Teacher Training

The Dharma Teacher Training Program
 (Prerequisite: Dharma Study Course Certificate).
 Graduates of the Study Class may be asked to join Dharma Training Class.

Dharma Teacher Training Guidelines

The fifth year is a time to contemplate and reflect upon your experience in the Dharma Training Class for the last four years. Continuing into the fifth year is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is a decision that requires you to be willing to take on a leadership role in teaching the Dharma to others. You are making a decision to live your life as a monk or a nun in your heart while you continue to meet your responsibilities and obligations in the conventional world. This decision sets you on a path of service to this class and to the goal of working toward liberating all sentient beings from suffering.

Guidelines for study and practice:

  1. Choose a topic from the list below to study.
    • Teaching and Teacher
    • Health and Wellness
    • Living, Death, and Dying
    • Right Livelihood
    • Community and Dialogue: Being a Buddhist in a Non Buddhist World
    • Engagement and Service
    • Family and Relationship
    • Ceremony
    • Practice
  1. Develop a Dharma talk from your area of study to be given at a Day of Mindfulness.
  1. Complete a ten page paper in your area of study due at the end of the year.
  1. Plan, organize, and lead one Day of Mindfulness.
  1. Become proficient in inviting the bell and the mokygyo as well as learn the role of a Buddhist teacher in common ceremonies like weddings and funerals.
  1. Attend class regularly and mentor a Dharma family. Attendance at all classes is very important in order to provide leadership and guidance to the students working to complete the first three years.
  1. Mentor one student book presentation during the year.
  1. Read: Chanting from the Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh; Nothing to Do Nowhere to Go by Thich Nhat Hanh and/or The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi by Burton Watson; Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield; and Buddhism and Bioethics by Damien Keown.
  1. Commitment to one year of service to the Dharma Training Class after ordination as a lay teacher.
  1. Develop your public speaking skills. As you can tell by the length of this list, those who choose this path will need much time to learn and participate in all of the required and recommended activities. Therefore, we estimate that most students will require 2-3 years to finish this training. The decision whether an individual will be ordained will take into account the needs of the student, the mentor recommendations and our spiritual leader decision.

Students who have completed the requirements of the Dharma Training Program may be invited to be ordained as lay dharma teachers in the Dharma Teacher Order.