Right View – Wrong View – Self View – No View. What is the point of view in Buddhism? (Six week online course)
with Jill Shepherd
June 20 - July 25, 2021
The Buddha is reported to have said that holding to any position whatsoever creates “a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views; it is accompanied by anguish, distress, misery, fever; it does not conduce to turning away from, nor to dispassion, stopping, calming, super-knowledge, awakening, nor to Nibbāna.” In spite of this statement, Right or Wise View is the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path which leads to freedom, so clearly not all views are created equal.
Buddhist teachings point to the understanding that we don’t see things the way they are; we see things the way we are. The 8th-century Tibetan master Padmasambhava recognised that “Changes in one’s train of thoughts produce corresponding changes in one’s conception of the external world. As a thing is viewed, so it appears.”
This six-week online course offers an opportunity to explore how views form and inform every aspect of our lives, including our understanding of ourselves and the world. We will look at some of the different views of views within Buddhism, including Right View as the foundation of the path, the “fetter” of sakkāya-diṭṭhi or self-view, and Nibbāna as the transcending of all views.
The course is best suited to people who have sat at least one seven-day silent meditation retreat, but prior Buddhist study is not necessary as the course is oriented more to practical experience than academic study.
Each two-hour class will include a short dharma talk, some silent meditation practice, dyad (pairs) practice, and small group discussion.
During the six weeks of the course, you will be invited to maintain a regular sitting practice and keep a practice journal, to help inform the discussion during each meeting.
Because this is a group learning process, participants are asked to make a commitment to attend all six sessions of the course, and to allow at least two hours a week for personal study and reflections to be shared with the group.
Feel free to contact Jill directly if you have any questions about this.
NOTE: 50% of the registration fee will be contributed to BMIMC to help support the Centre’s recovery from a year of low income due to COVID-19.
Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999. A former manager of BMIMC, she recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where she participated in many long retreats and also offered weekly meditation classes at a nearby prison. She has been invited into the current teacher training program jointly offered by Spirit Rock and IMS in the US. For further details see Jill’s website
Learn more about Jill Shepherd