It is now possible to register for all three courses of the Integrated Dharma Program at once, and receive a substantial discount. You will receive immediate access to the entire program (48 Units, 96 Texts), will retain access to the material in perpetuity, and can download and print all elements of the course at any time. This is a one-time offer, and will not be available once a single course is taken.
Living With Integrity
The first course in the program, Living with Integrity, addresses the topic of sīla, of how to live skillfully, experience profound well-being, and build a stable foundation of ethical behavior upon which progress in developing the mind and deepening wisdom can be supported and sustained. The importance of engaging actively with the teachings is emphasized, as well as allowing progress along the path to develop naturally. All the classical guidelines of the 8-fold path are covered, including speaking, acting, and living carefully, and practical approaches to sexuality and intoxication are addressed. The course includes teachings about generosity as a wider ethical practice, the cultivation of contentment, the skillful use of energy and intention, and learning to discern the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviors and states of mind. It concludes with a close reading of the householder’s guide to happiness, the Mangala Sutta, a discourse on the many kinds of blessings one can experience when living with integrity.
Developing the Mind
The second course in the program, Developing the Mind, focuses on samādhi, or the practices of meditation. When the mind can get free of its habitual restlessness and settle down upon a chosen object of attention, with some stability and clarity, one can one begin to see what the Buddha is pointing to in his teachings. Beginning with some basic ways of looking at mental training and clarifying the difference between directed and undirected meditation, the course takes a very close look at the classical instructions for meditation found in the Establishment of Mindfulness Discourse, including its important refrain, and at all four foundations of mindfulness individually. The higher concentration practices of absorption or jhāna are examined carefully, and each of the four ‘sublime abidings’ or brahma-vihāras are also investigated thoroughly. It goes on to address the issues of skillful effort and working with mental states, and concludes with a close look at the Mettā Sutta, the well-loved discourse on how to cultivate loving kindness and the many benefits of doing so.
Learning how to meditate—and how to distinguish between your helpful and unhelpful habits—is a valuable, life-altering process. But in classical Buddhist study, these practices are the precursors to the most important aspect of the path: the development of wisdom. When wisdom is present and strong, a durable sense of well-being can flourish.
The third course in the program, Deepening Wisdom, takes a close look at the cornerstone topics of Buddhism such as impermanence, non-self, and interdependent origination, beginning the process of the development of wisdom in your own life. By studying the traditional texts and applying what you learn, you cannot help but be changed. This is a great opportunity to study primary sources with the guidance of a knowledgeable and contemporary Buddhist scholar, who will translate and explain the early scriptures in a way relevant to contemporary times.
The Integrated Dharma Program consists of three parts: