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2019 Upasika Training Program

Upasikas are pillars of Portland Friends of the Dhamma and foundational to living our mission of making Theravada Thai Forest Buddhist teachings available. Serious practitioners who choose to draw near to the monastics of the Ajahn Chah lineage and live on the five precepts make this center a reality and benefit from the support of our worldwide community.

In 2019, the Upasika Training Program will undergo several shifts. Drawing on recent feedback, the Upasika program will move from several Saturday daylongs per year to 12 Sunday afternoons, the second Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., following the social time at Sunday Sila.

The program will follow the framework of the Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path, and those themes will take us through December of next year. Because this is a training program, each session will contain several elements of training, including rituals such as bowing and chanting, points of etiquette such as formal requests and sharing Dhamma reflections. We will also be chanting, meditating and taking the precepts together. There will be an opportunity for participant sharing, as well as individual practice outside the gatherings, mainly focused around the five precepts. Please understand the schedule may evolve.

At the end of the year, participants should be fluent in the etiquette and conventions of the Ajahn Chah Lineage and several traditional chants and requests. Participants will be practicing with the five precepts for lay people, nourishing a regular meditation practice and supporting monastics. We will draw heavily on the following books: In the Buddha’s Words, Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, Buddhist Rituals, and Observances, and various Dhamma talks and writings from monastics in our tradition.

This robust program offers advanced training and practice, as well as increased support on the path. It is meant to build community leaders and provide a safe place to explore the practice together as we mature in our spirituality. 

*If you are interested in joining or learning about the Upasika Training Program for the FIRST time, please contact us. More info will be going out soon on how to do that. New members will be invited to join the program after the Annual Upasika Renewal in April.