Dharma Study Program
Gain a grounding in the teachings through reading, guidance, and discussion.
The 2017-2018 Dharma Study Program begins September 30. (Note change of date: previously posted as October 7.) We will read The Island by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro. Details and registration below.
For those who are serious about liberation—or “the heart’s sure release” (as the Buddha called it)—the importance of a solid grounding in Dharma teachings cannot be overemphasized.
Here is some feedback on previous years’ Dharma Study Programs:
- “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 Dharma Study Program:
- Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante Gunaratana
- The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Course Structure, Fall 2017–Winter 2018
Dharma Study Program meetings are held on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are at the Society of Friends (Quakers) House.
The 2017-2018 study program will begin Saturday, September 30. We will read The Island by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro.
The Island is available for free distribution from Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery. We have ordered 30 print copies, for which SIMT has paid postage and will make a donation to support the free publications. If you would like to receive one of these copies when they arrive, please let the Home Study coordinator know (via the e-mail below), or speak to one of the teachers. If you receive one of these pre-ordered books, we appreciate your help in defraying the cost of the postage and the donation; please check with us about that also.
You can also download the book, or order a print copy yourself (using PayPal), from the monastery’s website. Note that a print copy requires a donation to cover mailing costs; see International Requests, and allow three weeks before your request is fulfilled. Also, although the books are free, their production entails many costs. Please consider sending a donation, according to your means, to support this traditional “economy of gifts” (scroll down to Publications Fund.)
Dates and Readings
- September 30, 2017: pages VIII-XVI, and 25-65 (Prefaces, Introduction, Ch. 1-3)
(Note change of date: previously posted as Oct. 7)
- November 11: pages 66-122 (Ch. 4-6)
- December 2: pages 123-179 (Ch. 7-10)
- January 6, 2018: pages 180-244 (Ch. 11-13)
- February 10: pages 245-300 (Ch. 14-17)
- March 31: pages 301-350 (Ch. 18-20)
Participants are divided into groups, which meet 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?
At each session, volunteers are chosen to offer a presentation of the assigned reading for the next session.
11:00–12:00 Taking of Precepts and sitting meditation
12:00–12:30 Presentation of the readings
12:30–1:00 Tea break
1:00–1:50 Group discussions
2:00–3:00 Opportunity for groups to briefly ask questions on topics that they would like to have clarified; teachers’ comments; and then close with sitting
Payment prior to the beginning of the program ensures placement. Please note that payment is non-refundable. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org