Speaker Series: Great Disciples of the Buddha

//Speaker Series: Great Disciples of the Buddha
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Great Disciples: People and Personalities in the Buddha’s Community

A six-week lecture series

The early Buddhist sangha included some accomplished and intriguing disciples—lay and monastic, male and female. By searching the literature of the Pali Canon, contemporary scholars have been able to compile biographical information, infer personality traits, and gain a vivid sense of the human relationships and life-stories that formed the earliest Buddhist community.

This Tuesday Evening Speaker Series will explore the lives, practice, and teachings of several of the great disciples of the Buddha. The series will illuminate both the ordinary and the extraordinary contributions of some of the most interesting personalities whose questions, challenges, and life situations shaped the teachings that we cherish today.

  • September 12—Angulimala: An Ethical Transformation, with Shaila Catherine
  • September 19—Ananda: The Man with the Questions, with Thanissaro Bhikkhu
  • September 26—Anathapindika: A Generous and Devoted Lay Follower, with Ed Haertel
  • October 3—Kisa Gotami: Buddha’s Deep Compassion Toward Women, with Ayya Santussika
  • October 10—Rahula: Son of Buddha, with Margaret Gainer
  • October 17—Mahakaccana: Clarifying the Most Cryptic Teachings, with Shaila Catherine

Please visit our Teachers Page for biographies and photos of our speakers.


This group meets every Tuesday evening for a sitting and Dhamma talk in Mountain View. The principal teacher is Shaila Catherine and guest speakers are featured regularly. Thematic series are periodically presented, but whether or not a topic has been advertised in advance, Shaila or a guest teacher will lead the sitting and offer teachings. See also weekly sitting.

Newcomers are welcome. To help newcomers get acquainted with mindfulness meditation and IMSB, a senior member or teacher offers a beginner’s orientation beginning at 6:30 on the first Tuesday of each month. Insight Meditation South Bay offers a weekly meditation group on Tuesdays in Mountain View, classes on Thursdays in San Jose/Saratoga, monthly day longs, and additional programs such as sutta studies and retreats.

IMSB relies upon the generosity of participants to support our teachers and cover organizational expenses. Dana is a word in the ancient Pali language that describes donations, offerings and generosity. Two bowls will be available at an event to practice dana for the teacher and IMSB; we encourage you to give joyfully and generously, according to your resources and means. IMSB is a 501(c) (3) organization. All donations are tax deductible as permitted by law.