Book Discussion Group

2019 Winter Book Discussion

January 17 – February 21

Thursday evenings 7:45 – 9:00PM

Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

Ruth King is an international teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition, and an emotional wisdom author and life coach. She is on the Teacher’s Council at Insight Meditation Community of Washington and Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is the founder of Mindful Members Insight Meditation Community in Charlotte, NC.

In her newest publication, Mindful of Race, Ruth King invites us to: Tend first to our suffering and confusion, listen to what it is trying to teach us, and direct its energies most effectively for change. Drawing on her expertise as a meditation teacher and diversity consultant, King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with intense emotions mindfully and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care from a less tangled place to a place of greater clarity and compassion.

The group will be facilitated by Louise Smith and Katie Egart.  For more information: 937.767.7140 or

Discussion Schedule

Jan. 17:
Messy At Best!  pp. 253 – 260
Introduction: Racism is a Heart Disease and It’s Curable!

Jan. 24:
Chapter 1: Two Realities, One Truth
Chapter 2:  Individual and Group Racial Identity
Chapter 3: Racial Group Dominance and Subordination

Jan. 31:
Chapter 4:  Six Hindrances to Racial Harmony
Chapter 5: Life Is Not Personal, Permanent, or Perfect
Chapter 6:  Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice

Feb.  7:
Chapter 7: Cultivating Calm: Sitting and Walking Practice
Chapter 8: Kindness Practice
Chapter 9: Understanding the Cycle of Misperception

Feb. 14:
Chapter 10: Working with Racial Distress:  RAIN practice
Chapter 11:  Cultivating Moral Character
Chapter 12:  Compassion Practice

Feb. 21:
Chapter 13: The Wake-Up Call: Racial Affinity Groups
Chapter 14:  Talking About What Disturbs You
Chapter 15:  What White People Can Do With Privilege

Feb.  28:
Chapter 16:  What People of Color Must Do Together
Chapter 17:  Artistry:  Cultural Medicine
Chapter 18: Equanimity Practice


2018 Fall Book Discussion

September 6 – October 4, 2018 

Thursday Evenings 7:45 – 9:00 PM

Sadness, Love, Openness: The Buddhist Path Of Joy by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

Accessible, playful, and genuine, this concise guide shows how we can incorporate our own daily experiences into our spiritual path and awaken to how things truly are. By embracing sadness, love, and openness in our lives, we develop an altruistic attitude to help all beings who suffer and to reduce our own greed and aggression.

“Different traditions differ in how they understand and use the term mindfulness, yet they agree on the nondual nature of mind and the need for authentic instruction and practice. As venerable Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche describes in this elegant, succinct, and extremely useful primer on essential Dharma as a way of being, there are many different methods in the universe of meditation, but in the end—and from the beginning—those that are authentic and trustworthy serve one purpose, and that is realized, embodied wakefulness.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living

“Here we learn how to truly appreciate all of life—in full sadness and full happiness—with the simple recipe of being calm, kind, and aware, and full of joy in everything.” — Piet Hut, professor of astrophysics and head of the program in Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton

Copies of this book may be ordered at the Epic Book Shop or
Sam & Eddie’s Open Books in Yellow Springs

For more information call 937-767-1034





Life and death are a package deal.  They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death.  The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves.  As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people.  In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path to transformation.

“Frank Ostaseski has brought together wisdom and compassion in his life and in his long years of work with the dying.  We will all be enriched, inspired , and edified by his extraordinary book on how facing death can enrich our life. “
Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., founder and abbot of Upaya Zen Center, and author of Being With Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death.


April 12: Foreword, Introduction
April 19: The First Invitation: Don’t Wait (chapters 1-4)
April 26: The Second Invitation: Welcome Everything, Push Nothing Away (chapters 5-7)
May 3: NO MEETING  Rebecca Bradshaw Dharma Talk
May 10: The Third Invitation: Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience (chapters 8-11)
May 17: The Fourth Invitation: Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things (chapters 12-14)
May 24: The Fifth Invitation: Cultivate Don’t Know Mind (chapters 15-17) and Epilogue
For more information: or 937-767-7140


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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