Contemplating Reality: An Introduction to the Stages of the View in Buddhism (Hybrid)

with Mark Seibold

November 7th—December 12th

Date details +
  • $150 Enriching
  • $120 Sustaining
  • Empowering / Pay what you can afford
Room: All Rooms

Most of us come to meditation with hope that it will enable us to deal better with the demands of modern life. As many have experienced, even by itself meditation is beneficial and an essential part of the Buddhist path that helps to calm the mind. And yet, the goal of the Buddhist path is not simply a calm mind - it is to transform ourselves into what we have always been, to awaken fully into our basic goodness. To get the most from our meditation it is essential to study the teachings. As is traditionally said: 

Meditation without study

Is like trying to climb a cliff without arms.

Study is critical, but it is through contemplation that we transform dry, intellectual understanding into personal insight and experience. The central focus in this class will be contemplating the various assertions and views of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Starting with our common-sense view that things exist the way they appear, we will investigate progressively more subtle presentations of the relationship between what appears to be so and what actually is so according to the Buddhist tradition. 

Contemplating Reality will be presented in two 6-week sessions. The first session will cover the earlier, coarser views of the Buddhist teaching. In the second 6-week session we will examine the teachings of the Middle Way school, which presents the most subtle, final view of the tradition. Participation in the first session is required for signing up for the second. 

This class will use the text “Contemplating Reality” by Andy Carr. You can purchase it here, a local bookstore, or wherever you prefer to purchase books. 

The course will be led by Mark Seibold, who has been studying and practicing in the Shambhala community since 1981. He is also on the faculty of the Nitartha Institute, where he teaches the Foundational Curriculum and leads a Tibetan translation class that focuses on reading Tibetan Buddhist texts.

Location:  You are warmly invited and encouraged to take part in person at the Pioneer Valley Shambhala Center. If you will be joining in virtually, please specify upon registration in the comments section. Our registrar will send you a zoom link close to when class begins. 

Open Door Policy:  Our intent is to share the Shambhala Buddhist teachings with all who are interested in participating, regardless of financial circumstances.

Most of our programs have a Sustaining Fee  — which represents the amount needed to cover the center’s costs, and includes things such as our rent, materials and supplies, etc.   Our programs also have an Enriching Fee  — for those who are able to offer more than the Sustaining Fee. Your generosity in offering the Enriching Fee helps cover the costs for those who are not able to pay the full price. Additionally, if you are able to give more, please consider donating more than the Enriching Fee by choosing the Empowering Fee.

The donations of members and program fees allows PVSC to continue offering classes and a space in which to practice. If the full Sustaining Fee is an obstacle for you, please offer as much of the Sustaining Fee by clicking the “Pay what you can afford” option when registering.