Walking the Buddha’s Path to Genuine Happiness


An Online Retreat Series with Authorized Teacher Polly Ryan

Registration Closed:  Next Program in 2021

January 19 to March 22
Early bird sale ends Jan 9

Key Features

Apply Buddhist Teachings and Meditation to Your Everyday Life

Join us on the ‘Buddha’s Path’ to enhanced wisdom, inner peace and joy in this online retreat with one of our Authorized Teachers, Polly Ryan, MA.

Siddhartha, the historical Buddha, chose to leave his life of royalty in pursuit of understanding life’s deeper truths. The Buddha eventually ‘awakened’ to his own enlightened state through the wisdom gained on his journey, the development of his mind through meditation, and the fruition of past karmic influences. It was a very human journey of trial and error, of choice and consequence, which brought him into uncharted spiritual and philosophical territory.

More than just a biography, the details of his life are key metaphors for seeing clearly the underlying causes of our human pain, as well as uncovering our innate ability to sustain true contentment and joy.

Over the course of 6 day-long sessions, Polly will lead you through the Buddha’s life story while teaching Buddhism’s principles as they unfolded in his life. You will learn and practice meditation, and establish a conscious practice of Buddhist ethics, awareness and wisdom into your daily habits.
(Note: this course was formerly titled ‘Sutrayana’ when taught onsite at Tara Mandala)

Registration Closed



What Will I Learn?

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the key principles of Buddhist philosophy including:
    • Twelve Nidanas (12 links of dependent origination)
      Four Noble Truths
    • The Three-Fold Training: Ethics (shila), Meditation (samadi), Transcendent Wisdom (prajna)
    • Eight-Fold Noble Path
    • The Four Seals
  • You will learn and practice mindfulness meditation (shamatha). Research has shown that regular daily meditation (at least 5 minutes per day) begins to create positive changes to your brain and body in only 8 weeks time.
  • Incorporate powerful Buddhist principles into your life through discussion and reflection.

Who Is This Course For?

New practitioners interested in learning the foundational roots of Buddhism and the practice of mindfulness meditation. Seasoned practitioners who would like to refresh or relaunch their practice will also benefit. Completion of this program fulfills the requirement of ‘Sutrayana’ for Magyu, Gateway, and Osel Nyingtig practitioners.

If you’re new to Buddhism and want to begin a structured pathway to learn the entire Buddhist philosophy, see the page on our Maygu program.


  • 6 live Zoom sessions of 6.5 hours each (including 2 breaks and a lunch break)
  • Live teachings and discussion with our senior teacher Polly Ryan
  • Guided walking and sitting mindfulness meditation with Polly
  • Audio and video recordings of each session (lifetime access)
  • Summary overview of each teaching session’s topics
  • Completion certificate – available as a ‘testing’ option (an oral exam with questions given ahead of time, and the requirement to attend all sessions) .


Dana is not required for the live online programs, as teachers receive compensation. However, you are always welcome to give Dana if you feel inspired.

Deferred Payment Plans and Scholarships

Please see this page for further information.

Sustaining Sangha

If you are currently a member of our Sustaining Sangha, you may apply your Online Course discount to the Regular (not the early bird) price.

Course Content

Daily Schedule
10:00AM – 1:00PM Teachings and Meditation (10 minute break at 11:30 am)
1:00PM – 1:30PM Lunch Break
1:30PM – 4:30PM Teachings and Meditation (10 minute Break at 3:00 pm)
Participants are asked to keep noble silence for the day and to avoid screens, email and texting.

Day 1

  • Mindfulness / Walking meditation 
  • Teachings 
    • Leaving home
    • Three aspects of prajna (wisdom) – listening, contemplating and meditating
    • 4 kinds of cups
    • Comparison between Buddhist and non-Buddhist system
    • The Buddha’s previous life
    • Important people in the life of the Buddha
    • Teachings on the twelve Nidanas (12 links of dependent origination)

Day 2

  • Mindfulness / Walking meditation 
  • Teachings:
    • Continuation of Twelve Nidanas (12 links of dependent origination)
    • Buddha’s awakening
    • Waiting to teach
    • 4 Noble Truths 
    • Prajna (transcendent wisdom), Ethis (Shila), Meditation (samadi)
    • Eight-Fold Noble Path

Day 3

  • Mindfulness / Walking meditation
  • Teachings:
    • Complete the Eight-Fold Noble Path
    • The Four Seals
    • The life of the Buddha after Enlightenment
    • Important People: King Bimbisara, Sariputra, Maudgalayana & Pippali

Day 4

  • Mindfulness / Walking meditation 
  • Teachings:
    • Growth of the Sangha
    • The Buddha’s Daily Routine
    • Important People: King Shuddhodana, Yasodhara, Jetvana, Mahaprajapati

Day 5

  • Mindfulness / Walking meditation
  • Teachings:
    • Important People: Devadatta
    • Buddha’s Paranirvana (death)
    • After Paranirvana
    • The 3 Councils
    • The Tripitaka

Day 6

  • Mindfulness / Walking meditation 
  • Teachings:
    • The development of the various schools of Buddhism
    • Practice Developments in Hinayana
    • Review

Optional Exam: TBA

Webcast Schedule

Sundays, 10 am – 4:30 pm Pacific Time (California)

  • January 19 
  • January 26
  • 1-week break
  • February 9
  • 2-week break
  • March 1
  • 1-week break
  • March 15
  • March 22


There are no prerequisites for this course.

About the Teacher

Polly Ryan, MA