Dharma Teacher Training

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”on” _builder_version=”3.22″ background_image=”https://zenawakened.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/dharma-talks.jpg” background_position=”center_left”][et_pb_fullwidth_header title=”
Dharma Teacher Training Program” subhead=”The World Needs You” text_orientation=”center” _builder_version=”3.18.7″ title_font=”|700|||||||” title_font_size=”60px” subhead_font_size=”30px” background_image=”https://zenawakened.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/dharma-teacher-training-program.jpg” title_font_size_tablet=”” title_font_size_phone=”44px” title_font_size_last_edited=”on|phone” custom_css_main_element=”min-height: 40vw;||||display: -webkit-box;|| display: -ms-flexbox;|| display: flex;|| -webkit-box-align: center;|| -ms-flex-align: center;|| align-items: center;|| -webkit-box-orient: horizontal;|| -webkit-box-direction: normal;|| -ms-flex-direction: row;|| flex-direction: row;|| -ms-flex-wrap: wrap;|| flex-wrap: wrap;” custom_css_title=”align-self: center !important;” title_text_shadow_style=”preset5″ content_text_shadow_style=”preset5″ subhead_text_shadow_style=”preset5″ text_shadow_style=”preset5″ button_one_text_size__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_text_size__hover=”null” button_two_text_size__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_text_size__hover=”null” button_one_text_color__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_text_color__hover=”null” button_two_text_color__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_text_color__hover=”null” button_one_border_width__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_border_width__hover=”null” button_two_border_width__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_border_width__hover=”null” button_one_border_color__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_border_color__hover=”null” button_two_border_color__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_border_color__hover=”null” button_one_border_radius__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_border_radius__hover=”null” button_two_border_radius__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_border_radius__hover=”null” button_one_letter_spacing__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_letter_spacing__hover=”null” button_two_letter_spacing__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_letter_spacing__hover=”null” button_one_bg_color__hover_enabled=”off” button_one_bg_color__hover=”null” button_two_bg_color__hover_enabled=”off” button_two_bg_color__hover=”null”][/et_pb_fullwidth_header][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ max_width=”700px” use_custom_width=”on” custom_width_px=”700px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.1″ z_index_tablet=”500″ hover_enabled=”0″ text_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” text_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” text_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” link_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” link_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” link_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” ul_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” ul_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” ul_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” ol_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” ol_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” ol_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” quote_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” quote_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” quote_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_2_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_2_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_2_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_3_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_3_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_3_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_4_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_4_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_4_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_5_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_5_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_5_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” header_6_text_shadow_horizontal_length_tablet=”0px” header_6_text_shadow_vertical_length_tablet=”0px” header_6_text_shadow_blur_strength_tablet=”1px” box_shadow_horizontal_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_vertical_tablet=”0px” box_shadow_blur_tablet=”40px” box_shadow_spread_tablet=”0px”]

“In these modern times of difficulty and stress the only sane response to what’s going on is awakening.
The world needs you. We all need you.”
Ian Paul Marshall


The Zen Awakened Dharma Teacher Training Program is a chance for you to go deeper into the dharma. To help it unfold in your life – then to share that gift with the world.

Here at Zen Awakened we’re on a mission to train at least 108 Dharma teachers to help transform the world.

We see the role of being a Dharma Teacher to be a calling. Something that you feel deep within. Dharma teachers have been touched by the teachings, their own lives transformed and they want to share that blessing with others.

This online multi-year guided training will allow you to experience the dharma in new and exciting ways. It’s broken down in multiple semesters and you’ll have the chance to really explore and go deep into your practice.

Each semester you’ll journey through the teachings in ways that will provide you with new insights and revelations and help you to even more fully live an awakened life.

At the end of your Dharma Teacher Training you’ll benefit from being part of a global network of teachers and sanghas, having ready made lesson plans to work from, dharma talks and series to help you bring these teachings to the world.

Phase 1: At the end of this phase you can begin to teach – these modules may change as the program unfolds

Module 1: The Life of the Buddha (8 Weeks)
PLS purchase “Buddha by Karen Armstrong as this is the text we’ll be using for this module)

Module 2:
The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path (15 Weeks)
PLS purchase “Awaken” by Ian Paul Marshall as this is the text we’ll be using for this module – we will also be using video recordings as well)

Module 3: The Three Dharma Seals (8 Weeks)

Module 4: Foundations of Meditation (12 Weeks)

Module 5:
The Four Immeasurables (6 Weeks)

Module 6:
The Elements of Awakening (12 Weeks)

Module 7: The Five Precepts (6 Weeks)

Module 8:
Staying Awake – The Paramitas (8 Weeks)

Module 9:
The Bodhisattva and the Bodhisattva Path (15 Weeks)

Module 10:
Being a Dharma Teacher

Phase 2: This section will help you to go even deeper into your practice

Module 11: The Essence of Zen
Module 12: The Perfect Enlightenment Sutra
Module 13: The Heart Sutra
Module 14: Buddhist Ceremonies


Apply For the Dharma Teacher Training Program
(We are considering starting a Summer Program beginning this July – if this interests you pls mention it in your comments)




→ Click here to apply



How Much is the Tuition for the Dharma Teacher Training Program?

The Dharma Teacher Training Program is supported by Dana. What is Dana? Teachers give the Dharma freely so that anyone, no matter their financial means can attend classes. Each time one receives teachings, it is an opportunity to consciously practice generosity. Giving money and other means of support expresses gratitude and support to the teacher and helps to ensure that these teachings continue. Each person receiving Dharma teachings determines the kind and amount of Dāna according to one’s heart and one’s financial means. When deciding how much to offer, one should think about what these teachings mean to you and try to give accordingly. It is recommended that students make an offering of dāna at the beginning of a class or retreat to establish the intention to make the most of this opportunity for one’s own progression and for the benefit of all others.

