At Copper Mountain Institute, beginning, intermediate and advanced programs of study and mediation are offered according to the traditional “3 Yana” (Yana: Sanskrit, “Vehicle”) classification of the teachings of Buddhism.

The Hinayana: Introduction to The Teachings of the Buddha 

This course will offer instruction and guided sessions in Mindfulness – Awareness (Shamatha/Vipashanya) mediation along with the following course of study: 

The Three Marks of Existence and their Cessation

  1. Impermanence – All that arises and exists also falls away.
  2. Suffering – Due to our mistaken sense of solidity, we cling to a self and strive for permanence, so we live in a state of unease and dissatisfaction.
  3. No-self – There is no self apart from our assumption of separateness and solidity.
  4. Nirvana – Enlightenment is all-inclusive bliss and knowing, freedom from dualism which occurs with the extinguishment of all pain and sorrow. 

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

  1. Mindfulness of body
  2. Mindfulness of  feelings
  3. Mindfulness of mind
  4. Mindfulness of dharmas ( all things,) the nature of experience

The Four Noble Truths

  1. Suffering is the pervasive background of uncertainty, doubt and anguish as well as physical discomfort and pain.
  2. The Cause of Suffering is clinging.
  3. The Cessation of Suffering is Nirvana. Obscurations are impermanent, so they can be extinguished. Awakening is always available.
  4. The Path to the Cessation of Suffering - The Noble Eightfold Path: By means of conscientious conduct, meditation practice and wisdom, we follow the path of the enlightened ones.    

*This course is now open for registration – it runs Thursdays, 9:30-10:30am. 

The Mahayana: The Heart Sutra - The Perfection of Transcendent Knowledge

The Heart Sutra is perhaps the best known and most recited sutra in the entire corpus of the Buddhist teachings. Lauded for its pith instruction on the inseparable nature of form and emptiness, this course will focus on the Sutra in relation to mindfulness, awareness and compassion. 

1. The interdependent nature of form (appearance) and emptiness (the vast, open potentiality of the heart-mind)

2. What is to be transcended- concepts and beliefs, the cage of dualistic egocentric cognition:

  • The Five Skandhas, the basic impermanent constituents of sentient beings
  • The Six Sense Powers and their objects
  • The Eight Consciousnesses 
  • The 12 interdependent links in the Chain of Causation

3. Resolution of The Four Noble Truths

4. Meaning of the mantra, the inseparability of the Two Truths

5. Dependent Arising, or Interdependent Origination, reality itself

6. Fruition: enlightenment, freedom from suffering

The Vajrayana: Courses TBD

After completion of the Hinayana and Mahayana courses, the Ngondro practices are available for those who wish to develop their practice further in the form of transformational deity practice. 

Following Ngondro, it is possible to receive transmission and empowerment for various deity practices such as Green Tara and Chod, Medicine Buddha, etc. It is very important to have a strong foundation in the Hinayana and Mahayana paths and practices before entering into the study of Vajrayana, or Tantra.  

Lama Gendun Drolma, Carol Hoy is presently authorized to offer the following Terma teachings to qualified students: 

  1. Green Tara: Green Tara is a manifestation of the Great Mother Prajnaparamita, The Perfection of  Wisdom. Arising from the Dharmakaya emptiness, her unceasing intent is to free all beings from fear and suffering.
  2. Chod Practice: The Bellowing Laughter of the Dakinis, a is the path to mastery of our own minds. Chod (Path of Severance) is the unhindered expression of the dynamic of the two-fold egolessness of self and all phenomena. This dynamic overcomes any impediment to realization by cutting ego attachment right at the root. 

All courses are offered on a donation basis, last (approximately) 1 hour and are conducted via Zoom. Course times are MDT.

To find out more information and to register, please send a message via the form below:

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