November 14,15, 16, 20, 21
$25 Per Class | Hybrid
November 14 — Causes of Suffering: self-cherishing, attachments, and afflictive emotions
Self-Cherishing leads to a selfish attitude and selfish desires. Cherishing ourselves is the gateway to harm, especially to our own unhappiness. This is because Self-Cherishing leads to all of our Attachments. Attachments arise when we exaggerate the good qualities of any object. This leads to unrealistic expectations and consequent craving, clinging, neediness,possessiveness, or even obsession with the object. Attachments are the cause of Afflictive Emotions. Afflictive Emotions (also called Destructive Emotions) are the cause of our suffering. Examples of afflictive emotions include self-attachment, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, resentment, and arrogance.
November 15 — Keys to Happiness: compassion and bodhichitta
Cherishing others is the source of all good mental qualities. True and lasting happiness comes from cherishing others. Compassion is the aspiration to relieve a sentient being from their suffering and its causes. (Loving-Kindness is the wish that someone may enjoy happiness.) Bodhichitta is the altruistic aspiration to achieve Enlightenment in order to relieve all sentient beings from their suffering and its causes. In order to achieve Compassion and Bodhichitta, practice Equalizing and Exchanging (Tong Lin) and The Seven Causes and Effects.
November 16 — Meditation: concentration and analysis
A scattered mind cannot analyze clearly. Meditative Concentration sharpens the mind by training it to focus on any single object for increasingly longer periods of time and with less and less distraction. (Meditative Concentration is also known as single-pointed meditation, calm-abiding meditation, meditative stability, or Shamatha.) Analytical Meditation uses the rational process of analysis to gain knowledge of, to penetrate, and finally to understand deeply and fully the object of meditation. After listening to and reading teachings on the object of meditation, analytical meditation employs logic and reasoning, investigation and discrimination, questioning and debating, and contemplation and reflection. (Analytical Meditation is also known as Insight Meditation or Vipassana.)
November 20 — The Wisdom of Emptiness: no self, the 2 truths, and the middle way
Ignorance causes Self-Cherishing.
Ignorance is the absence of Wisdom.
Wisdom means realizing Emptiness.
But what is Emptiness? And what does Realizing mean?
What does “no Self” mean? Is there a Self? Is the Self empty?
Do things exist? What are the Two Truths? What is the Middle Way?
November 21 — Achieving Nirvana and Enlightenment
Nirvana is the state of mind that is totally free from your suffering and the causes of your suffering. Attaining this highest state of cessation requires Realizing the Wisdom of Emptiness. Enlightenment (also known as Buddhahood, The Awakened Mind, or Full Awakening) is a state in which all obscurations have been abandoned and all good qualities have been developed limitlessly. Achieving this state requires both Wisdom and Bodhichitta.