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Emptiness in Buddhist Practice—Online

An 8-week course led by Shaila Catherine

Mondays Online via Zoom
December 7, 14, 21, January 4, 11, February 1, 8, 15
4:30 – 6:00 PM Pacific Time

Teachings on emptiness point directly to the liberating potential of the Buddhist path. Although this topic may sometimes seem obscure in the context of modern lay life, it is worthy of deep reflection and study. The Buddha urged his disciples to apply their minds to understand the teachings on emptiness. The experience of emptiness is so central to his message in fact, that on one occasion he warned that the dhamma will disappear from this world if people do not lend an ear to the teachings that “are deep, deep in meaning, supramundane, dealing with emptiness.”

This course is structured as a discussion of the book authored by Guy Armstrong titled “Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators.” Shaila Catherine will lead guided meditations and discussions to facilitate a profound contemplation of emptiness. Together we will explore a variety of meditation practices that illuminate the insubstantial void nature of experience and incline the mind toward a direct realization of emptiness.

  • December 7 — The World is Empty of Self — Chapters 1 & 2
  • December 14 — What is Real? — Chapters 3 & 4
  • December 21 — How We Create A Sense of Self — Chapter 5
  • January 4 — Beyond Self — Chapters 6, 7 & 8
  • January 11 — Karma: Who Acts? — Chapters 9 & 10
  • February 1 ­— The End of Karma, Abiding in Emptiness, Cessation, Nibbana — Chapters 11, 12 & 13
  • February 8 — All Phenomena are Empty — Chapters 14, 15 & 16
  • February 15 — The Empty Nature of Awareness. Compassion — Chapters 17 – 21

REQUIRED BOOK: Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators, by Guy Armstrong, published by Wisdom Publications. Paperback: ISBN 9781614295266. E-book: ISBN 9781614293798

WHO SHOULD JOIN: This course is open to all practitioners, however, it is designed for those who have already had an introduction to mindfulness meditation practices.

COURSE LEVELS: It is designed as a level 2 course. Click this link for a key to course level designations.

PRECAUTIONS FOR IN-PERSON MEETINGS: The in-person meetings will be limited to a maximum of 20 participants. We will meet in a large sanctuary that under normal circumstances would seat 250. Your temperature will be taken before entering, face masks that cover the nose and mouth are required, and social distancing will be practiced. Please bring a sweater, shawl, or lap blanket to keep warm since we will increase ventilation by cracking open the doors.

ABOUT ONLINE MEETINGS: A Zoom link will be provided after registration.

TO REGISTER: Go to NEW COURSE: Emptiness in Buddhist Practice for how to register.

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