Dharma Rain provides many opportunities to take workshops and classes ranging from introductory workshops for those new to Dharma Rain to seminary classes for those ready to delve more deeply in the Buddhist teachings.
Three introductory workshops are offered regularly throughout the year. These workshops provide basic information and helpful tips, allowing attendees to ask questions to personalize the experience and find their way into the practice.
- Intro to Zen Meditation – This class introduces zazen, which means “sitting meditation.” This workshop is designed for complete beginners, but it is also recommended for anyone who has not received instruction in the Soto Zen style of zazen. No previous experience is necessary. The workshop presents the purpose of zazen, fundamentals of posture, and specific techniques, including how to modify posture for physical limitations. The workshop includes a period of meditation and an opportunity to ask questions.
- Starting A Practice – This workshop offers tips on starting a practice. It emphasizes the way we can cultivate insight by looking at our own actions in the light of the Buddhist Precepts, the importance of compassion in Zen practice, and how the principles of meditation apply to every activity. Some time is spent on the forms used at Dharma Rain. This includes an explanation of the altar and other items found in the zendo (meditation hall), and the use of chanting, bowing, and other practices encountered during retreats and services.
- Basic Buddhist Teachings – This workshop is for those beginning Buddhist practice who want to know more about the basic teachings of Buddhism. This periodic 2-hour workshop explores the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. We also introduce other teachings, with opportunities to discuss those of interest to workshop participants.
Wednesday Evening Classes
On Wednesday evenings, a series of classes are offered that focus primarily on Buddhist teaching, particularly from the Soto Zen perspective. Courses in the Foundational Teachings of Buddhism and the Bodhisattva Precepts are offered annually. Wednesday evening classes provide a good opportunity to explore basic Buddhist teachings, and emphasize personal experience with the material. They also involve discussion, which provides opportunities for interaction with others in the sangha. This is a great way to learn and meet others.
Taking Your Seat
A series of classes offered periodically called Taking Your Seat covers a range of topics of interest to newer members.