Expression of the Way
The Path of Practice Training Program:
The Paramitas, Service and our Daily Lives
This is a ten-month training program to assist Zen students in deepening their capacity for self-awareness and for developing the spiritual tools to participate harmoniously and meaningfully in their lives.
A Path of Practice is a way of living mindfully so as to become aware of the habits of mind that keep us mired in the painful, self‐centered loop that engenders suffering. The Paramitas are the spiritual muscles we exercise in overcoming this self-centeredness. As our awareness grows we can develop the skills to serve not only ourselves but all sentient beings with wisdom and compassion.
Each month we will focus on a different Paramita and by means of inquiry, self-reflection and discussion, use it as a lens to study ourselves. The Paramitas, literally translated as perfections, are actually traditional Buddhist virtues that represent the process and the fruits of practice. The Mahayana Tradition lists six–generosity, morality, tolerance, energy, meditation, wisdom and the Theravadin tradition lists four more–skillful means, aspiration, spiritual power, and knowledge. We will engage all ten, utilizing them as a guide to self-inquiry and our functioning in the world. The training will include sitting meditation, interpersonal group work, liturgy, reading and reflective writing.
Participation requires a commitment to the following:
- Daily sitting practice
- Monthly Interview with VZ teachers
- Attendance at all sessions
- Inquiry practice with a Path group member
- Monthly written reflections
- Participation in liturgical training during Path sessions and other times
The course will run from Feb 2012 thru Dec 2012 and will be co-taught by Roshi and Sensei Joshin on the first Sunday of the month from 1:30pm to 5pm
Feb 5 – Sensei and Roshi
March 4 – Roshi
April 1 – Sensei
May 6th – Roshi
June 3rd – Sensei
July 1st – No meeting
August 5 – No meeting
Sept 9th – Roshi
Oct 7 –Sensei
Nov 4 – Roshi
Dec 9 – Sensei and Roshi
Robert Aitken: The Practice of Perfection (Will be made available in photocopy format)
Dale Wright, The Six Perfections
Shantideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, translated by Stephen Batchelor
The course is open to any serious practitioner who can make a commitment to study for the year.
The cost is $600 for the year, payable in two portions: the deadline for first payment is January 10; the deadline for the second payment is June 10.
A sliding scale is available for anyone with financial hardship. No one is turned away due to finances.