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Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions Part II

A Wisdom Academy Online Course with Thubten Chodron

Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions Part II

In this course with Ven. Thubten Chodron, read along with the book she coauthored with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions and join in the discussion on the core teachings shared among Buddhist traditions. Build your knowledge of these teachings and gain insight into how they are understood by Buddhists around the world.

What You’ll Learn

  • The importance of mindfulness in the various Buddhist schools
  • Similarities and differences in philosophical explanations of emptiness
  • How the unity between serenity and insight is achieved
  • The importance of right understanding and ethical behavior at all stages of practice
  • And much more

About this Course

Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from Tibetan caves to Tokyo temples to redwood retreats. All these traditions trace their beginnings to the teachings of one man in India 2,500 years ago. These teachings spread worldwide in all directions and into numerous languages, making Buddhism one of today’s most influential religions.

In this course, you’ll join Venerable Thubten Chodron for an in-depth discussion of the core teachings of Buddhism, shared across traditions, such as mindfulness, emptiness, and dependent arising. Ven. Chodron’s illuminating commentary on how each of these, and more, are approached within the many traditions of Buddhism forms the basis for your own exploration of Buddhism’s shared heritage and diverse expression. There is no prerequisite to have taken the previous course; you can dive right in with the material covered in Part II.

This ten-lesson course is the second in a series based on the book Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions, cowritten by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Ven. Chodron. This book is an expression of His Holiness’s strong belief in the merit of different Buddhist traditions being more educated about one another.



Lesson 1: Introduction to the Higher Training in Wisdom

In this lesson, Ven. Chodron reviews the driving motivation behind the book and its major themes. She then goes on to introduce the higher training in wisdom and the thirty-seven aides to awakening.


Lesson 2: Four Establishments of Mindfulness

In Lesson 2, Ven. Chodron guides us through the four establishments of mindfulness. She explains how mindfulness of the body, feelings, mind, and phenomena relate to one another and support our development of wisdom.


Lesson 3: Concluding the Higher Training in Wisdom

In this lesson, Ven. Chodron concludes her teachings on the higher training in wisdom.


Lesson 4: Selflessness and Emptiness (I): The Pāli Tradition and Intro to the Mādhyamaka

In this lesson Ven. Chodron discusses the profound and challenging topics of selflessness and emptiness.


Lesson 5: Selflessness and Emptiness (II): Refutation of the Self in the Mādhyamaka and Pāli Traditions

In this lesson Ven. Chodron covers the Mādhyamaka view of emptiness and discusses the refutation of self.


Lesson 6: Selflessness and Emptiness (III): Four Extremes of Arising, Emptiness, and Karma

Ven. Chodron continues the teachings on selflessness and emptiness with the themes of the four extremes of arising and karma.


Lesson 7: Dependent Arising: The Twelve Links

Ven. Chodron introduces the topic of dependent arising, giving examples of how it manifests in our daily lives and taking us through the twelve links.


Lesson 8: The Flow of the 12 Links

We further explore the links of dependent origination, examining how they are grouped, how they function in our current life, and more.


Lesson 9: Mutual and Causal Dependence

Ven. Chodron helps us understand the different kinds of dependence and how this influences our sense of self.


Lesson 10: Uniting Serenity and Insight

In this final lesson, we turn our attention to a discussion of nirvana/nibbana in the Pali and Sanskrit traditions.

About the Teacher

8 fold path of buddhismVenerable Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, the only Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western nuns and monks in the US. She graduated from UCLA, and did graduate work in education at USC. Ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977, she has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkong Rinpoche, and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche. Ven. Chodron teaches worldwide and is known for her practical (and humorous!) explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She is also involved in prison outreach and interfaith dialogue. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and has co-authored a book with His Holiness the Dalai Lama—Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions. Visit thubtenchodron.org for a media library of her teachings, and sravasti.org to learn more about the Abbey. Thubten Chodron featured in Tricycle: “Tibetan Buddhist Nun Blazes Trail for Others to Follow.” See Thubten Chodron's teaching schedule here.