The Way Of The Buddha: Core Teachings of the Dharma Path

This retreat is held online.

IMS Online
This retreat is held online.
February 01 - December 30, 2021 (Monday to Thursday)


Introducing The Way of the Buddha, an immersive online learning experience from IMS.


For 45 years, IMS has been a leader in Dharma education rooted in the foundational principles of Early Buddhism. Now, for the first time, our teachers will offer the profound insights of the Buddha in a yearlong practice and study program delivered directly to you in your own online practice space.

Can’t make the live sessions? No problem. Course modules will be recorded and available to all who register.

Each monthly module will include a weekly dharma talk and guided meditation, plus supplemental articles, talks, contemplations, and reflection questions. You may sign up by month, or sign up for the full course for a complete curriculum on the core teachings of the Dharma path. For information about the full-year program, visit here.

Join for the full year to experience the comprehensive course curriculum, or sign up for only the monthly topics that interest you most.


You will learn:


  • The One Dharma

  • The Two Aspects of Truth

  • The Three Jewels and Three Personality Types

  • The Four Noble Truths, Four Immeasurables, and Four Foundations of Mindfulness

  • The Five Precepts, Five Spiritual Faculties, and Five Hindrances to Meditation

  • The Six Realms of Existence and how to work with the Six Senses

  • The Seven Factors of Awakening

  • The Eight-Fold Path

  • The Ten Perfections

  • And more!


Each month, IMS teachers from many generations and backgrounds will guide you on the path to inspire and deepen your practice.


IMS co-founder Sharon Salzberg offers context for this extraordinary program:


For the first few hundred years after the time of the Buddha, the teachings were not written down, but were preserved as an oral tradition, transmitted person to person, heart to heart. I’ve heard anthropologists say that oral traditions can be even more authentic than written traditions, because people take the responsibility of transmission seriously, and they invest in memorizing and embodying a field of knowledge.


In service of that pretty awesome responsibility, the teachings were often systemized into sets of numbers to aid memorization. Thus, we have the “three of these” and “four of those” and “five of the other.”


As we gather together these different sets of numbers and lists, we find a breathtaking understanding of the human experience, and most essentially, insight into the conditions that lead to suffering and the conditions that lead to the end of suffering. Interestingly, I’ve also found that a single set of numbers, like the four noble truths or the four boundless states, function as a fractal, like a snowflake, or a coastline, or clouds, where the smallest part represents the entirety of the whole.


In designing The Way of the Buddha, we kept both of these aspects in mind – the power of even the smallest part, and the vision of life created by the whole. And, we celebrate the value of the oral tradition, even in an online age.


My wish for this program was to have IMS teachers choose the topic or topics they were most passionate about to present, and I’m so happy to say that is what happened. Throughout the program, many themes will recur—mindfulness, the causes of suffering, lovingkindness, equanimity or peace—and I think, for those who register for several or all of the sections, it will be interesting to hear the voices and choices of different teachers on what is most essential to address.


IMS co-founder Joseph Goldstein will begin this new program with a session on an essential teaching: the truth of one dharma. A new set of teachings will follow each month throughout the year, drawing on the wisdom of both the elder and the newer IMS teachers of the Dharma. I hope you will join us on this journey toward self-discovery and liberation.

—Sharon Salzberg


Each program module will include a weekly dharma talk and guided meditation, plus supplemental articles, talks, contemplations, and reflection questions. You may sign up by month, or sign up for the full course for a complete curriculum on the core teachings of the Dharma path.



Fees
For this program, sliding scale fees are $525, $850, or $1075. Please select the highest rate you can reasonably afford. We also offer a scholarship fee of $200, and no-fee enrollment for those who request a fee-waiver. Our “Pay What You Can Afford" system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and contributes to the health and vibrancy of the sangha. Email imsonline@dharma.org for more information or to request a no-fee enrollment.


