Nov 18, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Poems of the First Buddhist Women and How They Might Inspire Practitioners Today with Meg Gawler
The ancient poems of the Therīgāthā are a celebration, with many different human faces, of the personal experience of awakening by women who practiced in the time of the Buddha. In this daylong, we will study the distinguishing characteristics of these early female voices transmitting the Buddha’s teachings. The poems of these enlightened women will be explored through talks, readings, interactive break-out groups, general discussions, and meditations.
We will begin by examining the religious, social, and literary context in which they were composed. We’ll look at how the poems of these female teachers differ from those of their male counterparts. We will then investigate a central message of the text – that awakening or Nibbāna is possible for practitioners of all sorts. The Therīgāthā provides examples of vanquishing poverty, rejection, mental contaminants, wild mind, debilitating grief, despair, and even insanity – leading to complete freedom. We will end with what may be one of the functions of the Therīgāthā, namely to elicit delight, thus setting in motion a natural process that prepares the mind for the profound release of awakening.
Meg Gawler began practicing Buddhism in 1968 as disciple of the Zen Master, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, including over three years of monastic training. Later, Meg trained with Gil Fronsdal and others in the Theravāda tradition. Authorized as a meditation teacher by Jack Kornfield, Meg holds a Master’s in Buddhist Studies, specializing in early Theravāda studies, from the Graduate Theological Union.
Sunday, Mar. 1st, 2015
1:00pm – 4:30pm
at the Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA
In addition to a theory of personality types, Theravada Buddhism psychology has a well-developed description of the underlying factors and dispositions that influence us. Some of this is the result of how past experiences can remain present throughout our lifetime. The combination of underlying mental factors and past conditioning come together to condition the appearance of what we sometimes call the “self”.
On this afternoon, we will identify the underlying mental factors and past experiences that contribute to our sense of self. We will also discuss the impact these have on our personality structures. After identifying our own elaborate “Personality Type,” specific dhamma practices will be identified to assist each individual to further develop the mind.
Included in the discussion will be
- Parāmi profile: 10 wholesome qualities of mind to be developed
- Index of Potential Problems: the qualities of mind that most cause suffering
- Primary Mentality: the 6 foundations of identification
Steve Armstrong has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. He was a monk for five years in Burma under the guidance of Sayadaw U Pandita where he undertook intensive, silent practice of insight and lovingkindness meditations. He studied the Buddhist psychology (abhidhamma) with Sayadaw U Zagara in Australia and presents it in practical and easily understood terms. He continues his practice under the guidance of Sayadaw U Tejaniya at the Shwe Oo Min Meditation Center in Rangoon. He has been leading meditation retreats internationally since 1990.
This class is offered on a donation basis. Pre-registration not required.