The Four Applications of Mindfulness

Explore the very nature of reality and human experience through the Buddha’s quintessential teachings on the four applications of mindfulness.

Course begins April 30. Enroll by April 15 to save $50!

What You’ll Learn

  • A clear understanding of how Buddhist traditions understand the nature of liberation
  • How to integrate practice on the four applications of mindfulness to face the unique challenges of modern life
  • Facility in the theory and practice of shamatha (calm-abiding) and vipashyana (insight)
  • How to use the full array of human experience as the ground of awakening to the nature of reality itself

About this Course

In this course we investigate the nature of human identity and the possibility of freedom through the Buddha’s foundational instructions on the cultivation of vipashyana, or insight. Alan Wallace presents the four close applications of mindfulness — mindfulness on the body, feelings, the mind, and phenomena — through rich pith instruction on selections from the Pali canon, Mahayana sutras, and commentary from the Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions. Alan’s unique presentation offers an integrative vision of the Buddhist path, and clarifies fundamental Buddhist truths such the nature of nirvana, the unique vision of the path of the arhat, as well as that of the bodhisattva. We learn that these paths share a common ultimate vision: the primordial and unborn nature of liberation. Alan offers step-by-step guidance through the four applications with clear instruction on the relationship between shamatha (calm-abiding) practice and vipashyana, making these timeless teachings applicable to daily life in the modern world.



Lesson 1: An Introduction to the Four Applications of Mindfulness

In this first lesson, Alan Wallace introduces the significance of the four applications of mindfulness, across Buddhist traditions. We learn the depth behind core terminology, such as what is meant by samadhi, introspection, insight, and even the term ‘mindfulness’ itself. Alan provides direct and practical background that orients the journey of the course, introducing the texts, traditions, and foundational practices to develop a calm and stable mind, ready for the cultivation of vipashyana, or insight.

About the Teacher

B. Alan Wallace
Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace, PhD, continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind. Dr. Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted 14 years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford. He later studied Dzogchen with Gyatrul Rinpoche, a senior teacher in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. With his unique background, Dr. Wallace brings deep experience and applied skills to the challenge of integrating traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with the modern world. He is the author and translator of several books, including Düdjom Lingpa’s Visions of the Great Perfection (which provided the root text for this course), Stilling the Mind: Shamatha Teachings From Dudjom Linpa’s Vajra EssenceTibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up, Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos, and The Attention Revolution.


Course Materials