Teacher Support
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—offer their teachings freely, and rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. Teachers do not generally receive compensation from IMS program fees, though IMS may offer a modest advance to ensure financial support and the continuation of the teachings. Click here to learn more about teacher support. There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of your program, or you may donate now




Program Schedule & Teachings


Module 1: February 1 (7 - 8:15 pm ET)


  • Sharon Salzberg: Introduction and Program Overview

  • Joseph Goldstein: One Dharma (pre-recorded)


Module 2: February 4, 11, 18, 25 (Thursdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Sharon Salzberg, Tara Mulay, Devon Hase


  • The Two Aspects of Truth (Relative and Absolute)

  • The Three Personality Types (Greedy, Aversive, Deluded)

  • The Three Characteristics (Impermanence, Non-Self, Unsatisfactoriness)


Module 3: March 4, 9, 18, 25, and April 1 (Thursdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Bonnie Duran, Walt Opie, Guy Armstrong, Jeanne Corrigal


  • The Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha)

  • Emptiness and Non-Self


Module 4: April 6, 13, 20, 27 (Tuesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Rebecca Bradshaw, Shelly Graf


  • The Four Noble Truths (the Truth of Suffering/Stress, the Truth of the Origin of Suffering/Stress, the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering/Stress, the Truth of the Way to the Cessation of Suffering/Stress)

  • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Body, Feelings, Mind, Dhammas)


Module 5: May 4, 11, 18, 25 (Tuesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Devin Berry, Jeanne Corrigal, Jozen Tamori Gibson, Tuere Sala


  • The Four Immeasurables/Brahma Viharas: Metta (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic joy), and Upekkha (equanimity)


Module 6: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (Tuesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

DaRa Williams, Rachel Lewis, Winnie Nazarko, Roxanne Dault


  • The Five Hindrances to Meditation (Desire, Ill-Will, Sloth & Torpor, Restlessness, Doubt)

  • The Five Spiritual Faculties (Faith, Energy, Mindfulness, Concentration, Wisdom)


Module 7: July 6, 13, 20, 27 (Tuesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Erin Treat, Jill Shepherd, Walt Opie, Rebecca Bradshaw


  • The Five Precepts (Refrain from: Taking Life, Taking what is not Given, Sexual Misconduct, False Speech, Intoxicants)


Module 8: August 4, 11, 18, 25, Sept 1 (Wednesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Devon Hase, Ayya Anandabodhi, and JoAnna Hardy


  • The Six Realms of Existence (3 higher and 3 lower realms)

  • The Six Senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell Touch, Taste, and Mind)


Module 9: September 9, 16, 23, 30 (Thursdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Nakawe Cuebas Berrios, Narayan Liebenson, Matthew Hepburn


  • The Seven Factors of Awakening (Mindfulness, Keen Investigation, Energy, Rapture, Calm, Concentration, and Equanimity)


Module 10: October 6, 13, 20, 27 (Wednesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Carol Wilson, Tara Mulay, Tuere Sala, Dawn Scott


  • The Eight-Fold Path (Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration)


Module 11: November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 (Tuesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Kamala Masters, Jozen Gibson, Erin Treat, Yong Oh, Jessica Morey


  • The Ten Paramis (part one): Generosity, Virtue, Renunciation, Discernment, and Energy


Module 12: December 9, 16, 23, 30 (Thursdays from 7 - 8:30 pm ET)

Narayan Liebenson, Andrea Castillo, Devin Berry, Sharon Salzberg


  • The Ten Paramis (part two): Patience, Truthfulness, Resolution, Loving Kindness, and Equanimity


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn and practice with IMS's experienced teachers and a vibrant community of fellow meditators and friends.


Join for a month, or the whole year, to receive the core teachings of the Dharma path:

The Way of the Buddha.

Recommended Reading:
For this course’s supplemental Recommended Reading list, click here.
Note: This reading is suggested only, not required.


Information you might find helpful:

Teachers