Tools for Dharma guides

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First evening of a workshop conducted at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore on October 27-28 and November 26, 2001.

Main qualities of a Dharma guide

  • Discussion of useful tools for spreading the Dharma
  • A strong Dharma education and personal practice are needed

Trg I 01: Introduction (download)

Exercise and debrief

  • Demonstration of two-person Dharma question exercise
  • Starting with guided breathing meditation instruction—do body scan, set motivation, identify our faults with the goal of increasing our good qualities, recognize we want to benefit others with the ultimate aim of enlightenment

Trg I 02: Exercise (download)

Explanation of the sequence

  • Steps for two-person Dharma question exercise: Meditate, establish time parameters, do exercise, conclusion, debrief
  • Instructor acts as timekeeper, watches the group interactions
  • Debriefing—ask open-ended questions about the topic—if no response, point to someone
  • Rephrase participants’ answers and acknowledge

Trg I 03: Explanation (download)

Creating good conditions

  • Group process and dynamics
  • Dealing with embarrassing incidents
  • Trusting a lay leader
  • Body language
  • Pacing
  • Humor
  • Teaching children

Trg I 04: Explanation (download)

Preparing to lead a session

Trg I 05: Preparation (download)

Venerable Thubten Chodron’s personal meditation process

  • Heart Sutra
  • Buddha visualization
  • Aspirations
  • Purification
  • Non-duality

Trg I 06: At the session (download)

Be helpful to the listeners

  • Working with your judgmental mind when leading a group
  • Examples from prison work
  • Dealing with questions
  • Being a role model

Trg I 07: At the session (download)

Becoming a good instructor

  • Guiding meditation instruction—don’t talk the whole time
  • Types of meditation
  • Self-reflection

Trg I 08: Leading meditation (download)

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