Every winter Pema Chödrön leads a retreat for the thirty residents of Gampo Abbey, her home in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This self-study course offers a special opportunity to be a part of one of these retreats, made available to you exclusively through Shambhala Publications.
Join Pema in this intimate setting as she explores, in her usual down-to-earth and practical way, the Buddhist teachings that get to the heart of how our sense of self develops and functions. We’ll learn about the five skandhas—the elements that come together to form our experience of the self—as well as the twelve nidanas—the links of dependent origination that describe how the sense of self cycles from birth to death in every moment, creating habits of reactivity that hook us and cause us pain.
Presenting long-established teachings in a way that is fresh and accessible, Pema shows how we can transcend the negative patterns and attachments that are at the root of our suffering. Having seen through the self, we can live with limitless joy, wisdom, and compassion toward ourselves and all beings.
- Six two-hour video talks by Pema recorded at Gampo Abbey
- Instructional videos on shamatha meditation and open-presence meditation, taught by two of Pema’s senior students
- Recommended reading list, practices, and contemplations to help you make the teachings a part of your everyday life
- Unlimited access on your computer, mobile device, or tablet—learn at your own pace wherever and whenever works best for you
- This course is also available in a Group Study Version, which includes a facilitator’s guide and everything you need to bring this course to your community.
- Bonus #1: Recordings of Two Q&A Sessions with Pema Chödrön
- Bonus #2: Shamatha Meditation Instructional Video with Hope Martin
- Bonus #3: Open Presence Instructional Video with Rebecca Eldridge
- Bonus #4: This Moment Is the Perfect Teacher
Ten Buddhist Teachings on Cultivating Inner Strength and Compassion with Pema Chödrön. A 4-hour recorded retreat, normally $22.95
Lesson 1: Permanent, Solid, and Separate: An Overview of the “Self”
What are we talking about when we talk about the “self”? In this first lesson, Pema shows us how the illusions of ego trick us into thinking we are singular and unchanging. When we start to understand the way this illusion is constructed, we can glimpse selflessness.
Lesson 2: How to Get Unstuck: Working with the Skandhas
It’s important and necessary to explore how it is that we get hooked, but the real joy comes from learning how we can break the cycle. In this lesson, Pema gives us real life examples of how the skandhas work, and offers time-tested advice on how to interrupt the cycle of suffering.
Lesson 3: Resting in Open Space: The Eight Kinds of Consciousness
Sometimes life feels like a roiling river, and we’re trapped in the current. What would happen if, even in the midst of the most stressful situation, we could put the brakes on our interpretation and judgment? In this lesson we’ll practice doing just that: pausing. We’ll also explore the eight kinds of consciousness and the six realms—traditional Buddhist teachings that will give context to why the practice of pausing is so important.
Lesson 4: Understanding Ignorance: Where Suffering Begins
What keeps us from being fully present in our lives? In this lesson we’ll take a closer look at the mechanisms we use to put a barrier between ourselves and the world around us. And we’ll start to see what exists beyond that barrier as the starting ground for everything: basic goodness.
Lesson 5: Samsara is a Cycle: The Twelve Nidanas
If we begin in a state of timeless awareness, in connection with the dynamic nature of reality, how do we get stuck in the view that reality is fixed and static? This week we’ll go deeper into the twelve nidanas.
Lesson 6: Nowness Gives Rise to Bodhichitta: Connecting to Sacred World
We’ve spent much of this course analyzing what gets in our way of being present. In this lesson, we get to take in the view of what happens when we are able to rest in groundlessness and experience reality fully. This is what it means to discover sacred world.