Throughout this six-week course, you’ll learn–or rediscover–the historical, social, and spiritual context in which the dharma arose. Supported by discussion and guided practices, you’ll explore the view, practice, and foundational roots of the Buddha’s early teachings.
By completing The First Turning of the Wheel, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of Buddhism’s historical roots and seminal teachings.
Week 1: The Spiritual Landscape of Ancient India
Gain historical, social, and spiritual knowledge of the context in which Buddhism arose; Learn details of the Buddha’s life story; Develop skill in reading foundational Buddhist texts
Week 2: The Four Noble Truths
Gain an in-depth understanding of the four noble truths; Develop ways of understanding how suffering occurs; Cultivate insight into patterns of craving that cause dissatisfaction in your own life
Week 3: Buddhist Cosmology
Gain understanding of the components of “existence” according to the Buddhist system; Cultivate insight into how habitual patterns are perpetuated; Learn how to work with difficult emotions
Week 4: What Is a Person? Introduction to the Abhidhamma
Gain an understanding of early Buddhist psychology; Cultivate insight into the nature of thoughts and emotions; Develop ways to work with the core Buddhist teachings on selflessness
Week 5: Foundational Buddhist Meditation
Be able to identify the purpose of mindfulness practice according to its Buddhist roots; Begin to develop your own mindfulness practice; Identify common hindrances to meditation practice
Week 6: The Sangha
Understand why the Buddha employed various teaching methods; Learn about the ethical considerations of the Buddhist sangha; Explore the role of women in early Buddhism
Amelia Hall gained her PhD in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies from the University of Oxford in 2012. She has led courses on Buddhism as an online religious studies faculty member at Central Michigan University, and she has served as a faculty member teaching the history of Indian Buddhism for Antioch University’s Buddhist Studies Abroad program in Bodhgaya, India. A dharma practitioner for 20 years, she is a contributor to the Brill Encyclopedia of Buddhism and the forthcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Amelia is currently working on a book related to her research on tantric Buddhist landscapes in the Eastern Himalayas.