Aryaloka continually offers classes and retreats geared towards the beginning Buddhist or for those who would like to see what it's all about. The Introduction to Meditation and Buddhism series and day workshops will get your feet wet. Another great place to start is to attend one of our Tuesday night Sangha Nights, where you'll meet our sangha (Aryaloka's community of beginning and experienced practitioners). Sangha Nights also include meditation and discussion for all levels.
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Event Dates: Tuesdays, May 17, 2016 – July 12, 2016
Friends Nights at Aryaloka are from 6:45-9:00 p.m., when we gather to meditate and explore aspects of Buddhism through workshops, talks, study, ritual, or discussion. The emphasis is on practical application of Buddhist principles in our own lives. Although there is no fee for this event, donations are appreciated.
The 40-minute silent meditation in the main shrine room is typically not guided. (If you prefer to have prior instruction, see the Programs section for more information on introductory classes.)
An option for a guided meditation is offered in the library, after which, you can join the rest of the group for the second half of the evening.
Study & Discussion Group Topics –
Introduction to Buddhism, Noble 8 fold path –Led by: Dh. Satyada
If you’re new to Buddhism, or just want to take some time to review the basics, join us on a journey through the fundamentals. We will explore many topics, including “What is Buddhism?”, The Buddha, Buddhist ethics, meditation, wisdom & enlightenment, devotional practice, and the history of Buddhism.
No self, no problem – Led by: Dh. Arjava
This group will explore how the ego’s clinging to a sense of a fixed self prevents us from seeing our true nature. By letting go of this fiction, we can experience the freedom and joy of “no self”. Discussion will look at how ego grasping affects mindfulness, compassion and awakening in our daily lives.
Jataka Tales – Led by: Tom Gaillard and Dh. Khemavassika
The Jakata Tales are some of the oldest texts describing the Buddha’s remembrances of his past lives. Resembling folk tales and fables, the stories in this collection contain lessons expressing Buddhist values, such as kindness, generosity, truthfulness. Because they are engaging and simply written, they appeal to a variety of people and are often used to teach children. The characters in these lively stories include humans along with an assortment of animals. We will explore the history of this area of the Pali cannon, look at how the tales were used to grow Buddhism in South East Asia, and how they can be of significant use to us today as a tool to measure our own ethical behavior.
Tuesday night activities include:
• 6:45 – Tea and announcements
• 7:00 – Meditation and shrine room activity
• 8:00 – Study, discussion, or talk on the evening’s topic
• 9:15 – End
With all of the activities, you are free to participate or to just sit and listen – nothing is compulsory. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
|Led by:||Tuesday Friends’ Night Team|
|Times:||Tuesdays, 6:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.|
|Level:||Open to All|
Event Dates: Wednesdays, July 6, 2016 – August 10, 2016
On these six Wednesday evenings we will learn traditional Buddhist meditations and also explore basic Buddhist teachings.
The three basic meditation forms taught will include the Mindfulness of Breathing, the Metta Bhavana or development of loving-kindness meditation, and walking meditation. These forms have been found to be supportive and helpful to most everyone by helping us to focus, to become more at ease, to know our own minds more fully.
Buddhist teachings we’ll explore will include the five ethical precepts, the principle of conditionality or interconnectedness, and the Four Noble Truths. The course emphasizes how the Buddhist tradition applies to our lives and the world as we know it now.
|Led by:||Meditation Teaching Team|
|Times:||Wednesdays, July 6th – Aug. 10th 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.|
|Fee:||Sliding Scale: $115/95/70|
|Level:||Open to All|
Event Dates: Saturday, July 9, 2016
This workshop is an intensive introduction to the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation practice. Basic methods of setting up our meditation and the traditional Buddhist meditation form will taught.
Mindfulness of Breathing is a practice that helps us to develop a calm, clear, and focused mind. With mindfulness we develop concentration and awareness. A concentrated mind, flexible and alert, is poised for insight into the nature of mind and life itself.
These monthly introductory workshops alternate between the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana (loving-kindness) meditation practices, so join us next time to explore another practice!
For a grounding introduction to the practice of meditation and/or Buddhism a combination of meditation workshops and/or an evening class is recommended. Any series or day can also be taken on its own. No prior experience is necessary for introductory level events. All of these courses are also appropriate for practitioners with some experience who wish to refresh their practice.
At Aryaloka we begin with traditional meditations. Each is a path to awakening and a basis for other forms of meditation, such as the Brahmaviharas and Anapanasati meditations, which we teach for experienced practitioners.
Foundation practices belong to the broad class of samatha meditations which develop calm, concentration and a still, pliable mind that is open to insight and deep reflection.
- Mindfulness of Breathing is a practice that helps us to develop a calm, clear, and focused mind. With mindfulness we develop concentration and awareness. A concentrated mind, flexible and alert, is poised for insight into the nature of mind and life itself.
- Metta Bhavana (cultivation of loving-kindness) is a method of working with our hearts and mind together, allowing us to enjoy greater positivity towards others and ourselves. With practice, metta flowers into compassion and equanimity.
- Just Sitting practice is an open or ‘formless’ meditation of direct awareness of our present moment experience.
- Walking meditation is mindfulness and metta in motion, following the Buddha’s way of bringing awareness into all our activities.
|Led by:||Dh. Lilasiddhi|
|Times:||Saturday, July 9th 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.|
|Fee:||Sliding Scale $65/50/35|
|Level:||Open to All|
Event Dates: Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, – Sunday, Aug 28, 2016
On this weekend retreat we will be exploring the practice of Noble Silence – stillness of body, speech, and mind – and learning how to bring stillness into our daily lives. If you are considering attending a longer, multi-day Noble Silence retreat, this event would be an excellent introduction. It will give you an idea of what to expect on the longer retreat and also what you may encounter as you go deeper within your practice.
The Noble Silence retreats are open to people who have already learned the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana or other meditation practices. Those brand new to meditation are recommended to attend our Living with Mindfulness weekend retreat or our Introduction to Meditation workshops and classes before registering for a Noble Silence retreat.
This retreat will be led by Bodhana and Lilasiddhi, members of the Triratna Buddhist Order who have led several Noble Silence retreats at Aryaloka. Simple vegetarian food will be served.
|Led by:||Dh. Bodhana & Dh. Lilasiddhi|
|Times:||7pm Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, – 2pm Sunday, Aug 28, 2016|
|Fee:||Sliding Scale $260/220/180|
|Level:||Open to All|