How the Dharma Teacher Training Program Works

  • During each training module, every week there will be a new reading (viewing) or practice to be undertaken for that week.
  • At the end of that week you will either be asked to provide a one page synopsis of what you read, and/or provide feedback on your experience from working with that weeks material, and/or answer a series of questions (all of this helps you to engage and embody the dharma on whole new levels)
  • Your guiding teacher will then give you feedback on the work that you submitted
  • Your guiding teacher will answer any questions you may have that week about the material or what has come up in practice for you

Dharma Teachers In Training Vows
In addition to the Five Precepts Dharma Teacher take on the Dharma Teacher Training Vows
(to be said and practiced daily – please work this into your daily routine now)

I vow not to talk about the faults of others.
I vow not to praise myself and put down others.
I vow not to be covetous and to be generous.
I vow not to give way to anger and to be harmonious.
I vow not to slander the three jewels (Buddha, dharma, sangha).

On the Relationship to Our Tradition

  • Has a clear commitment to teacher Zen Master e (Ian Paul Marshall’s) teaching as practiced in the Zen Awakened community
  • Understands the value and application of all the Zen Awakened practice forms
  • Has a clear and ongoing relationship with his/her guiding teacher and community
  • Is dedicated to sincere practice and helping others to practice
  • Maintains a clear financial relationship with the Zen Awakened community and network of centres (membership and dharma
    teacher commitments)
  • Represents their Dharma Center and the Zen Awakened Community with integrity to the local community

On Practice

  • Completes dharma teacher training program and continues with “ongoing education” and training
  • Is involved with regular ongoing daily/weekly practice as well as regular attendance of retreats at their home centre under
    the guidance of guiding teacher
  • Performs various dharma room jobs, and is available for Zen Awakened staff positions
  • Attends ceremonies and helps to lead them when requested by guiding teacher
  • Attends (biannual) dharma teacher meetings at national, regional, or local level
  • Understands that we never finish our training

Teaching responsibilities at your Dharma Centre (as assigned by guiding teacher)

  • Gives meditation instruction
  • Gives (introductory) dharma talks
  • Instructs others in dharma room forms (bowing, moktak, bell, etc.)
  • Contributes to special workshops
  • Serves as head dharma teacher for retreats
  • Leads retreats as requested by guiding teacher
  • Is a (shining) example to others in the dharma room

General Considerations and Responsibilities

  • Observes and follows the precepts
  • Contributes to a positive and harmonious atmosphere at the centre’s
  • Participates in together action
  • Approaches practice and teaching responsibilities with humility and patience
  • Understands and appreciates the importance of one’s public behavior as it affects the Zen Awakened Center’s relationship with the
    extended community
  • When teaching outside of the normal Zen Awakened Centre’s environment consults with the guiding teacher
  • Because “dharma teacher” has different meanings in different Buddhist traditions, appreciates this when interacting with
    people from other schools
  • Accepts and heeds advice and direction from guiding teacher
  • Wears proper robe and kasa at daily practice, retreats and ceremonies
  • Follows temple rules when at the centre
  • Supports the Zen Center with time and money as is possible

Dharma Teacher in Training Requirements

  • Establishes a daily practice and attends the local centre regularly
  • Attends at least two/four retreats per year for a minimum of two years
  • Establishes and maintains a clear relationship with Zen Awakened guiding teacher
  • Consults the Dharma Mirror and experienced dharma teachers for pointers on forms and protocol
  • Learns all dharma room practice forms including:
    • Bowing
    • Regular chanting (memorize if possible)
    • Morning bell chant (memorize if possible)
    • Meal form
    • Sitting meditation
    • Walking meditation
    • Special chanting
    • Evening bell (memorize if possible)
    • Giving meditation instruction
    • Walking with the stick
    • Leading sitting (hitting chugpi)
    • Giving introductory dharma talks

Dharma Teachers to Have Grasped and Be Confident Sharing in Basic Buddhist Teachings On:

  • Dependant Origination
  • Four Noble Truths
  • Eight Fold Path
  • The Precepts
  • Six Paramitas
  • Five Desires
  • Three Poisons
  • The concepts of: interpenetration, emptiness, mind only
  • Names and characteristics of Bodhisattvas common to our tradition
  • Familiar with life stories and teaching of
    • Shakyamuni Buddha
    • Bodhidharma
    • Hui Neng
    • Lin Chi
    • Kyong Ho
    • Man Gong
    • Ko Bong
    • Zongmi
    • Seung Sahn
    • Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Padmasambhava
    • Other Buddhist stories to be used in dharma talks etc.

Additional Familiarity with the Following Sutras

  • Perfect Enlightenment Sutra
  • Heart Sutra
  • Diamond Sutra
  • Platform Sutra
  • Mu Mun Kwan
  • Blue Cliff Record
  • Hwa Yen (Avatamsaka) Sutra
  • Lotus Sutra
  • Vimalikirti Nerdesa Sutra
  • The Way of the Bodhisattva

Learn How to Conduct (and Assist With) Ceremonies

  • Buddha’s Birthday and Enlightenment days
  • Precepts (officiate)
  • Wedding
  • Funeral
  • Memorial (49 day etc)

Learn about Traditional Iconography

  • Buddha statues
  • Bodhisattva statues
  • Altar paintings
  • Altar items


  • Learn about our tradition and its unique approach to teaching and practice.
  • Be able to discuss the significant differences between our School’s teaching and
    practicing style and other schools