Entering The Path
An Online Foundations Course in Early Buddhist Study and Practice
Ten weeks of engaging in early Buddhist practice and study in an intensive online community
Interested in studying the suttas but find them too complex, dense?
Not sure how to apply them to your practice?
This online course offers:
Week 1: Introduction and the Value of the Early Buddhist Teachings
Jake Davis, Bhikkhu Anālayo and Joseph Goldstein
Week 2: The Four Noble Truths
Bhikkhu Anālayo, Jake Davis, and Joseph Goldstein
Week 3: Dāna—Understanding dāna (generosity) as cultivating skillful qualities of heart
Week 4: Sīla – Understanding sīla (ethical behavior) as a gift to oneself and the world
Week 5: Brahma Vihāras
Bhikkhu Anālayo and Sharon Salzberg
Week 6: Papañca, Cognition, Mindfulness
Week 7: Satipaṭṭhāna: Body
Week 8: Satipaṭṭhāna: Feeling and Mind
Week 9: Satipaṭṭhāna: Dhammas
Week 10: Awakening and Conclusion of Course
Jake Davis and Joseph Goldstein
Testimonials from Previous Participants
“Every week I was blown away.”
I was expecting excellent content, but still, every week I was blown away. I was so impressed with this new way to deliver a class. You really exploited this medium.
“What really surprised me was the Sangha.”
What really surprised me (because I thought it was going to be something intellectual) was the Sangha. I never had access to anything like this before, with the teachers or the students. What really amazed me was how devoted everyone was to this class and to the dharma, without exception. Everyone’s involvement was so wholehearted, and I really felt at home with this course.
“I really appreciate how different this course was to any other residential retreat.”
The most surprising and unique aspect of the course was how personal it all became. I really appreciate how different this course was to any other residential retreat. Because we were all in our own homes and living out our lives, and the practicing of the material happened in ‘real life’ rather than on secluded retreat, the teachings felt WAY more useful. Questions and investigation came up in ways that would never have manifested on retreat. This made it feel very, very alive and relevant to my life.
“I would never have guessed that an online course could provide this closeness.”
I felt a much closer connection to the teachers than on any other course, I think because of this real-life aspect. I would never have guessed that an online course could provide this closeness. It was an outstanding reason why the course was so beneficial and enjoyable. The interactions with the teachers were so unscripted and real because of the format. It was truly wonderful; thank you all so much.
This course requires considerable commitment from participants. We require attendance at weekly virtual meetings, as well as completion of small writing prompts throughout the program. The required time commitment is roughly 5-7 hours per week.
Each week includes:
- 1 hour of video lecture
- 1 hour of small group meeting
- 1 1/2 hours of personal time for reading suttas, reflections and key points
- Daily practice and digestion
Over the course of the program, participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the guiding teachers for two sessions of 15-30 minutes each.
Application Process and Criteria for Selection
In previous programs, due to the need for small groups to support the intimate nature of the program, we have been able to accept roughly 25% of applicants. In general, we have endeavored to include those with previous meditation experience, those who have limited access to dharma study in their area, and those who have demonstrated keen interest, for instance those who have applied to previous programs.
Our only requirement for application is the completion of at least one week of continuous silent meditation practice.
Acceptance into the program is contingent upon a short virtual interview (approximately 5 minutes) with BCBS staff to ensure clarity of commitment and comfort level with technology.
Program Fee, Teacher Dāna and Scholarships
The course fee is $495. This does not include financial support for the guiding teachers. As is customary at BCBS, there will be an opportunity to offer dāna to the teachers at the end of the program.
We are committed to making this program accessible to all. Scholarships are available to help supplement the course fee.
January 20 - March 25, 2019 with Jill Shepherd
October 1 – Applications open
December 1– Applications close
December 15– Initial accepted notified
December 15- January 15 – Interview period, payment and registration on a rolling basis. Waitlisted students are contacted during this period.
January 20 – Course material begins
April 13 – Course closes