What happens in a class?
At the beginning of each class the teacher will guide a gentle, relaxing meditation in which he or she will help us to develop a beneficial motivation for attending the class.
Then the teacher will give a practical teaching on some aspect of Buddhist meditation and practice. There is usually time for discussion and questions and answers. The teachers have all trained on the Teacher Training Program and are skilled in helping us to apply Buddha’s advice to our own daily lives with appropriate analogies, stories, reasoning and humor.
The session ends with a guided meditation, designed to help us take the teaching to heart in such a way that we are confident in beginning to practice it on our own.
Afterwards, for those who wish, there is a chance to talk to the teacher and other students informally.
Having learned some methods for improving our mind, we can then continue to train in these meditations and special practices on our own. If we put these methods into practice we will experience our mind gradually becoming more peaceful, our problems diminishing, and our relationships improving.
Although the General Program classes are taught as a series, each class is self-contained, so feel free to attend any one. We frequently offer special introductory workshops, courses and retreats on the weekend at the Temple. We also hold classes throughout Los Angeles, which are an excellent way to begin this spiritual adventure.
As all General Program classes are based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books, teachers will often reference a particular section of these books. This gives us the opportunity to deepen our familiarity with the topic by engaging in follow-up study.