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Discovering Buddhism Death and Rebirth

Death and Rebirth (Taught by Ven. George Churinoff)
(Discovering Buddhism, Module 5)

The Guhyasamaja Center, 10875 Main Street, Unit 108, Fairfax, VA, 22030

Venerable George Churinoff (Gelong Thubten Tsultrim) was born in Chicago and graduated from MIT in 1967 with a B.Sc. in Physics. After attending graduate school in Physics, he taught at Choate School in Connecticut and American Community School in Beruit. He took ordination as a Novice monk in India with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in 1976 and as a Gelong (or Bhikshu, a fully ordained monk) with Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in 1977.
Venerable George was instrumental in founding the Master's Program at Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa in Italy, studying and teaching for eight years with an additional three year tenure at Tushita Delhi. During that period, he received an MA in Buddhist Studies from Delhi University in 1991. Then followed three years of working with Lama Osel Rinpoche as his English curriculum tutor at Sera Je Monastery in South India.

Ven. George has done many retreats in the Sutra and Tantra traditions and has taught extensively in America, Europe, India and Nepal, Russia, Mongolia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and most recently in the US where he taught the FPMT Basic Program at Land of Medicine Buddha for more than two years.

Class Dates:

Sat. Feb. 16 10:30 AM - 12:30
Sat. Feb. 23. 10:30 AM - 12:30, lunch break, resume 1:30 - 3:30
Sat. March 2 10:30 AM - 12:30, lunch break, resume 1:30 - 3:30
Sat. March 9. 10:30 AM - 12:30, lunch break, resume 1:30 - 3:30

Suggested donation: Members $25, Non-members ($30), no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Understand life, death and rebirth and the nature of mind. Learn to use fear of death to overcome fear of death. Discover how to use the certainty and imminence of death to enhance your quality of life. Practice analytical and placement meditation. See how the entire path to enlightenment hangs together as a cohesive whole and where the teachings on impermanence and death, the first and last that the Buddha gave, fit in.!

Completion Certificate
In order to earn a completion certificate for the Discovering Buddhism, you will have to participate in all the modules taught at the center. If you have to miss individual classes, these can be made up by listening to recordings or doing extra reading. You’ll also be expected to actively participate by doing related Dharma reading assignments, participating in classes, and taking quizzes as part of the classes. Earning a completion certificate will also involve engaging in a number of group retreats which the center will organize. And, it’ll also involve meditating regularly meditations at home as well as doing a number of the traditional preliminary practices (Ngon-dro) either at home or in a retreat setting according to your preference.

The completion certificate for Discovering Buddhism is acknowledged by Guhyasamaja Center, by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), and by other FPMT centers. Those actively engaged in earning the completion certificate will be eligible to apply to become meditation facilitators at Guhyasamaja Center. Those who’ve earned a completion certificate are eligible to apply to become a registered teacher with FPMT International.

Anyone is welcome to attend any of these Discovering Buddhism classes. You can drop in as you wish. However, if you wish to take Discovering Buddhism for a completion certificate, then you are expected to attend at least 75% of each module in person. Missed classes should be made up using the on-line recordings. If you are taking the full, two-year program for a completion certificate and you miss more than 75% of one module, you should talk with Lorne. Also, those taking the program for a completion certificate must complete each module’s “completion card” indicating that you’ve done the readings, done the meditations, and attended the final retreat. If someone wishes to take some modules fully but misses one or more modules, those modules can be made up the next time that the center presents the full two-year program.

Suggested Donations
Many people have asked about the cost of the Discovering Buddhism program. It is the policy of Guhyasamaja Center that we do not charge for Dharma classes. The center does totally rely on donations to continue existing. In particular, we are hoping to get a more permanent and stable location for the center during 2012. So, for those who can do so, we suggest that participants sign up for center membership at whatever level you can. Suggested donations for classes are as follows:
The Day-long Retreat—Center Members: $20 Non-Members: $45
(Note: for the day-long intensive, food is not included in this suggested donation; those who wish to do so can join together in contributing to order in lunch for that day and others are welcome to bring along a lunch from home.)

