Dharma Study Group

The Princeton Insight Meditation Dharma Study Group meets on Sundays from 3:00 to 5:00pm via Zoom. Email us at info@princetoninsightmeditation.org for meeting details.

This page will always have links to the texts for the upcoming sessions, along with other materials and announcements for the course.

If you have questions about the group, please email us at study@PrincetonInsightMeditation.org

Here is the link to this week’s course materials.

Current course (starts January 8th): Mindfulness of the body (Kayagatasati and Satipatthana Suttas)

NOTE: The first session of this course on January 8th will be online only via Zoom. In-person meetings will resume on January 15th.

Princeton Insight Meditation is pleased to announce the next study program in our Sunday Dharma Study Group sessions: an in-depth look at mindfulness of the body. This course will start on Sunday, January 8th and last fifteen weeks.

We will cover the Discourse on Mindfulness of the Body (MN 119: Kayagatasati Sutta) as well as the Mindfulness of the Body section of the Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10), discussing the significant overlaps as well as the key differences between the two. In the parable of the six creatures, the Buddha likened Mindfulness of the Body as the strong post or stake that helps rein and calm the six sense spheres. If helping calm the six sense spheres (and especially the sixth one, the mind) is important to you, then this constitutes a detailed practical guide to doing so. In the four foundations of mindfulness in the Satipatthana Sutta, it is Mindfulness of the Body that is listed first. It also receives more extensive coverage in the sutta, more than the other three foundations combined. While it is clearly a foundational practice, the Buddha states that it is much more in the benefits section of MN 119. So we invite you to be part of our journey to study and live this practice together.

Each course session will include reading Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of the discourse; exploring the text in detail; doing practical meditations and exercises; and group discussions. All necessary course materials will be provided. You can find more details in the course syllabus.

This course is another in a series of in-depth studies of selected suttas (discourses) from the Majjhima Nikaya, or collection of Middle-Length Discourses. The Dhamma (or the teachings) is divided into five Nikayas (or collections). The Theravada school holds that all the teachings of the Buddha are contained in the suttas of these five Nikayas. Bhikku Bodhi especially recommends the study of the Majjhima Nikaya because, in his words, it “combines the richest variety of contextual settings with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings”.

Although typically such sutta study is undertaken by people with experience in Buddhist meditation, anyone who wants to get to the core of the Buddha’s teachings by working directly with the texts is welcome. As always, the Sunday Dharma Study Group is open to all. Newcomers are welcome to join us at any time, although the start of a new course is an especially good time to start.