An ongoing, modular program designed for those who wish to study Buddhist Tantra teachings and practices with a supportive cohort of fellow practitioners.

 Introductory Meeting to be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018.  Register Here.

altarBEGINNING THE WEEKEND of March 17 and 18, 2018, Sukhasiddhi will be offering the next 5-month module of the ongoing dharma training program specifically for those who are interested in exploring and deepening dharma practice and who want to be part of a spiritual community of like-minded individuals.  This is the first program of Sukhasiddhi’s four programs which lead practitioners through the full range of Tibetan Buddhist practices (Shangpa lineage). The Dharma Training Program consists of a two-year cycle of 5-month modules, which can be entered into at the start of any module.

Through the structure of regular meetings, regular weekly classes and daily meditation practice the conditions will be set for authentic change toward living with an open heart. There are number of key subjects which will drive this program and inform the activities:  the Bodhisattva Path, Bodhichitta, Buddhist psychology. beginning Vajrayana meditation, and death and dying.  This program is open to both new and continuing students, and will introduce a variety of Buddhist ideas and practices. Each person will be supported to choose and practice an authentic path that suits their life and temperament.

The program will include two weekend and one day-long retreats, and two weekly class series that will cover important and powerful topics about the dharma path. Participants will also connect with a Sukhasiddhi teacher and meet personally with them one time over a five-month period to discuss their practice and get questions answered. While some experience with meditation is helpful, the program is open to anyone who has strong intention and feels drawn to participate. There is an interview process to make sure it’s a fit. The program will open to new students every five months, and move through different practices.

An information meeting on the program will be held on Thursday, March 8th at 7pm, which can be attended in person or by live stream video. More Information Here.

Program Description and Detail

Perspective

The Buddhist teachings in this program are from the Vajrayana – or Buddhist tantra, often called Tibetan Buddhist – perspective. Buddhist Tantra offers an extraordinary set of practices that, when engaged in with sincerity and with appropriate transmissions and guidance, liberate our ignorance and loosen our habitual patterns and conditioning. Under the guidance of qualified teachers, the Vajrayana path powerfully transforms our psycho-physical system so we can directly experience and abide in the true nature of ourselves, and all that is.

Throughout this process of transformation we learn to increasingly rest in our direct experience, and begin to differentiate illusions from genuine reality, constructions from truth. Practices that facilitate wise action, compassion and loving kindness open and flourish within us. Our ordinary experiences, which are marked by suffering, are transformed into the awakened experience of reality as the union of bliss and emptiness.

– Lama Palden

Objectives

The Dharma Training program is for people who would like to:

  • Begin a systematic, thorough spiritual training in Buddhist Tantra (Vajrayana)
  • Deepen their commitment to their spiritual path
  • Establish or intensify a daily meditation practice
  • Engage in a transformational process
  • Study with a supportive group of dharma friends

Through the structure of regular meetings (2 weekends and a daylong per module), regular weekly classes, and a personalized daily meditation practice, the conditions will be set for authentic change and transformation.

Curriculum

This module of the Dharma Training program will focus on the practice of shamatha (calm abiding) meditation and the topic of death and dying as viewed by the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism.

It takes courage to look at our personal relationship with death. The awareness that death can happen at any time threatens everything that we hold dear. It threatens our efforts to maintain our world and sense of self as solid and real and leaves us feeling raw and vulnerable. Losses in life and of loved ones shake our world, compelling us to look at our personal relationship with our life and death. As we look at our mind, we begin to see how the process of our thoughts and fears compel us to live from fear instead of opening to the love and connection with others. Fearfully avoiding a dying acquaintance or loved one is all too common.

Yet, as we open to our personal relationship with life and death, we develop our innate ability to meet whatever we experience with ease. Like the ebb and flow of the sea and the natural rise and fall of our breath, there is an immediacy and continuity to our moment-to-moment experience. Clinging to a finite life and fear of death melts away, exposing a joyful presence. Meditation develops this natural innate ability and integrates into our day to day life.

– Lama Pat

 

Students will develop a personal meditation practice that fits their situation, and the group will work together to form a community of practitioners communicating consciously, authentically listening to each other, and being there for each other in a genuine, compassionate way.

Schedule

This next Module will run from March through July, 2018. The teachings for the program will be given in two non-residential weekend retreats, one daylong and two weekly class series. The dates for the program are:

  • First Weekend: March 17-18, 2018, 9am – 5pm
  • Daylong: May 12, 2018, 9am-5pm
  • Second Weekend: July 21-22 , 2018, 9am – 5pm
  • First Weekly Class:  Thursdays, March 22 – May 3, 7-8:30pm
  • Second Weekly Class: Thursdays, May 24 – July 12.  (no class June 21) , 7-8:30pm

The retreat sessions must be attended in person at the Sukhasiddhi Center in Fairfax, CA. For those living at a distance from the center, the weekly classes will be live streamed.

The interview with the teacher will be scheduled during the program.

Costs

  • Tuition is a sliding scale: $450 – $550. Tuition includes the two weekend retreats, one daylong, the two weekly classes and one teacher interview. Partial scholarships are available, see information on the application form.
  • Membership in Sukhasiddhi Foundation is encouraged but not required. Membership information will be provided.
  • Travel: out-of-town participants must arrange their own transportation, meals and lodging during the two-day non-residential retreats.
  • The annual Sukhasiddhi week-long retreat in June is open to program participants, but is not included in the program tuition.

Payment of the program tuition may be made at the time of acceptance into the program, or a deposit of $150 paid  at the time of acceptance, and the remainder paid monthly. Membership dues are paid monthly.

All fees and dues paid to Sukhasiddhi Foundation are tax deductible as religious contributions.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • If cancellation is received prior to the start of the first program weekend, any monies paid are refundable except for a $50 processing fee.
  • After the first weekend/ prior to the start of the weekly class: $150 will be retained from the tuition payment or the deposit for the cost of the weekend; any other monies paid will be refunded.
  • Thereafter: no refunds if being paid monthly; a pro-rata share of the tuition will be refunded if full program was paid in advance.

Application Process

To join the program, the process is:

  1. Please complete an on-line application form.
  2. A teacher will then contact you to set up an in person or phone interview.
  3. You will receive an email of your acceptance into the program, and a program agreement to complete
  4. After acceptance, participants will be given an orientation to Sukhasiddhi Foundation at the first meeting.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to a teacher or an administrator prior to submitting an application, please contact us.

Teachers

This program will be guided by Lama Pat.

Lama Pat (Pat Berube) first started meditating over 30 years ago and has studied with Asian and Western teachers. For over 14 years, she has studied with Lama Palden, completing both the 5-year Shangpa lineage program and intra-lineage teachers training with both Lama Palden and Sensei Lew Richmond. She has been teaching at Sukhasiddhi since 2007.  She holds a masters degree in counseling and has been an RN for nearly 40 years.  Her personal interest is in psycho-spirtual development and integrating the dharma in every day life.  Through teaching, she is excited to share in the study and practice of the dharma with others. Pat directs the Clear Light Institute at Sukhasiddhi, which supports contemplative approaches to dealing with illness, death, and dying.

 

In addition, Lama Döndrup, Lama Palden  or Annik Brunet may teach portions of the program Please visit the Teachers page for their biographies.