The Four Great Tasks
An Online Course with Stephen Batchelor
9 November – 11 December, 2016
Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha first “turned the wheel of the Dharma,” his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. This course will seek to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our times. Based on the earliest canonical sources, Stephen will explore how one might re-imagine the Dharma from the ground up. By presenting the “four noble truths” as four great tasks to be practiced in each life situation, he will lay out the foundations of a contemporary culture of awakening that is no longer rooted in the traditional beliefs of the Buddhist religion.
In this online course you will have access to 4 recorded sessions specifically filmed for you, the viewer, not as a spectator in a larger group discussion. Offering an intimate and personal feeling, as though Stephen is teaching the dharma directly to you.
Supporting the recorded sessions are the live and ‘interactive’ sessions where you will get the chance to discuss this rich material with Stephen directly and clarify any questions you may have.
Live and Interactive Video Sessions Weekly
A lovely way to talk directly to Stephen and a chance to have your questions answered and expanded upon
Recorded HD Video
Shot exclusively for this course and with one person in mind: you, the viewer
Audio versions of each module are yours to download and keep
A Committed Group Forum
The buddha emphasized the importance of the sangha, or spiritual community. From running this course last year, there really was a wonderful sense of a supportive online sangha that developed in the forums
Dates: 9 November – 11 December
4 Recorded Video Teachings, released every Wednesday from 9th November
Closed group forum
Interactive 1 – Sunday 13 Nov (11am PST, 2pm EST, 7pm UK, 8pm CET)
Interactive 2 – Sunday 20 Nov (11am PST)
Interactive 3 – Sunday 27 Nov (11am PST)
Interactive 4 – Sun 11 Dec (11am PST)
Note: the last interactive session will run 2 weeks after the 3rd interactive due to scheduling issues
Interactive sessions will be recorded for those who cannot attend live
Price: Sliding scale
Born in Scotland in 1953, Stephen was ordained as a novice Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Geluk tradition in 1974. In 1981 he went to South Korea to train in Sŏn (Zen) Buddhism in the Choggye order. He disrobed in 1985 and returned to Europe. From 1990 he has been a Teacher at Gaia House meditation centre in Devon, England, and since 1992 a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.
He is the translator and author of several books including Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil and Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. His latest book, After Buddhism, was published by Yale University Press in 2015.
He currently lives in south-west France with his wife Martine.