koji acquaviva dreher

zen – yoga – dissent
photo by Gail Wong

upcoming event

Buddhist Summer School

Three Months on the Threefold Training of Śīla, Samādhi, and Prajñā

Prajna module now on Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:00pm Central starting on August 13th

The entire scope of Buddhist practice can be summarized as the threefold training of enlightening activity, enlightening meditation, and enlightening view (or śīla, samādhi, and prajñā). Join me from wherever you are to explore the concrete meanings and applications of these teachings. You can register for each month-long module individually and the entire course offers a solid foundation of Buddhist philosophy and practice through the lens of the Zen tradition.

Module 1: Śīla, June 19 – July 10

The sanskrit word śīla is often translated into English as “virtue” or “ethics.” I believe a helpful way to understand it is as the behavior that supports awakening. Śīla is sometimes glossed over in English language Zen Buddhist discourse and is seen as less fundamental than meditation. Śīla must be seen as the very foundation of the Buddhist path to awakening for both laypeople and monastics. In this class, we will discuss the history of the Buddhist precepts from Buddha’s time to the modern Zen school, including practical advice on living the precepts and an exploration of the meaning of the precept ceremony (jukai).

Module 2: Samādhi, July 17 – August 7

Samādhi is the clear, equanimous state created through meditation. Samādhi supports insight into our unconscious mental habits. In this class, we will study meditation manuals from different schools of Buddhist practice and in an effort to clarify their practical application for us as modern students. Each class will have time set aside for guided practice and student questions. Ideally, after this class students will feel adequately resourced to develop their own personal meditation practice.

Module 3: Prajñā, August 13 – September 3 NOW ON THURSDAYS!

Prajñā is the awakened understanding of the nature of things. In our effort to secure happiness for ourselves we may experience a fair amount of stress. The Buddha’s hypothesis regarding the cause of stress is that people are unclear about how mind and objects function and habituate unintelligent approaches to happiness. In this class, we will clarify the actual meaning of emptiness and its manifestation as karma. Understanding these teachings helps to provide a clearer framework for meditation practice as well as decision making in daily life. Ideally, after this class students will have a sound grasp on emptiness, karma, and Buddhist psychology.  

The cost of each module is $50 USD, $35 for people of color, members of other historically marginalized communities, or those with limited funds, and $65 for those who would like to support the attendance of others.
If you are interested in attending, please send a message via the contact page.