The path of liberating wisdom in Theravāda- Buddhism

Course language: English

Teaching method: Studying of Buddhist texts and practical meditationsessions, periods of silence, dhammatalks, group discussions, and question and answer sessions

Theravāda means school of the elder ones. It is the lineage of the original Buddhism which is based on the teachings of Buddha Gotama, who lived about 2600 years ago in India. We still have this teachings nowadays recorded in the Palicanon and in a living tradition. It is the Buddhist tradition still practiced nowadays in Southeast Asian countries as Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc..
The word Buddha is no individual name, it means Enlightened or Awakened One. Buddhism are the teachings which lead to this goal, awakening or final lieberation from suffering. Awakening or Enlightenment in the Buddhist sense is the cessation of all mental defilements, which are rooted in craving, aversion and delusion. They are uprooted by developing wisdom. This is liberation from suffering. This goal can still be achieved nowadays by correct practice.
The path leading to this goal is a path of stages by which one explores existence in detail, by this attainment of profound knowledge the mind will be purified.
This path of the authentic teachings of the Buddha will be presented and discussed in the following seminars. For all who are seriously interested and practicing the Buddhist path the topics of these seminars should be basic knowledge.

Wisdom can be attained according to the traditional scriptures in three ways, which are suporting each other:

  • wisdom by listening to the right teachings,
  • wisdom by contemplation,
  • wisdom by meditation (bhāvanā).

These three kinds of practice we will use in the seminars.

Topics and Dates

Each weekend course will introduce in one topic (program see below).
The participants can deepen their knowledge by studying at home.
Upcoming questions can be clarified during the next group-meeting.
The seminars are suitable for any Buddhist practice and can also support as a systematic introduction in an individual retreat.
Christina has taught this succession already in Germany.
She has composed this succession to share her knowledge of many years studying and practicing;
  • to help yogis for better understanding of their meditation experiences,
  • to give an overview where the Buddhist practice leads to,
  • to develop more wholesome activities in body, speech and mind.
These seminars are a rough overview of the Buddhist practice in Theravāda Buddhism. They are based in Suttā and Abhidhamma.
Christina has composed detailed scriptures in German language for each topic.
So people can study at home as they like between the seminars.
 

Follow up of seminars:

1. Samatha - concentration meditation:

There will be an introduction in Buddhist Samatha (concentration-) meditation (sammā samādhi), and also in the development of right mindfulness (sammā sati). Collectedness (samatha-)Meditation is the foundation for the development of deep concentration up to the attainments of absorptions (Jhānā). Concentration is the cause for profound understanding of our life and of existence in general. Only when we understand our life in all aspects, liberation can be attained. The fourty objects to attain right concentration, taught by the Buddha, we can find in the Pālicanon, and also the stages of concentration, will be explained.

2. Insight in Distinguishing Body & Mind or What is life? Part 1: Materiality
We will elaborate with dhammatalks, groupdiscussions and meditationsessions about materiality (body and non-living) and about mentality.
During this weekend basic knowledge about body and mind will be given. This is a base for any kind of Buddhist mindfulness- and meditation-practice. Without knowing what to observe with mindfulness, mindfulness cannot have positive effects. We will roughly discuss all ultimate realities, (material ultimate realities, mental factors,
consciousness) their characteristics, functions and manifestations, so that yogis gain basic knowledge for a retreat and in daily life how to practice. During a retreat there is then the opportunity to apply and deepen this knowledge individually, everybody on his/her individual level. With this knowledge one can start a retreat from the beginning more effectively and more satisfyingly.
 
3. Insight in Distinguishing Body & Mind or What is life? Part 2: Analysis of Mentality
What we call person or 'I' is a composition of material and mental phenomena. During this weekend we will elaborate about our mind
to get better understanding of our meditation experiences and also of our life. We will learn to distinguish what are wholesome states of mind and what are unwholesome states of mind. Wholesome states will bring pleasant results in the future whereas unwholesome states will bring unpleasant results in the future.
So this knowledge is basic knowledge to learn how to deal with our mind and for a happy future.
 
4. Dependant Origination of Body and Mind - Cause and Effect (paticcasamuppāda)

There is nothing we experience, that does not have a cause. Also our existence in this very life has a cause in the past. Dependant origination is an essential part of the Buddhist teachings. When we learn and contemplate on these teachings we can better understand and accept what we experience in our life and act accordingly. We will also learn about birth and death during this seminar.

5. Vipassanā-Meditation, The 16 insightstages and the 7 stages of purification in insight (Vipassanā-Meditation)

To attain enlightenment in the Buddhist sense one has to practice Vipassanā-Meditation. When we practice Vipassanā-Meditation we have to go according to a natural law through different stages of insight and purification. When one practices correctly and intensively meditation, these stages always appear. To recognize them and to understand them it is very helpful to be familiar with them.

6. 10 Pāramī - 10 Perfections

The 10 perfections are generosity, ethics, renounciation, wisdom, mental energy, patience/forbearance, truthfulness, determination, loving kindness and equanimity. These mental qualities are a precondition for all spiritual attainments. We want to elaborate these 10 qualities to become familiar with them and to develop them in our daily life.

7. Brahmavihārā - Devine abodes - Illimitables
loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity
These mental states should be the foundation of our behaviour in body, speech and mind. We can develop them as well in our meditation as also in our daily activities and thinking. When we develop them in meditation they become more and more habitual in our behaviour and activities.
 
8. How to develop mindfulness at the 6 sense doors
Concentration and Mindfulness during all daily activities
Based on the knowledge and experiences of the preceding seminars deeper practices for daily life and for non-formal periods in retreats will be introduced.

If there is interest further seminars to attain deeper knowledge can be organized.

Organization:

The first two seminars can be attended by people apart from the following courses.
After these two first courses one should decide, whether one wants to continue with the whole course.
The teachings are given on base of Dāna (giving, generosity)
Dāna, giving voluntarily, generosity, is an important precondition for success in meditation. It is the first perfection (pārami). By giving for meditation-instructions or Dhamma teachings the appreciation for the Dhamma increases in one's own mind. The opportunity for giving voluntarily is a gift for the donor, a merit, which will not disappear until final liberation is attained.

If you are interested in a series of seminars please contact: info@cetovimutti-theravada.org

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