The Practice of Buddhism
A Theoretical Outline
“All the Buddhas have left us their scriptures
Only because humans are so hard to change.”
~ Shídé (拾得), ~8th c. Tang
Modified: April 22, 2023
Table of Contents
What is the Practice of Buddhism?
Buddhism is a practice meant to increase our happiness by encouraging our cultivation of moral virtues, mental clarity, and compassionate wisdom.
Buddhism supports this “threefold training” by providing both essential, explanatory frameworks and practical guidance. The Buddha himself called this a “Dhamma-Vinaya,” or “Philosophy-Discipline,” but we might simply call it “a way of life” because Buddhism is meant to transform our entire lives from our selfish, restless, addicted, never-satisfied “default mode,” to the pinnacle of human potential—the total eradication of suffering.
This course is primarily aimed at giving those with prior meditation experience an overview of the ethical / philosophical frame around Buddhist meditation practices.
Bhante Yuttadhammo will be our lecturer for this course. If you haven’t tried his meditation technique before, you may want to give it a try now and/or throughout the course, as his talks will make more sense to those familiar with his technique.
This course follows the excellent textbook by Bhikkhu Cintita:
This book forms the backbone of the course and is highly recommended.
The book is divided into two, unsurprising halves: Buddhist Life and Buddhist Path: the exterior and interior transformation of the practitioner which follows the gradual path of Buddhism—from the mundane to the transcendent—often taught by the Buddha himself.
This course will procede in 15 modules following the chapters in Buddhist Life, Buddhist Path:
- Part 1: Buddhist Life
- The Buddha
- Part 2: Buddhist Path
- The Higher Training
- Foundational Wisdom
- Perfecting Virtue
- Cultivating the Mind
- Disentangling the Mind
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