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Online Course: The Paramis
August 29, 2015 - October 3, 2015
The Perfections of Virtue
Gather online with teachers of awakening Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for these 60-minute webinars, one day a week for six weeks. We’ll strengthen our practice of the paramis, often translated as “The Perfections of Virtue.” Earnest and ongoing cultivation of the qualities of the six paramis leads to our speedy awakening for the benefit of all beings. Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat will be teaching this course online, on Saturday afternoons (3-4 pm Mountain Time, August 29th, September 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, October 3rd). Sessions will be 60 minutes long.
* NOTE: webinars must be attended live; no recordings will be available. Registration numbers are limited to 25 people; please confirm that you’re able to attend live before you register for this course.* Determine your local time here.
Cost: This course is being offered on the basis of the progressive and precious practice of
dāna (generosity), the first parami. Traditional teachings hold that, while we practice all the paramis simultaneously, they are perfected in order.
The Paramis are one of the most fundamental teachings on the path to awakening. These teachings are found in the Prajñapāramitā Sūtra, the Lotus Sutra, and other classic texts. They are consummately relevant to every practitioner, for they are accessible to people of all spiritual backgrounds and may be practiced under a wide variety of conditions: in relationship, while meditating, while working, etc. Deceptively simple, with ongoing application, our understanding and practice of the Paramis matures and deepens to unimaginable profundity and richness.
Your transport across the stormy waters
Picture your suffering, struggles and illnesses as a swollen, fast-flowing river between you and the other shore, where you’d like to be. How will you manage to traverse your suffering without being swept away by it? “Para” translates as “over” (as in “parapsychology”) and “mi” translates as “shore:” the paramis provide us with a raft of virtuous qualities that provide protection from the stormy waters of illusion and negativity, and carry us to the other shore – a metaphor for awakening, the state beyond suffering. The paramis are our lifeline on the path of spiritual unfoldment.
By embracing and developing the qualities described by the Paramis we empower ourselves to experience the mind of awakening, also known as “Buddha wisdom.” This is what the Buddha called “no longer subject to suffering.”
Enlist the help of guides who have been there and back
It’s always a good idea to seek assistance from someone who has made the journey before you. Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat have been teaching, training, studying and practicing the universal experience of awakening for 40 years between them. Let them be your guides in this exploration of the paramis.
Need to hear more?
Then consider an alternate translation of the paramis that shows the potential of this exploration: “Para” may also be translated as “beyond,” and “mi” is the root for “metta” or “loving-kindness.” Join us online for four gatherings, to journey beyond loving-kindness.
As a result of completing this course, students will:
- receive six hours of live online teachings related to a deeper and more comprehensive practice of the Paramis.
- receive practical weekly exercises to facilitate deeper insights into the role of the Paramis in their life.
- have the opportunity to ask questions during the webinars.
- have the opportunity to grow their sangha and take greater advantage of this third of the Triple Gem by sharing their learning with other course participants in an online forum.
- An understanding of the two variants on paramis, the six-parami system and ten-parami system
- gain practical tools for use in everyday life related to the understanding and practice of:
· Dāna (generosity)
· Śīla (coolness, or ethics)
· Kṣānti (patience)
· Vīrya (energy)
· Dhyāna (concentration)
· Prajñā (wisdom).
Attend each weekly webinar.
Arrive ten minutes early and use the time to do a breathing or grounding practice, to prepare for new learning.
Complete one assignment given during class each week.
Report on your homework each week and participate in group discussion on Juice.
The weekly assignment, reporting and group discussion are designed to be completed within one hour.
* Registering for this course and failing to attend may affect future registrations.
Why study the Paramis with Doug & Catherine?
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Like all their teachings, this course is an offering of generosity from the teachers to you and all beings. In order to generate merit and strengthen their capacity to alleviate ever more suffering, we are always encouraged to cultivate our own robust practice of dāna (generosity), throughout this course and throughout our lifetimes. Traditional Buddhist teachings hold that, when we perfect the practice of the first parami of dāna, all of the other parami will naturally follow, and also be perfected; in this sense dāna is the most important parami to practice. . Traditionally we offer dāna at the beginning of a course, to commit to our intention to practice earnestly so that we may awaken speedily, for the benefit of all beings. One of the wonderful mysteries of dana is that the giving never ceases, and we become more skilled and discerning and joyful with our giving.
To give an offering of dāna: Click on the Alms Bowl. There will also be an opportunity to give dāna when you register.