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Current courses
Liberating the Heart:
The Brahma Viharas
Taught by Sharon Salzberg,
guiding teacher, Insight Meditation Society

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. 

Sharon Salzberg, Insight Meditation Society co-founder and guiding teacher, offers a profound exploration of the deepest meanings of brahma-viharas, bringing light to the spiritual value, practical utility and psychological insight that most Westerners are longing for. 

Taming the Mind:
Cultivating Peaceful Abiding

Taught by sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and Acharya William McKeever

Discover the natural strength of the mind through meditation. This course offers a universal guide to "peaceful abiding"—the simple practice of sitting meditation. A step-by-step guided exploration of the practice of shamatha meditation with which to strengthen, clarify and stabilize the mind.

In this course you will learn:
• Why meditation is proactive and completely natural
• How to gather in a scattered mind and dismantle emotions
• How to overcome common obstacles to practice, from muscles aches to boredom
• How to establish a meditation practice

Bill McKeever guides you through a workshop in peaceful abiding, based on the first section of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's book Turning the Mind Into an Ally. (A future Ashoka course will continue this exploration, teaching contemplative meditation.)

Upcoming courses

These courses are under development and will soon be available on Ashoka. These preview lessons will give you a taste of these upcoming courses.

Dogen-Zenji's Genjo Koan
Taught by Dairyu Micheal Wenger,
Dean of Studies, San Francisco Zen Center

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. Dogen's basic philosophy of our day to day lives as practice in the bodhisattva way is precisely presented in this guide to the integration of training with zazen and daily life

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Translating the Metta Sutta
Taught by Andrew Olendzki,
Exec. Dir. Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace

When we read the words of the Buddha, we are, of course, reading someone's translation of those words. How does translation influence the meaning and effect of the teachings? In this course you explore the Metta Sutta, the Buddha's discourse on loving-kindness, with Andrew Olendzki, executive director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

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Lojong — Training the Mind
Taught by Lama Pema Wangdak,
Vikramasila Foundation and Pema Ts'al Schools

Lojong— training the mind in the spirituality of love and compassion—is the essence of the enlightened path. In this course Lama Pema offers guidance in enhancing compassion, cultivating balanced attitudes toward oneself and others, developing positive ways of thinking and transforming adverse situations. This course will help you deepen your understanding of the meaning of love and compassion through the practice of the pithy lojong sayings.

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Coming soon...

Ordinary Wisdom  Lama Pema Wangdak guides you through Sakya Pandita's Treasury Of Good Advice, a compendium of profound, down-to-earth, and practical Buddhist advice on the art of living, as pertinent today in the West as has been for many centuries past in the Tibet. Lama Pema unlocks the wisdom teaching in Sakya Pandita's use of proverbs and stories to address the basic questions of human existence and purpose.

Zen Meditation  Daishin Buksbazen of the Los Angeles Zen Center presents a clear and insightful path into the philosophy and practice of Zen by providing a practical introduction to Zen meditation. Daishin presents the essentials that any new practitioner needs to know to enter the way of Zen meditation,

Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind  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.

And here are some of the courses we're planning...

The Essence of Buddhism
The Four Noble Truths
The Eightfold Noble Path
Introduction to Zen
Engaged Buddhism
The Great Way is Not Difficult: The Zen Poem of the Third Ancestor
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism - teachings of Trungp Rinpoche

Prajnaparamita — Reflecting on the Heart Sutra
Dependent Origination The Pàramitas—The 10 Perfections
The Practice of Shin Buddhism
Metta - Awakening Loving-Kindness
Living an Awaken Life
Who is My Self? : A Guide to Buddhist Meditation
Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Awakening Compassion
The Ox-Herding Pictures: Emptiness and Fullness
Investigating Right Livelihood
The Practice of Perfection: the Paramtitas
Dzogchen Groundwork - Foundations of Dzogchen Practice
On Zen Practice : Body, Breath and Mind
The Bodhisattva's Way of Life—Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara
The Abhidharma—Buddhist Teachings on Mind and Emotions
The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism
Opening to Enlightenment—Master Dogen's Teaching
Investigating Right Livelihood
Just Sitting: The Zen Practice of Shikantaza
Dharma Art
The Zen Koan
Being with Dying
Peacemaker Training
The Wonders Around Us - Discovering Dharma in the World Around Us
Words of My Perfect Teacher
The Buddha's Teachings and the Art of Ethical Living
Zen Master Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Scripture
The Art of Zen - Zen and the Arts
Vajra Yoga
American Koans