Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

    Join a small group of students and a facilitator as we journey together through a Dharma book – reflecting on Buddhist teachings and applying them in our ordinary lives. Let’s set off on a Dharma adventure!

    Why?

    These groups will offer students an opportunity to engage more deeply with the precious Dharma. They will grow in understanding of our tradition and its philosophies. As they listen to others, encounter various teachings and put them into practice, we also trust that they will be able to live with more freedom, confidence, insight and joy. 

    When?

    Sundays from 26th June. See detailed dates below.

    5pm-6pm UK time

    We’ll begin our first book on Sunday 26th of June and for the time being all classes will be on Sundays between 5pm and 6pm. We will offer one or two groups of up to six students at the temple and maybe one group on Zoom of up to six students for each book we study together, depending on interest. The books we’ll study are below. Click on the links to read more about each book.

    We’ll be announcing further books for next year including ‘Everyday Suchness’ by Rev Gyomay Kubose, ‘Sacred Worlds’ by Nagapriya, ‘Bright Dawn’ by Rev Koyo Kubose and more. Many of the books are about the Pure Land tradition and all express the Dharma in ways that we have found personally helpful. 

    What? 

    Each week you will be asked to read a specified number of pages and then write some notes on what you have read – a few paragraphs is fine. You can include any questions you have, anything you found helpful, anything you disagreed with and anything the chapters made you think about in your own life. Every six weeks you will also be expected to write a ‘Dharma Glimpse’ (read about these here). You will post these writings in a private forum on our website where you can read other people’s reports before the start of each meeting. 

    During the meeting you will make comments on other people’s reports – what did you like about what they wrote? What did they make you think about in your own life? How might you answer any questions they have? Regardless of how much experience you have, we are all expected to learn from each other in these groups – we are all learning how to be better students, and we are all trying to find ‘beginner’s mind’.

    To begin with, each study group will be facilitated by either Kaspa or Satya of Bright Earth. We will be seeking new facilitators for future groups – once you’ve completed studying a book, we can talk about supporting you to facilitate a group on that book. Deep knowledge or previous experience of facilitating is not required. Facilitating groups for others is a way of giving back, and also an excellent way to continue learning. 

    What is the expectation?

    Completion requirements: You will write a report every week, write a Dharma Glimpse at least every six weeks during the course (depending on the number of participants), and come to at least three out of every four of the in person or online study groups. If it isn’t possible for you to commit to the majority of the dates, then do put your name down for a future course instead – we will be repeating books over time. The time commitment will vary depending on how fast you read and write your reports, but we’d expect it to be around one hour for the weekly meeting plus one to one and a half hours per week to do the reading, report writing and reading other student’s reports.

    What if I have some anxiety about joining?

    We want these courses to be accessible to everyone and we certainly don’t want people to feel excluded because they don’t feel they’re ‘good at writing’, or that they know ‘enough’ about Buddhism, or that they might look stupid when they discuss things in the group. The beauty of these groups is that everyone learns from each other (even if we can’t imagine what anyone might learn from us!). Rather than an emphasis on academia or ‘knowing things’, we encourage you to just have an opinion on the teachings – sharing what you feel stuck with, what you disagree with etc. and even more importantly listening to others in your group. We are learning all of the time. Please do write to Satya & Kaspa at hello@brightearth.org with any questions or worries you have. 

    How much is it?

    We would like these study groups to be as accessible as possible, and so there will be no charge to attend – our facilitators will volunteer their time. If you are able to make a donation we can use this to buy or subsidise books for students who have less money. 

    How do I register?
    Write to Satya & Kaspa hello@brightearth.org and let us know which book you’d like to study and any dates you know you won’t be able to make. We will let you know if you have got a place on the course – it will be first come first served. You will be expected to buy your own course book at least a week before the course starts (so you can write your first report) – if you need financial assistance with this, let us know.

    To receive our Dharma Glimpses straight into your inbox (once every two weeks) sign up here.