Class # 4 06/21/09

Class 4


Today’s class primarily dealt with the cessation of suffering.  The steps were to peace begins with meditation, and the withdrawal from temptation.  We had a reading which described a state of rapture, which caused a brief discussion on the word.  After class, a quick review revealed that as in many English words, there are several different meanings to rapture.  The root of the word comes from the Latin,”raptus,” meaning to grab or seize.  Miriam-Webster defines rapture as:


1: an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion

2 a: a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion b: a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things

3often capitalized : the final assumption of Christians into heaven during the end-time according to Christian theology


Presumably, in our context, the word was intended to be similar to 2b.


Meditation leads to the ability to perceive reality as it is, not as we wish or fear it to be.  As our understanding deepens, we gain in our ability to be mindful, existing in the present and experiencing reality without prejudgment.  The final step results in complete awareness.


Part of this process is understanding impermanence; that there is no “pure” self.  Everything is always changing.


Class was concluded with the beginning of the eightfold path.  We covered:

Right View

Right Thought

Right Speech

Right livelihood

Right Action

            Non violence

            No theft

            No excessive physical indulgence

Right Effort

Right Mindfulness

Right Concentration


There were a couple of questions during class that lead to further discussion:

  1. Can it be possible to have Right Thought and be opposed, or are they universal
  2. What do we do when we have achieved enlightenment, and how do we know when we are there.


Class # 3 06/15/09

Class #3


Today’s class began with discussion of an internet question about the death of a loved one.  In essence, if Buddhism teaches to eliminate suffering, and suffering is caused by attachments (e.g. love) does Buddhism teach us not to form any attachments?


This discussion skips ahead a bit from the flow of class, but asked some important questions.  We learned that Buddhism teaches us to develop compassion and love for our fellows.  Also that death is not the end, just as birth is not the beginning, they are merely different forms.

Read more: Class # 3 06/15/09

Class # 2 06/08/09


Class #2...Suffering continued.


Today's class began with 3 minutes of chanting and 8 minutes of meditation.  We had some new faces and new introductions, and then we hopped back into suffering.  Starting with physical suffering, we covered:

            1. The suffering of birth.  

            2. The suffering of old age

            3. The suffering of sickness

            4. The suffering of death.

Read more: Class # 2 06/08/09

Class 1 06/01/09

Hello All.  Today's class was primarily for introduction.  We covered the basic structure of the course as well as starting the process of getting to know each other.  

As discussed, classes will be a mixture of instruction, chanting, meditation, and discussion.  After finishing the introductions, the class finally got around to (as many other classes I have taken) suffering.  We have started the discussion on the different types of suffering, and that will carry us into the next few classes.

Read more: Class 1 06/01/09

Weekly Schedule


8.00 am - 9.00 am: Public Services in English: Such as chanting, Meditation,  Dharma discussing

10:30 am – 12.30 pm: Public Services in Vietnamese: Such as chanting, Dharma discussing (with English translator), offering to the deceased ones 


English Dharma Class, open discussion.
@ Dharma Hall, Virginia Beach
1st, 2nd and 3rd  and 5thTuesdays, 7pm-8.30pm.

English Dharma Class, open discussion.
@ Pitts Center, Southern Shores, NC
4th Tuesday, 6.30pm - 8.30pm 


5:45 - 6:45 pm: One Hour Meditation. Public is welcome. English language introduction. Silent, seated meditation in the Dharma Hall.

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Public service in English: Chanting, meditating, Dharma discussing in English


8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Chanting 21 time Great Compassion Mantra (Vietnamese)


423 Davis Street

Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Phone: (757) 689 - 3408

Direct: 757 - 406 - 1726 (Mr. Mark P.)

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