DHARMA GUARDIAN PROGRAM
Dharma Guardian Program aims to train ethically and socially responsible lay Buddhist leaders and care providers in public, business and healing circles of our society. The Dharma Guardians will learn to bring the Way of Buddha to the front and center of their everyday life and transform their work and home environments into the ground of Dharma cultivation (Doryang). The program emphasizes lay bodhisattva training through the application of the Right Livelihood Guidelines and the Six Perfections (Paramita). Dharma cultivation is based upon the Three Karmic Purifications of body, speech and mind or the Ten Wholesome Guidelines of cherishing all life, speaking the truth skillfully with comforting and encouraging words and incubating wholesome feelings and thoughts free from hatred and confusion.
Who can apply?
People who are sound in mind and spirit and free from hatred, anger and addictions. They are required to take the Introductory Meditation Course, become a Regular member and to take precepts, if they have not done so yet.
Morning practice (prostrations, meditation and chanting) Monday through Friday
Keeping a practice journal Monday through Friday
Weekly or biweekly attendance at local temple for meditation and chanting
Monthly meeting with others in training
Retreats & Study Program―Participation in two- or three-day retreats per term recommended; Required reading of Buddhist texts; essay writing optional.
The cost for the Dharma Guardian program is $1500 annually, $750 per practice period, which includes temple membership, all retreats and temple activities with the exception of Precept-taking. Discount and work exchange are available for the unemployed or others in need.
After the training
Individuals who successfully complete the one-and-a-half year program will receive a Certificate and six months to one year of credit toward Maitreya Buddhist Seminary training within six months of completing the program, if they are interested and complete a written essay. Dharma Guardians may serve as sangha leaders according to their skills and talents. Temple volunteer service positions such as administration, public relations and outreach are available.