Ananda said to the Blessed One, “This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”
“Don’t say that, Ananda. Don’t say that! Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life…”
The Third Jewel is a course that serves as a way to get personalized support from Upali while also participating in a consistent Sangha (meditation community). The course lasts for 8 weeks and is live and in-person over Zoom. At the end of the 8 sessions, the group has the option to continue meeting together on its own as a peer-led group.
You can register in the form below. You can also read more about the course below to see if this is a good fit for you. Scholarships are available if financial hardship would prevent you from attending, and Dana is welcomed if you’d like to give more after the 8 sessions are complete.
Dates: Mondays, September 27th – November 15th, 2021
Time: 1 pm New York Time / 10 am San Francisco Time / 6pm London Time*
*Course time might vary if you are attending from Europe due to daylight savings time changes. Each week the course will be based on 1 pm New York time.
What is this exactly?
After years of teaching courses, Upali has consistently seen the development and growth that comes from meditation courses is partly a result of the group dynamic itself. These sessions are an effort to celebrate the collective aspect of awakening, exploring how coming together as a group inspires, informs, and advances our practice. Simply put, this is a structured way to find community and support for your practice amidst meditation friends.
Why should I attend?
In short, attending these sessions will advance your practice and give it resilience. Sangha Sessions aim to give guidance, affirmation, and motivation. Especially if you’d like to find clarity and context in your practice, discover shared experiences, or simply find noble friends on the path, these sessions are likely a good fit for you.
What will happen within each session?
We will come together and discuss anything that is relevant to your practice from the previous week or in general. We’ll spend some time meditating together too. Upali will act as the facilitator for the group. While you’ll have the support and expertise of a teacher within the group, the sessions will focus strongly on the shared experiences of the group for answers and support as opposed to only the answers of a Dharma teacher. Upali might also utilize breakout rooms where you can talk more individually with other group participants.
What are the expectations of the course?
The main expectation of the sessions is participation. Of course, attendance is a key part of participation, but beyond showing up, participation within the sessions will include both listening and sharing. Upali’s intention is to cultivate a group dynamic that is comfortable and inviting towards sharing your personal experience about your practice and life with the group. Sharing isn’t required, but being a passive listener will be difficult in these sessions. Upali will aim to create some level of engagement with everyone in the group each session.
Is this a good fit for me?
If you’re interested in connecting with other practitioners about your meditation practice, sharing your experiences, and finding support, this is a great fit for you. If it will be hard for you to attend most of the sessions and/or sharing your experience is something you’d prefer not to do, the sessions are probably not a good fit.
Do I have enough experience to attend this course?
A history of consistent meditation/Dharma practice will be helpful in the sessions. If you don’t have this but have a desire to create consistency in your practice, the sessions can still be a good fit. Taking Upali’s Intro Course or having the equivalent experience is also helpful. If you still feel unsure about groups sessions being a good fit for you, just reach out to Upali. He’ll be happy to make sure you’re landing in the right place for your practice.