Online: Together Under the Bodhi Tree – A Short Course on the Buddha’s Teachings
with Bart van Melik
Mondays, January 4th – January 25th, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:30pm ET
Nowadays the Buddha’s teachings are widely available in many forms – more than ever before. Yet, it can feel like quite a personal endeavor to study these ancient teachings. Often we miss the intimacy students might have felt while they were sitting together with the Buddha under the Bodhi Tree.
Dharma Contemplation is a relational meditation practice that enables us to enter into the Buddha’s teachings in a profound way by revealing many layers of meaning in these ancient texts. In a cosy atmosphere, participants begin by contemplating a short excerpt of the Buddha’s teachings and over the course of five distinct practice phases engage one another, speaking the truth and listening deeply. Participants move from engagements with just the words of the text, then to the emotional resonances it evokes. This leads to a cognitive investigation of the meaning and finally, setting the text aside, to an exploration of present moment experience: how has this life been touched by the Buddha’s words?
In Dharma Contemplation the wisdom we are contemplating comes directly from the Buddha via his oral teachings, which have been passed down in the Pali texts for over two thousand years. Just as we can experience intimate and elucidating contact with a good friend or teacher —mind to mind and heart to heart—, we can do so with the Buddha via his legacy in a remarkably direct way: human to human, Buddha to Buddha. Dharma Contemplation provides a structure to help us realize this capacity.
Over the course of four classes we will contemplate the Buddha’s teachings on Awareness, Nature, and Community.
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