Online Sutta Study: Long Discourse of the Buddha with Gil Fronsdal and Diana Clark

Studying the Long Discourses of the Buddha (Dīgha Nikāya) Part 1: Views and Practices

A 4-week online course taught by Gil Fronsdal and Diana Clark

April 16 – May 14, 2018

The Long Discourses of the Buddha (the Dīgha Nikāya) is a collection of discourses filled with colorful stories, compelling characters and important teachings. In this course on the Dīgha Nikāya we will explore how the Buddha responded to different religious and existential views that were prevalent in ancient India and relevant today, including beliefs about the beginning of the world, what happens after death, and the nature of a “Self.”

Join us as we investigate and discuss the Buddha’s response to views and the specific training he espoused as part of his response in the context of colorful engaging stories.

The course will include study guides, videos and the opportunity for online group discussions.

We will be using Maurice Walshe’s translation of the Dīgha Nikāya (Wisdom Publications, 1995, ISBN: 0861711033) as the course textbook.

More information and registration will be available in January 2018.

Online Sutta Study Course: Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha with Gil Fronsdal and David Lorey

The Middle Length Discourses (Majjhima Nikāya) Study Course – Part A
5-week online class
Gil Fronsdal and David Lorey
January 21 – February 25, 2018

Registration deadline: January 14, 2018 (see registration form here).

The Middle Length Discourses (Majjhima Nikāya) is one of the most important anthologies of the teachings and religious practices attributed to the Buddha. These rich and dynamic discourses which include the circumstances and people that prompted the Buddha’s teachings, provide context for better understanding the content and nature of early Buddhist teachings. A careful study of this collection can provide a meaningful foundation for the study and practice of Buddhism.

This course, Part A, is the first of a three-part series of online courses on the Middle Length Discourses (Majjhima Nikāya) to be offered by the Sati Center during 2018. In this course, topics will include (in addition to an introduction to this key canonical text) “Relating to the Teachings of the Buddha,” “Faith and Confidence in the Teachings,” “The Path of Practice” and “The Buddha.”

The course consists of weekly readings of suttas from the Middle Length Discourses plus short videos, audio recordings and study guides written by Gil Fronsdal. The videos and study guides function as the “lectures” for the class, helping to bring the richness of this early literature alive.  Participants will have access to a Google Drive where the material will be located and can participate in an online forum to promote a sense of community and learning which will be in Google Groups.

Sample study guides are available here and here to review to get a sense of the nature, assignments and scope of the course. In addition, participants might wish to review the “Introduction” to the Middle Length Discourses (Majjhima Nikāya), written by Bhikkhu Bodhi in the course textbook, before the course begins. It both provides a useful overview of the Majjhima Nikāya and gives a sense of the approach we will be taking in the class.

We will be using Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (4th Edition, 2009; Boston: Wisdom Publications; ISBN: 0-86171-072-X).

The course is open to all registrants and freely offered (if you would like to make an online donation, you can use the PayPal button below).

Registration deadline: January 14, 2018 (see registration form here).


Exploring the Satipatthana Sutta with Diana Clark

Course 1: Aspects of Satipatthana  Tuesdays, Mar 31, Apr 7, Apr 14, Apr 21, 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Course 2: Foundations in the Satipatthana  Tuesdays, May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Join us as we do a detailed exploration of the Satipatthana Sutta, a foundational text for meditation practice in our tradition.  Based on Bhikkhu Analayo’s influential book, Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization (Windhorse Publications, 2003), two different four-week courses are being offered.  While it may be supportive, it is not required to take the first course before taking the second course.  However, attendance to all four meetings of a course is recommended.  The courses are freely offered and will be held at the IMC Annex (1040 Brewster, Ste D, 1040 Brewster Ave, Redwood City), thus registration is required – please register below.  Note: the courses will be primarily discussion, with little actual meditation instruction or practice.

The first four-week course, “Aspects of Satipatthana,” based on chapters 1, 2, 3, 5 of the textbook, will explore the definitions of key terms (e.g. satipatthana, sampajana and sati) and concepts (e.g. “direct path” and “bare knowledge”).  To help prepare for the discussion, please read Chapter 1 before the first class meeting.

The second four-week course, “Foundations in the Satipatthana,” will be based on chapters 6 – 13 of the textbook.  This course will explore the four foundations of mindfulness meditation: body, feelings, mind and dhammas.  To help prepare for the discussion, please read Chapter 6 before the first class meeting. 

