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"Engaged Buddhism Movement" - Lecture Series - Rain Retreat 2010 at At Ease Mindfulness Practice Center (Plum Village Hong Kong)  in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

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Rain Retreat Course on Engaged Buddhism Movement, June 4 - August 20, 2010

The annual rain retreat is a long-held tradition since the Buddha's time. It is a time for monastics to live together in a community for 90 days (about 3 months) in order to deepen their study and practice. Plum Village's monastics in Europe and in North America hold the 90-day retreat in winter, while those in Asia hold it in summer during the rain season - from April 15 to July 15 of the lunar calendar.

It is quite rare for lay practitioners in Hong Kong to have annual 90 days off for practice. However, lay friends like us can still benefit from the rain retreat by committing to a regular activity, even once a week.

In the coming rain retreat in 2010, the Center offers you a course on "Engaged Buddhism Movement" that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh started in the 1960s in Vietnam. The course will be taught by his disciple Thầy Pháp Khâm from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every Friday, as part of the weekly Friday Night practice, at the At Ease Mindfulness Practice Center (1/F, Seaview Mansion, 7 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong).

Course Content on "Engaged Buddhism Movement"

A Bodhisattva is an enlightened person, who vows not to enter nirvana in order to help others be free from pain and suffering. Who is a Bodhisattva? What does he/she look like? What are the characteristics of a Bodhisattva? How can we become one? How can we bring the teachings of the Buddha into our daily life? How can we generate peace in ourselves in order to bring peace to the world, as a Bodhisattva?

This course will help us answer the above questions. We will study the basic foundation of a Bodhisattva - "Love and Understanding" and how to apply them into our daily life to help ourselves and other people suffer less.

The following items will be studied and examined:

-          The Bodhsattva concept

-          The Bodhisattva Vows

-          The Six Paramitas

-          The Interbeing concept

-          The Order of Interbeing

-          The 14 Mindfulness Trainings (Order of Interbeing Precepts)

-          Activities of the School for Youth of Social Services (SYSS) in Vietnam during the 1960s - 70s

-          Activities of Engaged Buddhism in the West

-          Activities of Humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan, e.g. Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation.

Core reference materials:

Thich, Nhat Hanh. (1998). Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press.

Sister Chan Khong. (2007). Learning True Love: Practicing Buddhism in a Time of War. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press.

Recommended readings:

Thich, Nhat Hanh. (1998). The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming suffering into peace, joy & liberation. New York: Broadway Books.

Thich, Nhat Hanh. (2003). Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family,Your Community, and the World. New York : Free Press.

Thich, Nhat Hanh. (2004). Peace Begins Here: Palestinians and Israelis Listening to Each Other. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press.

Thich, Nhat Hanh. (2009). Peaceful Action, Open Heart: Lessons from the Lotus Sutra. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press.

Prerequisites:

No prior knowledge about Buddhism is required in order to attend this course. However, you are encouraged to join the mindfulness practice session before the class, e.g. walking meditation, sitting meditation, total relaxation, touching of the earth, etc.

Registration:

Because of limited spaces of the Center, you are invited to register for the class so that proper arrangement for cushions can be prepared. Online registration is available at www.pvfhk.org.

Tuition Fee

Free of charge. Donation to the Center is welcome.