Study, Contemplate, Meditate

Vajra North has held two study groups in the past. This page is left here as an example of how the last study group was formatted.

Vajra North has sponsoring a group study program to respond to expressions of interest by newcomers to Buddhist meditation practice, as well as by established Dharma practitioners wishing a forum in which to deepen and consolidate their understanding of their meditation practice of Vajrayana Buddhism.

A principal objective of these sessions is to address the needs of people who have received teachings from visiting lamas, perhaps having received empowerment into Buddhist practice, and who wish to develop a deeper understanding to better practice the teachings received.

The overall format of each session will be based on the three foundation stones for deepening and integrating Buddhist teachings into daily life—study, contemplation and meditation.  The main resource text for the study program will be Chagdud Rinpoche’s Gates to Buddhist Practice, a copy of which is included in the price of the program series.

The main topic areas to be reviewed will be:

  • Basic perspectives & principles
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Dharma
  • Dharma in Daily Life – Refuge & Bodhicitta
  • Ngondro: The Foundation Practices

The sessions will explore deeper aspects and implications of these common topics; going beyond superficial understanding and weaving them into the fabric of one’s Dharma practice.

Each session will comprise study/discussion, contemplation, and meditation.  Selected readings will be suggested as preparation for each session, and participants will be encouraged to explore other relevant readings.  The Vajra North Library will be available for participants to borrow books.

The series was held last year. To accommodate people’s varied schedules, we planned one half-day weekend session and three two-hour evening sessions.  However, if the registrants’ consensus would be to adjust the schedule, that could be discussed.  All sessions were at White Swan Sanctuary, 403A Lowe Street in Whitehorse.  Session dates were as follows:

  • Week 1, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Week 2, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Week 3, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Week 4, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The evening study sessions followed the regularly-scheduled Monday shamatha (mindfulness) meditation sessions, so study group participants could “warm up” by attending the Shamatha sessions, as well.

To cover expenses, the cost for the series was $70, which will include a copy of Chagdud Rinpoche’s foundational text on Vajrayana Buddhism: Gates to Buddhist Practice (worth $23.00). Persons already having a copy of the text may register for $50.

For the benefit of all sentient beings.