Sīla – ethical living and integrity – is the cornerstone upon which the entire Noble Eightfold Path is built. This day-long workshop focuses upon sīla as a practice. We look at how to live skillfully, experience profound well-being, and build a stable foundation of ethical behavior upon which progress in developing the mind and deepening wisdom can be supported and sustained.
The program includes a nuanced reading of the textual passages describing the five precepts, as well as teachings about generosity as a wider ethical practice, the cultivation of contentment, the skillful use of energy and intention, and learning to discern the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviors and states of mind. It concludes with a close reading of the householder’s guide to happiness, the Mangala Sutta, a discourse on the many kinds of blessings one can experience when living with integrity.
Appropriate for both new and experienced meditators, this course is primarily lecture with some periods of discussion and meditation.
Andrew Olendzki, PhD, is a Buddhist scholar, teacher, and writer living in Amherst, Massachusetts. Trained at Lancaster University (UK), the University of Sri Lanka (Perediniya), and Harvard, he spent 25 years in Barre, MA in leadership roles, first at IMS and then at BCBS. He has taught at numerous New England colleges, was a senior scholar at the Mind & Life Institute working on the Mapping the Mind project, and has been a longtime member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Andrew has contributed chapters to many books on Buddhist psychology, writes regularly for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and is the author of Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism (Wisdom, 2010) and Untangling Self: A Buddhist Investigation of Who We Really Are (Wisdom, 2016). He is currently a visiting assistant professor at Wesleyan University, and has created a number of online courses as the senior scholar of the Integrated Dharma Institute (integrateddharmainstitute.org).