Core Buddhist Teachings: 5-Month Curriculum
Exploring Buddhism at East Bay Meditation Center
January through May 2021
Are you new to meditation? Curious about Buddhism? Looking for a spiritual home?
EBMC offers a five-month suggested Core Curriculum for those seeking an introduction to the Buddha’s basic teachings. The curriculum also supports those looking to refresh their practice. It is not required that you take all of the class series offered below. You may register for any of the class series that interest you when registration opens for those programs. However, if you register for a class series, please commit to attending all of the classes in that class series.
Registration for each class series opens around 4 to 6 weeks before the first class in a class series.
This five-month Core Curriculum will focus on the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, while integrating aspects of other Buddhist lineages, and also embedding the teachings in a social justice perspective aligned with EBMC’s vision. When you register, please keep in mind the overall intention of the half-year curriculum, since each program in this curriculum is intended to build on the previous programs in the curriculum. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of recommended Buddhist reading appears here. The classes in the five-month curriculum are on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 PM Pacific Time, and are as follows:
· January 2021: Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners – January 6, 13, 20 and 27 – Wednesdays 6:30-8:30PM
· February 2021: Buddha’s 4 Big Truths (4 Noble Truths) – February 3, 10, 17 and 24 – Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30PM
· March 2021: Buddha’s “How to” Guide to a Life of Happiness and Well-being (Eightfold Path) – March 3, 10, 17, and 24 – Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30PM
· April 2021: Buddhist Love, Compassion, Joy & Equanimity (Brahmaviharas) – March 31, and April 7, 14, and 21 – Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30PM
· May 2021: Five Precepts: Buddhist Ethics – April 28, and May 5, 12, and 19 – Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30PM
· May 2021: Buddhist Curriculum Q&A – May 26 – Wednesday 6:30-8:30PM Pacific time
Classes and Events
In addition to the Core Curriculum, EBMC regularly offers a wide range of classes appropriate for those new to meditation. Sign up for EBMC’s email updates to get our latest class listings.
Establishing a Regular Meditation Practice and Building Community
Practicing with others is an important way to develop and sustain a consistent meditation schedule. EBMC has several weekly sitting groups to help you practice in community. The groups are listed here.
2020 Core Buddhist Curriculum: Path of the Bodhisattva
Path of the Bodhisattva & Bodhisattva Vows & Precepts Ceremony
Buddhist curriculum, Fall 2020
with Mushim Ikeda, EBMC core teacher
This Buddhist curriculum at EBMC has three components:
- A four-class series: Path of the Bodhisattva 1
Wednesdays in 2020, Oct 7, 14, 21, 28: 6:30 – 8:30pm PST
- A four-class series: Path of the Bodhisattva 2
Wednesdays in 2020, Nov 4, 11, 18, 25: 6:30 – 8:30pm PST
- Daylong: Receiving or Witnessing the Bodhisattva Precepts & Vows
Saturday, December 5, 2020: 10am – 4:00pm Pacific time
I, myself, took the Bodhisattva Vows and made the vow, “Life after life, after life, after life, I will continue my practice and continue my work.” – Bhante Suhita Dharma, Buddhist monk and social worker, 1941-2013
These times are full of uncertainty and fear — and opportunities for spiritual breakthrough. In Mahayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva is an archetypal great being who tirelessly and joyfully works to liberate all beings from suffering. For the third time, EBMC will offer two class series exploring what it means to creatively embody the Bodhisattva teachings. Those who complete both class series may participate in the final daylong and either witness or take Bodhisattva precepts and vows in order to strengthen their commitment to collective liberation. These are the same vows taken by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Also, those who do not wish to take the Bodhisattva vows may take either of the two class series. The final daylong is open to everyone who wishes to witness the joyful ceremony (you do not need to have taken any of the previous classes, though it is recommended that you do so) and those who have completed the previous classes and have received permission from the teacher may receive the Bodhisattva Precepts, take the Bodhisattva Vows, and at that time they will receive a Buddhist name from the teacher. Meditation (instruction provided for beginners), Dharma talks, and interactive exercises. Questions: email email@example.com
Mushim (Patricia) Ikeda received Bodhisattva precepts and vows in Toronto, Canada in 1983. She is an EBMC core teacher, a widely-published writer, and a social justice activist. Mushim has practiced as both a monastic and a lay householder. For events, writing, video teachings, go to www.mushimikeda.com
Social Justice and the Buddha’s Middle Way
4-Month Curriculum: Fall 2015
The picture of an individual, usually a thin white person, sitting cross-legged with eyes closed, “mindfully” seeking “inner peace” in a meadow or by a waterfall has become a meme that is used to represent Buddhist practice in the U.S. In Western “convert” Buddhist circles, the Buddha’s Path to liberation from suffering (the Eightfold Path, also known as the Middle Way) is often represented as focusing on the individual and on sitting meditation. Yet, none of us exists as isolated individuals and social and political processes are subject to the same law. History teaches us the interbeing of politics. “My” existence as a political and social subject is a product of “your” political and social histories. There is no present without representations of the past – and what we call the future is conditioned by stories of both the past and the present. Systemic oppressions arise and are sustained in this manner.
The purpose of this 4-month curriculum is to explore how an understanding of historical interbeing and the Buddha’s teaching of the Eightfold Path can inform our activism and vice versa. The delusion of isolated history fragments us from ourselves and each other. When we look at how our people’s history does not exist in isolation, but instead arises in dynamic relationship to multiple peoples’ histories, then we may find a basis for a deep solidarity that sustains movement building. “History” lives and changes as we live and change. As we understand these changes, we can be more skillful in bending its arc towards justice.
Classes will be taught by socially-engaged Buddhist teaches and leaders and will include meditation practice, interactive exercises, Dharma talks, and discussions.
The curriculum begins in September with a one day workshop on restorative practices led by the Restorative Practices for Dharma Practitioners Sangha, and is then divided into the three sections of Eightfold Path:
Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood [Sila: Ethical Living]: October class series and half-day retreat led by Dawn Haney and Katie Loncke from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration [Samadhi: Meditation]: November class series led by Mushim
Right Understanding, Right Thought [Prajna: Wisdom]: December class series led by Carol Cano, Donald Rothberg, and Hozan Alan Senauke