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buddhism in a nutshell

An introduction to Tibetan Buddhism

This course presents a scientific and logical explanation of the nature of our lives and the source of happiness and dissatisfaction. You will learn how the mind is the creator of our world and experiences and how the full potential of our mind can be achieved. 

Buddhism in a Nutshell is a 5 week introductory course that provides an overview of Buddhism in general and Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition in particular. It is suitable for people encountering Buddhism for the first time, as well as for people who have heard or read some Buddhist teachings but would like a more structured approach to understanding the path to enlightenment as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. We cover the following topics:

  • what the mind is and how it works,
  • the four noble truths – a look at happiness and suffering, how we create them, and how we can achieve lasting happiness,
  • genuine empathy and compassion,
  • the profound wisdom realizing the nature of reality,
  • meditation and mind training as methods for transformation.

Each session consists of teachings, discussions, and short guided meditations suitable for beginners. The headline for each of the session is:

Session 1: The Buddha and his teachings
Session 2: The Buddha’s path to enlightenment
Session 3: The teachings on perfect human life, impermanence and death, and Buddhist refuge
Session 4: The teachings on renunciation and bodhichitta
Session 5: The teachings on calm abiding, special Insight, and tantra

What will I take away into my daily life?

This course helps you develop a holistic view of the Buddhist path – from the start to the end goal. You will learn to identify the sources of disturbing emotions and apply methods for transforming them into constructive states. You will be able to build your daily meditation practice. 

Course material

We will use the book Buddhism in a Nutshell: Essentials for Practice and Study by Lama Thubten Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and Venerable Amy Miller. You can borrow the book from us for the duration of the course. It is also made available in PDF format. You will also have access to course notes, guided meditations, and homework assignments. 

Is this course for me?

Buddhism in a Nutshell and Introduction to Buddhist Meditation are 5 week introductory courses from FPMT. Buddhism in a Nutshell can be done either before or after Introduction to Buddhist Meditation, in which Buddhist meditation is explored in more detail. However, if you are new to both Buddhism and meditation it is recommended to begin with Introduction to Buddhist Meditation.

Comments from previous participants

Very good overview of Buddhism, the course really lives up to its name – Buddhism in a Nutshell!

For me, the course provided both breadth and depth.

The course provides a reasonably complicated summary for those who want to begin to immerse themselves in Buddhist issues.

The course leader gave very good summaries on background and important concepts. The discussions gave many angles on complicated issues

The course book was great, and it was good that we had access to the PowerPoint slides.

Different explanatory models with practical applications increase understanding of complex issues.

Very competent course leader and room to ask questions.

Practical information and how to register

Information about the course date, language, last day of registration, and if the course is also given online, can be found in the respective event. This is also where you register for the course by purchasing a ticket.

Upcoming Buddhism in a nutshell courses 

september

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october

06oct18:0020:00FeaturedBuddhism in a nutshell: 5 week courseThis course presents a scientific and logical explanation of the nature of our lives and the source of happiness and dissatisfaction. You will learn how the mind is the creator of our world and experiences and how the full potential of our mind can be achieved.

November

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