October 18, 2014, The Burmese and Thai Roots of Western Insight Meditation taught by Donald Rothberg

Saturday, October 18, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
at the Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA

What are the roots of our Western practice of insight meditation? Why do we practice in the ways that we practice? In this daylong, we’ll explore the fascinating and sometimes surprising evolution of Insight Meditation—from the Buddha to 19th and 20th century Burma and Thailand—and then to its widespread practice in the West. Western Insight Meditation along with “secular” applications of mindfulness and lovingkindness, is now proliferating in many settings. We’ll look at the influence of these different lineages and roots to gain a clearer perspective about key decision points and issues related to how we practice Insight Meditation today.

We’ll examine the influences of the lives, social contexts, teachings, and practices of key Burmese teachers, such as Ledi Sayadaw and Mahasi Sayadaw, and Thai teachers, particularly teachers in the Forest Tradition such as Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Maha Boowa, Ajahn Chah (especially), and Ajahn Buddhadasa. In particular, we will look at how our core practice of mindfulness is based on Burmese teacher Mahasi Sayadaw’s technique of noting, and at the rather different understanding of practice that we receive from the Thai Forest Tradition.

The day will include talks (with images from 19th and 20th century Burma and Thailand, including practice places and teachers, and from Donald’s time in Thailand); periods of sitting and walking meditation; and discussion.

Please bring a bag lunch. This class is offered on a donation basis.

Donald Rothberg, Ph.D., a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock, has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976, and has also received training in Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra practice. He writes on and teaches mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation, and the application of these practices to transforming the judgmental mind, speech and communication, working with conflict, social service, and social action. He is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life. See Donald’s webpage at: donaldrothberg.com/

August 16, 2014, Love in the Suttas with Diana Clark

Saturday, August 16, 2014
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
at the Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA

How is the metta sutta, which we often chant while on a meditation retreat, related to metta meditation?  And how is metta meditation related to insight and concentration meditation?  Please join us as we explore the answers to these questions and more during this day of lecture, practice and discussion. Together, we will examine and practice with the teachings on lovingkindness in the early Buddhist texts and later commentarial works.  We will explore how these inspirational teachings have evolved over time and how we can apply this understanding to our current practice.

Please bring a bag lunch. This class is offered on a donation basis.

Diana Clark has been practicing since 2005. Her practice includes long meditation retreats, the scholarly study of Buddhism and Buddhist texts and exploring the science of mindfulness and compassion. She is trained as a scientist and serves the dharma community by being the former treasurer of IMC and the current treasurer of IRC. She is also on the board of the Buddhist Insight Network. She is a graduate of the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy program and has an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

July 26, 2014, Faith in the Suttas with Diana Clark

Saturday, July 26, 2014
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
at the Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA

Is faith used in the Buddhist tradition the same as in other religious traditions?  Is there a specific place for faith in a Buddhist path of practice?  When Buddhists say they have faith, what do they have faith “in”?  Please join us as we explore the answers to these questions and more during this day of lecture and discussion.  We will examine how faith and it’s role in Buddhist practice is portrayed in the early Buddhist texts and discuss how we can interpret this with our own practice.  Also, we will look at the relationship between faith, knowledge and wisdom as well as the relationship between faith, love and devotion.  Everyone, with or without faith, is welcome.

Please bring a bag lunch. This class is offered on a donation basis.

Diana Clark has been practicing since 2005. Her practice includes long meditation retreats, the scholarly study of Buddhism and Buddhist texts and exploring the science of mindfulness and compassion. She is trained as a scientist and serves the dharma community by being the former treasurer of IMC and the current treasurer of IRC. She is also on the board of the Buddhist Insight Network. She is a graduate of the Sati Center Buddhist Chaplaincy program and has an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies.