Visit our Sutta Study 2019 Registration page to join our 2019 course.
About Our Sutta Study Program
Insight Meditation South Bay (in partnership with Bodhi Retreats) offers a nine-month sutta study course each year with three optional meeting times and locations:
- Monday evenings online
- Friday mornings in Palo Alto, CA
- Wednesday evenings in Menlo Park, CA
We are gradually reading and contemplating English translations of the Discourses of the Buddha. These ancient texts offer us a rich source of inspiration that directly informs the development of wisdom, meditation, and how we live our lives. Through discussion and reflection, we approach these powerful teachings as the spark for awakening. This is not a lecture course; everyone is expected to participate in the discussion. The aim of our sutta study courses is not so much to attain an intellectual or academic comprehension of the texts, but rather to allow the teachings to permeate our hearts, to recognize the contemporary implications of ancient Buddhist wisdom, and to realize the liberating potential of the path.
Newcomers are welcome to join at the start of each year’s course.
We are completing the Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya) in 2018.
In March 2019 we will begin a two year reading of the Digha Nikaya, The Long Discourses of the Buddha.
Registration usually opens for in September for each course that begins in January. Course details, registration information, and dates will be posted on the Sutta Study Course Page for each year and course, and links can be found in the Calendar/Event Listings.
In previous years we have read the following texts:
- 2004 – The Inspired Utterances of the Buddha (Udana)
- 2005 – Anthology of Suttas from the Numerical Discourses
- 2006 – Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya) Part I of III.
- 2007 – Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya) Part II of III.
- 2008 – Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya) Part III of III.
- 2009 – 2010 – Sutta Nipata
- 2010 – 2011 – In the Buddha’s Words (An anthology of suttas edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi)
- 2012 – The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya) Part I of III.
- 2013 – The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya) Part II of III.
- 2014 – The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya) Part III of III.
- 2015 – The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya) Part I of IV.
- 2016 – The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya) Part II of IV.
- 2017 – The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya) Part III of IV.
- 2018 – The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya) Part IV of IV.
Conversations with translators Bhikkhu Bodhi and John Kelly
Listen to a 2014 recorded interview of Bhikkhu Bodhi by Shaila Catherine and members of the online class about the Samyutta Nikaya, Connected Discourses of the Buddha.
Listen to a 2015 recorded interview of Pali translator John Kelly by Shaila Catherine and members of the online class about the Anguttara Nikaya, Numerical Discourses of the Buddha.
As my practice has developed over the years I have become increasingly interested in studying the Pali Canon, but it’s hard to do it by myself. Studying and discussing the texts with a group led by Shaila provides a depth of understanding that I don’t think I could reach on my own.
—Anne M., Nevada
Although she claims not to be an academic, Shaila brings a wealth of knowledge to every class. In sharing her own considerable insight, she encourages and inspires others to share and deepen their own.
—Shari G., California
—Karen K., Nevada
—Lindsey V., New York
—Bill M., Nevada
Studying with Shaila is a precious gift. She has something to offer everyone, from beginner to advanced practitioner. Her pragmatic teaching style ensures that I always walk away from her classes with not only a deeper understanding of the Dhamma, but also a clear understanding of how the Dhamma applies to my own spiritual practice.
—Kathleen N., Indiana
Shaila is an extremely competent teacher. She brings the suttas to life for her students to promote a personal understanding. It is wonderful!
—Linda and David W., Utah
For More Information
For information about course content or registration, contact suttastudy.
Registration has opened for the 2017 Sutta Study Course.
Visit our Sutta Study 2017 Registration page to register.
Co-Sponsored by Bodhi-Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay