Thursday, February 13, 2014

Introduction to Buddhism, Session I: Early History and the Theravadin Tradition



Introduction to Buddhism
Session I
Early History and the Theravadin Tradition
with
Kimberly Beyer-Nelson



Note to Blog Visitors:  This series was designed for folks with little or no background in the historical, scriptural or practice aspects of Buddhism.  In this blog posting, you’ll find some interesting links to pursue on the web (but not exhaustive by any means), including sources for further study, audio programs, introductory books and local (Seattle Area) practice opportunities.

This program is part of the adult education wing of the North Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and proceeds from the program are split with that organization and the designer/presenter.  It’s fine to adapt this information for programs in your own community and Kim is always up to doing retreats or classes around this and other comparative religion subjects. You might consider making a small donation to the North Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship if you decide to make use of this compiled material with your own group.  You can find the Fellowship’s website at:  http://www.nkuu.org/




Lecture Notes/Course Map

Session I


Light the Chalice:  Storytelling the classic tale of Mahākāśyapa and the Buddha holding up a single flower.  Remind folks that the flame of the chalice is there to bring them back to the present moment throughout the lecture.

  1. Because the class was fairly large (20+), we shared our first names and then, on a scale of 1-10, rated how much we thought we knew about Buddhism, 1 being no previous knowledge.  That allowed the facilitator to “tweak” the program internally for the knowledge level of the participants.  Our group was primarily functioning in the 2-3 point range.
  2. The handouts and resources for the entire program are found on-line, so other than information about how to log in and find the material, we were able to keep our meeting relatively low cost and green.
  3. Brief background of who the Buddha was
    1. Siddharta Gotama: Original name. 
                                                              i.      Prince of the Shakya clan of Northern India
                                                            ii.      Predictions about his life
                                                          iii.      sheltered and pampered
                                                          iv.      the Four Great Signs
1.     Old person
2.     Ill Person
3.     Dead Person
4.     Saint or enlightened person
    1. Taking leave of home and the ascetical part of his life
    2. Finding the road to the Middle Way—discipline with ahimsa (non-harming)
    3. the struggle with self and Mara (the personification of the illusory nature of our world)
    4. liberation at last—became the Buddha, the Awakened One.
    5. Turning the Wheel of the Dharma and wandering life
                                                              i.      nuns accepted in only with the third request from Ananda
                                                            ii.      teaching and wandering for many years (45 years of active teaching)
                                                          iii.      accepting food as it was given.  Buddha is traditionally believed to have died from spoiled pork, given to him without any intent to cause injury.
    1. parinirvana (the death of the Buddha):  be a lamp unto yourself; keep your own confidence.  Hold to your truth as to your only lamp. (These words actually appear in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal..it’s a lovely chant.)
  



The Shared Basis of Buddhist Life and Practice across all schools:

Four Noble Truths:

1. life is dukha: suffering, unsatisfactory

This means that essentially, we are forever running after things, trying to avoid things or feeling bored.  We swing through extremes caused by these energies, and this, in turn, causes us to “suffer” or feel that our life is unsatisfactory. 

Exercise:  Use concrete examples from your own life to examine this statement.

2. Suffering has a cause
If we are able to see how our lives are directed by attachment, aversion and apathy, we begin to see into the very nature of the play of the world:  how sorrow is caused.

3. Anything with a cause has an endThis is the central “good news” of Buddhism!   

Anything that comes into form, even thoughts and emotions, will have an end.  This springs from the idea that everything rises and will fall away.  The Buddhist thinker, leaping from this central idea, would go on to show how even the concept of a continuous and undying “self” or “soul” is only a mental construct in the midst of a constant state of transformation and change.
4. The end of suffering is the Eight-Fold Path
Then Buddha laid out a practice-oriented approach to realizing the first three Noble Truths in our own lives.

Notice there is no guilt, no theology, no “must do” commandments here.  Buddhism is firmly ground, in many cases, on the idea of “self-power”, particularly in its early manifestations.


