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Finding Freedom: The Core Teachings of the Buddha, Course I – The First Noble Truth: Meeting Suffering with Maitri

Explore this recorded Shambhala Online course at your own pace.

About the Course

This course is part of a five-course-series that provides a thorough exploration of the Hinayana path drawing on teachings from prominent teachers and classic sources. The emphasis is on cultivating maitri or friendliness to oneself, and on the Shambhala teachings of basic goodness, gentleness and bravery – allowing us to meet the modern human condition with warriorship and dignity.

This course offers an exploration of the nature of suffering from the perspective of the Four Marks of Existence: Impermanence, Suffering, Selflessness and Peace – and how we can meet suffering with maitri, or unconditional friendliness. The teachers will also guide students in the exploration and practice of Mindfulness of Body, the first of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. 

In his earliest teachings, the Buddha taught that the suffering of samsaric existence is the first noble truth. Such suffering is changing and impermanent, and arises from infinite causes and conditions. It feels intensely personal (mine), and, in fact, is one of the bases we use to craft our identity (me and my problems), which is called “mistaking what has no self for a self.” This state of mind generates constant underlying fear and anxiety. When we recognize these simple truths of existence, impermanence, suffering, and the absence of a true self, we can experience the peace of nirvana.

About the Teachers 

Susan Chapman has been a student of Shambhala since 1974. She has an MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University, has worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist. She has one grown child. With her husband Jerry she founded the Juneau, Alaska Shambhala Center and has also completed Gampo Abbey’s three year retreat. She served as druppon, or “retreat leader” at Gampo Abbey for six more years. After moving back to Vancouver Susan started a business which offers workshops and training in mindful communication. She is on the faculty of Karuna Training and teaches twice yearly in Europe. She has also served as a senior teacher in Shambhala. In April of 2015 she published The Five Keys to Mindful Communication.

Fleet Maull, PhD, has been a Shambhala practitioner for more than 40 years. He has served as a senior teacher and has led Shambhala programs and retreats throughout North America, Europe and Latin America. Fleet is a Roshi (senior lineage teacher) in the Zen Peacemaker and Soto Zen lineages. He is a consultant, executive coach, an internationally renowned social activist and founder of numerous engaged organizations including Prison Mindfulness Institute, Engaged Mindfulness Institute, Center for Mindfulness in Public Safety and the National Prison Hospice Association. He is the author of Dharma in Hell, The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull and Radical Responsibility: How to Move Beyond Blame, Fearlessly Live Your Highest Purpose and Become an Unstoppable Force for Good.

2024-04-12 17:26:02