Nine Sessions of Focused Learning and Skill Building at Your Own Pace

In this course you will:

  • Gain lifetime access to a library of meditative exercises and resources for practice

  • Integrate mindfulness practice with proven skills for working with trauma

  • Recognize when you’ve been activated by trauma and gain specific, simple tools for building resiliency

  • Practice getting into your body and over time, staying there

  • Experience how mindfulness shapes the nervous system

  • Help rewire your nervous system using Buddhist meditation practices

  • Improve your awareness of your body and feelings in your daily experience

  • Recognize your connection to the Earth and how it's expressed within and around you

  • Practice with your body mindfully

Each Session Includes

Pre-recorded so you can go at your own pace:

  • A video lesson each week with Dr. Larry Ward

  • A guided, downloadable meditation to start each class

  • Optional Journal writing prompts for each lesson

  • Practice homework and downloadable guided meditation for each week

  • A video practice tip for each week

Bonus material!

To support your learning experience

  • A Question and Answer Forum with Dr. Larry Ward

    The course includes an in-house forum for students to pose questions and talk to each other

  • Specific Practice Meditations for Each of the Awarenesses of the Body

    Downloadable, guided meditations to help you get present with your body in each moment, during all of your daily activities

  • A Video Lesson with Dr. Larry Ward on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

    Understanding the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, including the history, background and relevance for us today.

Embody awakened love in your daily life.

Explore the body as the entrance to the journey of awakening.

Get Started

Choose the payment plan that's right for you:

Meet Your Instructor

Senior Dharma Teacher

Dr. Larry Ward

(Pronouns: He/Him) One of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s most senior, non-monastic Dharma Teachers, Larry has a PhD in Religious Studies with a Buddhism emphasis. His dissertation focused on the intersection of mindfulness and neuroscience. His teaching style, which he calls, “Deep Buddhism,” is interdisciplinary and focused on embodiment of the teachings, integrating Buddhism with neuroscience, trauma/resiliency work, indigenous wisdom and social imagination. His aim is to support the healing and transformation of societal karma at the deepest levels of body and mind. Larry is a knowledgeable, charismatic and inspirational teacher, expressing his insights with personal stories and resounding clarity, expressing his dharma name, “True Great Sound."

Background on the Earth Gate

Taking a Journey:

In many Buddhist Temple designs there are gates you must enter to get to the heart of the temple. Each gate represents a threshold you must pass through to arrive at a new beginning. Each gate is a symbol and a spiritual invitation to go into deeper levels of practice, awakening more and more to meet the Buddha within. This class is is a journey through the first of the four gate crossings, The Earth Gate. It's the first of the four foundational elements of practice for living as a liberated, awakened being.

The Earth Gate is the First of Four Gates

  • The Earth Gate: There is a Body Here

    Understanding how karma resides and is transmitted through the body, speech and mind: Exploring how mindfulness practices decondition trauma and build energetic resiliency.

  • The Wind Gate: There is a Mind Here

    Learning to recognize the internal knots in your heart, mind and mental processes: conquer hindrances (habitual ways of being that create and sustain ill-being)

  • The Thunder Gate: There is Release Here

    What does release look like, post- trauma? In this section, we'll look at ways to recognize your experience of liberation- how you'll know when you're being released from your internal knots of trauma, turbulent emotion and confused views.

  • The Dragon Gate: There is Integration/Embodiment Here

    Once released, post deconstruction, you are poised to create new ways of being. One of the benefits of this journey is new energy and insight. The opportunity here is for the embodiment of awakening at a deeper level. In this section, we'll cover how you create and embody this new way of being.

Course Curriculum

Take a peek at the flow of what you'll learn/do:

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

  • 2

    The Earth Gate Lesson 1: Mindfulness of the Body

    • Introduction To Lesson 1

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 1 (Orienting to our Internal and External Environment)

    • Lesson 1 Video: Mindfulness of the Body

    • Lesson 1 Homework and Practice Exercise: Mindfulness of Breathing and Mindfulness of the Body

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 3

    The Earth Gate Lesson 2: The Nervous System Revolution

    • Introduction to Lesson 2

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 2 (Internal and External Awareness of Support)

    • Lesson 2 Video: The Nervous System Revolution

    • Lesson 2 Homework and Practice Exercise: Awareness of the Body Continued

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 4

    Library

  • 5

    The Earth Gate Lesson 3: The Art of Resiliency

    • Introduction to Lesson 3

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 3 (Head Awareness)

    • Lesson 3 Video: The Art of Resiliency

    • Lesson 3 Homework and Practice Exercise: Tracking

    • Resource Handout: The Language of Sensation

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 6

    The Earth Gate Lesson 4: Practicing with the Nervous System

    • Introduction to Lesson 4

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 4 (Nose Awareness)

    • Lesson 4 Video: Practicing With The Nervous System

    • Lesson 4 Homework and Practice Exercise: Resourcing

    • Example of Working with a Resource

    • Bonus Video: Tips for Practicing Resourcing with a Partner

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 7

    The Earth Gate Lesson 5: The Biology of Trauma

    • Introduction to Lesson 5

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 5 (Heart Awareness)

    • Lesson 5 Video: The Biology of Trauma (Adversity Is Not Destiny)

    • Lesson 5 Homework and Practice Exercise: Resource Intensification

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 8

    The Earth Gate Lesson 6: The Midpoint- Review and Preview

    • Introduction to Lesson 6

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 6 (Eye Awareness)

    • Lesson 6 Video: Looking Back, Looking Ahead - A Midpoint Review

    • Lesson 6 Homework and Practice Exercise- Grounding

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 9

    The Earth Gate Lesson 7: Self-Directed Neuroplasticity

    • Introduction to Lesson 7

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 7 (Hand Awareness)