The Eight-Fold Path


Right View
Seeing the world as it is is Right View.  It also touches on our own views of the world, how we may cling to them, how we may consider them permanent, when they are really impermanent, and how we can get caught up in a “thicket of views”. Exploring the Three Marks of Existence helps you see through getting caught in your own views.
Right Intention
In order not to create more suffering, we need to rely on paying attention (mindfulness) to what our intentions are with others and with our actions. If our intentions stem from anger, resentment, or greed, then we are more likely to do harm than if our intentions are driven to help, to understand, to better our actions in the world. We also need to use intention when we sit for meditation, when we want to speak or act effectively, etc. and to practice the path. Learning how to be mindful to intentions before you act, speak, or write takes some time to learn. But it’s fascinating once you start digging deeply into this area. Once you are aware of your intentions, you sometimes need to consciously set new intentions and let go of the old ones. This is a big part of practice. And it takes practice!
Right Action
With wholesome intentions, our actions are more likely to be skillful as well. This part of the path asks us to pay attention (mindfulness) to how we act or behave in the world, that our actions go towards helping and not harming, that what we do is skillful and don’t do what leads to more suffering. Keep in mind, we are not giving you specifics of what you should do or shouldn’t do. Instead, you learn to develop an ethics meter so to speak, good judgment, based on whether or not your action will bring harm or suffering to yourself or others. You learn to make sure your actions don’t cause suffering.
Right Speech
From the above, you probably figured out already that Right Speech is talking, and includes emailing/messaging,  in such a way that you don’t hurt feelings, you don’t lie, don’t use deceptive or intentionally confusing language, that you don’t gossip, or intentionally make people angry with your speech. Why? Because doing so causes suffering to the people you speak or write harshly too. That doesn’t mean you have to withhold your opinion. It does mean, learning to pay attention (mindfulness) to the intention behind what you are saying, and deciding if it’s going to do more harm than good.
Intention plays a big role here. Examine your intentions for wanting to share your opinion, for wanting to correct or criticize, etc. Right Speech, can also be thought of as Right Writing as well, because what we are really talking about here is communication. We want our communications to be of benefit, not harm. This can be tricky in a world where we come across a multitude of opinions and ideas daily. Sometimes we know people’s views are skewed, wrong, delusion, or divisive. Set an example for healthy, helpful communications.
Right Livelihood
Right Livelihood addresses how we earn a living and more. I’ve seen a lot of debates online where people argue about whether it’s ok or not to work at certain places. Again, this is another part of the path that asks us to determine for ourselves if what we do for a living is causing suffering, or whether what we do is neutral or helping. It’s not a matter of this place is bad and that place is good. Mindfulness and intention come into play in how we interact with our coworkers (action), what our jobs ask of us, how we approach our work ethics. You could be working at a place that does service to others, but if you are treating coworkers unfairly, or you are cheating your employers out of hours or money, then you might want to examine your intentions. This is an area that is worth deep and detailed exploration. The Eightfold Path helps us learn to make our own judgment calls about where we work, how we can make the most of it, and how we interact with others while doing our jobs.
Right Effort
Without effort, our practice is toast. Of course, we all know that to accomplish anything we need to put effort in. For our practice, however, this effort has the motivation/intention of lessening suffering. So, the effort we put into our practice is the impetus for dropping whatever gets in the way of our developing ethics, compassion, and it motivates us to let go of greed, fear, angst, hatred, self loathing, etc. By practice, I mean all your interactions in the world. Being mindful of where we put our effort in our actions and speech each day is really important. And, of course, we need to apply effort toward other areas of our practice, such as developing mindfulness in meditation so that we can put it to good use throughout our days.
Right Mindfulness
Mindfulness in a nutshell is paying attention, but it stretches beyond that. The norm for many of us is to go through our days, living mostly in our heads, with thoughts of the past or future, in conversation with people who aren’t present, ruminating over and over problems. Now, that’s not to say thinking and problem solving aren’t necessary. They surely are, but there is a time and place for thinking and musing, and it’s not all day long. Mindfulness helps keep us anchored in the present, so we can interact in the world appropriately, so we can apply just the right effort to various tasks, and to help prevent from creating and worsening problems. Living entirely in our heads is a habit that is hard to break. Living in our heads can cause us to do poorly in our jobs, distract us from driving on the road well, and in general can just cause a lot of angst.
But with proper intention, effort, and mindfulness, you can train yourself to be present, and deal with whatever arises appropriately. You’ll find over time, mindfulness becomes the new mode of being, a new healthy habit, and you’ll find yourself lost in thoughts much less frequently. Meditation is the tool to develop mindfulness. As you develop mindfulness in the quiet, still environment of meditation, you then extend mindfulness to include all your daily life.
Right Concentration
Right Concentration, sometimes called Right Meditation, and is the practice of focusing the mind solely on one object. Where mindfulness is open to whatever arises, concentration is focusing on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. Both concentration and mindfulness are tools to sharpen the mind, and bring it out of the shadows of discursive thinking and root us in the present. This is not a common practice in western Buddhism, but as neuroscience finds benefits to meditation, there seems to be renewed interest in using jhana techniques to develop very specialized forms of concentration.
Concentration also improves naturally through mindfulness meditation. Concentration requires use of Right Effort, Right Intention, and Right Mindfulness. Some argue that you can’t have really good concentration until you’ve developed the ability to let go of anger, hatred, discursive thinking, negativity, etc. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try developing concentration until you have a free mind. Indeed, working on concentration is what helps you to learn to drop unskillful thinking. Once mindfulness and concentration are established, then you can develop greater insight overall because your mind is cluttered with thoughts that inhibit wisdom.
It’s important to review the Eightfold Path from time to time, and to focus on areas as needed. Over time, you’ll notice the overlaps, how each part of the path works with other parts. Working the path is an ongoing lifetime effort that brings many rewards and improve the quality of life.
This article is part of the New to Secular Buddhism section of SBA.

