Benedict's Dharma 2 / A Benedictine Experience

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Benedict's Dharma 2
In Historic New Harmony, Indiana
Five Day Retreat - April 29, 2003 - May 3, 2003
A Buddhist/Christian Dialogue on the 'Rule of Saint Benedict'

About | Photos | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Benedict's Dharma II Forty Episcopalian men and women from around the country gathered for this very special "Benedictine Experience" inspired by the book, "Benedict's Dharma," in historic New Harmony, Indiana.

Sister Mary Margaret Funk, OSB, executive director of MID (Monastic Inter-religious Dialogue), Rev. Kusala Bhikshu an American born Buddhist monk, and Mr. Karl Peterson a specialist in early Christian music guide participants through Benedict's Dharma 2 - A Buddhist/Christian - Benedictine Experience.

In Benedict's Dharma the book, a Zen priest Norman Fisher, meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein, professor Judith Simmer-Brown, and Yifa, a nun of the Chinese Buddhist tradition, flesh out The Rule of Saint Benedict, which has guided the organization and daily life of the Western Christian monastic tradition since the ninth century. Time after time, these Buddhists find in The Rule of Saint Benedict, which is included in its entirety, points that resonate with the their own experiences--points such as an emphasis on reverence, a pragmatic Sister Meg and Rev. Kusala went through the book Benedict's Dharma chapter by chapter during this Benedictine experience adding their unique perspective.

'Benedict's Dharma 2 in PDF' is available for free download / Click Here

Day One


Sister Meg - The History of Benedict's Dharma the Book, History of the Rule of St. Benedict, The Spiritual Journey, Christian Renunciation and Practice.

Rev. Kusala - God, Soul, Heaven, Sin, The Eightfold Path, Relative and Ultimate Reality, Unity and Diversity.

Q&A - Levels of Dialogue, If someone breaks a Monastic Rule, IBMC and the Formless Rule, Monastic Accountability, Formless Practice, Goals.

Day Two


Sister Meg - The Effects of Original Sin, The Art of Discernment, The Essence of Vigils, The Difference Between Therapy and Spirituality.

Rev. Kusala - What is Freedom, Is Ownership Real, Forgiveness and Acceptance, Patience.

Q&A - How Does a Catholic Die, How Does a Buddhist Die, The Difference Between Suicide and Dying in a State of Grace, A Visit to the Coroner's Office, Compassion and Loving-Kindness, Getting Ready for Death.

Day Three


Sister Meg - Monastic Way of Life, Community is Not Optional, Accountability and Obedience, Being Celibate.

Rev. Kusala - The five precepts, Buddhist Meditation, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, and Not-Self.

Q&A - Extrasensory Perception, Balance and the Middle Way, Not-Self and Ego, Jesus Christ/Human, Christianity and Suffering, Rebirth or Reincarnation, Inter-religious Dialogue.

Day Four


Sister Meg - American Benedictine Monasticism, The Divine Office, The Essence of Monastic Life, The Essence of Contemplative Life.

Rev. Kusala - A Short History of Buddhism, Buddhism in the West, Monks and Dharma Teachers, Unity and

Q&A - Pureland Buddhism, Tibetan Mandala's, Refuge in Buddhism, Dangers in Meditation Practice.

Day Five


Sister Meg - Seeking God Through the Rule of St. Benedict, The Practice of Silence, The Unskillfulness of Murmuring, Pan in Kusala's Room, Ghosts and Demons, Leadership and Humility.

Rev. Kusala - Spirit's of the Dead, Life in the Monastery, Where Does Humility Come From, My Ultimate Authority.

Q&A - Where the Dharma Came From, The Pitfalls of Christian Meditation, People with Powers - Good or Evil, The Danger of Oneness, Emptiness