Buddhist Essentials Class Series: The Seven Factors of Awakening

Online Event Only

START DATE: Wednesday, December 16, 2020
END DATE: Wednesday, December 16, 2020
TIME: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
ORGANIZATION: Seattle Insight Meditation Society
TEACHER: Sooz Appel and Susan Alotrico

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness – Mindful examination of body, feeling tones, mental states, and dhammas reveal the true nature of phenomena, leading to clear seeing and liberation.

This class is part of a nine month series on some of the essential teachings of Buddhism. The classes will include sitting meditation, dhamma talks, group discussions and have monthly suggestions for practice.  People may join the whole series or participate in individual classes as they prefer or are able to.

The classes will be on the third Wednesday of the month from June 2020 through February 2021.  The specific dates are: 6/17/20, 7/15/20, 8/19/20, 9/16/20, 10/21/20, 11/18/20, 12/16/20, 1/20/21 and 2/17/21.  There will also be two days of mindfulness related to this series:  Saturday October 3, 2020 – Four Foundations of Mindfulness and Saturday February 27, 2021 – the Brahma Viharas.

Please check the calendar for last minute changes.

These classes will be taught by SIMS’ Local Dharma Leaders (LDLs) Anna Ossenfort, Lyndal Johnson, Sooz Appel, Susan Alotrico, Lauren Wilson, Steve Wilhelm, and Jerry Harter

The classes are open to anyone with experience in mindfulness meditation equivalent to SIMS Introductory Meditation Class.  While the class will be accessible to beginners, it will also be substantive enough for experienced practitioners.

Class Schedule

June 17    The Three Characteristics – with Lyndal Johnson and Anna Ossenfort
The Three Characteristics are the three aspects that pervade all of conditioned phenomena: anicca, dukkha, and anatta.  When we begin to see these attributes in all of experience, wisdom arises that enables us to let go of clinging.

July 15    The Four Noble Truths – with Lauren Wilson and Jerry Harter
It is said that the entirety of the Buddha’s teachings can be found in the Four Noble Truths.  In this class we will explore these teachings: 1) dukkha, 2) the origin of dukkha, 3) the cessation of dukkha, and 4) the path of practice leading to the cessation of dukkha.

August 19    The Eightfold Path – with Sooz Appel and Jerry Harter
With the understanding of the truths of dukkha, the cause of dukkha and the end of dukkha, we can embark on the Eightfold Path – the path that leads to awakening and the end of suffering.  In this class we will discuss the elements and practice of the Eightfold Path: panna (wisdom), sila (ethical behavior and the precepts), and samadhi (concentration).

September 16    The Paramis – with Lyndal Johnson and Sooz Appel
The Ten Paramis (generosity, virtue, renunciation, discernment, equanimity, patience, persistence, truth, determination, and goodwill) are beautiful qualities associated with an awakened mind.  In this talk we will discuss the paramis and consider some ways in which we can encourage their development in our own practice.

October 21    Four Foundations of Mindfulness – with Anna Ossenfort and Susan Alotrico
Mindful examination of body, feeling tones, mental states, and dhammas reveal the true nature of phenomena, leading to clear seeing and liberation.

November 18    The Hindrances; Greed, Hatred, and Delusion – with Anna Ossenfort and Steve Wilhelm
Gaining insight into obstacles on the path can turn them into possibilities. During this evening we’ll explore the Five Hindrances (desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness, and doubt), and the Three Poisons (greed, hatred and delusion). We’ll learn how these barriers to freedom arise in our lives, and how through our mindfulness practice we can transform them into doorways.

December 16    The Seven Factors of Awakening – with Sooz Appel and Susan Alotrico
Through discussion and practical exercises of the Seven Factors of Awakening, we will explore how awareness of these mind states helps us to let go of unwholesome tendencies and to cultivate wholesome ones, in both formal practice and our daily lives.

January 20    The Brahma Viharas – with Lauren Wilson and Steve Wilhelm
How do we cultivate energies that encourage our capacity for caring and compassion toward ourselves and others?  In this class we will explore developing in our daily lives the brahma viharas, also called the four immeasurables:  loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

February 17    The Five Aggregates – with Jerry Harter and Lyndal Johnson
The Five Aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness) show how we create an illusory sense of self moment by moment.  By examining them we can come to understand how we are not so much a solid self as we may have thought.