Other Posts You May Enjoy (from the Blog-Author of the Eight Fold Path Above)

·                       Directing Wholesome Intentions (Right Intention) In Part 1 of the Eightfold path, I wrote about Seeing into Experience: Right View. In this article, Part 2, ...
·                       What Is Secular Buddhist Practice? We often get asked by traditional Buddhist, and people of all kinds, what is secular Buddhist practice? This is a ...
·                       The Path – Reworded for Modern Practitioners I was never comfortable with the wording in the Eightfold Path. The word Right xx always felt like it implied ...

Taking Refuge:  I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha: 

Buddha= Our ability to awaken, as illustrated by the historical Buddha

Dharma= The “way” or “truth”...this word is incredibly complex and multivalent, by the way. You can spend an entire semester just learning the ways the word dharma is used through history.

Sangha:  The community of practitioners.

“Taking refuge” means to make a formal commitment to the Buddhist path. 

Going Deeper:  What do these terms above mean in both literal and metaphoric ways?  How does it compare to vow-taking or membership rites from other traditions?




Theravadin Buddhism


Theravada (pronounced — more or less — "terra-VAH-dah"), the "Doctrine of the Elders.”

This is the most ancient school of Buddhism. 

·                    Today found in:  Southern and Southeast Asia originally, but rapidly spreading in Western countries.
·                    Here are some interesting numbers to peruse.  Theravadin Buddhism is practices by:
·                               Nepal (by 10% of the population)
·                               Sri Lanka (by 70% of the population)
·                               Bangladesh (by 0.7% of the population)
·                               Mizoram, India
·                    In Southeast Asia:
·                               Cambodia (by 95% of the population)
·                               Laos (by 67% of the population)
·                               Myanmar (by 89% of the population)
·                               Thailand (by 95% of the population)
·                               Vietnam (by the Khmer Krom)
·                    In other parts of Asia:
·                               China (mainly by the Shan and other Tai ethnic groups)
·                               Malaysia (by the Malaysian Siamese)
·                               Indonesia
·                               Singapore


Note on Hinayana vs Mahayana:  What’s in a name?
With the rise of Mahayana (the Greater Vehicle) Buddhism, the Theravadin tradition was often nicknamed the “Hinayana” or “Lesser Vehicle” in a pejorative way.  Today, it is term sometimes used to refer to foundational practices.  However, in most Buddhist circles, the preferred terminology is Theravadin when talking about the larger and more ancient tradition...consider it a respectful use of language.

