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The Wisdom Academy presents

The Dharma of Well-Being

A Trilogy with Lama Alan Wallace

Discover greater happiness and well-being using insights and methods drawn from both Western psychology and Buddhist contemplative practices in this three-part course with Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Alan Wallace. (Part 3 is coming in 2024.)

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We highly recommend enrolling in the parts 1 and 2 bundle. Students who purchase the parts 1 and 2 bundle save 20% on their tuition, and will be able to enroll in part 3 for free when it becomes available, which is currently planned to be in 2024.

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Part One

Drawing on insights and methods from both the Buddhist tradition and Western psychology and philosophy, Lama Alan Wallace invites you to investigate the causes of both genuine unhappiness and genuine well-being.

You’ll start by looking into what genuine well-being is before delving into what it is not as Lama Alan explores the causes of suffering, mental afflictions, and unhappiness, along with the internal factors that often prevent us from being truly happy.

He then turns to the causes of genuine happiness and offers skills, practices, and insights that will help you achieve genuine happiness.

Start learning today and take the next step on your path toward developing genuine well-being in your life.  Click the button below to start this course today!

For more about our terms, please see the Wisdom Academy FAQ.

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Watch the Part One Trailer

Part One: Lesson Plan


Lesson 1: Introduction & Genuine Well-Being


Lesson 2: The Causes of Suffering


Lesson 3: The Contagious Nature of Mental Afflictions


Lesson 4: Developing Attention


Lesson 5: The Inner Causes of Mental Distress


Lesson 6: The Nature of the Mind


Lesson 7: The Inner Causes of Well-Being


Lesson 8: Developing Genuine Well-Being

Part Two

In part two, Lama Alan explores the wisdom of the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, and the deeper causes of mental distress and mental well-being.

You’ll learn about:

• the nature of identification and the way phenomena exist;
• dependent arising;
• the nuanced view of Mādhyamaka Prāsaṅgika philosophy;
• holistic well-being;
• the transformation from renunciation to bodhicitta;
• turning within for satisfaction and cultivating selflessness;
• and more!

The course explores the deepest root of suffering: grasping to inherent existence. The Middle Way teachings of the Buddha’s second turning of the wheel of Dharma look at the nature of identification and the way phenomena exist.

Understanding how the self is perceived, we can reveal the process by which we form attitudes and behaviors in our relations to other sentient beings. With this deflating of self-centered delusion, we are brought into accord with reality and able to inspire well-being for all, including ourselves.

Lama Alan Wallace, internationally renowned for the clarity and profundity of his teachings, invites you to explore the inner causes of suffering alongside the causes of genuine well-being, and learn practices and techniques that will help you on your journey to develop genuine and lasting well-being.

While it’s not required, we recommend completing The Dharma of Well-Being, Part One before engaging with parts 2 and 3.

Part Two: Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: Searching for the Self

Lama Alan introduces the deepest root of suffering: grasping to inherent existence. Through searching for the nature of the self and phenomena, the fixation on the “I” can be undermined and eventually eradicated completely, leading to a balanced and healthy approach to the experiences of suffering and pleasure.

Lesson 2: Unraveling Afflictions

Lama Alan presents the core theme of the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtras: as long as reification persists, mental afflictions will continue to arise. By observing the arising of mental afflictions and not identifying with them, it can be realized that they do not exist in the way they appear.

Lesson 3: The Emptiness of Permanence Lesson 3: The Emptiness of Permanence

Lama Alan reveals the pinnacle of Buddhist philosophical thought, Mādhyamaka Prāsaṅgika, and how this approach to the ultimate nature of reality brings well-being and freedom from sufferin

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Lesson 4: Appearances and Entities

Using the “four schools of Buddhist philosophy” model as a framework, Lama Alan highlights the ontological and epistemological implications of each progressively-deeper view into the nature of reality, which leads to the eradication of suffering and its causes.

Lesson 5: Equalizing Self and Others

Repaying the kindness that infinite sentient beings have shown us is the essence of the bodhisattva path. Lama Alan looks at ways the self is perceived and how this shapes attitudes and behaviors in relation to other beings.

Lesson 6: Ethics, Samādhi, Wisdom

In this lesson, Lama Alan introduces the actual method of the Mahāyāna student, looking at the transformation from renunciation to bodhicitta. Turning within for satisfaction and cultivating selflessness is the authentic bodhisattva path.

Lesson 7: Universal Well-Being

The path of the bodhisattva requires setting out; one must take steps toward the goal in order to arrive. Cultivating the mind through meditation provides a vehicle for the expedition to the great well-being of all beings.

Lesson 8: Entering the Mahāyāna Path

Lama Alan completes this second module, detailing how cultivation of the Six Perfections provides holistic well-being and relieves the suffering of others as well as ourselves. Sharp śamatha empowers broad bodhicitta, which is protected by deep wisdom.

Meet Your Teacher

Lama Alan Wallace

Lama Alan Wallace is the founder and director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and the Center for Contemplative Research. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he earned his MA and PhD in religious studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.

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Discover genuine well-being today

Enroll in Parts 1 & 2