The Mythic Context of Buddhism - from Wed 8th Sept until 17th Nov
"Myths are... accounts of gods or superhuman beings involved in extraordinary events or circumstances in a time that is unspecified but which is understood as existing apart from ordinary human experience." Brittanica.com
Myth seems to have existed in every society throughout time, and while myth is not factually true, it does hold deep and significant truths that can affect the life of the individual. Myth can inform and explain, it can inspire and reassure. Myth helps us to make sense of our lives in a way that our limited sense of reality cannot. Myth is non-intellectual and operates in a dimension that is far removed from everyday life and concerns.
Myth is an important ingredient in most, if not all schools of Buddhism. Mythic images were often used by the Buddha to paint pictures in the imagination and in the heart - pictures that could reveal important aspects of life and teaching through powerful imagery. There is Mara - the evil one, the Earth Goddess and Brahmasahampathi to name but three. In later Buddhism great store is set by representations of the Bodhisattvas - literally 'Enlightenment Beings' - who have foresaken all personal needs and ambitions in order to work relentlessly and through all time to release all beings from the suffering of samsara. And, ultimately, to lead every one to Nirvana.
If we let them, these Myths can have a profound effect on our lives. The symbolism of any one of them can carry a deep sense of significance for us. We may recognise this, and we nmay feel it in our hearts, yet mysteriously, it may prove difficult or even impossible to adequately explain what this feels like and why it is significant.
Myth is beyond our intellectual grasp of the world - and that is why it is so precious, containing as it does the power to transform our lives.
In this 11 week series we will be exploring myth in general in the first week and then myth as it applies to eight archetypal Bodhisattvas. There will also be two pujas. Here are the details:
- 8th September: The Mythic Context of Buddhism (Shakyapada)
- 15th September: Vajrasattva, representing complete Purity (Kate)
- 22nd September: Prajnaparamita, representing Wisdom (Mark)
- 29th September: Avalokiteshvara/Guan Yin representing Compassion (Alex)
- 6th October: Puja to Avalokitesvara (Shakyapada)
- 13th October: Vajrapani, representing the power of the Enlightened Mind (Kate)
- 20th October: Green Tara, representing Compassion (Mark)
- 27th October: Manjushri, representing Wisdom (Mark)
- 3rd November: Vajrayogini, a fierce 'dakini' who encapsulates the Wisdom of all the Buddhas (Kate)
- 10th November: Kshitigarbha, (Shakyapada)
- 17th November Puja to Green Tara (Shakyapada)
How To Join
To join us you need to install Zoom on your phone, tablet or computer. This is very easy and you can find full instructions below.
Use a PC or Mac
For most modern web browsers, you do not need to download anything. For a better experience you can, before the start time, download the Zoom Desktop Client for Windows, Mac, or Linux. You do not need to create an account or sign in.
A few minutes before we're due to start, either:
Use a Mobile or Tablet
Before the start time, download the Zoom Mobile App using one of the links below. You do not need to create an account or sign in.
A few minutes before we're due to start, click here to join or open the app and enter the meeting ID 250-507-9777.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to book?
No, just turn up!
What time should I get there?
You can join us on Zoom any time after 6.45, the class will start at 7pm.
How long do I need to have been coming?
Everyone over 18 is very welcome but it helps if you have learned our main meditation practices first as the sessions are not always guided. You can learn meditation by joining one of our guided meditation classes.
How much does the class cost?
We do not charge for our classes as we wish them to be open to all. However we have no income other that the gifts of those who use our Centre, so we would ask you to consider making a donation.
Where to Find Us
Brief text explaining how to find the centre goes here...