INTERMEDIATE: Most suitable for practicing Buddhists and non-Buddhists already familiar with foundational Buddhist concepts; registration is recommended to participate fully from the beginning, but walk-ins and those joining mid-course are also welcome
WHEN: Classes are held on Saturdays (approximately 1 - 3 times per month) from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM starting May 2015. Three-hour meditation practice sessions will also be held periodically. Please see details below and check Calendar to confirm.
Upcoming Classes, Retreat Days & Other Special Sessions:
• April 29th, 2017 (Regular Class)
• May 6th, 2017 (Regular Class)
• May 13th, 2017 (Regular Class)
• June 10th, 2017 (Regular Class)
WHERE: The Guhyasamaja Center, Professional Center of Fairfax Building, 10875 Main Street, Unit 108, Fairfax, VA
TEACHER: Dr. Lorne Ladner, Ph.D.
From a Buddhist perspective, there is nothing more valuable in the universe than these amazing moments of your precious human life. The Buddha describes 18 unique qualities of a special, human life which particularly grant us freedom and opportunity to practice the spiritual path. It's up to us: we can use our lives to create more suffering for ourselves and others or we can use them to practice the spiritual path in order to gain good future rebirths, achieve liberation from samsaric suffering, or progress along the path of compassion towards full enlightenment for the welfare of all sentient beings.
During this series of classes on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, we'll study, contemplate, and meditate together on many different meditation techniques which are taught in a gradual sequence to help us progress from where we currently are forward along the spiritual path towards full enlightenment.
The spiritual path is an inner path which entails transforming our own minds and hearts. Texts in the Stages of the Path (Lamrim in Tibetan) tradition provide clear, accessible guidance along this inner path. Our study for these classes will mainly be based on Lama Tsongkhpa's classic text, the "Middle Length Lamrim", supplemented by materials from "The Easy Path" by Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen. Our plan is for this series of classes to go on for some time as we very slowly work together to go deeply into these meditations.
Each class session will include preliminary prayers done (in English) according to the Stages of the Path Tradition, guided meditations, and study of specific lines of the text. Lines that we study in a given session will be the subject of our meditation in the next session.
There will also be a special 3-hour practice session for each major meditation topic when we finish that topic. These special practice sessions will include a group practice of the preliminary practices (using various different versions of the preliminaries over time to give people a sense of their range of options for practice) and then will include guided meditations on the meditation subject recently completed in class. There will also be time for questions and discussion.
The intention of these practice sessions is to give participants more opportunity to get the feel for analytical and fixed meditations on the stages of the path. Also, participants are encouraged to then meditate regularly on the topic covered until the next practice session. In this way, participant will learn the meditations on the stages of the path while also developing some inner experience through their own practice.
Information regarding what you can expect when visiting the center, Dharma etiquette, the center's sacred artwork, and more can be found on our Resources page.
For directions, accessibility information, parking instructions, and other details you may find helpful for your visit, please visit our Contact page.
Participants have several options ... You can register to participate fully in the entire series from the beginning (details below). You're welcome to sit in on sessions periodically without registration. And you can also join in the classes more fully at any point. However, do be aware that the teaching approach will mainly be aimed at those who are fully engaging in the course.
Fully participating in the course involves reading ahead in the text, attending most sessions in person, watching any sessions you've missed on YouTube, and engaging in the meditations between class sessions. There will also be occasional homework for those participating as Basic Program students (click here for more information about FPMT's Basic Program).
REGISTRATION & MATERIALS
For those already registered and who opted for the center to provide the text and printed materials, a materials fee in the amount of $50 can be paid on the first day of class when you pickup your items; check or cash only, please.
We humbly offer you the opportunity to practice generosity by helping to make the Buddha's teachings available in our community. If you're able, please make a donation for classes and other events — it's even tax deductible!
Suggested donations for both members and non-members are listed below, but please — only give what you're comfortable with!
Members: $8 each class
Non-Members: $10 each class
ENTER ONE-TIME DONATION AMOUNT
Don't forget to rejoice in your good deeds and dedicate the positive potential generated to the completion of something spiritually meaningful to you!
If you'd like to contribute but are unable to make a financial donation, please don't worry — no one will ever be turned away for financial reasons! And there are many other ways you can help support the teachings.
For more information about all our funds and special projects in need of financial support, The Center's donation policy, tax deductible information, membership details, volunteer opportunities, and other ways you can support The Center, please visit our Practicing Generosity page.