Stream Entry: 
when the person has finally laid aside doubts about their path and taken the inner vow of the truth of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

The concept of the Arahant vs the Bodhisattva:
One of the key differences between the Mahayana Tradition and Theravdin Buddhism is in its emphasis on the single practitioner finding Nibbana (Nirvana) and getting off the wheel of existence (ie; awakening).  The emphasis is wholly on the individuals journey.  In Mahayana Buddhism, the “ideal” is the Bodhisattva, who works toward ever deepening understanding in order to be of service to the rest of existence. 

Today, the line between the arahant and Bodhisattva is becoming more and more blurry as traditions mix and Buddhism itself bumps up with the ideas of Christianity and other faiths. The loving kindness practices that are a vital part of Theravadin Buddhism also make the budding-Buddhist very aware of their interconnection with the entirely of their communion and cosmos, and so folks naturally start to take a larger view of what their practice means.

Best known teachers in the West include; Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg.  What is fascinating about these folks is that they use a highly psychological model to under-gird their translation of Buddhist thought and practice from its Asian languages and forms into a Way that is easily comprehended by the West.




Scripture:

Pali: The Language of Theravada Buddhism and the Tipitaka (Pali) or Tripitaka (sanskrit) (three baskets)

Shortly after the Buddha's death (ca. 480 BCE), five hundred of the most senior monks — including Ananda — convened to recite and verify all the sermons they had heard during the Buddha's forty-five year teaching career.[9] Most of these sermons therefore begin with the disclaimer, "Evam me sutam" — "Thus have I heard."

By 250 BCE the Sangha had systematically arranged and compiled these teachings into three divisions: the Vinaya Pitaka (the "basket of discipline" — the texts concerning the rules and customs of the Sangha), the Sutta Pitaka (the "basket of discourses" — the sermons and utterances by the Buddha and his close disciples), and the Abhidhamma Pitaka (the "basket of special/higher doctrine" — a detailed psycho-philosophical analysis of the Dhamma). Together these three are known as the Tipitaka, the "three baskets." In the third century BCE Sri Lankan monks began compiling a series of exhaustive commentaries to the Tipitaka; these were subsequently collated and translated into Pali beginning in the fifth century CE. The Tipitaka plus the post-canonical texts (commentaries, chronicles, etc.) together constitute the complete body of classical Theravada literature. (Wikipedia source).

Sutras
Delivered in the language of North India, they often contained descriptions of the Buddha’s life, actions and ideas as well as thousands of parables. 

Abhidharma

Philosophical and psychological discourse and interpretation of Buddhist doctrine.

Vinaya

Rules and regulation of monastic life that range from dress code and dietary rules to prohibition in personal conduct. Twice as many rules existed for women as compared to men.



The Dhammapada:  Small Group Work!

The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.  Concise verses offer a crystal kind of insight into the mind of the Buddha. 

Going Deeper:  Pick up a copy of the Gospel of Thomas and notice the structural and philosophical similarities between the Dhammapada and this scripture that was part of the great 1945 archeological find we call the Nag Hammadi Library.  Both are direct, statement-without-narrative teachings from the founders of two great world religions:  Buddhism and Christianity.

Small Group Analysis

Directions:

  1. Divide the larger group into smaller conversation-sized groups.
  2. Hand out at least five verses drawn out of the Dhammapada to each group.
  3. Ask:
    1. What do you notice about the statements?  What central ideas of behavior, seeing the world, etc stood out for your group?
    2. What felt really familiar?  What felt very foreign?
    3. How do these statements illumine how we suffer and how we might find an end to suffering?
4. come back together and share the insights with the larger group.

These were the verses we worked with during our first class:

Verse 1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, 'dukkha' 3follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.

Verse 3: "He abused me, he ill-treated me, he got the better of me, he stole my belongings;"... the enmity of those harbouring such thoughts cannot be appeased.

Verse 5: Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an ancient law.

Verse 6: People, other than the wise, do not realize, "We in this world must all die," (and, not realizing it, continue their quarrels). The wise realize it and thereby their quarrels cease.

Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on pleasant objects, who is uncontrolled in his senses, immoderate in his food, and is lazy and lacking in energy, will certainly be overwhelmed by Mara,3 just as stormy winds uproot a weak tree.

