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

 

altarBEGINNING THE WEEKEND of March 4-5th, Sukhasiddhi will be offering the next 5-month module of an 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 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 six-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 was held on February 8th.  A video and audio recording of the meeting is available.  Please contact us if you would like to view or listen to the recordings.

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

Class_meditating2-square-320x202The 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

ChenresigDharma Training students will participate in and learn the following practices through weekend session, class attendance and individual practice:

  • Meditation: Shamatha of Mahamudra (calm abiding or concentration)
  • Refuge
  • Creating Sacred Space
  • Yidam Practice and/or Tonglen Practice
  • Lujong (Tibetan yoga)

In addition to these practices, program participants will study the essential Buddhist principles of the Five Buddha Families and the Nine Stages of Shamatha.

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, 2017. 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 4-5, 2017, 9am – 5pm
  • Daylong: May 13, 2017, 9am-5pm
  • Second Weekend: July 8-9, 2017, 9am – 5pm
  • First Weekly Class: 5 Thursdays, Mar 23 – April 27, 2017, 7-8:30pm
  • Second Weekly Class: 7 Thursdays, May 18 – July 27, 2017, 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, interested participants will complete an application form and have an interview with a Sukhasiddhi teacher. After acceptance, participants will be given an orientation to Sukhasiddhi Foundation and complete a program agreement.

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

Teachers

This program will be guided by Stephen Gross. Stephen met and took refuge with the previous Kalu Rinpoche in the mid-1980s. This seeded his interest in Vajrayana and eventually led him to study with Lama Palden and to complete both the Bodhi and Shangpa lineage practice programs. Fascinated with the human psyche, he attained his Master’s in Psychology and practiced as a licensed psychotherapist for 17 years. He has taught a course in “Buddhism and Psychology” at JFK university. Now, using his humor and love of the Dharma, Stephen teaches classes at Sukhasiddhi on both Buddhist philosophy and practice.

Sukhasiddhi teachers Lama Döndrup, Pat Berube, or Annik Brunet may teach portions of the program Please visit the Teachers page for their biographies.