12 Links of Dependent Orgination.

The Dalai Lama

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.

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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.

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The Buddha's Teaching As It Is

Taught 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.

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Cultivating Compassion

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.

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Destructive Emotions

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.

Once we have identified the destructive emotions and seen their causes and their detrimental effects, then we can ask what the antidote is for these afflictions. What is the medicine? How can we counteract them? The second module presents a 1500-year-old teaching on the destructive potential of one negative emotion— anger — and ways to develop patience as an antidote to the arising of anger.

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Ethics of Altruism

Taught by The 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.

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Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind

Taught by Robert Thurman

In this course the limiting prison of selfishness can be turned into a source of help and happiness for others.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.

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Taught 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.

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Genjo Koan: The Koan of Everyday Life

Taught by Dairyu Michael Wenger

To study the self is to forget the self.
To study the buddha way is to study the self.
To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things.

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.

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Green Dharma

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 development.

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The Heart Sutra

The Heart Sutra has been beloved by Buddhists of many traditions for over 1500 years. With its radical economy of expression, the Heart Sutra's concise rendition of the meaning of emptiness has captivated and challenged the minds and hearts of Buddhist thinkers in India, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Central Asia, and now the West. This getting started module is not a line-by-line commentary but rather a prelude to the many voices we are offering.

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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." Rather than attempt to present in depth every important aspect and feature of Chan Buddhism, this course — by presenting some of the  highlights of Chan — hopefully conveys its flavor and unique approach.

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The Metta Sutta.

Taught by Andrew Olendzki

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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. I have not followed any specific Buddhist school, but explain a variety of practices and ideas from different traditions, which I have found work for ordinary people in the modern world..

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Reconnecting to Life.

Taught by Joanna Macy

Reconnecting with Life is a guide that maps ways into the vitality and determination we possess to take part in the healing of our world. Developed by many people over the past thirty years, this body of work has helped hundreds of thousands of people find solidarity and courage to act, despite rapidly worsening social and ecological conditions.

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Rest Your Weary Mind

Taught by Joseph Goldstein

When we  look to our experience we see that these metaphors are not just  about some abstract philosophy.   Rather, they reflect the contraction and imprisonment of our minds when we’re lost in the hindrances and the freedom of mind that’s possible when we become aware of them.

In this course you have an opportunity to address central questions for anyone undertaking a spiritual life: Is there a way understand the root forces of greed, fear, prejudice, hatred, and desire, which create so much sorrow in our life and in the world? Is there a skillful way to work with these energies? Can they become an opportunity for deepening wisdom and more compassionate action.

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The Story of Zen

This course offers a treasury of Zen tradition: teachings, anecdotes, stories, legends, sayings, and wisdom culled from the classic texts of Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen.

When Westerners first encountered the strange Zen dialogues and antics that had been treasured in East Asia for a thousand years, there seemed to be more madness than method. Now we realize that the masters were communicating with exceptional directness and freedom in a language of awakening. Today, across vast spans of time and culture, they are still teaching us. 

In this course we try to let Zen speak for itself. Rather than engage in interpretation and analytical commentary, we present the stories of Zen in as straightforward a manner as possible, Of course, even in the process of putting together our source material we have had to choose whether to present the legends as they have been reported or engage in the questions raised by modern scholarship.
When Westerners first encountered the strange Zen dialogues and antics that had been treasured in East Asia for a thousand years, there seemed to be more madness than method. Now we realize that the masters were communicating with exceptional directness and freedom in a language of awakening. Today, across vast spans of time and culture, they are still teaching us. 

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Shin: 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 of another tradition, or to seek or deepen your commitment to a personal path. It is my hope as the writer, that through sharing the triple perspective of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, we can all gain a greater appreciation of the uniqueness of life and be motivated to share our joy in the ability to participate in the rarest of rare things: your own life.

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Taming the Mind

Taught by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Acharya Bill McKeever

This course offers guidance and tools for discovering these hidden secrets for yourself. With this discovery you can begin the adventure of transforming yourself into awakened person, of living your life with true joy and happiness, of cultivating courage, and of radiating love and compassion to others.

In this course you will learn how to practice Shamatha meditation —"peaceful abiding"— to train your mind in stability, clarity, and strength and to create an alliance that allows you to actually use your mind, rather than be used by it. Through this most basic form of sitting meditation, you will discover that you can abide peacefully

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Wheel of Engaged Buddhism

Taught by Kenneth Kraft

Although Buddhist tradition has handed down bountiful descriptions of predominantly inner paths, there are few comparable maps of spiritually motivated involvement in the world.  Initially, many people assume that the "outer" realms are sufficiently visible and familiar not to require a map.  Yet, for those who seek a modern, this-worldly spirituality, the signposts seem scattered, and guidelines are far from self-evident.  As Robert Aitken has acknowledged, "This is a step beyond the monastery walls, uncharted by the old teachers. . . . Not an easy path, certainly."  Given the differences between past and present Buddhists—differences of historical context, religious imagination, and meaningful modes of practice—a new map may be helpful. 

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Zen Art for Meditation

This course offers you an opportunity to encounter pictures from the canon of classical Chinese and Japanese ink painting and, by reflecting on them, to experience certain insights into human nature and the universe. Each picture is accompanied by a brief commentary focused on a Zen tenet and illuminated by haiku poems. 

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Zen Meditation

Taught by John Daishin Buksbazen

If you come to this course with notions of impossible states of mind and body, I hope this instruction will bring Zen practice home to you — Zen practice as a way to, at a minimum, clearer, less confused living. In zazen, ideas dissolve, the mind becomes transparent, and in the great stillness there comes an intuitive understanding that what we seek lies nowhere else but in the present moment, right here, now, where we have always been.

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