Gil Fronsdal: "What is a Buddhist Practitioner to Make of Emptiness?"
6:30–7:15 p.m., Optional meditation
7:30 p.m., Talk
Teachings on emptiness have an important place in most Buddhist traditions. In the earliest period of Buddhism in India, insights and experiences of emptiness were closely connected with awakening or liberation. This talk will present the practices and realizations of emptiness, which the Buddha taught as part of the path to awakening.
Gil Fronsdal is the primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California; he has been teaching since 1990. He has practiced Zen and Vipassanā in the U.S. and Asia since 1975. He was a Theravāda monk in Myanmar (then Burma) in 1985, and in 1989 began training with Jack Kornfield to be a Vipassanā teacher. Gil teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where he is part of its Teachers Council.
Gil was ordained as a Sōtō Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982, and in 1995, received Dharma Transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. He is currently serving on the SF Zen Center Elders’ Council.
Gil has an undergraduate degree in agriculture from U.C. Davis, where he was active in promoting the field of sustainable farming. In 1998, he received a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford University, studying the earliest developments of the bodhisattva ideal. His books include The Issue at Hand, essays on mindfulness practice; a translation of The Dhammapada, published by Shambhala Publications; and A Monastery Within, a book of Buddhist teaching stories published by Tranquil Books.