The Buddha taught a path consisting of wisdom, ethics, and meditation. Though this three-fold sasana is a mutually supportive system, the tendency for ethics to be both pejorative and prescriptive is an issue for many practitioners today; the threat of being confined or having something taken away from us can conflict with our ideas of freedom. Instead, what if ethics was invitatory and developed to fortify our discernment? What if our approach to ethics supported us in using our whole life as a mirror to reinforce our capacity for reflection and establish a greater sense of agency?
Building on the premise that the intention of ethics is to cultivate a heart of love and alleviate suffering, this course takes up both the problem and promise of ethics by refuting dogma and notions of restriction, while giving ethical practices a central role in our own self- awareness and liberation. In this way ethics encourages the development of insight, our own greatest potential, and the Buddhist ideal of freedom for all beings.
To integrate a study of ethics grounded in the suttas of the Pali canon with silent meditation, reflection, and discussion; to replace a moralistic rendering of ethics with a personally meaningful ethical inquiry that supports the development of meditation and wisdom; to support students in applying ethical teachings and practices to the world we live in and the particulars of their own lives; to understand the individual and social dimension of ethics.
Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:
Noble silence will be observed following the evening session through breakfast the following morning.
Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.