Heart Advice for Practitioners: Navigating Pleasures & Pitfalls of Spiritual Life
6 Tuesdays from 6:45-8pm : Feb 16 – Mar 23, 2021
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a zen teacher just sat down and had a straightforward talk with you about what’s really happening in practice? Not just zazen, but the whole works: ceremony, texts, communities, teachers, hierarchy, priesthood, mixing methods? In this class hosted by Austin Zen Center, Koji will share with you what he wants everyone to know about the beautiful and fraught endeavor of spiritual practice. This is a class for practitioners of every level who want to look beyond rhetoric and orthodoxy to the heart of what the Zen and Yoga traditions have to offer us today.
Program Fees: $75 members/$100 nonmembers
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.
Designing Your Personal Practice w/Koji Acquaviva Dreher
An Afternoon Workshop Saturday March 14th – 1:00 – 4:30 pm at the Austin Zen Center
No spiritual practice can be one size fits all, we must take into account our temperament, wounding, lifestyle, and goals. In this afternoon workshop we will discuss the variety of practices from the world of Buddhist yoga and meditation and begin to make informed decisions that empower us as autonomous practitioners. This isn’t about merely setting yourself up with a schedule or developing discipline, this is about finding a joyful integration of practice in your daily life.
Program fees: $70 members/ $90 nonmembers
To register: call the AZC office 512-452-5777, or visit http://austinzencenter.org
As always, AZC is committed to making the teachings available to everyone. To request financial assistance from our Scholarship Fund, or if you would like to donate to the Fund for others to be able to participate, please call our administrator at 512-452-5777 or email email@example.com.
Unmasking Zen: An Intro to Zen
Straightforward Explanations and Immediate Experiences of Buddhist Meditation
4 Thursdays: Feb 6-27th, 2020 – 7pm-8:15pm @AZC
Zen Buddhism can seem cryptic and austere or spacious and therapeutic depending on who’s helping you interpret the teachings when you first start out. In this class series we will learn zen practice from the ground up, demystifying its workings, identifying its many applications, and discovering its place in our modern lives. This is a course for living more deliberately, healing the heart, and developing a spacious and flexible mind. If you prefer having all the ins and outs explained to you rather than slowly piecing them together, this is a great opportunity to give yourself a solid start in meditation.
Program fees: $75 members/ $120 nonmembers
Clarifying the Path – A Workshop w/Rev. Koji Dreher
Saturday, January 4th, 2020 from 1-5pm @ AZC
One of the earliest and clearest explanations of living the life of Buddhist practice is the Eightfold Path— an explicit set approaches to bring Buddhist practice into the width and depth of our lives. In this afternoon workshop we will work on developing a concise understanding of the Buddhist path and develop a strong conceptual foundation to refer to if we ever feel confused about the point of practice. Spending time acquainting ourselves with the Buddha’s blueprint for the practice can provide us with a compass for our whole lives as practitioners.
Program Fees*: $75 members/$100 non-members