    • Lesson 7 Video: Self-Directed Neuroplasticity

    • Lesson 7 Homework and Practice Exercise- Titration

    • Practice Tip of the Week: 10 Activation Tips (What to do if you're activated)

  • 10

    The Earth Gate Lesson 8: Practicing with the Energies of Resiliency

    • Introduction to Lesson 8

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 8 (Affirming the Whole Body)

    • Lesson 8 Video: Practicing With The Energies Of Resiliency

    • Lesson 8 Homework and Practice Exercise- Pendulation

    • Practice Tip of the Week

  • 11

    The Earth Gate Lesson 9: The Body as a (W)Holy Vehicle

    • Introduction to Lesson 9

    • Guided Meditation to Begin Lesson 9 (Connecting With Ancestors Within)

    • Lesson 9 Video: The Body As A (W)Holy Vehicle

    • Lesson 9 Homework and Practice Exercise- Shift and Stay

  • 12

    COMPLETION

    • Thank You

    • Blooper

    • Going Forward

    • Before You Go...

What People Are Saying About This Course

"A tool for my liberation and healing"

Melissa M. (she/her)

Engaging with the Earth Gate course has been transformative in my healing and awakening and in the deepening of my mindfulness practice. As a survivor of major traumas, I am always looking for ways to understand the biology of my trauma and skills to heal my body and my mind. Larry's guided meditations are soothing balms to my activated self, helping me to return to my body and find peace and healing there. I find myself returning to the guided meditations, time and time again, to help me find my center and calm. The video lessons are informative and engaging, as I love learning the science behind my behavior patterns. I look forward to revisiting the material over my lifetime as a tool for my liberation and healing.

From the first introductory video, Earth Gate has been an absolutely transformative healing praxis and resource in my personal practice.

Sam R. (they/them)

Dr Ward’s teachings and insights are essential, reintegrating the scientific and spiritual in an easy to follow, deeply engaging framework. As a person de-conditioning many layers of complex trauma, and as a facilitator/educator building tool kits to support my community, I find myself revisiting this content over and over as I learn remember my body, cultivate resilience and deepen my practice. The platform makes the work accessible and digestible; it allows me to take learning at my own pace, and the resources like the community forum and reflection prompts are invaluable. Grateful that such an extraordinary course is available, accessible and affordable!

These teachings compliment each other in a new and unique way that helped me transform sorrow, unresolved trauma, and misunderstood intergenerational grief.

Judy N. (she/her)

A practical combination of Buddhist practice, mindfulness, neuroscience and trauma resiliency with exercises that have carried me forward. These teachings compliment each other in a new and unique way that helped me transform sorrow, unresolved trauma, and misunderstood intergenerational grief. There is teaching, practice, and journaling grounded from decades of experience, practice, and wisdom from Dr. Ward. Helpful entry points for wherever you are on your path. Sections are short and manageable for busy folks. It’s helped me to deepen my practice and understanding of how these are all connected to my healing. Tending to myself while understanding I can rewire the neuro-pathways in my brain gives me individual hope, collective hope, and hope for humanity in this moment of our history.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is this course designed for?

    Our modern world pushes us to respond to life from a state of stress. This class helps you rewire your nervous system to respond from a place of embodiment, presence, awareness, and ease. If you’re activated by trauma and want to learn better ways to show up for yourself and in the world, this class is for you. If you’re a change-maker who understands that healing individual, ancestral and collective trauma plays a critical role in our collective liberation, this class is really really for you.

  • Can I take this course if I'm not Buddhist?

    Absolutely. You don’t have to be, or aspire to be a Buddhist to learn these skills. No belief or conversion required to participate!

  • Buddhism and meditation are new to me, but I'm interested in this course, will I still benefit? 

    Yes. This class is designed for beginners as well as those wishing to refresh or deepen their mindfulness practice by working with meditations that rewire the nervous system and build resiliency.

  • What kind of Buddhism or practice is this course drawing from?

    This course draws heavily on Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s path of Mahayana Zen Buddhism. It combines many of that tradition's mindfulness practices with practices from The Trauma Resource Institute

  • Do I have to take all four gates/courses or is there benefit to taking just one class?

    The Earth Gate is the first, and foundational course for all of the other gates. It stands alone as a useful tool for healing and transformation. You do not have to take the other gates/courses to benefit from this one. However, you do need to take The Earth Gate course first if you wish to take the other courses.

  • How can this course help heal individual and collective racial trauma?

    Individual and collective are within one another. This course provides the basic understanding and tools for beginning to heal trauma stored in the body from personal as well as social experiences. The body knows traumatic experience whatever the cause.

  • Is Dr. Larry Ward available to present this material to a group in person?

    Right now Larry does not typically teach this class in person, but he does make himself available to students of the class through a private, online forum as well as periodic, live video calls.

Enroll Today

Choose the payment plan that's right for you:

ENROLLING WITH A GROUP?

Receive a discount for signing up with a group of 5 or more. Email: support@thelotusinstitute.org

A Note About Scholarships

Our aim is to make this work as accessible as possible. In addition to keeping the price low, providing payment options, and offering group discounts we also offer scholarships. Although available to all, these scholarships are prioritized for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, gender expansive/fluid folks, LGBTQIA+, youth practitioners 18 and over, and others who are typically marginalized in wellness/spiritual circles. To request a full or partial scholarship, please reach out to us at support@thelotusinstitute.org.

If you’d like to help provide more scholarships to retreats and courses, make many of our teachings free and accessible, and keep our work sustainable, consider becoming a supporter through Patreon.  THANK YOU!

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Earth Gate Live Q and A Replay

Watch a replay of a 1 hr, live webinar with Dr. Ward talking about The Earth Gate and answering questions.