This Sacred Journey

An Interactive Online Retreat on Living Purposefully and Dying Fearlessly

Taught by Pema Chodron

Regular Price: $597.00

Special Price $297.00

 - Online Course

Perhaps one of the most plaguing questions of human existence revolves around what happens when we die. Most of us, when we think about death (or the groundlessness of life itself), feel sadness or anxiety in the face of such profound insecurity. By fearing death, we miss the countless opportunities in our everyday life for working with loss and change as vehicles for opening our hearts and minds.

In this online course, Pema Chödrön teaches us that those dark corners of our psyche are the fertile ground in which we can train to become more courageous, wise, and compassionate. She takes us on a journey through the traditional Tibetan Buddhist view of the dying process—from the dissolution of our sense of self, to the miraculous display of energies in the bardos, to the chaos of rebirth—in a way that makes these esoteric teachings relatable and practical for how we live our lives in the here and now. As we learn tools and practices for better understanding ourselves—our attachments and fears, as well as our natural strength and wisdom—we’ll discover how to attune to the dynamic, vast nature of reality, so that death is no longer viewed as an ending, but as another exploration and precious opportunity on the path of waking up.

Course Materials

Six video talks by Pema recorded at Gampo Abbey (a total of fourteen hours of footage) with printable transcripts

Downloadable audio versions of each lesson so you can listen on the go

Two live Q&A calls during which Pema will take questions from students in the online retreat

Facilitated discussion forums where you can receive guidance from senior practitioners in Pema’s tradition along with the peer-to-peer support of fellow retreat participants

Live guided meditation sessions where twice a week you can log in and sit with others in the retreat community

Printable retreat workbook with helpful notes and graphics for each lesson, as well as space for journaling and reflection

Twice weekly announcement e-mails reminding you of the practices for that week

Video guide and printable resources for supporting your retreat at home, including suggested schedules, retreat guidelines, and printable slogans and phrases

Recommended reading list, practices, and contemplations to help you make the teachings a part of your everyday life

Unlimited access on your computer, mobile device, or tablet—learn at your own pace wherever and whenever works best for you

Bonus Materials

Your purchase of This Sacred Journey includes several bonus materials:

Bonus #1:
The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Audio)
Translated by Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa
Read by Richard Gere
2 ¾ hours, unabridged
This translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead emphasizes the practical advice that the book offers to the living.

Bonus #2:
The Five Buddha Families (Video)
Taught by Judith L. Lief
1 ½ hours, unabridged
In this talk on the Five Buddha Families, Judy Lief explains how our inner world and the outer world are comprised of the same elemental forces.

Bonus #3:
50% OFF the Entire Collection of Recommended Readings
Total Retail Value: $220       You Save: $110
Expand your library with 50% off the entire collection of recommended readings for this retreat.


In this course, you'll learn how to:

  • Embrace impermanence in everyday life and relationships
  • Train your mind to stay relaxed and open in any situation
  • Harness the inherent wisdom of your habitual patterns
  • Learn how to rest in the space of suffering and discomfort
  • Notice opportunities for enlightenment when they arise
  • Cultivate curiosity about what happens when you die
What You Will Learn in Each Lesson

Lesson 1
Touching Impermanence: The Bardo of Living

When most of us think about death (or the groundlessness of life itself), we feel sadness or anxiety in the face of such profound insecurity. But what Pema Chödrön shares with us here—and what she’ll continue to unfold throughout this course—is that those very feelings are the fertile ground in which we can train to become more courageous, wise, and compassionate. In this first lesson, we’ll learn how the bardo teachings have come to us through generations of wisdom holders and what relevance they can offer us as we face the uncertainty of being alive.

Lesson 2
Entering the Sacred World: The Bardo of Dying

What does the word “sacred” evoke for you? Does it sound abstract or lofty? In this lesson, Pema asks us to consider how sacredness is actually so ordinary that it is woven into every thread of our existence—and non-existence. Our recognition of the ordinary magic of living plays a major role in how we experience the process of dying. We’ll learn what sacredness means and how to attune ourselves to experience it every day, so that when death comes, it can be a vehicle for fully merging with this limitless wisdom.

