FCM sanghas periodically offer classes on the basic teachings of Buddhism and on the practice of mindfulness. These classes provide an opportunity to introduce the teachings of the Buddha to the wider community and allow current practitioners to deepen their understanding of this wisdom tradition. The classes are presented by FCM members who are senior students of FCM’s Dharma teacher, Fred Eppsteiner.
A six-week Awakening to Life course offers an introduction to mindfulness and meditation for beginning meditators. This course includes the basic teachings on the practice and benefits of mindfulness, with direct practice of mindful sitting, walking, eating, deep relaxation and loving-kindness meditations. The course concludes with a discussion of how we can realize the benefits of mindfulness in our relationships and other areas of our daily lives.
The six-week Introduction to Buddhism course starts with a look at Buddha's world: the cultural and religious environment that the Buddha lived in. We then survey the Buddha’s life, from his privileged birth to his great awakening, and on through his more than forty years of teaching. The core teachings of Buddhism are covered, including the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the basics of Buddhist psychology. The development of different traditions or lineages within Buddhism is discussed, along with an exploration of various traditional writings. Finally, the practices of various contemporary Buddhist denominations are surveyed. The class format is informal and interactive, with time set aside for both presentation of material and discussion. Suggested readings are taken from a variety of traditional and contemporary sources. The course will next be offered on six Monday evenings, November 5 through December 10 at the FCM Practice Center, 6501 N Nebraska Ave 33604, in north Tampa. $50 for 6 weeks or $10 per class (drop-ins welcome). A page is available with a course outline and other details. For more information contact Rick Ferriss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New courses are being developed to guide practitioners through more in-depth study of the Buddha’s teachings.