Monthly, on the first Sunday
From 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Dearest Students around the World,
It is my honour and pleasure to share with you something wonderful, beginning this year. 2022 will see the launch of an in-depth study course based on the teachings of Shantideva in his book, “A Guide to the Way of Life of a Bodhisattva.”
These teachings are brilliant and timeless, showing how to skilfully eliminate afflictive emotions and negative thoughts and to develop wisdom and compassion. This is one of the best books on this subject, Buddhist or otherwise and recommended by His Holiness Dalai Lama and great masters from around the world. To help with the study, we will be using an equally brilliant companion commentary, “The Nectar of Manjusri’s Speech” by Khenchen Kunzang Pelden.
“A Guide to the Way of Life of a Bodhisattva” is a complete body of teaching that leads one from beginner, stage by stage, to enlightenment itself.
The study course will take place over a three year span. There are two ways you can take part in this programme:
For those wanting to be instructors of Buddhism, this will be an opportunity to learn and then share experiences with others, in a thorough and meaningful way, on how to cultivate good, ethical behaviour. It is human nature to share our ideas and interests – clothing, cooking, computing – but to share understanding on subjects like compassion, loving kindness and wisdom is surely the best sharing for this or future lifetimes. Then you will be able to test your knowledge and understanding with open book examinations on each chapter. I have heard this makes some nervous. Please don’t be chicken hearted! The exams will be detailed but nevertheless the answers will be straightforward to find. And if you get stuck on any question, it will be my pleasure to go through it 100 or 1000 times if necessary, until you understand it thoroughly. After all the exams have been successfully completed, it will be my pleasure to award an instructors certificate to recognise your understanding of these teachings and your ability to share them competently.
The second approach is for those who do not wish to commit to the three years study but would like to take part as often as their other commitments allow. They can join in the teaching sessions as often they wish.
An aspiration I have held for my entire life has been to follow in the footsteps of Shantideva. No matter how many times I read his book, it still brings new inspiration and knowledge.
The teaching will be presented in three ways:
From an academic point of view, examining the nature of Bodhicitta, the types and details of bodhicitta and the practical yet logical approach of Buddhist philosophy.
For people who are caught up in the modern world with work, families and other such business, offering ways to explore and develop love, compassion and ethical discipline and to eliminate lazy or other unwholesome habits.
For those with some Buddhist knowledge, practices of contemplation and meditation to deepen our understanding and to cultivate virtue.
Every month I will give a three hour teaching on Zoom. The classes will be recorded and available to watch at any time that suits you. The Zoom teachings will be backed up with study groups - local to each centre - where each topic can be closely considered and questions raised to present to me the following month.
To achieve anything in life requires effort, even to make breakfast. To achieve great things requires great effort. So how can we expect watching TV, walking on the beach or lying in bed to eliminate negative thinking, cultivate compassion let alone gain enlightenment?
If you wish to receive these Zoom teachings you must register and you will receive a password to connect to the classes.
Even if you have missed the early teachings, you can still join the programme as all the teachings have been recorded. Registration will give you access to the recordings.
Three year commitment: For members of Nelson Buddhist Centre and Christchurch Buddhist Centre $50 per year.
For non-members of these centres $240 per year.
Casual attendance: $40 per class (watching 6 classes in a year entitles you to all remaining classes that year for no additional charge.)
The fee provides the following:
Video recordings – hosting on-line
Study group venue
Study resources – root text and commentary
Instructor certificate (on completion of exams.)
Register as soon as possible with whichever centre listed below suits you best.
A link is provided