Foundations for Freedom: the Hinayana - Course I The First Noble Truth (ONLINE)

October 1st—November 5th

Date details +
  • $99 Members
  • $125 Non-members

Foundations for Freedom: The Hinayana

In the spirit of  “returning to square one”–a favorite expression of the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa, a group of Acharyas were inspired to offer to the community an in-depth study of the foundational Buddhist teachings of the Hinayana.

Shambhala Gainesville is pleased to offer this year-long, 5-Course series that will provide a thorough and extensive exploration of the Hinayana path drawing on teachings from the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, other prominent teachers and classic sources. The emphasis will be on cultivating maitri or friendliness to oneself, and on the Shambhala teachings of basic goodness, gentleness and bravery–allowing us to meet the modern human condition with warriorship and dignity.

The Four Noble Truths are used as the overall organizing principle, with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness interwoven to provide a meditative method for embracing the totality of our basically good experience—including pain and suffering—as our practice and working basis.

As the Vidyadhara said: “Never forget the Hinayana!”

Course I - The First Noble Truth: Meeting Suffering with Maitri

In this first course, Acharya Susan Chapman and Acharya Fleet Maull will guide an exploration of the nature of suffering from the perspective of the Four Marks of Existence--Impermanence (anicca), Suffering (dukkha), Selflessness (anatta) and Nirvana/Peace (nibbana)--and how we can meet suffering with maitri (unconditional friendliness).  They will also guide students in the exploration and practice of Mindfulness of Body, the first of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. 

The suffering of samsaric existence is the blameless first noble truth. Such suffering is changing and impermanent, and arises from infinite causes and conditions. It feels intensely personal (mine), and, in fact, is one of the bases we use to craft our identity (me and my problems), which is called “mistaking what has no self for a self”. This desynchronized state generates constant underlying fear and anxiety. When we recognize the reality of our existence as it truly is (impermanent, suffering, not mine, and without self-entity), we can experience the peace of nirvana.

The course includes:

  • Recorded talks by Shambhala Acharyas (senior teachers)
  • Live discussions led by the facilitators, Laura & Steve Simmons
  • Readings and book suggestions to deepen our understanding of these teachings
  • Contemplations to help us integrate these fundamental teachings into our daily lives

Course I Overview

Class 1:  Introduction to the First Noble Truth and Mindfulness of Body

Class 2:  The Four Marks of Existence: Impermanence (annica)

Class 3:  The Four Marks of Existence: Suffering (dukkha)

Class 4:  The Four Marks of Existence: Egolessness (anata)

Class 5:  The Four Marks of Existence: Peace (nibana)

Class 6:  Recorded discussion with both teachers 

A minimum of four participants is required to avoid cancellation.