Discovering Buddhism at LMB

“Awakening all limitless potential of your mind, achieving all peace and happiness”

db_tEach module runs for about 5 weeks, meeting on Tuesday evenings @ 6:30pm. In addition to the classes, we offer practice days or a weekend retreat periodically to provide the experiential element prescribed by the Discovering Buddhism curriculum.

This is a good place to start getting a systematic introduction to the essential points of Buddhism according to our tradition. Discovering Buddhism (DB) is one of the standardized education programs supported by the FPMT Education Department. This means that you can take DB courses at various FPMT centers, or even as Home Study, and can feel confident that you have covered basically the same material.

With the successful completion of each module, you will receive a completion certificate for that topic. With the completion of all the modules, including a rather intensive practice module, you will receive a certificate for the whole of Discovering Buddhism, enabling you to be a candidate for teaching introductory classes and meditations (upon invitation).

The DB modules have numbers, 1 through 14, corresponding to the order that these topics appear in the Lam-rim, the classic presentation of the Stages of the Path. However, we don’t necessarily offer them in that order. Sometimes we like to offer certain topics to fit in with the seasons or other things going on. If you miss a topic at one center, you can keep your eye out for it at another one of our Bay Area FPMT centers. It takes about 2 years to get through all the topics.

Upcoming DB classes:

In-Person and Via Zoom

Tse Chen Ling Gompa: January 25, February 8 and 22
Land of Medicine Buddha Gompa: February 1, 15 and March 1
Practice Period: Land of Medicine Buddha Gompa: March 11, 1-4pm

Discovering Buddhism Module 12: Wisdom of Emptiness with Venerable Amy Miller in-person and online via Zoom. Co-hosted by Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel and Tse Chen Ling Center in San Francisco.

A unique opportunity to support your local center and rediscover an in-person Dharma community!

All the 84,000 teachings the Buddha gave were ultimately to help us attain a direct perception of emptiness. That’s how important the profound experience of emptiness is on the path to enlightenment.

In this module of Discovering Buddhism, we will delve into the methods for bringing about the realization of emptiness, which is crucial for the attainment of liberation and enlightenment.

We will explore such questions as:
What is emptiness?
What is the relationship between emptiness, liberation, and enlightenment?
What is the relationship between emptiness and dependent arising?
What are the different ways to meditate on emptiness?
How can we realize emptiness?

We will also learn how to develop calm abiding (shamata), the ability to remain focused in meditation for long periods of time without distraction and understand how best to use that to meditate on emptiness. We will also discuss the accumulation of merit and purification of obstacles, which are indispensable for generating realizations.

This is the 12th in a series of 14 modules covering the complete Buddhist path to enlightenment. Students may join at any point in the cycle yet for this module it is helpful to have some background in Buddhism. Discovering Buddhism is designed for students who wish to deepen their understanding of fundamental Buddhist concepts. Each module includes teachings, meditations, readings, assessment questions, and a short half-day retreat.

While there will be an online Zoom presence for this class, consider joining us in person to reconnect with your local Dharma community. We will be hosting three sessions at Tse Chen Ling Center and three sessions at Land of Medicine Buddha with the final 1-4pm practice period at Land of Medicine Buddha.

Here is a link to a description of the14 modules on the FPMT website.