This is an online program.
This is the second course in the five-part series, Finding Freedom, exploring the profundity of the Hinayana teachings of the Buddha. The Four Noble Truths is used as the overall organizing principle for the series and is threaded through each session. Each of the five courses will be taught by a local Seattle Shambhala teacher (there are no pre-recorded sessions). Course 2 is open to all with no prerequisites.
Course 2: The Second Noble Truth: The Origin of Suffering, Part I – The Five Skandhas
Instructions in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness are interwoven with the teaching of The Four Noble Truths and provide a meditative method for embracing the totality of our basically good experience – which can include holding our anxiety, pain, fear, and suffering with unconditional friendliness for ourselves, or maitri.
Having recognized the truth of anxiety, fear, and suffering in our everyday life and the confusion that is also so often pervasive, we naturally have questions. How does this state of seemingly constant anxiety, overwhelm, fear, and suffering arise? Where does this confusion come from? In this in-depth exploration of another foundational Buddhist teaching – “The Five Skandhas” – we will touch these layers or constellations of experience one by one, starting from the unconditioned, innate ground of open space, and see how we create our own world of projections. Through this exploration we can uncover what is real and begin to tune into more contentment and joy.
Course 2 will be taught by Bret Ellerton and will meet six Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm on Zoom starting Wednesday, February 28, 2024.
About the Teacher
Bret Ellerton has been practicing and studying within the Shambhala community for 30 years. He has a degree in religion with a focus on Buddhism from CU Boulder. He has taught within the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies and is a meditation instruction. He has served as Dharma Arts coordinator and Vajrayana practice coordinator in Seattle. He also has 25 years of experience in teaching young children and currently directs a preschool, as well as shares mindfulness practice with early childhood educators in a secular context.
More information regarding accessing the program online will be sent to participants via email closer to the program’s start date.
Questions? Reach out to us at [email protected] for technical assistance or program questions.
About the Series: Finding Freedom
The Hinayana path is where every Buddhist practitioner begins. It is based on the mindfulness and awareness training of meditation as well as many other core Buddhist principles and teachings, such as: The Four Noble Truths, The Four Marks of Existence, Maitri (friendliness to oneself), Karma, The Five Skandhas and The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. These foundational teachings are the heart of the Buddhist practitioner’s path. If you have ever wondered “what is Buddhism all about” or feel like you need a refresher on the key teachings, this is the course for you!
Benefits of the Program
- Through the practice of meditation, experience the present moment of everyday life just as it is
- Develop more contentment and joy and live with greater clarity and compassion
- Begin to understand the cause of your anxiety, depression, and fear and how you can be free from it
- Develop more friendliness to yourself, allowing you to meet the challenges of daily life with bravery and dignity
- Cultivate having a more open heart – both to yourself and others
Finding Freedom Course Schedule 2024:
- Course 2: Second Noble Truth: Origins of Suffering, Part I – The 5 Skandhas with Bret Ellerton – Wed 2/28 – 4/3, 6:30-8:30 pm Zoom
- Course 3: Second Noble Truth: Origins of Suffering, Part II – Wheel of Life, Karma & 12 Nidanas with Bob Salskov – Wed 4/17 – 5/15, 6:30-8:30 pm Zoom
- Course 4: Third Noble Truth: Freedom from Suffering – Wed 9/18 – 10/9
- Course 5: Fourth Noble Truth: The Path of Shila, Samadhi & Prajna – Wed 10/23 – 11/20
Those who signed up with the package discount for Courses 1-3 do not need to reregister individually for Course 2.