Verse 8: He who keeps his mind on the impurities (of the body), who is well-controlled in his senses and is full of faith and energy, will certainly be not overwhelmed by Mara, just as stormy winds cannot shake a mountain of rock.

Verse 14: Just as rain cannot penetrate a well-roofed house, so also, passion (raga) cannot penetrate a mind well-cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana).

Verse 20: Though he recites only a little of the Sacred Texts (Tipitaka), but practises according to the Dhamma, eradicating passion, ill will and ignorance, clearly comprehending the Dhamma, with his mind freed from moral defilements and no longer clinging to this world or to the next, he shares the benefits of the life of a bhikkhu (i.e., Magga-phala).

Verse 25: Through diligence, mindfulness, discipline (with regard to moral precepts), and control of his senses, let the man of wisdom make (of himself) an island which no flood can overwhelm.

Verse 28: The wise one dispels negligence by means of mindfulness; he ascends the tower of wisdom and being free from sorrow looks at the sorrowing beings. Just as one on the mountain top looks at those on the plain below, so also, the wise one (the arahat) looks at the foolish and the ignorant (worldlings).

Verse 33: The mind is excitable and unsteady; it is difficult to control and to restrain. The wise one trains his mind to be upright as a fletcher straightens an arrow.

Verse 34: As a fish quivers when taken out of its watery home and thrown on to dry ground, so does the mind quiver when it is taken out of the sensual world to escape from the realm of Mara (i.e., kilesa vatta, round of moral defilements).

Verse 38: If a man's mind is unsteady, if he is ignorant of the true Dhamma, and if his faith is wavering, then his knowledge will never be perfect.

Verse 42: A thief may harm a thief; an enemy may harm an enemy; but a wrongly directed mind can do oneself far greater harm.2

Verse 43: Not a mother, nor a father, nor any other relative can do more for the well-being of one than a rightly-directed mind can.

Verse 46: One who knows that this body is impermanent like froth, and comprehends that it is insubstantial like a mirage, will cut the flowers of Mara (i.e., the three kinds of vatta or rounds), and pass out of sight of the King of Death.

Verse 49: As the bee collects nectar and flies away without damaging the flower or its colour or its scent, so also, let the bhikkhu dwell and act in the village (without affecting the faith and generosity or the wealth of the villagers).

Verse 50: One should not consider the faults of others, nor their doing or not doing good or bad deeds. One should consider only whether one has done or not done good or bad deeds.

Verse 54: The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood, nor of rhododendron (tagara), nor of jasmin (mallika)2; only the reputation of good people can go against the wind. The reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) is wafted abroad in all directions.

Verse 61: If a person seeking a companion cannot find one who is better than or equal to him, let him resolutely go on alone; there can be no companionship with a fool.

Verse 76: One should follow a man of wisdom who rebukes one for one's faults, as one would follow a guide to some buried treasure. To one who follows such a wise man, it will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.

Verse 77: The man of wisdom should admonish others; he should give advice and should prevent others from doing wrong; such a man is held dear by the good; he is disliked only by the bad.

Verse 91: The mindful strive diligently (in the Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice); they take no delight in the home (i.e., in the life of sensual pleasures); like swans (hamsa) that forsake the muddy pool, they abandon all home life (i.e., all cravings).

Verse 103: A man may conquer a million men in battle, but one who conquers himself is, indeed, the greatest of conquerors.

Verse 118: If a man does what is good, he should do it again and again; he should take delight in it; the accumulation of merit leads to happiness.

Verse 129: All are afraid of the stick, all fear death. Putting oneself in another's place, one should not beat or kill others.

Verse 147: Look at this dressed up body, a mass of sores, supported (by bones), sickly, a subject of many thoughts (of sensual desire). Indeed, that body is neither permanent nor enduring.

Verse 159: One should act as one teaches others; only with oneself thoroughly tamed should one tame others. To tame oneself is, indeed, difficult.

Verse 179: The Buddha, whose conquest (of moral defilements) is complete, in 
whom there cannot arise any further defilements in this world, that Buddha of infinite range of wisdom, who is trackless, - by what track will you lead him?

