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Loving-Kindness: A Core Practice in Multiple Traditions
Dates: Jan 31, 2020 - Feb 05, 2020
Days: Fri - Wed (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Sayadaw U Jagara, Mathieu Boisvert

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This course explores the practice and contexts of loving- kindness in various Buddhist traditions, and the possible different roles and applications for individuals and communities. Though focusing on historic development and theoretical analysis, this course will be based on the practice itself, mostly with the methods seen in the Theravāda tradition and Pāli literature: texts such as the Discourse on Loving Kindness (Mettā Sutta), and other selected passages from the Pāli Canon and main commentaries on the topic of the "sublime abidings" (brahmavihāras). Discussion will also include references to various practices of loving-kindness in other South Asian religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Some aspect of loving kindness seen in Judeo-Christian lineages will also be considered. The course will combine textual discussions with contemplative practice to get a fuller sense of this core teaching of the Buddha.

Learning Intentions:

To explore the practice of loving-kindness (mettā) as presented in the Pāli Canon; provide a theoretical understanding that will support a fruitful engagement with this particular practice; understand its articulation with the fundamental Buddhist notions of impermanence (annicā) and selflessness (anattā); develop meditative skills to generate loving-kindness and to maintain this state of mind in our daily life.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech:

Noble silence will be observed following the evening session through breakfast the following morning.

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.

  • Sayadaw U Jagara has 40 years’ experience as a Buddhist monastic and is dedicated to the practice, study and teaching of Dhamma. He has trained and taught in the U Ba Khin and in the Pa Auk traditions of Myanmar as well as being familiar with other Buddhist approaches.

  • Mathieu Boisvert has been a professor of religious studies at the University of Québec in Montréal since 1992. He is now the President of the Canadian corporation for the study of religion and director of undergraduate programs in religious studies at UQAM. His most recent book is: Hijra: portrait socioreligieux d'une communauté transgenre sud-asiatique. He is also the author of: The Five Aggregates: Understanding Buddhist Psychology and Soteriology and of Comprendre l’Inde. In the last two years, he completed 35,000 km on his motorcycle across rural India.

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