Next Step Dharma

Integrate the fruits of retreat into your daily life.

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"This course is a great asset for anyone interested in being able to take the lessons learned on retreat into their daily life." – Sharon Salzberg

About the Course
Dharma Practice is about more than just sitting. It's about how we live.

Meditation retreats can be powerful and transformative experiences. Yet how do we keep the practice alive in our fast-paced, modern society? How can we really bring the values and intentions of contemplative practice into the complexity of our lives?

In this six week, online course, meditation teachers Oren Jay Sofer and Jaya Rudgard offer in-depth training to nourish the insights and learnings from a retreat. Through practical, down-to-earth videos, practices, and readings, you'll learn versatile tools to bring the teachings into your life.

Our interactive discussion forums and live Q&A sessions offer mentoring for your meditation practice*. We interviewed some of the most well-known, founding Insight Meditation teachers on the key components of the transition after a retreat and the foundations of practice in daily life. *(See FAQ for more).

"This course is a gift to retreatants, and it should almost be mandatory – that you take this with you. It's such a beautiful follow through and offering, with a lot of love in it.” – JoAnna Hardy

Your enrollment in Next Step Dharma includes:

• 21 short Dharma Talks and 16 Guided Meditations, all geared for integration
• 18 Recorded interviews with founding Insight Meditation teachers
• 8 weeks of interactive, live Q & A Sessions with Oren Jay Sofer and guest Dharma teachers
• Mentoring for your meditation practice through live Q & A
• Weekly readings and "Core Integration" practices
• Lifetime membership in our online community

Rolling admissions: the course is open 365 days a year!

Course Curriculum

"In the midst of the busyness of our lives, this kind of support is really helpful." – Joseph Goldstein

Meet the Course Leaders

Next Step Dharma
Next Step Dharma

Oren Jay Sofer has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1997, and is a graduate of the IMS-Spirit Rock Teacher Training. He is a long-time student of Joseph Goldstein, Michele McDonald and the Venerable Ajahn Sucitto, and holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University. Oren is also a Principal Teacher at the Marin Sangha, a Collaborative Trainer with BayNVC, and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma.

Jaya Rudgard spent eight years as a Theravada nun in the Thai Forest Sangha in the UK with Ajahn Sumedho, and is a graduate of IMS-Spirit Rock Teacher Training. She teaches mindfulness and Dhamma at meditation retreat centers and local communities throughout the UK, the United States, and elsewhere.

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About our Sliding Scale: No One Turned Away

We're committed to making our programs accessible to anyone interested in practicing, regardless of their ability to pay. As such, we offer a wide sliding scale for the course, as well as a Dana-based option for those who are unable to pay within the sliding scale.

Tuition fees help to cover the costs for running and staffing Next Step Dharma's programs, and to support the lay teachers who have helped to create the course. Paying at the PATRON level helps us provide scholarship funds to those paying at a lower level.

If you'd like more information about Dana-based options and how you can request a discount code to further reduce the sliding scale, please visit our Dana page.

"Next Step Dharma is a creative invitation to weave the retreat and everyday life into one seamless practice. There’s always been a need for a bridge like this." – Larry Yang

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course is open 365 days a year with rolling admissions. You can enroll at any time, and login to work on the course according to your own schedule. Once you've enrolled, you may take as long as you like to finish!
How long will I have access to the course?
Your enrollment includes lifetime access to all core course content, as well as membership in our online community. After enrolling, you have unlimited use of the course content across any and all devices you own.
I haven't sat a retreat (or it's been a while). Can I still take this course?
Absolutely. Though some of the content will refer to one's experience on retreat, the teachings, meditations, and interviews are all relevant for anyone interested in bringing the practice to life. For some, this six-week course can even be a turning point that inspires them to sit their first retreat!
How much time should I allocate each week for the course?
That's entirely up to you. Including the guided meditations, we estimate each week will take between two to three hours total to complete.
How long do I have access to mentoring for my practice through the live Q&A's?
Your enrollment provides eight weeks of access to online mentoring and live Q&A sessions. That's four live Q&A's PLUS an extra two weeks of online mentoring beyond the six week course. After you complete the course, you'll have an option to continue with the live Q&A sessions on a monthly subscription basis.
How does the online mentoring work?
A key component of our course is learning from one another and an online mentor. Each week, you'll have an opportunity to write about how your practice is going since the retreat, and to ask any questions that might be coming up. We'll be reading and responding to your comments and questions. Written coaching is done by one of our Dharma mentors, and the live Q&A's are led by Oren Jay Sofer or a guest Dharma teacher. For a list of guest teachers and Dharma mentors, see our about page above.
When are the live Q&A sessions? What if I can't make one?
The live Q&As occur roughly every ten days, and alternate between a weekend morning and a weeknight evening. If you can't make one, you'll be able to watch the recording later.
I live outside of the US. Can I still take the course?
Absolutely. Depending on what time zone you are in, it might be challenging to attend the live Q&A webinars – but let us know and we'll be happy to do our best to accomodate!
What if I'm not satisfied with the course?
We're committed to offering the best course experience possible to support your practice. If you're not satisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we'll give you a full refund.