Lesson 3
Gateways to Liberation: The Bardo of Dharmata

Our perception of reality is often shaped by our subconscious assumptions about who and what we are. We misunderstand ourselves as permanent, solid, and separate from the world around us. The teachings on the bardo of dharmata turn those assumptions upside down. In this bardo, we have an opportunity to merge with the enlightened energies inherent in the wisdom display of the mind—all we have to do is recognize that we are not separate from them! In this lesson, we’ll train in dismantling the habits that keep us trapped in a limited view.

Lesson 4
Styles of Imprisonment: The Six Realms

When you are caught in a strong emotion, and it’s as though you are being controlled by it, you are in one of the six realms—or, as Trungpa Rinpoche called them, “styles of imprisonment.” Whether your tendency is toward anger, neediness, or blissing out, just about every unwakeful emotional pattern can be understood in terms of these realms. In this lesson, we’ll explore the nitty-gritty of each of these realms and learn some practices for becoming unstuck when we find ourselves engrossed in them.

Lesson 5
A Waking Dream: The Bardo of Becoming

The bardo of becoming is said to be like a dream where our awareness is heightened and sensitive. If we are run by habitual patterns during our life, in this frightening bardo, our characteristic responses become even more pronounced. By imbuing our minds with the habit of compassion and self-awareness now, these qualities are more likely to be accessible to us when we need them most. In this lesson, we’ll learn how to support someone through this tenuous phase of transition and how to train our own minds to enter it with our best foot forward.

Lesson 6
Co-Emergent Wisdom: The Five Buddha Families

In the vajrayana, it is said that neurosis and wisdom are co-emergent—they arise together. Pema describes this as finding water in an ice cube: even in our messiest, most stuck moments, there exists wisdom that is powerful and liberating. We learn to access it by softening our conceptual overlay and egoism to reveal the dynamic vitality of our life force at play. In this lesson, we’ll explore the five unique categories of energy, known as Buddha families, that can express themselves as wisdom or neurosis.

What Participants Are Saying

Over 7,000 people have studied with Pema Chödrön through Shambhala Publications and Prajna Studios. Here’s some of what they’ve had to say…

“Pema Chödrön delivers the material in an extremely warm, understandable, and accessible way for westerners. I also appreciate her gentle humor and find myself smiling and laughing at many points during her talks. I [feel I am] in a more prepared and eager state to continue my study/practice and to take the next step of attending a meditation retreat in order to go further. To all responsible for putting this together, thank you so very much.”—S.M.

“Even though I am an online participant I feel as though I am there. Pema and the participants are very ‘real’ and I can relate to the responses of those present. We all struggle with similar experiences.”—A.B.

“I truly appreciate [Pema’s] manner of kindness and humor. She presents the material in a way that I can integrate into my daily life. I am a novice to many of the teachings but never feel overwhelmed or confused after a lesson. Thank you.”—K.S.

“The quality of the videos was fantastic. I felt like I was attending the Yarne at the Abbey. The talks by Pema were absolutely wonderful and I'll watch them many times.”—L.N.

“Pema is a relatable, delightful, and excellent communicator. The video is high quality and the support materials (e.g., talk transcript, notes, reading list, etc.) are helpful resources. I also appreciate that this course is available to those unable to take time away from work or family (at least at this particular time in life), as well as its self-paced nature.”—C.G.

Praise for Pema Chodron

“Pema Chödrön is one of those spiritual teachers who brings ancient wisdom to bear upon our daily triumphs and tragedies. . . . Incredibly wise and poignantly practical.”—Spirituality & Health

“Perhaps what makes Pema’s message resonate so strongly with people, no matter what their religion or spiritual path, is its universality. Each of us has experienced heartache; how we interact with that feeling, Pema says, can create the possibility of a more joyful life.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Chödrön's strength is her ability to communicate to a general audience that people are essentially good, that they can be free from fear, and that they can always try again when they fail.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Instructor

Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery for westerners in North America. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and The Places That Scare You.

30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail us within 30 days of registering for the course, and we will promptly refund your purchase price.

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