Book Discussion Group

2018 Winter Book Discussion

Thursday evenings; Jan. 18 – Mar. 8, 2018

Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators by Guy Armstrong

It may seem odd for emptiness to serve as a central idea in Buddhist thought and practice. In fact, emptiness points to something quite different than “nothingness” or “vacancy.” And by developing a richer understanding of this complex topic, we can experience freedom as we live consciously in the world. Guy Armstrong has been a leading figure and beloved teacher of insight meditation for decades. In this book, he makes difficult Buddhist topics easy to understand, weaving together Theravada and Mahayana teachings on emptiness to show how we can liberate our minds and manifest compassion in our lives.

“Armstrong’s book is an insightful exploration of one of the most confusing Buddhist teachings; inexperienced and experienced practitioners alike will find it very rewarding and thought-provoking.” (Publishers Weekly)

Emptiness is a brilliant and practical introduction to the practice and attainment of liberation. Encapsulating Guy Armstrong’s decades of dedicated Buddhist practice and study, Emptiness presents profound Buddhist teachings and describes ways practitioners can experience them for themselves. This is an important foundation for anyone interested in the meditation practices of Buddhism.” (Gil Fronsdal, author of The Buddha before Buddhism)

Copies of Emptiness may be ordered at Open Books in Yellow Springs or from the publisher at

January 18: Introduction and Chapters 1&2

January 25: Chapters 3&4

February 1: Chapters 5&6

February 8: Chapters 7,8&9

February 15: Chapters 10,11&12

February 22: Chapters 13,14&15

March 1: Chapters 16,17&18

March 8: Chapters 19,20&21

For more information, call Linda at 572-9077.



2017 Fall Book Discussion

Thursday nights: Sept. 21 – Nov. 9 from 7:45-9:00 PM

Current New York Times Best Seller

Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright

Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy.
About the Author
Robert Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of The Evolution of God (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Nonzero, The Moral Animal, and Three Scientists and their Gods. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, and The New Republic. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton University, where he also created the popular online course “Buddhism and Modern Psychology.”

September 21: A Note to Readers, Chapters 1&2, pp xi-26

September 28: Chapter 3&4, pp 27-57

October 5: Chapters 5&6, pp 58-90

October 12: Chapters 7&8, pp 91-120

October 19: Chapters 9&10, pp 121-152

October 26: Chapters 11&12, pp 153-192

November 2: Chapters 13&14, pp 193-224

November 9: Chapters 15&16, pp 225-266

The Dharma Center will have two copies of the book available for short term loan. Copies may also be ordered at Open Books or Epic Books in Yellow Springs.

For more information


March 9 – May 4, 2017
The Intelligent Heart

Compassion arises naturally when one comes to perceive the lack of solid distinction between self and other. The Buddhist practice known as tonglen—in which one consciously exchanges self for other—is a skillful method for getting to that truthful perception. In this, his commentary on the renowned Tibetan lojong (mind training) text the Seven Points of Mind Training, Dzigar Kongtrul reveals tonglen to be the true heart and essence of all mind-training practices. He shows how to train the mind in a way that infuses every moment of life with uncontrived kindness toward all.

“Before starting a revolution, you must first have a resistance movement.  And for that, you need concrete, intelligent reasons for resisting.  It won’t help your resistance to rely on unclear, emotional, abstract reasoning.  When the reasons for resistance or a revolution are not clear and precise, the movement can be easily infiltrated and bought by the enemy, as has happened many times in human history.”  Dzigar Kongtrul in,  The Intelligent Heart.  

The Intelligent Heart shines a clear light on the method for exchanging self for other, developing compassion, and freeing one’s heart. In addition, it’s fun to read, with helpful illustrations and a keen sense of humor.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

The following are the pages that will be discussed at each meeting.

March 9, Forward, Introduction and Point One: pp 11-22
March 16, Point Two: pp 23-58
March 23, Point Three: pp 59-83
March 30, No Meeting
April 6, Point Four: pp 85-103
April 13, Point Five: pp 105-115
April 20, Point Six: pp 117-143
April 27, Point Seven, part one: pp 145-157
May 4, Point Seven, part two: pp 157-168 and Conclusion: pp 169-170

Copies of this book may be ordered at Open Books in Yellow Springs or from the publisher at

For More information call 937-767-1034


The Dharma Center is collaborating with the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions to offer

Eco-Sattva Training


An Audio Course for aspiring Eco-Sattvas

Thursdays, 7:45 – 9:00PM, Jan. 12 – Feb. 16, 2017

How will we act on climate disruption with wisdomcourage and compassion?

What does it mean to express a Buddhist response to climate change? What does our wisdom tradition and our love for this life call us to do? How can we respond with wisdom, compassion and courage?

The term “EcoSattva” is a blend of “eco” or “ecology” with “Boddhisattva,” an enlightened being wholly dedicated to the freedom and well-being of others. We hope to support aspiring EcoSattvas in a diverse and powerful body of response, tailored to their aspirations and abilities and grounded in the demands of their local situations. Specifically, the course will endeavor to

  1. Root action on climate in Dharma practice
  2. Develop Sangha by connecting EcoSattvas with each other and outside partners
  3. Inspire and inform “appropriate response”

For more information on the course teachers and content go here.


Group begins Thursday Sept. 15


Making Friends With Yourself
Discussion, Readings, and Video teachings with Pema Chodron
Thursday Evenings 7:45 – 9:00pm
Sept. 15 ~ 22 ~ 29, Oct. 6 ~ 13 ~ 20, Nov. 3~ 10~17

Among video topics to be discussed are:

 Understanding Ignorance: Where Suffering Begins
 Samsara is a Cycle: the Twelve Nidanas
 Nowness Gives Rise to Bodhichitta: Connecting to Sacred World


For more information:






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