Buddhist Studies Program

The Buddhist Studies Program is designed for people who have attended three or more mindfulness meditation retreats and have a commitment to daily meditation practice. The course includes dharma talks, small and large group discussions, and guided sitting time. Participants will be expected to use the teachings as a focus of their meditation and daily life practice. Led by Mark Nunberg.

Welcome to folks participating from out of town! All Common Ground programs are offered freely in the spirit of generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and our teachers, click here.

Email Archive from Buddhist Studies Google Group (contact info@commongroundmeditation.org to be added)

Current Class

Anatta: The Impersonal Nature of Experience – Led by Mark Nunberg

Eight Mondays, January 13th – March 2nd, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.  Optional sitting period, 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.  Register Here

In this course we investigate the Buddha’s teachings on anatta, the impersonal nature of experience. Insight into the changing and conditioned nature of phenomena weakens the mind’s habit of taking things personally. We often live our lives through the lens of self-centered fear and longing. We are so busy reacting to our likes and dislikes that we miss how much stress is involved whenever the mind identifies with experience. Only when the mind realizes that it can relate to inner and outer experience as the natural unfolding of impersonal causes and conditions can it experience the liberating freedom of a mind free from grasping. 

Resources

Course Meditations and Talks:

Study Materials:

Additional Audio/Video:

Reflections:

Here are some themes for reflection for the upcoming weeks:

  1. Notice the connection between moments of stress and the arising of a strong sense of self. Notice that even when we recognize that our mind is caught and stressing, the pain in the body and mind continues to trigger mental proliferation and thus the arising of more stress.
  2. Notice how it is that happiness, lightness, and ease arise/are present when self centered dramas are abandoned or not present.
  3. Spend time reflecting on experience in terms of the five aggregates (body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness) or six sense gates. This reflection will gradually undermine identification with self view. You might want to use a meditation phrase such as, “Sensations are like this” or “Sensation are being known”. “This is not self, this is just sensation arising and passing away, it is just sensation being known.” And then of course continue through all of the aggregates or the six sense gates. Remember the “body” aggregate includes the five physical senses.