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Buddhism IRL (in real life)

March 9 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Buddhism IRL: An Introduction to Buddhist Teachings

March 9-April 27

Special Bonus Enneagram Class: May 4

$333 payable in full or in three installments
Two full scholarships offered


About the Program

I can’t think of a time when Buddhist wisdom has been more necessary. It has so much to teach us about living a life of brilliance, kindness, and courage. No one has to “be a Buddhist” or adopt foreign beliefs to benefit from its extraordinary insights into how to build a meaningful, powerful life.

In this eight week program (plus a special bonus ninth class for those interested in the enneagram), we will immerse ourselves in foundational Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths, the Six Paramitas (transcendent actions), and the Four Karmas (ways to express our mindfulness out in the world).

This exploration is for those of you interested in discovering your unique journey through engaging with the profound and ancient teachings of Buddhism. Our exploration will not be academic, it will be very personal. We will focus on teachings about how to live everyday life to the fullest, for our own benefit and the benefit of the world.

Our guiding question is not “what does this mean?” but “what does this mean to me?”


The Curriculum

March 9 
Meditation: A Love Story

Meditation creates the container for spiritual exploration. It begins with releasing self-aggression to discover an indestructible well-spring of love. We will look at meditation as a spiritual practice (rather than self-improvement) and discuss the three actions you can take to make your practice sustainable and joyful.

Topics covered:

  • Complete practice review
  • Container Principle: Five sacred acts
  • Creating a sustainable daily practice (3 jewels)
  • Keeping practice sacred rather than self-help


March 16
The Four Noble Truths

These four truths form the foundation for the entire Buddhist path, but they are not particularly Buddhist. Rather, they are profound observations about how reality actually works, what causes suffering, and how to liberate ourselves and others from such suffering. 

Topics covered:

  • The Three-Yana view
  • The Four Noble Truths, including
  • The Noble Eightfold path


March 23
The Six Paramitas and The Heart Sutra: Part One

The six paramitas (transcendent actions), closely associated with Mahayana Buddhism, explain how to bring our practice off the cushion and into our lives. “Para” means gone beyond and “mita” means arrived. So we don’t just try to make a better world, we actually accomplish it by these six actions.

With some understanding of the paramitas, we are equipped to explore the journey of transcendence, a journey that is described (inscrutably) in the Heart Sutra, one of the most revered and central texts within Buddhism. For me personally, it is at the very center of my practice and has been for more than 30 years. 

This short (two pages) text doesn’t explain the journey particularly, but seems to invite it by some mysterious means. We will read through it together and discuss how to practice it.

Topics covered:

  • Six Paramitas: Generosity, Discipline, Patience. Exertion, Meditative Absorption, Wisdom
  • The Heart Sutra: What is it and how to incorporate it into daily practice


March 30
The Six Paramitas and The Heart Sutra: Part Two

A continuing conversation…


April 6
Four Karmas

The Four Karmas (Pacify, Enrich, Magnetize, Destroy) offer an infallible menu of options to choose from when deciding how to meet each moment. They also act as protection for our state of mind.

Topics covered:

  • Pacify
  • Enrich
  • Magnetize
  • Destroy


April 13
Five Buddha Families

A discussion of the five ways wisdom manifests within you.

Topics covered:

  • Vajra family
  • Ratna family
  • Padma family
  • Karma family
  • Buddha family


April 20

Drala is a Tibetan word that means “above the enemy”. What is above all our enemies? Something awake, brilliant, and alive. To understand drala is to touch in with the essential life force of all we encounter. When we train ourselves to do so, the world simply unfolds in a different way.


April 27
Mandala Principle

Bringing it all together.


May 4 The Buddhist Enneagram

I realize that not everyone is an enneagram nerd. BUT I AM! (My latest book, The Buddhist Enneagram is evidence.) This last class is for anyone who wants to take a deeper look at this amazing system to type themselves and learn more about how it can support the spiritual journey.

All classes will be on Saturdays from 10a EST to 12n EST. There will be suggested readings for each class and optional writing assignments to encourage introspection and  then, if you wish, a chance to share your thoughts with others on our private forum.


About Your Teacher

Susan Piver

I’ve been a student of Buddhism for over 30 years and founded The Open Heart Project, an online mindfulness community. I’ve seen over and over how these teachings offer support for living deeply and well, even during tumultuous times. 

I’ve written many books about meditation and bringing Buddhist wisdom into everyday life, including Start Here Now: An Open-Hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, The Four Noble Truths of Love, and The Buddhist Enneagram.



Enrollment is now closed. 

Please note:
Since attendance is limited, there are no full or partial refunds offered.

Two full scholarships offered.

The application deadline has passed. All who applied have been contacted.


March 9
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: