Sutta Study Group
Bhikkhus, these four times, rightly developed and coordinated, gradually culminate in the destruction of the taints. What four? The time for listening to the Dhamma, the time for discussing the Dhamma, the time for serenity, and the time for insight. These four times, rightly developed and coordinated, gradually culminate in the destruction of the taints.
from Aṅguttara Nikāya 4:147 (Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2012, p. 520).
The ERBC Sutta Study Group meets twice a month during the Fall, Winter, and Spring. The aim of the group is to help practitioners look deeply into the teachings of the Buddha as found in early Buddhist texts. We focus primarily on material contained in the Sutta Piṭaka (The Collection of Discourses from the Theravāda tradition). We encourage participants to reflect critically on the teachings that we study, to investigate their meaning, and to explore how they can be put into practice. We also deepen our understanding through discussion together—sharing insights from our experiences and study of the Dhamma.
In the Fall of 2016 we will continue study of a series of key topics from the Sutta Piṭaka, including:
- The Problem of Views (diṭṭhi)
- Stress and Suffering (dukkha)
- Serenity and Insight (samatha, vipassanā)
- Mindfulness of Breathing (ānāpānasati)
- The Seven Factors of Awakening (satta bojjhaṅgā)
- Dispassion (virāga)
- Dependent Origination (paṭicca samuppāda)
We will investigate some of these topics more extensively, drawing on written and audio material from teachers such as Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Bhikkhu Bodhi, and Anālayo, in addition to reading from the suttas.
Studying the suttas adds depth to our understanding of what the Buddha taught and to our practice of the Dhamma. It can also clarify how contemporary Buddhist interpretations sometimes misconstrue or omit aspects of early Buddhist teachings. We are especially interested in understanding the suttas on their own terms, rather than using the texts selectively to confirm our existing beliefs about the Dhamma. Many of us have found that studying the teachings in the Discourses, and applying them, contributes richly to our lives and brings about genuine movement toward what is skillful and liberating.
This group is best suited to those with prior experience studying the suttas. For those who are newer to Buddhist teachings, please consider visiting our weekly Monday night meetings. The study group is limited in size to support full participation. For more information, please contact Steve Seiberling at firstname.lastname@example.org. If think you would like to participate in the group, please contact Steve by September 10th.