Happiness-Innate Character or Learnable Quality?

All sentient beings are ultimately searching for happiness.  But, what exactly is that—lack of suffering, intense joy, or long lasting contentment?  Are we born with the traits that allow us to be happy or can we learn to allow happiness to be a dominant characteristic?  If the later, how do we learn to be happy and is the effort of doing so worth while?  The new field of positive psychology is exciting to explore especially through the perspective of neuroscience.  Plus, there are remarkable correlations with Buddhist philosophy. Continue reading

Meditations on the Refuge Vows

This class is for Anyone who is contemplating on making the refuge vows, in learning more about Buddhist practice and/or simply deepening their meditation practice.  Taking the refuge vows is generally considered to be the doorway to the learning and incorporation of Buddhist tenets into one’s life.  The aim is to provide the student with the understanding the what, why and how before making the commitment to take the refuge vows. The student will be asked to have a dedicated meditation practice during the 4 weeks which will include walking meditation as well as a period of mindfulness during his daily activities.  The aim is to incorporate mindfulness in seated, walking and daily life practice. Continue reading

Rime Membership Classes

Becoming an official member of the Rime Center demonstrates your support of the Center. In addition, members receive benefits, such as discounts and invitations to special “members only” programs. The four half-hour sessions cover the following topics: 1. Introductions, and the Three Jewels; 2. Meditation, the Three Yanas, and Tibetan Buddhism; 3. The organizational structure of the Rime Center and explanation of our Sunday Service; 4. Retreats/Empowerments and Program Events and service opportunities – along with a tour of the Rime Center. Upon completion of the classes, students are inducted as new members of the Rime Center sangha and are given a mala personally blessed by H.H. Dalai Lama.

Instructor: Lama Matthew Rice (Lobpön Palden Gocha)
Dates & Times: Four sessions on Sundays, beginning on June 19th, 10:00 – 10:30 am
Class Fee: No fees
Prerequisite: None

DATE CHANGE: Images of Enlightenment

We will explore the art and common symbolism of some of the most important images formally known as “Thangkas” and Mandalas in Buddhism. A basic understanding of the tradition of spiritual self-transformation embodied by these icons of Tibetan Buddhism will add to your understanding of the concepts discussed in this course but is not a requirement. Explore the bold colors, strange creatures, and exquisitely beautiful images used on the path to enlightenment. Continue reading

Lojong – Mind Training

The Lojong Practice consists of mind training techniques organized around seven points that contain fifty-nine pithy slogans. The teachings are designed to engender compassion, wisdom and improved meditation techniques so that we may awaken our hearts and become Bodhisattvas. Uniquely they teach us how to utilize problems and difficulties to obtain these very qualities. Tonglen is the associated meditation practice and it assists in training the mind to relate compassionately with what we prefer to push away and learn to give away and share that which we hold most dear. Continue reading

Adapting to Who We Are

Chronic illness is like all of life’s challenges that suddenly and persistently impinge on what has been our usual day to day functioning: we are no longer the same person we considered our self to be previously. A new obstacle whether we feel too poorly to get out of bed, have a new limp or swagger, become responsible unexpectedly for the well being of another human, loose the ability to express our self with the same grandeur, or can no longer drive—all are as limiting as we allow them to be. The biggest problem is that it is incredibly hard not to take the situation personally and thus add to the difficulty of adapting to our or our loved one’s changed situation/condition. Discussion will encompass all these issues as well as learning how to begin bringing obstacles to our spiritual paths so we can live a satisfying life. Continue reading

Mahayana Sutra Studies – Diamond Sutra

Around one hundred Mahayana sutras survive in Sanskrit or Tibetan translations. Mahayana sutras are passed down as the legacy of Gautama Buddha: early versions were not written documents but orally preserved teachings said to be verses that were committed to memory and recited by his disciples, in particular Ananda, which were viewed as a substitute for the actual speech of the Buddha following his death. This course will focus primarily on the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra better known as the Diamond Sutra. Continue reading

How to Set Up a Shrine and Shrine Room Etiquette

Have you wondered about how to set up a shrine or what is the proper etiquette for the shrine room and visiting teachers. This course will provide guidance and give examples of shrines both for public and private spaces. The student will also be given rules of etiquette to follow while in the shrine room. Finally the course will discuss the proper etiquette and cultural norms when in the presence of visiting teachers. Continue reading

The Way of the Bodhisattva

Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva is one of the most treasured classics of Buddhist literature. The Dalai Lama has said: “If I have any understanding of compassion and the practice of the Bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of this text that I possess it.” Our text is a translation by The Padmakara Translation Group, chosen for its ability to render the original Sanskrit verse with accuracy, while retaining some of the beauty of Shantideva’s poetry. We will read and discuss topics like: cultivating bodhichitta (the heart of enlightenment), the six perfections of an aspiring Bodhisattva, and the union of wisdom and compassion. We will also use these topics for brief guided meditation sessions. Join us for this exploration of the Bodhisattva path. Continue reading