--If you're experiencing unemployment or a financial hardship of any kind please do not worry about providing a donation for teachings, there are many other ways you can contribute to our community and no one will ever be turned away due to lack of funds--

More About becoming a Center Facilitator... HERE

We recognize that not everyone will be able to attend all modules over the course of two years. So, one option available will be to take some modules and not others. You can then receive credit for the modules you have completed. You can then plan to complete the other modules in the future at Guhyasamaja Center or even at other FPMT centers.

Also, some people may wish to learn but not have the time to do the readings or the ability to attend classes as regularly as they’d like. So, we want to be clear that these Discovering Buddhism classes will be open to anyone. You don’t have to be participating fully to participate or to benefit. The classes will be particularly aimed at the more students who are fully engaging in the module being taught, but the meditations and most of the material presented should be accessible to a wide range of students. Those fully engaging in the program will naturally receive the maximum benefit. But, Discovering Buddhism is designed to be accessible to a wide range of students.

The primary teacher for this two-year program will be Lorne Ladner, Ph.D. He is the director of the Guhyasamaja Center and is a registered teacher of Discovering Buddhism with FPMT. The center also plans to invite other senior teachers to visit to teach all or part of specific modules in order to give students the opportunity to experience a variety of teaching styles.

How to Find out More
You can learn more about Discovering Buddhism by reviewing the information about this program on FPMT’s website. Then we will schedule an informational meeting at Guhyasamaja Center in the late summer or early fall about this program. If you’d like to receive updates and more information about that meeting, then email director at (using the @ symbol)

An Overview of the Discovering Buddhism Modules:

(Note that they will not be taught in this precise order at the center)…….

The 14 Discovering Buddhism Modules (and status)

1. Mind and Its Potential (completed)
Examine the mind and how it creates happiness and suffering. Learn to transform destructive thoughts and attitudes to create a positive and joyous mind!

2. How to Meditate (completed)
Learn the definition and purpose of meditation, how to sit, how to set up a meditation session, different meditation techniques, and how to deal with obstacles to meditation.

3. Presenting the Path (completed)
Get an overview of the entire Tibetan Buddhist path to awakening. Study the life story of the Buddha and discover a unique system for putting Buddhist philosophy into practice – the lam-rim, or "graduated path to enlightenment."

4. The Spiritual Teacher (completed)
Investigate the role of the teacher on the spiritual path: the need for a teacher, the qualities of teacher and student, and how to relate to a teacher for greatest benefit.

5. Death and Rebirth
Explore the process of death and rebirth and its impact on how we live our lives. Learn to fulfill your purpose in life, resolve conflicts, and develop the skills to help yourself and others at death.

6. All About Karma (completed)
Learn the essential facts about the law of cause and effect. Explore ways to deal with life most effectively and take control of your future!

7. Refuge in the Three Jewels (completed)
Find out what it means to take refuge in the Three Jewels and the essential practices of refuge. Learn about the advantage of taking lay vows and their role in enhancing our spiritual growth.

8. Establishing a Daily Practice (completed)
Assemble the tools you need to develop a successful daily practice and find out the elements necessary to generate realizations. Get some tips for making every action meaningful.

9. Samsara and Nirvana
Investigate what "samsara" is and how we are stuck in it. Find out what "nirvana" is and how to achieve it. Learn how to be free from suffering and empower yourself with practical tools to deal with and eliminate disturbing emotions forever.

10. How to Develop Bodhichitta
Discover practices that develop our innate qualities of compassion. Learn to apply these techniques to generate the mind of bodhichitta, known as the very heart of Buddha's teachings.

11. Transforming Problems
Learn the disadvantages of self-cherishing and the advantages of cherishing others. Learn to employ the special techniques of mind training (lojong) to transform problems into happiness.

12. Wisdom of Emptiness
The realization of emptiness is crucial for the attainment of liberation and enlightenment. Learn to develop calm abiding and different methods of meditation on emptiness.

13. Introduction to Tantra
Learn what tantra is, how it works, and why it is a powerful form of practice. Get a broad overview of the four classes of tantra and learn to practice simple Kriya tantric methods. Learn to integrate tantra with lam-rim meditation for optimal results.

14. Special Integration Experiences
By undertaking intensive practices of purification and a two-week lam-rim retreat, you prepare your mind in the best way to realize the path to enlightenment. Purification practices include: 100,000 prostrations, 3-month Vajrasattva retreat, and Nyung Nä. This is a great way to seal the blessings of this program!

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