1 What makes you a Buddhist?

Module 1 of the Level 2 – Buddhism Course by Vajrapriya, Cambridge Buddhist Centre, UK (uploaded November 2007). Length of this module: 6 weeks

The resources include

  • notes for the course leader (including learning objectives, guide lines for input and exercises, background information, suggestions for home practice), and
  • handouts

Week 1: Sraddha — Faith within a Buddhist context
Topics: Grounds of faith; developing faith; faith and doubt; faith and inspiration; experiences of faith.

Week 2: Going for Refuge
Topics: Historical expressions of refuge; GfR as commitment; what are we taking refuge from?; where do we usually take refuge?; true and false refuges; Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels.

Week 3: The Buddha and Enlightenment
Topics: What is Enlightenment?; epitaphs & metaphors from the Pali Canon; qualities in terms of the 5 skandhas; the psychology of goal-setting (advantages and disadvantages).

Week 4: Dharma as Truth Teaching
Topics: Buddha Vacana; Dharma as Truth Teaching; attitude to doctrine; importance of views; Going for Refuge to the Dharma

Week 5: Dharma as Path and Method
Topics: a toolkit of practices; the ‘three trainings’; progressive nature of the path; attitude to practice

Week 6: The Sangha
Topics: What is the Sangha and why is it important?; how to Go for Refuge to the Sangha; Review of the 6-week course.

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