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Lions of the Wilderness: Early Buddhist Nature Poetry

Residential Program
Dates: Oct 06, 2023 - Oct 08, 2023
Days: Friday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 2 nights

Instructor(s): Andrew Olendzki

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Course Description:

The Pali Canon includes many verses (gathas) of poetry that movingly extol the beauty of nature and that use themes from the natural world in describing Buddhist ideas and practices. This weekend program will look closely at examples of these gathas, particularly those relating to nature and the use of nature metaphors to express Buddhist teachings. We investigate the use of special wording that allows for the aesthetic appreciation of nature while avoiding the kinds of pleasure and attachment that can lead to suffering; we review the importance of meter and how it influences the poetics of early Indian traditions; and we consider social issues such as who is composing nature poetry (monks) and who is not (nuns). The program is intended for those who have an interest in the historical Buddha and his first generation of followers, as well as in the Pali language and its nuances. Many of the verses will be recited out loud, both in Pali and in English.

Noble Silence:
Noble silence will be observed following each evening session through breakfast the following morning. Additional silent practice periods will be scheduled throughout the program.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Cancellation Policy:
If you need to cancel your registration, please contact us as soon as possible. If you cancel two or more weeks before a program begins, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. If you cancel less than two weeks before your program begins, your full deposit is forfeited. If you received financial assistance, cancellation fees are $50 for all programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs. All cancellation fees support our Scholarship Funds.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Andrew Olendzki is a scholar of early Buddhist thought and practice with a particular interest in the application of Buddhist teachings to contemporary life. He is a professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and the Director of its graduate program in Mindfulness Studies.