and the Brahma Viharas (metta/compassion, joy and equanimity). Doreen has been greatly inspired by a recent retreat with this teacher and the group expressed an interest to know more. Some of us read V. Analayo’s book Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation. Prior to this, Doreen taught from V. Analayo’s book Perspectives on Satipatthana.
We have finished Joanna Macy’s World as Lover, World as Self. Ms. Macy is a leader in environmental activism. Her sense of purpose and inspiration is sustained by the primary Buddhist concept of dependent origination. “We have to learn to look at things as they are, painful and overwhelming as that may be, for no healing can begin until we are fully present to our world, until we learn to sustain the gaze.” Joanna Macy
You can find a review on Tricycle here.
During the spring and summer 2014, the Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday weekly meditation groups read Parami Ways to Cross Life’s Floods. An electronic version is available at no cost through the web site listed below. Hard copies of the book are not for sale.
From the website: “Parami – ‘perfections,’ or transcendent virtues – are daily life practices that give the mind a firm ground in Dhamma. Comprising simple qualities like patience, generosity and truthfulness, they can be skilfully applied to the ‘flash-points’ in the day in order to steer the mind out of samsaric currents and on towards peace, clarity and nibbana.”