Local News

Bet Haverim offers classes on Buddhism and Judaism

By From page A3 | February 08, 2013

On six consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning next week, Kol HaNefesh at Congregation Bet Haverim is sponsoring a series of classes called “Stepping into Freedom: Explorations of Buddhism and its Crossroads with Judaism and Passover.”

The classes, which will be led by Bet Haverim member Michael Amster, will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. in the synagogue’s social hall, 1715 Anderson Road in Davis, will provide an overview of meditation and Buddhist philosophy while exploring how those topics overlap with Judaism.

The series will introduce and provide instruction in various meditation styles and will present an overview of the Buddhist philosophy of freedom from suffering. The final two sessions will specifically explore themes from Passover and how different conceptions of freedom are shared by Judaism and Buddhism.

Sessions will include large- and small-group interactions, basic instruction in philosophical concepts, and hands-on experience with meditation and with a variety of mindfulness practices.

Amster, a physician and a credentialed teacher/dharma leader of meditation and Buddhism, has studied Buddhist meditation for 20 years. He has taught hundreds of patients mindfulness techniques for working skillfully with chronic pain. He also completed a two-year intensive dharma leader training program in the lineage of insight meditation offered at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Eve Decker, a professional musician and a graduate of a dharma leader program who is the cantor at Bet Haim in Danville, will co-teach at least one of the sessions.

The suggested donation for the series is $36. Participation in all classes is encouraged, but interested individuals may attend any combination of classes. Send checks made payable to CBH (with “Amster classes” in the memo line) to Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road, Davis CA 95616.

For more information, email Amster at [email protected].

Special to The Enterprise

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