This is a 6-unit course, available now, and which you are invited to study at your own pace. You will retain access to the course for as long as you need. Each lesson will offer roughly 45-60 minutes of video teachings. There will also be prompts for reflection, optional quizzes, and a communal discussion board. As part of your training, Haemin will suggest take-home practices, including koan study, for you to explore throughout from unit to unit.
Unit 1 | What is Enlightenment?
One of the biggest supports for our own awakening is a clear understanding of what awakening is and what it is not. We learn how to distinguish between genuine enlightenment and the many spiritual experiences that we may encounter on the Buddhist path.
Unit 2 | Zen Breakthrough
Haemin Sunim introduces the Zen landscape and shows how Zen practice precipitates a breakthrough to a different way of being in the world. We'll look deeper into our true nature and think about enlightenment from a new angle via the Sunglasses Metaphor.
Unit 3 | Koan Practice
Koan practice has always seemed mysterious or paradoxical in the West. Here, Haemin Sunim shows that it is actually a very practical method for freeing the mind. We'll also explore the Movie Screen Metaphor as an exceptionally clear and reassuring way of understanding enlightenment.
Unit 4 | Empty Luminosity
The heart of awakening is the empty, luminous nature of mind. This formless, unconditioned awareness is our refuge from suffering, and it is this to which we awaken. However, this awareness isn't a complicated philosophy... it's actually so simple that we overlook it all the time. Our enlightenment metaphor here is that of lucid dreaming: recognizing that one is dreaming from within the dream state.
Unit 5 | The Heart Sutra
What does it mean to say that "form is emptiness and emptiness is form?" If we can understand this one text, we will penetrate the real meaning of awakening. In this unit, Haemin Sunim offers an explanation of both the limits of language and the experience of non-duality with profound clarity. We'll find the the Sandcastle Metaphor incredibly useful for understanding how awareness takes shape as form, and yet is never anything but awareness.
Unit 6 | Emptiness in Action
Having understood, glimpsed, or realized the truth we return to the world. It is in the hustle and bustle of daily life where wisdom can be put to use. This means finding creative, compassionate ways to benefit others with our wisdom. We finish with a healing, heart-opening meditation on love before Haemin Sunim offers guidance for continuing our practice and exploration.