Buddhism & Meditation
A 6-Week Course for Adult Beginners
"One might think that when someone has traveled along the same old rut for decades, it is too late. But that is a great mistake. If you find the right sort of encouragement and the right sort of conditions, you can change at any time of your life." - Sangharakshita
Feel stuck? Learn how Buddhism can help.
In this 6-week introduction to Buddhism and meditation course, we will study the core principles of Buddhism as well as the art of Buddhist meditation — techniques that have helped people all over the world successfully navigate through dissatisfaction and suffering to find freedom, peace and love in their lives.
If your schedule can only accommodate a shorter course, we welcome you to our drop-in meditation class.
*All are welcome regardless of ability to pay.
6-Week Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation Course
What You'll Learn
Core Principles of Buddhism
Learn practical applications of core Buddhist teachings directly relevant to improving your life today.
Mindfulness of Breathing
Eliminate distractedness by developing greater awareness and mental concentration.
Dissolve anger and aversion by cultivating universal love and a tranquil heart.
Meditation is the systematic development of higher states of awareness and a deeper experience of kindness and compassion. In this course, we will cover two simple meditation techniques: one focuses on the development of a tranquil and concentrated mind; the other on the cultivation of friendliness and goodwill towards ourselves and other living beings.
In addition to the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana meditation techniques, we will also explore some of the core principles of Buddhism and how they can meaningfully effect the way we live. Topics include the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path and their practical applications in today’s world.
This course is suitable for the newcomer, aged 18 or over, who has had little or no experience with meditation or Buddhism.
Four Noble Truths
“People often conclude that Buddhism is suffering-oriented, inward-looking, and self-centered, as though the idea was to become immersed in one’s own suffering and how to alleviate it. But this is not what the Buddha is saying.” – Sangharakshita
- The Truth of suffering (Dukkha), unsatisfactoriness, or disharmony, which we see all around us and also experience within ourselves;
- The Truth of the cause of suffering (Samudāya), which is selfish craving or ‘thirst’, both within ourselves and within others;
- The Truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha), the total eradication of suffering which is synonymous with the state of Enlightenment or Buddhahood; and
- The Truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering (Magga), which is the Noble Eightfold Path.
Noble Eightfold Path
“Spiritual growth is like the development of a tree. … The following of the Eightfold Path is like that. First there is a spiritual experience, a glimpse of Reality, or in other words a moment of Perfect Vision. This is like the falling of the rain. And just as the sap rises and spreads into the branches and twigs, so Perfect Vision gradually transforms the different aspects of our being. Emotion is transformed, speech is transformed, actions and livelihood are transformed – even volitions and awareness are transformed. As a result of that moment of Perfect Vision, to some extent the whole being is transformed.” – Sangharakshita
- Right Understanding or Perfect Vision
- Right Resolve or Perfect Emotion
- Right Speech or Perfect Speech
- Right Action or Perfect Action
- Right Livelihood or Perfect Livelihood
- Right Effort or Perfect Effort
- Right Mindfulness or Perfect Awareness
- Right Meditation or Perfect Samadhi