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Dive deeper into your practice with our new Dharma Institute

We are excited to introduce a major new initiative for our community and practitioners worldwide: the Spirit Rock Dharma Institute. Responding to the growing demand for our Dharma Training Programs, and the greater accessibility of our online programming, we are creating the Dharma Institute to provide clear, long-term paths of practice and study for present and future generations of practitioners, leaders, and Dharma teachers.

The Dharma Institute offers in-depth study of the teachings and practices of the Buddha and the Insight Meditation lineage, along with professional trainings and continuing education. These study opportunities take place both online and on-land at the Spirit Rock campus. It brings together existing class series, multi-day intensives, training programs, and our new library of on-demand online courses as well as an evolving curriculum of new study and practice programs. At the heart of the Dharma Institute is a core sequence of Buddhist Study and Practice programs, built around three multi-month trainings: the Living Dharma Program (LDP), the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP), and Liberation, Emptiness, and Awareness Practices (LEAP).

All Dharma Institute programs are designed with a fluency in psychology and socially-engaged values, with a foundation in our Early Buddhist lineage. The depth of these programs, and the connections you’ll make in them, will sustain you over a lifetime of practice.

Finding Your Path

“The Dharma is beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle, beautiful in the end.” (DN 2)

One of the most common questions we hear at the close of a transformative retreat or a class series that has opened new doors for someone, is “What do I do next?” Though spiritual practice is not linear, and we return to the same themes again and again as we grow in the Dharma, there is a path we follow, along which we deepen in wisdom and experience the results of a life of dedicated practice.

The heart of the Dharma Institute is our Buddhist Study & Practice sequence, which brings you from the basics of meditation and mindfulness all the way to explorations of liberation and life-transforming insight. Progressing along this path, you will weave together practice in daily life, study of the Early Buddhist tradition, and silent retreat, developing confidence in yourself and deepening in spiritual community. With the support of the Dharma, and in spiritual friendship (kalyāṇa mitta), we find our way through a complex and challenging world, growing in wisdom and service for the benefit of all beings.

Alongside the core sequence, we have brought together specialized programs in two broad areas: Leadership & Professional Development, and Practice in the World. These programs bring mindfulness and lovingkindness to every part of your life and path, with Continuing Education classes for many professions, courses for activists, and explorations of how Dharma practice can help resolve trauma and support sustainable well-being.

For help finding which training or course is right for you, reach out to us anytime at [email protected].

Buddhist Study & Practice

Immerse yourself in Dharma practice & insight

Our cornerstone Buddhist Study and Practice courses support passionate beginners and lifelong practitioners to bring the power of the Buddha’s teachings into daily life and retreat practice. Rooted in the Early Buddhist tradition and our Insight Meditation lineage, these trainings and study classes will transform your practice and understanding of the Dharma.

For Beginners

For those new to practice or wanting to refresh the basics, these courses will give you a solid foundation in the teachings of the Buddha and the core practices of Insight Meditation.

On-Demand Courses

Mark Coleman | 20 hour on-demand course
Dawn Mauricio | 5 hour on-demand course

Class Series

The Four Brahmavihāras

James Baraz | 4 week online class (coming fall 2024)

For Advancing Practitioners

These programs assume familiarity with foundational Buddhist concepts and meditation practice. If you have attended a few retreats or been practicing for 1-2 years, these programs will deepen your practice and study.

On-Demand Courses

Nikki Mirghafori | 5 hour on-demand course

The Refuge of Dhamma: Exploring the Buddha's Discourses

Sean Oakes | 10 hour on-demand course (coming spring 2024)

Training

Living Dharma Program: Exploring & Integrating the Eightfold path in Daily Life

Dawn Mauricio & Mark Coleman | 9 month online training (coming fall 2024)

For Experienced Practitioners

These programs explore the full depth and breadth of the Dharma, weaving together advanced meditation practices, study of Buddhist texts, and trainings that bring together teachings from across the Buddhist world.

On-Demand Courses

Dancing with Life

Phillip Moffitt & Dana DePalma | 20 hour on-demand course (coming summer 2024)

Training

Dedicated Practitioners Program

2 year training in Buddhist teachings & practices (coming May 2026)

Liberation, Emptiness, and Awareness Practices

1 year training in meditation & insight practices (next round TBD)

Leadership & Professional Development

Integrate the Dharma into Your Professional Life

Mindfulness and lovingkindness support well-being in every aspect of our lives, including work, relationships, community, and the broader culture. These courses build on a foundation of self-care and meditation to bring the skills and wisdom of the Dharma to our lives at work. Programs also offer Continuing Education Credits for care professionals, Yoga teachers, and others.

For Beginners

Earn Continuing Education Credits (CECs) while you deepen your practice in classes and on-demand courses. These programs offer approved CECs for healthcare professionals, as well as supporting meditation teachers, Yoga teachers, lawyers, first responders, and others to bring mindfulness and lovingkindness into the workplace.

On-Demand Courses

White & Awakening: Mindfulness Practices for Exploring & Disrupting the Impact of White Conditioning

Crystal Johnson | 20 hour on-demand course, co-produced with East Bay Meditation Center (coming spring 2024)

Training

Mindful Leadership Training

Nikki Mirghafori & Marc Lesser | 3 month online training (Feb-Apr 2024)

For Advancing Practitioners

These programs assume familiarity with foundational Buddhist concepts and meditation practice.

