“A Practice for the Mind”
The Engaged Dharma Insight Group (EDIG) has developed comprehensive training courses covering the fundamental elements of a contemporary engaged Buddhist practice. They range from introductory survey topics associated with Ch’an/Zen Buddhism, meditation and Buddhist history, to the formal study of moral and ethical Buddhist precepts that forms one of the most vital areas of a spiritual practice. Each course is taught by one of the ordained monastics of our tradition.
The courses are offered at our practice Centers in St. Louis, Missouri or Sebring, Florida, at the Buddha Center utilizing Second Life virtual technology, and individual or group training via video Skype. In some cases the course material is modified to reflect the unique requirements of the student. We are open to accommodate international student’s time-zone differences. Our training materials are currently in the process of being translated from English into French and Spanish. We will announce soon when they will be made available to our international students.
EDIG is one of the few Buddhist Centers today offering contemporary Buddhist training that utilizes modern technology and the internet to advance the teacher/student relationship beyond the walls of a practice center or temple. Join us and experience the difference for yourself.
Expand your practice by reading contemporary texts along side classical ones in seeking pragmatic lessons.
Join lifelong learners in engaged discussions of original works.
Study The Pali Nikayas, Ch’an & Zen Masters plus modern works reflecting the nature of cultural transformation.
Experience conversation as a challenging and fulfilling practice for the spirit.
Contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information, registration requirements & application, and class schedule availability.
Introduction To Contemporary Buddhism – This introductory course consists of ten 2 hour modules, and covers the fundamental teachings of Siddhartha Gotama (The Buddha) from a pragmatic contemporary perspective. It is based on the Mahayana Nikaya Buddhist principles. The material reflects both Chinese and Japanese Ch’an/Zen mastery of Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and spiritual practice taking into account the importance language and culture plays in the transmission of ideas from East to West. Upon completion of this course the student will have gained the basic knowledge of Zen Buddhism to continue a more in-depth course of formal study.
Pragmatic Buddhism: Exploring It’s Contemporary Vitality – An advanced course of study that utilizes contemporary text and source material for realizing the nature of cultural transformation as Buddhism encounters Western thought and spiritual practice. This course is recommended for anyone wishing to study the Precepts or expanding their knowledge of Zen Buddhism for the 21st century.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Contemporary Zen Buddhism
Refining A Secular and Spiritual Lay Practice – This course is based on the lessons to be found in the Sigalovada Sutra, which is used as the primary source. We explore ways for a lay person valuing the bodhisattva path to discover how a secular and spiritual life benefits both self and other. The course studies how building and nourishing relationships is the key for establishing a practice that promotes human flourishing. Learn how to use rigorous self-honesty as a Buddhist tool to build and refine an altruistic worldview.
Buddhist Precepts: The Moral & Ethical Teachings of Zen – Once a student has worked to acquire a basic understanding of Buddhist principles and practices, and they have taken the additional step of “Taking Refuge” in the Three Treasures, the student may now feel that a more formal action has become manifest in their practice where they would like to formally step onto the Buddhist path. The Buddhist Precepts course is taken in preparation to receive the precepts in a formal action with intent. This course has as its main objective to offer an in-depth experience in the moral and ethical principles underlying the Ten Lay Precepts common to Zen practice. While it encompasses five detailed modules, it also requires a period of self-study and one-on-one personal interviews with the teacher that will help the student develop their own worldview perspective. Upon successful completion, the student may formally request from their teacher the chance to receive the precepts; in Zen known as the Jukai Ceremony.
Prerequisite: Introduction To Contemporary Zen Buddhism
The following courses (except Guided Meditation) must be taken under the visual direction of the instructor, either at a local center or via video Skype.
Introduction To Buddhist Meditation – This course covers the fundamentals of Buddhist meditation. It is a five module five hour course covering the basic techniques, postures, and scientific benefits of mindful meditation. This is an action-based course where the student AND teacher practice the meditation techniques TOGETHER in order to maximize the development of a successful and sustained practice. This is one of our most popular courses.
Meditation Facilitator – This course is uniquely developed to teach experienced mediators on the methods and structures required for facilitating a meditation group on their own. We developed this course especially for those that want to establish their own affiliated meditation group with EDIG. There are four modules of 2 hours each to this course. The Meditation Facilitator is the first step in becoming a Meditation Instructors. The Meditation Facilitator acts as a guide and also provides the space to conduct a meditation session.
Prerequisite: Introduction To Buddhist Meditation
Meditation Instructor – This course trains a Meditation Facilitator how to advance from a meditation guide to an instructor. The 4 module 2 hour course, in addition to reviewing the material in the facilitator course in more detail, covers the science behind meditation beyond what was offered in the basic course above, as well as the health issues associated with positive and constructive meditation practice. In addition, the course will cover operational requirements of a facility and how to conduct a preliminary meditation Buddhist service. Upon completion, the Meditation Instructor is fully recognized by EDIG to act as an affiliate of EDIG with direct support from our monastic staff.
Prerequisite: Meditation Facilitator
Guided Meditation – Guided meditation is an excellent style of meditation where the practitioner is verbally guided through a period of quite meditation. It is an excellent technique for those having difficulty in clearing the mind in order to sit in awareness. The teacher can also construct a personalized session based on a students special needs. The session generally is for 1 hour. Multiple sessions can be scheduled. Contact us and ask to speak to a monk directly in order to identify your special concerns.
Note: Engaged Dharma will also create a guided meditation CD to be used to further the meditator’s home practice.