Diana Clark has a MA in Buddhist Studies from the Graduate Theological Seminary, is a graduate of the Sati Center chaplaincy program and has spent cumulatively over a year in silent meditation retreats. She also co-teaches with Gil Fronsdal on the early Buddhist texts at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. As a long time practitioner at IMC she is participating in the IMC Dharma Mentoring Training Program.

Please register for this course (this link send an email to Diana – please include your name and contact information).

March 14, 2015 − The Life of the Buddha taught by Diana Clark

Saturday, Mar. 14, 2015
9:00am – 4:30pm
at the Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA

Was the Buddha really a prince before he became Awakened? What was his life like before and after his awakening? What happened to his wife and son he is reported to have left behind for his spiritual quest? Please join us as we explore the answers to these questions and more during this day of lecture and discussion. Together, we will examine the narrative of the Buddha’s life in the early Buddhist texts and later commentarial and modern works. We will discuss how we can use the model of the Buddha’s life to guide and perhaps inspire us in our own practice.

Diana Clark has a MA in Buddhist Studies from the Graduate Theological Seminary, is a graduate of the Sati Center chaplaincy program and has spent cumulatively over a year in silent meditation retreats. She also co-teaches with Gil Fronsdal on the early Buddhist texts at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. As a long time practitioner at IMC she is participating in the IMC Dharma Mentoring Training Program.

This class is offered on a donation basis. Pre-registration not required. Please bring a bag lunch.

April 5, 2014: Buddhist Chaplaincy: An Overview with Rev. Daijaku Judith Kinst, Ph.D. and Rev. Jennifer Block, M.A.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
10 am to 5 pm

Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch Street, Redwood City, CA

By Donation.
All are welcome.
No pre-registration necessary.

Chaplains provide spiritual care and support to people in places such as hospitals, hospices, prisons and a wide variety of other settings.  The work is wonderfully challenging and satisfying.  In recent years, dharma practitioners have been experiencing chaplaincy as a powerful opportunity to practice engaged Buddhism, and for some, as a vocation and profession.

Join us for an explanation of this field of service, which is gaining in size and scope in dharma communities.  Professional chaplains and educators will introduce aspects of chaplaincy, including: a definition of chaplaincy, the history of chaplaincy, settings where chaplains serve, and the steps one can take to become a volunteer or professional chaplain (including educational requirements) as a Buddhist practitioner.  Information about the Sati Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy Training and the Institute for Buddhist Studies Chaplaincy Degree Program will also be provided.

Co-sponsored by:
The Sati Center for Buddhist Studies  &  The Institute of Buddhist Studies

9:30       Registration; Greeting; Sitting
10:00     Welcome: intros, purpose/overview of the day
10:15      What is a chaplain?; What is spiritual care?
12:00     A day in the life of a chaplain
1:00       Lunch Break
2:00      What is a Buddhist chaplain?
2:45       The path to becoming an employed chaplain:
4:00      Breakout sessions: IBS program w/Jaku and Sati training w/Jennifer
5:00      End; dedication of merit

Reverend Daijaku Judith Kinst, Ph.D., is the coordinator and primary professor for the Buddhist Chaplaincy program at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, a graduate school affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and Ryukoku University, Kyoto. After ordination and formal Soto Zen priest training, Daijaku completed an MA in Western psychology, licensure as an MFT, and a PhD in Psychology and Buddhism. She is a dharma successor in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki roshi and, with Rev. Shinshu Roberts is the Guiding Teacher of the Ocean Gate Zen Zendo in Capitola, California. She has taught and led retreats with teachers from a variety of Buddhist traditions, and maintains a pastoral counseling and spiritual direction practice in San Francisco.

Reverend Jennifer Block, M.A., is an Interfaith minister and Buddhist chaplain who has practiced Zen, Vipassana and Yoga since 1988.  Her life’s work is providing spiritual care to people in crisis, mentoring caregivers, and teaching people how to access their innate capacity for caring and healing. With Gil Fronsdal and Paul Haller, Jennifer teaches the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training program at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies where Buddhist practitioners are introduced to the competencies of professional spiritual care. Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University, and her theology degree at Naropa University.

For information about chaplaincy in general, visit: