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Dharma Foundation Course : Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels
5 week study and discussion group
Module One – Part 1
…with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things. William Wordsworth
Twenty five centuries ago in the lands irrigated by the river Ganges, in what is now known as northern India, some of the first ever large towns grew. As a consequence of farmers creating produce that was surplus to their needs, a merchant/middle class emerged, and perhaps with the time and space and interruption that this shift in culture and society afforded – for some at least – people began to deeply question the nature of their experience, of society, and of human existence itself.
One such individual, Siddhartha Gautama, began an existential quest which flowered in his mid-30s with a profound personal insight into the human condition. From that time until his death five decades later, he wandered the towns and villages of the Gangetic basin talking and teaching from that basic insight. A large following grew around him of men and women of all classes and walks of life, from prostitutes to kings, who committed themselves to follow his threefold path of ethics, meditation and insight.
The Buddha identified that human life and experience was essentially dynamic. He also saw that, in the change that was inherent in life, individuals could take responsibility for themselves, harnessing that change to deepen their awareness, their connection with others and the world around them, and in changing themselves, also change the world.
This taking responsibility and catalysing positive change is central to Buddhist practice, and can be talked of as ‘Going For Refuge’. On this module we will have the opportunity to explore Going For Refuge, and in doing so, deepen our engagement with and practice of core Buddhism.
A study course open to anyone who can practice the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana who wants to explore Buddhism. This is the first module of the new year.