Impermanence: A Buddhist Perspective on Coping with Change
An Online Course with Wendy Eisner
October 1-November 12, 2017
live sessions: Tuesdays (starting Oct. 3) from 7-8:30pm
Course Registration: $60 for 6 weeks
We all know that everything changes, but do we really understand impermanence? The Buddha considered the concept of impermanence to be a core teaching, and encouraged his followers to meditate upon it, discuss it and contemplate it. I am offering a 6-week course on this topic to do just that. The course will be accessible to everyone: Buddhists, non-Buddhists, beginners as well as experienced meditators. The views and topics that will be introduced in this course can be as simple or complex as you, the student, want to make them, but the material will be presented in a way that will be understandable and stimulating. Most importantly, I will present talks, discussions, and recommend practices that can potentially enrich your life in a practical way. This is an important point, because the Buddhist practice of Insight meditation is designed to be completely applicable to your life–right here and right now.
Take the course at your own pace and on your own schedule. The only scheduled event will be the weekly video dharma talk. This will be recorded live, so even if you miss it, you can access it from the website and watch it any time.
Registration gives you exclusive access to course materials available at wendyeisner.com
Please note: in keeping with Tri-State Dharma’s policy, no one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay. Contact Wendy if you are in need of a scholarship. Donations help to make scholarships possible.
The course includes:
- Access to the course materials (password protected). You can download the syllabus, worksheets, dharma talks, meditations, and readings 24/7.
- Live Weekly Dharma talk:Live Weekly Dharma talk. This will be a real class with Q&A and discussion (1.5 hours) and will be recorded and accessible any time for all enrolled students.will be recorded and accessible any time for all enrolled students.
- one-on-one, online or phone conversation with Wendy (if desired).
- Weekly worksheets with study guide and links to readings and meditations.
- Invitation to join my ongoing online sitting group.
- Guided online meditations and meditation instructions (video and text).
- Weekly contemplation (text).
Topics to be covered:
Week I. Introduction to Impermanence: The Bedrock
Impermanence (called anicca in the ancient Pali language) is considered the bedrock of the Buddhist teaching and one of the three basic facts of existence. The other two are suffering and no self. Does the fact that everything is impermanent imply that we have to suffer or be dissatisfied with life? We will look a little deeper at the nature of reality and at our understanding of change.
Week II. Changes Big and Small
How do we experience change in our lives? Do we react to impermanence with resistance? We can start by training ourselves to recognize change in formal meditation. We can investigate change at the level of a microsecond and change over a lifetime. This can lead to insights into the nature of reality.
Week III. Change and the Three Messengers.
The three divine messengers were the Buddha’s original incentive into discovering the essential unsatisfactoriness of human existence. The three messengers are: old age, sickness, and death. As we all start on our journey of discovery, can we view life’s transitions in a different light? Change may be the basis for our dissatisfaction with life, but there is also the potential that understanding the transient nature of all things can lead to liberation.
Week IV. What’s Wrong with Just Feeling Blissful?
What kinds of choices do we make when we meditate and practice mindfulness? Do we really want to experience impermanence? The new best-selling book, “Why Buddhism is True” by Robert Wright, raises this question and explores the potential of Buddhist meditation to save the world. We will review and discuss an excerpt from the book.
Week V. Change and No Self
Everything changes around us, but you and I are changing all the time as well! Who is this person we call our Self? Where do we find a firm footing? When we stop resisting change, the possibility of redefining ourselves can arise.
Week VI. Going Forth
How can our new perspectives on the concept of impermanence help us make sense of today’s overwhelming world? In this final week, we will examine how to engage with our loved ones and society with compassion. We can find the energy to integrate these insights into our lives and into in a very turbulent and cynical period in human history.
Interested? Register today!