Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Living Wisely, Loving Well: The Refuges and Precepts as a Path to Freedom

6 Monday nights, starting January 16, 2012

(Jan. 16, 23, 30 and Feb. 6, 13, 20)

7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Oak Bay United Church

1355 Mitchell Street, Victoria, BC

The Victoria Insight Meditation Society is pleased to have Margo McLoughlin offer an evening class on the Buddhist refuges and precepts. The class is suitable for beginning meditators as well as those with more experience.

The three refuges and the five precepts offer a rich field of exploration for the lay practitioner. Whether or not we consider ourselves to be a “Buddhist”, the notion of refuge is a valuable one to explore. What does it mean to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha? What is the difference between a false refuge and a true one? How do we find our way in a culture where opportunities for distraction are available to us at any moment?

Both the refuges and the five precepts are traditionally introduced at the beginning of a silent retreat as a way of creating a safe container. This sense of safety and mutual trust allows retreat participants to deepen their practice. But how do the training precepts, such as non-harming and right speech, apply in daily life, especially when we are inundated with various forms of media that represent different value systems?

Over the six weeks of this evening class, we will have an opportunity to consider each one of the five precepts as a particular way of paying attention. Gradually, through reflection and discussion, we will uncover for ourselves the value of nurturing a deeper awareness of role of the precepts on our path to freedom.

This class will combine short talks, drawing on particular discourses of the Buddha, with time for sharing our reflections and experiences. There will be suggestions for participants to practice during their daily lives.

Cost: The cost of the class is a sliding scale of $60.00 to $90.00. (Scholarships are available). Registration and pre-payment are required to secure your spot. To register and to receive more information about the class or how to apply for a scholarship, go to www.victoriaims.org. http://victoriaims.org/?p=2430

About the Teacher:

Margo McLoughlin has been practicing in the Insight tradition of Theravada Buddhism since 1986. She served on staff at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and later completed a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies and Comparative Religion at the Harvard Divinity School. Margo is currently in training as a Community Dharma Leader through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is also the Artist-in-Residence at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. As a writer and storyteller, Margo is particularly interested in the role of narrative and metaphor as tools for awakening perception and renewing one's engagement with spiritual practice. For more about Margo, please visit her website: margostoryteller.net.