How do we cultivate and sustain a way through life that is both personally relevant and aimed at the deepest freedom taught by the Buddha? How do we interpret and practice with the nostalgic and aspirational teachings offered in the suttas and commentaries while navigating the pace and pressures of modern life?
This program explores the notion of path as an expression of clear intention, direction, and a deep sense of purpose in life, and how Dharma practice can help achieve this. To support this inquiry we will turn to aspects of the Dharma which have historically guided students in making life affirming choices supporting the ideal of liberation. With an emphasis on discernment–and using meditation, reflection, silence, and wise speech–we will explore the coupling of fierce determination and gentle embracing in body, speech, and mind as we contemplate the following teachings: skillfulness, the Three Jewels, refuge and renunciation, effort/energy and non-attachment, and two core archetypes, the arahant and the bodhisattva. Meditation practice will include insight (vipassana), kindness (metta), and compassion (karuna).
The path of Dharma includes having a set of tools and practices that can be utilized in practical ways to relate to ourselves, others, and the world we live in, yet it is more than that. In daily life, the direct experience of path offers us a felt sense of being held; there is a “place” to which we belong and a direction we are headed. There is a sense of being “located” right where we need to be, a place where we can hold both our adversities and aspirations with greater equanimity.