Teaching Series with Gen Don Handrick

Ecology and the Human Heart

Climate change, the depletion of resources, overpopulation—the challenges we are facing with the state of our world and its environment can seem overwhelming. While the practice of engaged Buddhism calls upon us to be deeply involved in addressing these issues, it is often hard to maintain our efforts in light of the severity of this situation. In this session, we examine the Buddhist context for responding to the ecological crises of our times and explore how to strengthen our capacity to do what we can to help humanity achieve a more sustainable future.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

Throughout our lives, each of us has been wronged and has inevitably wronged others as well, but holding onto these wounds will only upset our own mental well-being. The practice of forgiveness has great power to prevent harmful thoughts from taking root in our minds and to generate true peace and happiness instead. In this workshop, we examine forgiveness within the context of the Buddha’s teachings and explore what it means to practice it genuinely and completely for both ourselves and others.

How to Live a Good Life: Exploring Secular Ethics

In an interview in 2015, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “If Buddha reappeared today, he would teach secular ethics.” In line with that idea, His Holiness wrote Beyond Religion, which provides his own insight and suggestions as to what might constitute a system of shared ethics for our world—a non-religious way for people to lead ethical, happy, and spiritual lives. In this course, we explore the advice outlined in that book and examine the principles and guidelines His Holiness provides, with the aim of helping ourselves and others in our lives use the tools of secular ethics to create a more harmonious and fulfilling world for all beings.

Additional Materials

  • Prayers for Teachings (PDF)

Ecology and the Human Heart:

  • “Ecosattva Vows” (PDF)
  • Ecology and the Human Heart Presentation Slides (PDF)

The Healing Power of Forgiveness: 

  • Forgiveness Meditation (PDF)
  • Notes on Forgiveness Meditation (PDF)
  • The Healing Power of Forgiveness Presentation Slides (PDF)

How to Live a Good Life: Exploring Secular Ethics:

  • The Three Stages of Ethical Development Graphic (PDF)
  • The Three Stages of Ethical Development Notes (PDF)
  • Study Guide for Beyond Religion (PDF)
  • How to Live a Good Life Presentation Slides (PDF)


To jump to a particular session on the playlist, click the playlist icon (near the top-right corner) of the video frame to select video.

About the Teacher

Gen (Tibetan for “elder”) Don is a touring teacher for the FPMT, sharing the Dharma with centers and study groups in North America and other parts of the world, both in-person and online. He connected with Tibetan Buddhism in 1993 through the teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

In 1996 he commenced formal study at Tse Chen Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, the FPMT center in San Francisco. In 1998, he entered the FPMT’s Masters Program of Buddhist Studies in Sutra and Tantra, a full-time seven-year residential study program in Tuscany, Italy, taught by Geshe Jampa Gyatso. After the completion of his studies, Gen Don moved to Northern New Mexico and in 2005 and began teaching for the FPMT.

In 2015, he had the honor of being selected by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to lead the renowned November Course, a one-month teaching and meditation retreat held annually at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Gen Don has received teachings from many esteemed lamas in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, and Khensur Jampa Tegchok.

Students appreciate his humble, compassionate demeanor and his capacity to explain profound ideas with precision, contemporary examples and humor.

Visit his website at https://www.donhandrick.com.