Bodhi Training Program

Bodhi Training Program 2018-07-24T17:34:36+00:00

Awakening for the Benefit of All Sentient Beings

Bodhi means “awake.” Bodhisattvas are beings on the path of awakening. Bodhicitta is the intention to awaken for the benefit of all sentient beings (including ourselves) by directly connecting with and unfolding our genuine nature of compassion and wisdom.

These days in our global culture, we are continuously exposed to superficial social media interactions, and hits of shallow news and entertainment. It is critical to cultivate our capacity for sustained attention and resilience. We cannot truly be present and effective in dealing with the many crises our world is facing without going deeper. We need to be both grounded and open to the boundless light, energy and love we can potentially channel. Tibetan Buddhist practices provide a powerful and direct approach to developing and revealing our awakened nature.

At this time, the world needs nothing less than mature, grounded, open, and creative bodhisattvas able to be fully present in chaotic and difficult circumstances, able to help and to heal, and make space for the emergence of new possibilities.

Sukhasiddhi’s Bodhi Program provides essential training in this important bodhisattva path.
If you are interested in joining the Bodhi Program, please contact  admin@sukhasiddhi.org
Read an article about the Bodhi program by Annik Brunet: An Incubator for Bodhisattvas

Overview

The Bodhi Training Program is an intensive study program which admits new students on an annual basis and requires a one-year commitment. The focus of the program is the foundational Buddhist practices known as ngöndro. Traditionally a student completes 100,000 each of the four ngöndro practices – 1) taking refuge + generating bodhicitta 2) Vajrasattva practice 3) mandala offerings and 4) guru yoga practice. However, the decision of how many to complete and how long to do each practice is determined in consultation with the teacher.

The practice purifies negative habitual patterns, karma and helps transform emotional afflictions, all of which present obstacles to the path. Finally, during guru yoga, we request and pray for the blessings and transmission of primordial wisdom from the guru and lineage masters. These practices, when done with sincerity, powerfully connect us with the awakened lineage.

In addition, the program includes Mahayana-level bodhisattva training and practices, classes in Buddhist philosophy, and further study and training in Vajrayana and Mahamudra.

It generally takes a minimum of two to three years to complete the ngöndro practices in full, but students may undertake the practices at their own pace. Participants go through the program with a supportive cohort of sangha members. Students engage practices both individually and in the context of a group process, simultaneously attending to their own awakening and to the mutual experiment of awakening together. Inquiry and sharing are an important part of the group retreats.

Upon completing the Bodhi program, students will be eligible to apply for the Shangpa program, the third in Sukhasiddhi’s four-program series.

Program Structure

New participants are invited to join the program in January of each year, committing to participate for at least one year. The yearly program curriculum will be given through the following:

  • Five 3-day weekend retreats per year to be attended in person (2019 dates will be available soon)
  • Personal meditation on the ngöndro practices
  • Each student’s practice commitment will be determined on an individual basis, in consultation with the teacher. Those who aim to enter the next Shangpa program (estimated start date 2020) will take on a more intensive commitment, while others may choose to maintain their practice at a level that works best for their own circumstance

In addition to attending weekend retreats and classes, students are required to:

  • Schedule private interviews with the guiding teacher
  • Maintain membership in Sukhasiddhi Foundation
  • Attend the annual Sukhasiddhi residential retreat, usually scheduled in June (can be attended as a commuter)
  • Attend required empowerments when scheduled

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;
–or–
Begun the Shangpa Ngöndro or begun or completed Ngöndro within another lineage.

The costs related to joining the Bodhi program include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Suggested donation for individual meetings with the teacher is $108- $175.
  5. 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.

Application Process

To join the program, interested participants must complete an 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 info@sukhasiddhi.org.

Teacher

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.