Dharma Study Program
For those who are serious about liberation — or “the heart’s sure release” (as the Buddha called it) — the importance of having a solid grounding in Dharma teachings cannot be overemphasized.
The 2020-2021 Dharma Study Program (also referred to as the Home Study Program) begins Saturday, September 12. Meetings will be held via Zoom on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (note change of time from last year). We are studying Gregory Kramer’s A Whole-Life Path. Further details and registration below.
The feedback about the program has been very positive. Here is a sampling:
- “How wonderful to investigate the Dharma… I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate.”
- “Being able to study…with a group of like-minded friends was extremely helpful. The light, joyful, open atmosphere was very pleasant.”
- “I really feel I got a taste of the Dharma… The balance of meditation, group discussions, questions and answers, and socializing was ideal.”
If you wish to participate in the Dharma Study Program, we ask you to:
- Meditate regularly.
- Uphold the Five Precepts and try to integrate them into your daily life.
- Complete the readings and attend the study group meetings.
You may find the following books to be helpful preparation, especially if you are new to the program:
- Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante Gunaratana
- The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi
2020-2021 Course Structure
This year’s Dharma Study Program meetings will be held via Zoom on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
You will be sent the link when your registration is received.
We are studying Gregory Kramer’s book A Whole-Life Path. (Because digital and hard copies of the book won’t be available until September, SIMT will send out a PDF file of our first reading to all those who register for the course and commit to purchasing a copy of the book.)
Excerpt from A Whole-Life Path:
The Noble Eightfold Path offers us a way through life that is far more wise and intentional than the meandering path of ongoing suffering that our human conditioning naturally takes us on. If we are to experience the full liberating potential that the Path offers us, however, an ad hoc, semi-intentional, pick-and-choose application of the Buddha’s eight path factors won’t do.
We need what I call a whole-life path, a fully immersive, always-on engagement with the Noble Eightfold Path. Historically, this kind of immersive life has been available mostly to monastics. But there are countless ways that the eight factors of the Buddha’s noble path can be applied to life as we actually live it today—with other people, sex, money, social injustice, technology, jobs, and complex financial systems.
Meetings take place roughly once a month from September to March. Readings and dates are as follows:
- September 12, 2020: Chapters 1, 2, 3 (pages 1 to 38)
- October 10: Chapters 4 and 5 (Right View, Right Intention: pages 39 to 102)
- November 7: Chapters 6 and 7 (Right Speech, Right Action: pages 103 to 164)
- January 9, 2021: Chapter 9 (Right Effort: pages 205 to 244)
- February 6: Chapter 10 (Right Mindfulness: pages 245 to 290)
- March 6: Chapter 11 (Right Samadhi: pages 291 to 340)
At each session, a volunteer offers a presentation of the assigned reading.
Participants are divided into groups to discuss the readings. Some suggested topics for discussion are:
- What did you find most helpful in the readings?
- How did these readings impact your practice and life?
9:00 – 9:50 Saturday Morning Meditation (we will begin with taking of Precepts and Refuges)
10:00 – 10:30 Presentation of the readings
10:30 – 11:30 Group discussions
11:30 – 12:30 Opportunity for groups to ask questions or make comments; close with sitting
You will be sent the Zoom link when your registration is received.
- Regular: $90
- SIMT supporter: $70