Foundations of Buddhism: Nirvana & Freedom from Suffering

April 29th—May 20th

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  • $149 Program Price
  • $179 Patron Price
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This online course presents the Third Noble Truth, Freedom from Suffering, and begins with an exploration of the Third Foundation of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Effort.

“The Buddha said that… suffering should be known; the origin of suffering should be
renounced; the cessation of suffering should be realized; and the path should be
regarded as the truth to resolution.”
– Chögyam Trungpa

How do we find relief? How do we realize the cessation of suffering now?

Chôgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in his explanation of the Buddha’s meaning, emphasizes the experience of cessation as it arises in meditation and actual life, rather than as an imagined goal to be achieved in the future. We will explore the experience of cessation as “the gap” that arises naturally in shamatha (“peacefully abiding”) meditation practice, especially with regards to Mindfulness of Effort.

We will look at how we can recognize the contrast between samsara (our cycle of suffering and dissatisfaction) and nirvana; and how vipashyana or meditative awareness allows us to cultivate, extend and rest in “the gap”. Finally, we will look at the ways the Truth of Cessation manifests at different levels of practice and the path.

The recommended readings for the course are drawn from The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma: The Path of Individual Liberation (Vol I) by Chögyam Trungpa, with selected optional readings from Mindfulness in Action by Chögyam Trungpa.


Acharya Suzann Duquette has been a student in the Shambhala lineage for 45 years and has served as a teacher since the 1980s. Previously a co-director, she is currently Karmê Chöling’s Resident Acharya.  She is also Rupa Acharya, responsible for Shambhala’s liturgical forms, which includes the training of umdzes and chöpöns through the Shambhala Ritual Academy. Acharya Duquette respects the power of body awareness in deepening spiritual awakening and emphasizes body disciplines in her retreats and programs. She teaches widely, including Shambhala retreats and Mudra Space Awareness, and Daoist-Qigong in the lineage of Dr. Eva Wong.

Acharya Daniel Hessey has been a student of the Sakyongs since 1973. He has taught meditation, Shambhala Buddhism, and Yijing related programs throughout North America.  He is currently residing at Karmê Chöling with his daughter who recently graduated from Whittier College. This year, he published two of the four planned volumes of Enlightened Society: A Shambhala Buddhist Reading of the Yijing on Amazon books.