The Life of the Buddha

with Shastri Donna Williams, Jeffrey Slayton, Ryan Harvey

January 8th—February 26th

Date details +


    Tuesday nights 6:45 - 8pm.  Goes until Feb 26th
    Open to all, no charge. Suggested donation $10.

    The Life of the Buddha invites us into a practice of meditation that is now over 2500 years old. At the same time, it is perfect for today’s busy, stressed out citizens. The insights we will explore can lead us towards an understanding of personal and societal transformation based on simplicity and gentleness. 

    The life of the Buddha is an example of dharmic discovery, unwavering commitment to the quest for ultimate truth, and the articulation and propagation of a path of meditation, study, and conduct.

    The life and teachings of the Buddha were a radical breakthrough in the spiritual and cultural context of that time, and there are many parallels to what happened then and what is happening currently in the world today.

    Shastri Donna Williams
    Jeffrey Slayton
    Ryan Harvey

      Class 1: The first week’s class focuses on Siddhartha’s early life- how he left his sheltered life in the palace after becoming aware of sickness and death, his wanderings and practices as an ascetic, and the shortcomings of this type of discipline. We will explore the two extremes of his search,  from an indulgent lifestyle in the palace that was too loose, Siddhartha went to the opposite extreme of being too fanatically uptight in a world-renouncing, body-denying, mind-absorbing asceticism. What does his search show us about our relationship to the path of understanding how our mind works and “seeing things as they truly are?"

    Class 2: The Noble Eightfold Path
    Sitting meditation is iconic in Buddhism. If you tell someone you're Buddhist then they will usually assume, "Oh, so you meditate." While sitting meditation can be an expression of the complete path, Buddhist practice does not end (or begin) at the meditation cushion. 

    After wowing them with his explication of the 4 noble truths the Buddha taught his first students that if they wanted to see their situation more clearly that they should pay attention to and cultivate 8 parts of their experience. In doing so they (and we) could engage a complete path of awakening praxis.
    Learning about or revisiting the Noble Eightfold Path is an excellent way to support and challenge your current meditation and post-meditation practice.

     Class 4: Conduct, Ethics, and Creating Buddhist Community
    This Class will explore the development of the Buddhist community and the unfolding of Buddhist ethics and conduct. Through the interaction of the three main components of the community; monastics, laity, and ascetics we will explore how each contributed in keeping the Buddha's teaching alive and potent into modernity.

     Class 6: The Spread of Buddhism
    This class will explore how the Buddhadharma has manifested in a variety of cultures and situations. We will study lineage and sources of various Buddhist sects including the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and how Buddhism continues to adapt and remain malleable while retaining the continuity of the Buddha's teachings.