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Introducing Buddhism: A Bridge for Beginners

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Tuesday 3 September @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm

Bridging beginners and in-depth study. Bridging Buddhist philosophy and our hectic daily life. Bridging altruistic intentions and our default emotional responses. Bridging a commitment to spiritual progress and our latent doubts and nagging cynicism. Bridging the inner life of potential and the external pressures of career and family. If any of these conundrums resonate with you, this course may be just the salve and salvation you were looking for!

Following the format of the in-depth Discovering Buddhism modules, this is an ideal bridging course between newcomers to Buddhism and in-depth study. Instead of a whole two months on each topic, we spend one evening on each, highlighting the essential points and how we can apply them in our life right now.

The classes are loosely sequential, but each session is a stand-alone topic. You are equally welcome to come along to just one class, to a few classes here and there, or to enjoy the course in its entirety.

This course is for you if:
– You have done a few beginner’s courses but are not yet ready for in-depth study
– You have read a few Buddhist books but want to get more direction in your practice
– You are looking for a concise Dharma course that covers the common topics on the path to enlightenment

This introductory course will set the necessary groundwork and encouragement to embark on further study, including the unique FPMT experience of Discovering Buddhism.

Examine the meaning of “mind” and its nature according to Buddhism, and the role our mind plays in determining our experience of happiness and suffering. Discover basic techniques for transforming destructive thoughts and attitudes to develop a more positive and joyous mind.

Explore the deep purpose of meditation. Differentiate the two kinds of meditation—placement and analytical—and their respective results. Practical instructions on how to start a meditation practice and sustain it.

Get an overview of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim) as presented in Tibetan Buddhism, with emphasis on how the practices encompass three levels of capability. Discover important Buddhist topics in a manner that is easy to understand and put into practice.

Examine the role of a teacher on the spiritual path, the qualities of a teacher, the advantages of having such a relationship, and how to relate to a teacher for the greatest benefit in our spiritual life.

Explore the Buddhist explanation of the process of death and rebirth and how the awareness of the fact of death can positively impact our lives.

Discover how karma works through understanding the four general principles of karma. Appreciate the importance of motivation and how this is the basis for making our actions meaningful.

Understand the meaning of refuge in Buddhism, the reasons we go for refuge, and the objects of refuge—the Buddha, his teachings (Dharma) and the spiritual community (Sangha). Explore their qualities and how to integrate refuge into our daily life.

Using Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Daily Meditation Practice as a guide to establishing a daily practice of prayers and meditations. The importance of accumulation of merit and purification in daily life in generating realisations.

Introduction to the Buddhist conception of samsara and nirvana in relation to the Wheel of Life and the four noble truths. investigate the meaning of renunciation – the determination to be free from suffering – and how to develop it.

Introducing the altruistic motivation of bodhicitta, based on kindness and compassion, with the aspiration to achieve enlightenment in order to work for the welfare of all sentient beings. What are the benefits of bodhicitta, and how can we develop it?

How the mind is the source of problems, and we can develop a different attitude towards them. Transforming any difficulty into an aid for the path to enlightenment, through seeing the disadvantages of self-cherishing and the advantages of cherishing others.

Dispel misunderstandings of ’emptiness’ that lead to the two extremes of nihilism and eternalism. The most subtle view, the Prasangika’s presentation of emptiness of inherent existence of persons and phenomena, has the potential to liberate us entirely if we know how to meditate upon it.

Buddhist tantra is harmonious with the sutra teachings, but differs from sutra in several key aspects. Discover the unique characteristics of Buddhist tantra, how it works, and why it is a powerful form of practice.

Where to from here? All these topics can be pursued further in our Discovering Buddhism program. Practicing the special integration experiences ensures that our studies turn out well, that they are not mere academic achievement, but that we generate realisations in the mind and change the way we live our lives.

Presented by:

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
535 Old Cleveland Road, Camp Hill, QLD 4152,

Please make a donation:
You can make your donation now online, or when you arrive on the on the day (with cash or card). Thank you for your generosity! Your donation helps keep LTC flourishing and providing courses such as this. (The Zoom link will appear at the top of this page 15 minutes before the start.)

*Course Package includes soundfiles of each class (to catch-up or re-listen), and any powerpoint slides or practice booklets.

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Donation Total: $10

“Don’t think of Buddhism as some kind of narrow, closed-minded belief system. It isn’t. Buddhist doctrine is not a historical fabrication derived through imagination and mental speculation, but an accurate psychological explanation of the actual nature of the mind.”

– Lama Thubten Yeshe

“Also, no matter how much education we have, if the inner factor of developing our mind is missing, if the practice of compassion is missing, again there’s no peace in our life. Even if we have learned every language and in the world, even if we have memorized and can explain all the Buddha’s teachings, if we have not transformed our mind, if we have not developed compassion for other beings, once more our life will be full of problems.”

– Lama Zopa Rinpoche