The Bodhi (Awakening Mind) Training Program is accepting applications for January 2019.
This program will introduce participants to the four Ngöndro practices of Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism, and provide expert guidance and a supportive cohort for completing the practices. These foundational practices liberate confused habitual patterns and karma. They each work uniquely with the mind, speech, psyche, and body to open us spiritually in various ways while flushing psychological and ego issues to the surface for release. As the layers of illusion are peeled away, we begin to feel the awakened nature at the core of who we truly are. Compassion and wisdom arise spontaneously as that which fetters them unwinds. Throughout this process of transformation, we learn to increasingly rest in and “enjoy the view” of our direct experience. We begin to differentiate illusions from genuine reality, constructions from truth.
The Ngondro practices are composed of four parts: Refuge and the development of bodhicitta together are the first. Then we engage with Vajrasattva, which is a psychologically and spiritually sophisticated purification practice. Third is Mandala practice, which entails offering the entire universe, including oneself, to awakening. The last is a Guru Yoga practice to usher in the blessings and transmission of the lineage. The Ngondro practices are profoundly transforming practices which are a study and practice program in themselves and are also the primary requirement for moving into the advanced practices of the Shangpa lineage.
The program will also include Mahayana level Bodhisattva training and practices, foundational Buddhist topics of Vajrayana, and Mahamudra training and practice. Together the teachings and practices are designed to reach and transform many levels of our psycho-spiritual system.
The Bodhi program has a one-year commitment and is designed as an ongoing stream where students can renew their commitment each year, and new students can join. It generally takes a minimum of three years to complete the ngondro practices in full, but there are many options for doing ngondro, and completion is not a requirement of the program.
The term Bodhi refers to the bodhicitta and the bodhisattva path – the desire to attain awakening, to directly connect with our innate, awakened nature of love and wisdom, for the benefit of ourselves and all beings. Tibetan Buddhism provides a structured, progressive approach to developing and revealing our awakened nature. The Bodhi program is the second program of Sukhasiddhi Foundation’s 4-program series, which, if all are completed, provide a path through all of the practices undertaken in the Shangpa Lineage traditional 3-year retreat.
The program curriculum will be given through the following
- Five 3-day weekend retreats per year to be attended in person
2019 Weekend Dates:
January 11 – new participants only
- Personal daily practice of the Ngondro practices. Students will consult with the program teacher on the time commitment to daily practice.
In addition, program participants are required to:
- Attend the annual Sukhasiddhi residential retreat. In 2019, the retreat dates are June 10-16th (can be attended as a commuter)
- Schedule 2 interviews with the teacher
- Become a member of Sukhasiddhi
- Attend required empowerments when scheduled
Students will also be strongly urged to attend special teachings of a few retreats by teachers at Sukhasiddhi Foundation.
Participation in an in depth program such as this includes commitment of time, financial resources, and most importantly, one’s dedication to practice and awakening. Although the commitment is considerable, the benefit to one’s growth and awakening is immeasurable.
This program offers its participants:
- Instruction and support for doing the Preliminary Practices (Ngöndro)
- In-depth study of more advanced Buddhist teachings through a structured curriculum
- Study and practice with a supportive cohort
- Instruction and mentoring from a qualified teacher – Students practice at their own pace in regular consultation with their teacher. The practices are individualized through regular contact with the teacher.
- Empowerments appropriate to the Bodhi level of practice
- Ability to receive advanced teachings which require completion of the ngondro. At Sukhasiddhi, these teachings are offered in the Shangpa program.
We hope you will consider participating in this program in 2019.
The Bodhi Program requires that participants have either:
Completed the study and practices of Sukhasiddhi’s two-year Dharma Training Program (includes Chenresig, Tonglen, Tara, Extraordinary Practices) or equivalent Buddhist study and practice;
Begun the Shangpa Ngöndro or begun or completed Ngöndro within another lineage.
The costs related to joining the Bodhi program include:
- The fee for the 5 3-day retreats is $375 a quarter, $1,500 a year. Participants may also pay this fee at the monthly rate of $125.
- Membership in Sukhasiddhi Foundation is additional, $40-$85 per month, or $480 – $1,020 annually. Of course, we welcome membership at higher sustaining rates as well. Members have access to ongoing weekly classes, a large library of recorded teachings, and receive discounts on other retreats and activites.
- The annual retreat is a minimum of approximately $550 for commuting without meals to $1350 for a single room and meals, plus a teacher dana offering, suggested of $200-$1,500.
- Suggested donation for individual meetings with the teacher is $108- $175.
- Out-of-town participants will need to arrange transportation, meals, and a place to stay during the four 4-day non-residential retreats.
In total, these fees do comprise a significant financial cost, but the rewards of the program for dedicated students are equally significant.
All fees paid to Sukhasiddhi Foundation are tax-deductible as religious contributions, except for the residential retreat meals and lodging.
To join the program, interested participants first complete this application form and will then 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 questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annik Brunet has been on the spiritual path for now 30 years and has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1995. After completing the Shangpa lineage practice program and the teacher training program, she was authorized by Lama Palden as a dharma teacher. Annik also holds a master’s degree in photography. Her life-long impetus has been to explore the mystery of phenomenal appearances, and the practice of art as a means to cleanse the doors of perception. This quest eventually led her to the path of direct access Vajrayana offers. Alongside this passion for art and dharma, Annik is committed to facilitating the exploration and actualization of the openness and kindness that reside at the heart of every being.