Verse 223: Conquer the angry one by not getting angry (i.e., by loving-kindness); conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

Verses 268 & 269: Not by silence does one become a muni, if one is dull and ignorant. Like one holding a pair of scales, the wise one takes what is good and rejects what is evil. For this reason he is a muni. He who understands both internal and external aggregates is also, for that reason, called a muni.

Verse 252: It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one's own. A man broadcasts the fault; of others like winnowing chaff in the wind, but hides his own faults as a crafty fowler covers himself.

Verse 118: If a man does what is good, he should do it again and again; he should take delight in it; the accumulation of merit leads to happiness.

Verse 129: All are afraid of the stick, all fear death. Putting oneself in another's place, one should not beat or kill others.

Verse 147: Look at this dressed up body, a mass of sores, supported (by bones), sickly, a subject of many thoughts (of sensual desire). Indeed, that body is 
neither permanent nor enduring.

Verse 159: One should act as one teaches others; only with oneself thoroughly tamed should one tame others. To tame oneself is, indeed, difficult.

Verse 179: The Buddha, whose conquest (of moral defilements) is complete, in whom there cannot arise any further defilements in this world, that Buddha of infinite range of wisdom, who is trackless, - by what track will you lead him?

Verse 223: Conquer the angry one by not getting angry (i.e., by loving-kindness); conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

Verses 268 & 269: Not by silence does one become a muni, if one is dull and ignorant. Like one holding a pair of scales, the wise one takes what is good and rejects what is evil. For this reason he is a muni. He who understands both internal and external aggregates is also, for that reason, called a muni.

Verse 252: It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one's own. A man broadcasts the fault; of others like winnowing chaff in the wind, but hides his own faults as a crafty fowler covers himself.

Above from: http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka  This is a wonderful website,  by the way, which links a parable or story from Sutras with the individual verses of the Dhammapada in a way that further illustrates the point at hand.  Wonderful resource for storytellers and teachers, too. 

The Practice of Vipassana: A very simple introduction
1.     Find a comfortable but alert position on the chair or floor.  Spine should be erect, with eyes open and cast down with half-lids, face, body and shoulders relaxed.
2.     As thoughts arise in your mind, give them a label once you realize you are thinking.  So lets say an image of last night’s dream pops up.  I might say, “remembering” and let the thought fade.  Then, I start to think about driving home in the dark and rain.  The label I assign might be something like “worry” and again I let the thought go and return to the act of “just sitting”.  The idea is to be gentle with yourself; the label is simply part of the science experiment of watching how the mind works rather than a punitive device for “punishing” the mind for having thoughts. 
3.     At the end of your sitting time (15-20 minutes is usually a great beginning span), take a few moments to stretch, breathe and then go forth into your day or evening.

We joined hands in a circle, took a moment to breathe together in silence, and then extinguished the chalice.


Next Time:  Session II:  The Mahayana Tradition, February 19th at 7 PM at the Poulsbo Library.






Practice and Further Learning Sources

If you know of other sources that have been of value to you and/or local sites for practice, I’ll add them to the site.  Simply email me the link!

April 26th Vipassana and Centering Prayer One Day Retreat, Indianola, WA with Kim Beyer-Nelson and Melissa Page

http://www.jackkornfield.com/
Here, you’ll find everything from books to audio from the man I consider to be one of our country’s best Buddhist teachers.  His work is accessible, deep and delightful.

http://www.sharonsalzberg.com/
This Theravadin-saturated teacher is deeply heart-centered and wise.  Again, this link will take you to all of her work and her live teaching schedule.
Dhamma Kuñja, Onalaska, Washington, United States
Center Location: Website | Map 
** Unless noted otherwise, course instructions are given in the following language(s): English
The Northwest Vipassana Center, also known as Dhamma Kuñja, is situated on 50 acres in rural western Washington, conveniently located approximately two hours drive from both Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. It was established in August 1991 to offer training in Vipassana meditation, and is one of over 120 international centers where the technique of Vipassana is taught and practiced.

 http://www.seattleinsight.org/  
Seattle Insight Meditation Society is a welcoming community devoted to offering the Buddha's teachings on wisdom and compassion to all those who seek them. SIMS encourages an ongoing investigation of our lives for the liberation of all beings and the stewardship of the planet.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/whats-thera.htm

No comments:

Post a Comment