What we're about
What’s Happening With Us During The Pandemic (Last updated 4/18/2022)
Because of the dangers inherent in meeting in person, we suspended our practices in March of 2020. We had hoped to be able to resume our normal activities the following September, but because of the continuing threat, we couldn’t.
It's now two+ years later and we're still virtual. However, concerns are easing, so things may be changing soon. One of the positive aspects of the pandemic has been our forced move to virtual practices. The obvious downside is that it's not the same as being together. The upside is that our national sangha has been able to practice together regularly.
Over the spring and summer of 2022, we will be considering what comes next for our group. We will communicate our plans to everyone in our Meetup group as well as everyone on our normal DTO mailing list.
In the meantime, we offer this to you:
• May you be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
• May you be free from injury.
• May you live in safety.
• May you be free from disturbance, fear, and anxiety.
• May you learn to look at yourself with the eyes of understanding and love.
• May you be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in yourself.
• May you learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in yourself.
• May you know how to nourish the seeds of joy in yourself every day.
• May you be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
• May you be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.
The Dharma Teacher Order is a group of monastics and laypeople who follow the Vietnamese Zen (Thien) Buddhist tradition and are interested in 1) learning more about the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings), 2) developing our spiritual practices, and 3) making the Dharma available to the Western Hemisphere.
The DTO was founded in 2000 by the Venerable Thich Tri Hoang and is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) religious organization with five locations across the country, one of which meets in West Hartford.
We are respectful of all Buddhist traditions as well as other religious denominations and welcome interaction with all of them.
We meet every other week during the academic year (September to April). During our practices we have some ceremony, some chanting (The Heart Sutra), recite the Five Precepts, have seated and walking meditation, and have a dharma talk and discussion. The talks are given by one of the DTO students or teachers and are based on the current book we're reading.
Whether you’re only somewhat curious about the ideas expressed in Buddhism and want to learn a little more, or you already know the depth and breadth of the ‘skillful means’ of the teachings and want to deepen your understanding, we wholeheartedly welcome you to join us, be it only occasionally, or regularly.
You may simply 'audit' the course, attending when you want with no obligations, or you may enroll in our Buddhist Studies course. More details are available on our website at dharmateacherorder.org. Over the course of the year, we read some fascinating books covering a variety of perspectives on Buddhism. We read a different set of books each year, and then after the fourth year, start back at year one. You can start with us at any time, no year is a prerequisite for another. The book list is available on the website at dharmateacherorder.org/book-list
If this is your first visit with us, plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early so that you can chat with someone about what to expect in our practices.
There's nothing you need to bring. We provide cushions and chairs for the sitting portion of our practice, however, you're welcome to bring your own cushion or meditation bench if you’d prefer.
A typical number of people attending one of our practices is between 10 and 20. The number of attendees Meetup shows for past meetups is misleading since most of our members aren't using Meetup. Instead, they get meeting reminders via our private mailing list.