FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHIST THOUGHT: THE MEDIUM AND GREAT SCOPE (PHL302). Tuesdays, 7-9 pm. This course continues the introduction to Buddhist thought begun in PHL301, to focus on the Mahayana perspectives of bodhicitta (awakening the mind of enlightenment through altruistic compassion) and selflessness.
TECHNIQUES OF BUDDHIST MEDITATION (MDT302). Fridays, 11 am -1 pm. This course continues the introduction and establishment of meditation practices of calm abiding and analytic insight. The topics will pair with PHL302 class, and include overcoming obstacles to practice, establishing regular structure for practice, compassion, selflessness, loving kindness, and so forth. Students will keep meditation journals and consult with the teacher about their practice. The class facilitates moving philosophic concepts from the intellect to the heart and into our daily lives.
A DOSE OF EMPTINESS (PHL304). Tuesdays, 4:30-6:30 pm. This course is the second in a year long, two part series on understanding emptiness in Madhyamaka philosophy. The course focuses on a detailed reading of a major treatise, A Dose of Emptiness, which presents a detailed explanation of the nature of reality.
MEDITATION ON EMPTINESS (MDT304). Wednesday 7-9 pm. Deepen meditation upon the key points in the philosophy of emptiness. The course will be taught in an interactive format, allowing students the opportunity to learn specific meditations as directed by the instructor, practice them, and develop, stabilize and integrate their experience with Madhyamaka meditation throughout the term. Students are required to engage in regular meditation sessions on related topics out of class, and encouraged to enroll in PHL304.
TRAINING THE MIND FOR OVERCOMING OBSTACLES AND CULTIVATING SPIRITUAL GROWTH (PHL321). Fridays 3-5 pm. Tibetan Buddhist teachers developed a genre of writing, both philosophic and pragmatic, called mind training (lojong), which purports that the key to happiness is not a life free of problems but rather the development of a mind capable of transforming adversity. Lojong offers sensible advice for mindfully and compassionately finding new perspectives on our sufferings, and illuminating the potential for hardship to awaken our compassion, joy, and wisdom. Though challenging to embrace tranquility and compassion when facing difficult people or conditions, lojong insists it is a skill we can hone, and the class will explore these techniques through guided meditation and discussion.
COMPASSIONATE SERVICE: BUILDING BRIDGES. Fridays (CST002) 9:30 – 10:30 am. Building on the foundation of CST001, this course will focus on developing the students’ practical understanding, fluency, and perspective on issues of Buddhist social service, with a focus on framing community issues in terms of spiritual practice, caring for spiritual communities, and models of community care. As with all service learning curriculums at Maitripa, the course will emphasize the laboratory of the service partner environment and one’s own mind as the foreground for understanding, integration, and transformation. As this is a core class for degree program students, another level of emphasis and exploration will also be placed on development of leadership skills and methods inside and outside of one’s own community. This class includes a 30-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CONTEMPLATIVE CARE AND COUNSELING SKILLS (CST131r). Fridays, 1:30-2:30 pm. This class will focus on developing practical contemplative care and counseling skills, applicable in therapeutic, organizational, and interpersonal contexts. Using cohort, small group and pair techniques for self-assessment exercises and experiential learning and skills building, students deepen self-awareness and its influence on their role in working with others. Buddhist and Western approaches to suffering and healing will be explored through students’ experiences and select topics, which may include but are not limited to: how to form a helping relationship, difficult emotions, grief and loss, family systems, chronic illness, pain, conflict resolution, and multicultural issues.