Date: 25 Mar – 27 May 2023 (10 sessions, every Sat)
Time: 2-4PM
Venue: The Buddhist Library Auditorium
Fee: this programme is freely offered
Click here to register

About this program

Are you interested in practicing Buddhism? Or are you looking to strengthen your understanding and practice?

The Meditation and Dhamma class is a recurring programme at the Buddhist Library and is one of its more popular programmes in recent years. Each run of the class comprises ten sessions, and during each session the class mentors will lead meditation sessions as well as run through specific teachings of the Buddha. Time is also allocated for Q&A.

The teachings that will be covered in 2023 are the Four Noble Truths.

It is never too late to start learning!

What are the sessions like?

A typical session begins with paying homage to the Buddha, Dhamma & Saṅgha, followed by a guided meditation session. This is followed by Dhamma Bites—a sharing of the Buddha’s teachings—Q&A, and a second guided meditation session.  The class will end with the sharing of merits.

To benefit those who are new to Buddhism, the class mentors will give an overview of the BuddhaDhamma (what the Buddha taught) at the start of the class on 25 Mar 2023. To join us, simply click here to register.

(For regulars of the class) For this run of the Meditation and Dhamma class, more time will be allocated to meditation. Less content will be covered in each week’s Dhamma Bites, but more attention will be given to content to allow better understanding and retention. The class mentors also hope to give more time to Q&A.

What are the topics?

For Dhamma Bites this year, we will be covering the Four Noble Truths. This topic will serve as a good introduction to those who are new to the Dhamma. It will also be a good revision for those who have attended the previous Meditation & Dhamma classes. For the period 25 Mar to 27 May 2023, we will cover the 1st and 2nd Noble Truths:

First Noble Truth

1)     How does the Buddha define the 1st Noble Truth? What does the Buddha mean when he said: “In brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging is suffering”?

2)     The Buddha said that the 1st Noble Truth of suffering has to be understood. How do we understand suffering in the correct way?

3)     What is the relationship between the dukkha (suffering) in the Noble Truths and the dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) in the Three Universal Characteristics?

4)     How do we apply the practice of investigating and understanding dukkha to our daily life?

We will also explain the usage of terms like “causes and conditions”, “conditioned phenomenon/states”, “five aggregates”, “three universal characteristics” to facilitate better understanding of the 1st Noble Truth.

Second Noble Truth

1)     Why are we, and not external factors, responsible for our own suffering?

2)     Why is craving (taṇhā), and not clinging (upādāna), defined as the cause of suffering?

3)     If craving is the cause of suffering, does it mean that we should totally refrain from seeking out sense pleasures?

4)     How do we know whether a desire is taṇhā (unwise craving) or chanda (wise wanting)?

5)     How do we take responsibility for our own suffering and manage craving in our daily life?

The Dhamma Bites for the 3rd & 4th Noble Truths will be covered in the second half of the year from July 2023 onwards. The schedule for this second block of classes will be released in May/June 2023.

About the teachers

The Meditation and Dhamma class mentors are Sis Foo Siew Fong (bio here), Sis Foo Siew Ee (bio here), Sis Tan Sock Hoon and Bro Tan Chau Yee (bio here).

The class mentors aim to help participants recognize the dukhha in their lives, including where it comes from; gain confidence in the Buddha’s teaching and realize that they can take this path; and experience joy at the opportunity we have all been given.

The class mentors will do this by sharing the strength and beauty of the Buddha’s teachings in a simple, clear and digestible way, practicing various meditation techniques as taught by the Buddha, and providing practical applications for everyday life. Through these sessions, they hope to inspire in all participants an abiding curiosity, interest, and determination to explore the Dhamma and live life according to the Buddha’s teachings.