Samye Institute offers home study courses based upon genuine Dharma teachings. All courses feature instruction which has been passed down from master to master over many generations since the time of the Buddha. We have arranged the materials into a few courses of different lengths and depths. Some courses include a few modules and key points. Other courses such as the Path of Meditation involve a full year of practice, covering different techniques of meditation. Each course is complete unto itself. The key points of Dharma practice are always the same. We seek to transform our minds, and reduce suffering. We learn how to best practice loving kindness and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
Essential Short Courses
These courses represent the distilled essence of the teachings. They provide a good taster of the whole path whilst remaining unelaborate and simple to practice. We recommend these to both new students and more advanced students. Short courses focus on direct experience of the mind. Thus, anyone interested in understanding the mind will gain a great deal from experiencing the richness and accessibility of these core teachings.
Training the Mind: An Introduction
This introductory courses focuses on the core point of all Dharma teachings, training the mind. Changing your mind changes your life. No matter what kind of dharma teaching or training you come across, there will without a doubt be a focus on training the mind. So, what better place to start? What better topic to revise? Learn straightforward meditation instruction to begin or recharge your practice.
- Modules: 4
- Videos: 4
- Written summary of key teachings points and fundamental Buddhist principles.
- Reflection exercises and questions.
- Written meditation instructions provide clear practice structures.
- Access to student forums to pose questions and discuss experiences.
The Noble Wisdom of the Time of Death Sūtra
This course presents the essence of the path in a remarkably direct and straight to the point fashion. Imagine you were about to die– your time has come. What is the most important and valuable thing you have in your last moments of life? What do you need to remember? This course is not only for the moment of death but every single moment leading up to ‘the big day’. Every moment of your life can benefit from these teachings. This Māhayāna sūtra gives precise meditation instruction in accord with Prajñāpāramitā (perfection of wisdom) teachings.
- Modules: 10
- Videos: 9
- Video of Rinpoche reciting the sūtra
- PDF of the sutra available to download
- Glossary and written recap of key points
- Reflection questions and exercises
- Student forum to pose questions and share experiences
These courses represent our main offerings. These courses feature gradual progressions of teaching, reflection and meditations. They are designed to support your practice over a minimum of one year. Depending upon your personal schedule, you may take longer to proceed through these courses. Therefore, these courses are ideal for those committed to a clear path and gradual transformation.
Path of Meditation Level One
This practice program guides one from the beginning of the path to a mature, strong and stable practice of meditation. The course contains a wide variety of methods and meditation techniques. We explain key points of the Dharma and encourage and support your reflection. Phakchok Rinpoche and instructors then give specific practice instructions for each month of practice. This improves your ability to meditate in different circumstances and situations through variety. Variety helps you to not become attached to any single style. Thus, the main point of meditation becomes more clearly vivid in your own mind. We recommend this course to all students from beginners to advanced.
- Modules: 42
- Videos: 40
- Path of Meditation Map
- Downloadable practice texts
- Written summaries of key points and advice for ethical behavior in daily life.
- Suggested practice schedule and tips for session structure.
- Explanation of physical shrine set-up.
- Reflection exercises and review questions.
- Video guided explanation of enhancement techniques for practice.
- Lineage information and suggested reading lists.
- Course forum to pose questions and discuss experiences.
Tukdrub Barché Kunsel Ngöndro: The Four Foundations
Four Foundations practice are the core preliminaries for the Vajrayana practitioner. In this program Phakchok Rinpoche kindly gives detailed video teachings on each practice. This course provides a guided path through these core teachings and physical practices. We begin with four classic meditation aimed at purifying obscurations and accumulating both merit and wisdom. These meditations will transform your mind, opening you to the possibilities and freedoms inherent in your being.
- Modules: 26
- Videos: 20
- Audio: 9
- Four Foundations Practice Chart
- Downloadable chants for practice
- Lineage information.
- Downloadable visual and audio practice supports.
- Written summaries of key points and written descriptions of practices described in video or audio teachings.
- Advice on practice session structure and options for accumulation.
- Reflection questions, practice tips, and a student forum to pose questions and discuss experiences.
- A senior instructor answers forum questions and is available for individual Skype interviews to discuss your practice.
Additional Support Courses
These courses are designed to support your study and practice. Thus, they accompany and enhance the courses offered above.
Yoga Āsanas for Sitting Meditation
With all this sitting around meditating you may well want to loosen up and stretch a little! Or, you may think that you can’t really meditate because it is physically difficult. These exercise are specifically designed to aid meditators sit more comfortably. And, if you carry less tension in the body, your mind will also relax. Practicing these simple exercises allows you to experience more enjoyable meditation sessions.
- Modules: 17
- Videos: 16
- Written suggestions and advice for practice.
The Concise Sang Offering: Practice Support Program
Sang pūjā is a Vajrayāna smoke offering practice. Regular practice of sang brings many benefits and creates auspicious conditions for your practice. Phakchok Rinpoche recommends that students practice this short, comprehensive offering as often as possible. Here you will find demonstration and instruction in the practice. We offer several commentaries to indicate the deep meaning contained in this practice.
- Modules: 7
- Videos: 2
- Audio: 2
- Written support materials on substances and physical practice.