On-Demand Courses

Nikki Mirghafori | 5 hour on-demand course

Training

Buddhist Psychology Training

Matthew Brensilver | 4-month online training (Jan-May 2024)

Dharma Yoga Mindfulness Training

Anne Cushman, Leslie Booker, Rolf Gates, Djuna Devereaux | 1 year on-land training (May 2024 - Jun 2025)

For Experienced Practitioners

These trainings are oriented toward those with the experience and calling to teach in the Insight Meditation tradition. Prospective students must be nominated by mentors who are approved teachers in the Insight Meditation tradition.

Training

Community Dharma Leaders

2 year on-land training (2024 applications closed)

Retreat Teacher Training

4-6 year on-land training (by nomination only)

Practice in the World

Engage with every part of your life and our world

Cultivating a balanced and grounded heart and mind is supportive of insight, a healthy life, and engagement with community and culture. In these programs, we cultivate emotional regulation and deepen in embodiment and joy throughout our lives, building the resilience needed to meet our challenging times. In an era of climate crisis and intersecting oppressions around race, gender, class, and religion, the Dharma offers a middle way toward a more peaceful and sustainable future. Weaving together individual and collective approaches to healing and liberation, our practice truly becomes “for the benefit of all beings.”

Combining selected programs with courses from the Buddhist Study & Practice sequence gives a robust curriculum in Engaged Buddhism as well as support for healing and well-being throughout our lives.

For Beginners

For those new to practice or wanting to refresh the basics.

On-Demand Courses

White & Awakening: Mindfulness Practices for Exploring & Disrupting the Impact of White Conditioning

Crystal Johnson | 20 hour on-demand course co-produced with East Bay Meditation Center (coming spring 2024)

World as Lover, World as Self

Joanna Macy | 5 hour on-demand course (coming spring 2024)

Class Series

Sylvia Boorstein & Heidi Bourne | 6 week online class (coming August 2024)

The Somatics of Thought and Emotion

Jill Satterfield (guest) | 4 week online class (Feb 2024)

Practicing with Chronic Pain

Christiane Wolf (guest) | 4 week online class (coming fall 2024)

The Big Three: Greed, Hatred, and Delusion

Rhonda Varette Magee | 3 week online class (coming fall 2024)

For Advancing Practitioners

These programs assume familiarity with foundational Buddhist concepts and meditation practice.

Class Series

TBD

Rima Vesely-Flad (guest) | 4 week online class (coming fall 2024)

Training

Awake in the Wild

Mark Coleman | 4-month on-land training (March 2024)

A Year to Live

Vinny Ferraro, with Frank Ostaseski (guest), & Pam Dunn (guest) | 1 year training

Upcoming Dharma Institute Programs

Find Dharma Institute programs on our calendar by clicking here.

Dharma Institute Faculty

The Dharma Institute faculty includes some of the most beloved teachers in Insight Meditation, including a diverse group of Spirit Rock retreat and training teachers, plus guest teachers who are recognized experts in their fields. All core faculty have received teaching authorization in the Insight Meditation lineage, and are respected guides, mentors, and writers bringing lovingkindness and wisdom to the world.

Faculty are drawn from Spirit Rock's core teaching community, including those who lead Dharma Training Programs, long retreats, and study courses. Exceptional guest teachers bring their specific expertise to the Institute community as well.

Dharma Library

Supporting students in Institute programs as well as practitioners worldwide, our new online Dharma Library offers audio, video, articles, and courses from our 30-year archive of teachings, as well as newly-recorded courses designed specifically for home study and practice. Our library features a wide range of Spirit Rock teachers, including Jack Kornfield, Nikki Mirghafori, Kaira Jewel Lingo, and many others. From archival audio to the latest Monday Night Meditation & Dharma Talk, the Dharma Library brings a wide range of Insight teachings to practitioners of all levels anywhere in the world.

On-demand Courses

Aligned with the new Dharma Institute, self-paced courses prepare you for deeper study programs, sustain your practice between retreats or trainings, and preserve the wisdom of these beloved teachers for you and generations of practitioners.

Self-paced online courses, available on demand, are an integral part of Dharma Institute programming, making foundational teachings accessible worldwide, 24/7. Our courses feature a diverse range of Spirit Rock teachers, including Mark Coleman, Nikki Mirghafori, Dawn Mauricio, and Joanna Macy.

You’ll find courses for all stages of practice, from introductions to mindfulness and meditation to profound explorations of the Buddha’s teachings. Some of these courses began as in-person or online classes, while others were filmed specifically for the on-demand format. Wherever you are in your practice, these courses support you to deepen in practice and understanding of the Dharma to benefit your life and the lives of all beings.

Practice in Community

The curriculum of the Institute is built around Spirit Rock’s beloved Dharma Training Programs. From well-established trainings like the Dedicated Practitioner’s Program to professional development programs like Mindful Leadership, these deep dive courses build community and immerse you in life-changing applications of the Dharma.

All of our trainings, whether online or in-person, immerse you in Dharma community, or Saṅgha. The Buddha famously taught that good friendship (kalyāṇa mitta) is "the whole of the holy life" (SN 45.2). Practicing, discussing the teachings, and deepening in community is the heart of spiritual practice at Spirit Rock, and the connections you will make in these trainings can nourish you for years to come.

Testimonial

I love that I can come to Spirit Rock and get CE Credits as an extra benefit!

 
CEC Program Participants