The teaching methodology
Buddhism emphasizes experience as a basis for learning and transformation. Different formsof daily mindfulness practices and meditation are designed to help participants form thefoundation for their peace work. The teaching methodology will combine learning throughlecture, experiential learning activities, skills building and spiritual training. Experientiallearning activities help participants go beyond the intellectual and information andincorporates a holistic model, in which participants use head, heart, hands, and spirit(intellectual, emotional, kinesthetic, and spiritual modalities) in the learning process.Learning methods will include small group discussion, role-plays, group challenges, audio-video and visual aids, exposure trips to witness from real situations, and a meditation retreat.This approach incorporates Buddhist perspectives as well as practice.
The course content
Introduction to Buddhism, brief history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia.
Learning the main Buddhist teachings, primarily the Four Noble Truths and the eightfoldnoble paths to analyze different social problems such as women's oppression, poverty,gender- based violence conflict at different levels (personal, community and global) anduse them a guide for solutions.
Deconstructing and challenging Buddhist misinterpretations such as the notion of karmathat are promoting and sustaining oppression and violence particularly on women andissue of gender and diversity.
Using the Four Abiding Abodes (Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity) asguidance for action on building peaceful and healthy relationships and community.
The intersections of Buddhism and Feminism; the role of Women in Buddhism; andBuddhism and violence against women.
Buddhism and Non-Violent Action.
Challenging ourselves as Buddhist activists -- how to create balance to avoid burnout,and how to be driven by compassion and joy instead of anger and despair.
Daily Mindfulness practice and meditation.
Core Skills for Participants
We have identified core skills that we expect participants can develop or foster through thecurriculum which integrates personal mindfulness practice, concepts for social change andcommunity building. These skills will support participants’ process of personaltransformation leading to take action for social change. These core skills include:
Building peace within: working with fear, stress, despair, and anger from a Buddhistmethodology and practice.
Cultivating mindfulness, awareness, and inner peace
Mindful/deep listening and Buddhist feminist counseling skills
Collective, power sharing leadership for social change
Non-violent action for social change, conflict transformation and peace building
Giving and receiving constructive feedback
Social problems analysis skill based upon the Buddhist teachings.
Diversity and anti-oppression work (understanding privilege and power)/working acrossdifferences