Understanding Buddhism 101

Understanding Buddhism 101

Understanding Buddhism

Understanding Buddhism

Autumn Term: 8 weeks from 28 September

28 September –  23 November 2016 (not 26 October)

Wednesday: 7.00pm – 9.00pm 

Tutor: Richard Jones M.A.(Cantab)

Course Fee: Voluntary Donation

A tradition that combines sensible advice on practical issues, like the importance of family life, while offering enlightenment on such themes as spiritual liberation and nearness to the transcendent.


Programme Outline

This eight week course has been developed to offer an insight into the Buddhist religion; its history and development; what it means to be Buddhist; and the beliefs, rituals and symbols of the religion.

The course is ideal for anyone else wanting to understand what Buddhism is all about, in an informal, relaxed environment.

28th September – The Essence of Buddhism: A brief introduction to some of the broad concepts in Buddhism and tackling some misconceptions Pre-Buddhist India ● Contemporary teachers ● Looking at the life of Gautama ● The Life of the Budda ● Prominent disciples ● The first council ● The spread of Buddhism ● Schools of Buddhism ● Ordination and monastic life

5th October – Sources of knowledge ● Kinds of doubt ● Faith ● Freedom of enquiry (Kalama Sutta) ● Main differences between Buddhism and other religions ● Buddhism and other faiths ● Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? ● 3 levels of teaching and their purpose

12th October – The First Noble Truth ● Dukkha is a universal experience ● The Second Noble Truth ● The role of craving and attachment ● Is Buddhism pessimistic?

19th October – The Buddhist concept of transcendent The Third Noble Truth ● Nibbana ● The Fourth Noble Truth ●  The Noble Eightfold Path ● The Middle Way ● Effort ● Raft simile ● Truth ● The Three Characteristics of Existence

2nd November – Dependent origination ● Life, death and the afterlife ● The Wheel of Life, Death and Rebirth ● Analysis and synthesis ● Samsara ● The origin of the world ● 10 unanswered questions

9th November  – The Law of Kamma and other natural laws ● Calming and Insight Meditation ● Mindfulness ● Purification of the mind

16th November – Buddhism for lay people ● 4 kinds of happiness ● Going for refuge ● Precepts ● Loving kindness ● Compassion ● Giving ● Family life ● Status of women ● Marriage ● Sigalovada           Sutta

23rd November – Mangala Sutta ● Buddhist festivals ● Rituals ● Buddhism and science ● Evolution ● Buddhism and ethics and modern issues ● Ethical issues, such as non-violence, abortion, euthanasia ● Ecology ● Buddhist way of life and scripture ● Buddhism in the 21st century and beyond: Fundamentalism around the world as well as key events in recent history.

Dates: 28 September – 23 November 2016 (not 26 October)

WEDNESDAYS: 7.00pm-9.00pm

Course Fee:  Voluntary Donation

Contact us by email: info AT benedictine-institute DOT org

OR contact us
by post:  74, Castlebar Road, Ealing, London W5 2DD
by telephone:  +44 (0) 20 8862 2156

Ealing Abbey, page updated 15 August 2016 (CC)