12 Links of Dependent Arising
Taught by The Dalai Lama - with commentary and translation by Jeffrey Hopkins.
In this course the Dalai Lama presents the basic world view of Buddhism: how Buddhism views the position of beings in the world and how human beings can make their lives meaningful. The Dalai Lama elaborates on the meaning of life by pointing out the causes behind our situation as well as the altruistic purpose to which life can be put. In this course he offers a view of inner psychic cosmology that has had great influence throughout Asia. From a vivid description of how we become trapped in a counter-productive maelstrom of suffering, there emerges a sense of how Buddhists place themselves in the universe. The unsettling description of the steps of entrapment is in fact a call to action, for it shows how, through reversing the process, the limiting prison of selfishness can be turned into a source of help and happiness for others.
Bodhisattvas of Compassion
Taught by Taigen Dan Leighton
In this course you explore seven major bodhisattva figures of the Mahayana tradition who represent various aspects of enlightened activity and awareness and are forces for well-being in our lives. You explore the iconography, teachings, folklore and history of each bodhisattva, as well as the ways that each manifests the paramitas, the ten perfections. And for each bodhisattva you look at modern exemplars, personages from non-Buddhist spiritual traditions.
The Buddha's Teaching As It Is
aught by Bhikkhu Bodhi
In this introduction to the Buddha's teachings, Bhikkhu Bodhi presents the basic teachings of Buddhism from the Theravadan perspective. This course includes the life of the Buddha, the four noble truths, the nature of existence, dependent origination, kamma, the eightfold path, meditation, and the sangha.
Taught by Jeffrey Hopkins
What compels some people to act compassionately without giving it a second thought, while for others it almost seems against their nature? And what will become of our society if compassion dwindles?
By learning to live from a more compassionate viewpoint, we can create a better life not only for ourselves but for others. In this course you learn Buddhist meditations (including the Dalai Lama?s favorite) and visualizations to guide you in developing an awareness of your capacity for love and learning to project that love into the world around you.
This course delivers a potent message with the power to change our relationships and improve the quality of our lives. Anyone seeking release from negative emotions, such as anger, or simply wanting to increase the love and caring among us, will welcome this timely vision.
This course explores a perennial human predicament, the nature and destructive potential of "negative" emotions — when, for example, jealousy turns into murderous rage. The Buddhist tradition has long pointed out that recognizing and transforming negative emotions lies at the heart of spiritual practice. From the perspective of science, many of these same emotional states played a critical role in human survival—but now, in modern life, they pose grave dangers to our individual and collective fate.
Buddhism and Western philosophy/psychology offer different perspectives on the nature of emotions and when they become "destructive." In the first module of this course you can explore some of these perspectives as well as your relationship to negative emotions.
Ethics of Altruism
Taught by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama
Explore the Dalai Lama's framework for moral living, which rests on the observation that those whose conduct is ethically positive are happier and more satisfied and the belief that much of the unhappiness we humans endure is actually of our own making. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, based on universal rather than religious principles.
Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind
Taught by Robert Thurman
Robert Thurman teaches the "preliminary" contemplations that help you develop a solid basis for listening to the teachings and developing a practice. Reflecting upon the precious human birth, impermanence, karma, and the sufferings of samsara frees one of the attachment to life in the realms of samsara.
GenerosityTaught by Gil Fronsdal.
The practice of giving, or dana in Pali, has a pre-eminent place in the teachings of the Buddha. When he taught a graduated series of practices for people to engage in as they progress along the path, he always started by talking about the importance and benefits of the practice of generosity.
This is the first part of a planned course on the paramis, the ten qualities of character that can be developed to support the path of awakening.
Genjo Koan: The Koan of Everyday Life
Taught by Dairyu Michael Wenger
To study the buddha way is to study the self.The Genjo Koan, Dogen Zenji's concise, poetic expression of the practice of the Buddha?s dharma, is one of the most treasured texts in the Soto Zen tradition. In Genjo Koan Dogen presents a basic philosophy of our day-to-day lives as practice in the bodhisattva way. Michael Wenger, San Francisco Zen Center's Dean of Studies, guides you in your engagement with Dogen's teachings on the integration of Zen training and daily life.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things.
An introduction to Buddhist perspectives on nature and Buddhist responses to environmental issues. Buddhism's teaching of the interrelatedness of all life forms may be critical to the recovery of human reciprocity with nature. This course explores Buddhism's understanding of the intricate web of life and aspects of the traditions which may help formulate effective environmental ethics, offering examples from both Asia and the United States of socially engaged Buddhist projects to protect the environment. This course also introduces the Earth Charter, which sets forth fundamental principles for sustainable.
The Heart Sutra: A gate to its history and context
Taught by Sharon Salzberg
The Buddha taught "t
The Heart Sutra has been beloved by Buddhists of many traditions for over 1500 years. It has also been been debated and analyzed in commentaries thoughout its history. In this getting started module we introduce the Heart Sutra, its history, and background information on the setting and story it tells. This getting started module is not a line-by-line commentary but rather a prelude to the many voices we will be offering on Ashoka.
Jodo Shinshu: An introduction to Buddhism through Jodo Shinshu
Taught by Rev. John Iwohara
This introduction to Buddhism begins with the assumption that life, like religion, must be participated in and not just studied if it is to have a deeper meaning.
You, as the reader, may approach these writings as a way to explore the richness of human expression, to gain a greater understanding of your life through the lens yhe Jodo Shinshu tradition, or to seek or deepen your commitment to a personal path.
The Legacy of Chan
This course provides an introduction to the nature and style of Chan Buddhism, which has been practiced in China since around the 6th century C.E. and, when exported to Japan around the 11-12th century, became the source of "Zen."
The ultimate goal of Chan is the realization of one's true nature and the expression of this realization in our interactions with others. The goal is nothing less than the attainment of our full potential as buddhas?the embodiment of wisdom and compassion.
In this course we look at Chan from three perspectives: the teachings, the methods, and the lineage of the patriarchs, masters, and teachers.
Created by Dharma Drum Mountain (Master Sheng Yen) and Ashoka.
Liberating the Heart: The Brahma Viharas
Taught by Sharon Salzberg
The Buddha taught "the liberation of the heart which is love," and he taught a systematic, integrated path that moves the heart out of isolating contraction and into true connection: the brahma-viharas, meditation practices that cultivate love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. These four qualities are among the most beautiful and powerful states of consciousness we can experience.
Meditation for Life
Taught by Martine Batchelor
This course offers various ideas, suggestions, techniques and reflections that will enable you to explore meditation for yourself. Doing so will help you to uncover the qualities of compassion and wisdom that are already within you. In this course Martine Batchelor does not present any one Buddhist school but rather explains a variety of practices and ideas from different traditions -- ones that she has found to work for ordinary people in the modern world.