The Happiness Course: Integrating Stoic Psychology and Buddhist Meditation

“All of humanity’s problems stem from your inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

– Blaise Pascal

Hello! I’m Arda 


First of all, I’d like to thank you for showing interest in my course.  I hope you’ll enjoy this training. I’m the founder of Stoic Leaders and your teacher for this course. This 10-month long membership course is designed to teach you Stoic psychology and Buddhist meditation in detail. You’ll go through more than 40+ hours of training by the end of this journey. My aim is to change your psychological landscape to someone who can be happy independent of external circumstances with the help of mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy. Without further ado, let’s get started!


Once you become a student of this course, you’ll find 2 main pillars of our training: Stoic Psychology and Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation.

Over the following months, you’ll get over 40+ hours of training and practical worksheets for each episode.


In the Course Training, you will access to the first key pillar of our training:

Stoic Psychology and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. 


In the Course Training, you will access to the second key pillar of our training:

Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation and Spiritual Enlightenment

My Expertise

Stress, Anxiety, & Depression

I’ll help you to eliminate negative emotions like stress, anger, anxiety, boredom and depression but I will also help you experience more satisfaction, happiness, joy and well-being. With mind training using mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy, I’ll teach you how to become the happiest version of yourself.

Have you ever wondered why your career, relationships, and hobbies don’t make you fulfilled and permanently happy? 

Really ask yourself: Don’t you do everything you do in your life to be happy?


“Almost there”

“I’m about to be happy”

“Success is going to make me happy. This new business I’m about to start will do the trick.”

“This new video game that came out. That will make me happy.”

“When I get married to her, I’ll finally be happy.”

“When I solve my money problems, then I’ll be happy.”

“When I lose those extra pounds and get ripped, then I’ll be happy.”

Yeah, right… Keep telling yourself that.

How is that working for you by the way?

The rat race, I mean.

Are you happy and content yet? Or are you still telling yourself that you are “going to be happy” when you achieve this goal in the future.

You are going to die, you know that right? All of us have a finite amount of time in this world.  We’ll all die. So I suggest that you drop the act and really think about these thought patterns and goals you have been using for decades.

Do they really help you? 

Do they really work?

Do you truly feel happy and at peace or do you feel agitated, over-worked and stressed?

Why is it that things in life never seem to satisfy us on a consistent and permanent basis?  Is suffering just an inevitable part of human condition?

Ever since I was young, I had these kinds of questions on my mind. Before we get down to course materials, let’s explore some of these questions which made the foundations of this training.

1- Why Do We Struggle With Procrastination and Lack of Motivation? 

Isn’t it weird that we struggle with motivation?

I mean, think about this. Why can’t things just flow effortlessly?

When we have a goal, it is like some part of us wants to follow through on it but another side just wants to sit on the couch and enjoy a movie. Also, another part of us wants to have a romantic relationship.

Also, another part of us wants to learn how to play the piano but then another side gets angry at how little time we have to do these things.

It is as if we have many sub-parts in the mind that tries to make you happy but they all follow their own path. They have different strategies for happiness.

So whenever you feel conflicted, your sub-minds are not sure which activity will make you happier. Once a decision is made, you take action and go with the ice cream over the broccoli. Or maybe the opposite.

Regardless of what you choose, the fact that we conflict with ourselves says a lot about human psychology. 

Why there is an internal conflict in our minds? Isn’t there a single “agent” called “you” who controls your own life?

If there is only “one” single consciousness, then why do you keep conflicting all the time?

This doesn’t make any sense.

 Insight:  Actually, there is no “single agent” who controls your life effortlessly. There are many “sub-minds” that which tries to decide on things that will make you happy but since they are not unified, you are struggling with motivation and procrastination problems.

In this 10 months long intense membership course, I’m going to help you unify these sub-mind with meditation and psychology training so that you no longer experience resistance and suffering as you live your life.

2- Why do we constantly desire the next thing?

       Why can’t we just enjoy what we already have?

One of the most important things you have to understand about the human mind is that almost everyone operates on a psychological principle called “hedonic adaptation”.

What is hedonic adaptation?

Hedonic means pleasure so hedonic adaptation literally means “adapting to pleasure”.

As you get more of a particular stimulation, your brain is getting adapted to that same stimulation. The intensity of the pleasure goes down. 

In this case, the enjoyment we get out of life is getting less and less as we age. As we entertain ourselves more, the less we can enjoy ourselves.

Think of it like this: Imagine the first video game, TV show and the movie you had watched?

Imagine the “awe-inspiring” feeling you first had. 

Now, look at your current situation.  How much do you truly enjoy watching television? Don’t you find current movies to be very similar to each other?

Do you feel that as with time, your enjoyment out of entertainment products decrease significantly? This is because of hedonic adaptation.

Your brain literally gets tired of the stimulation and looks for something else. But then it gets tired of that as well. Then it needs to find something else. On and on, this is how we live our lives.

This hedonic treadmill makes us go in circles. One stimulation after the other. Thinking that the next one will do the trick.

This applies to everything from the entertainment industry to careers, skills, relationships and hobbies. They all leave us empty in the inside after some time.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this rat race. Instead of living in this inconsistent and temporary treadmill, you can elevate yourself to a higher and more parmanent state of peace and happiness.

Hedonic adaptation might be the illusion of our mainstream society but is also quite preventable for people who are willing to raise their consciousness.

Your enjoyment out of life doesn’t have to suffer. The whole purpose of meditation and self actualization is to re-wire the deepest neural pathways of the brain and teach ourselves to appreciate even the smallest of events so that our satisfaction out of life can skyrocket.

As long as you stick to the meditation schedule I have developed for you, as long as you go through the mindset training episodes weekly, you’ll lay the foundation for a truly happy life.

3- What is the root cause of all suffering?

Buddha gave us the short answer.

“The root cause of all suffering is desire and attachment.” 

In this course, we are going to unpack this statement. I’ll give you very practical exercises to address the root cause of suffering.

We’ll learn experientially how to reach this state of equanimity. Now, this doesn’t mean passionless and boring life.

On the contrary, it is the most “hedonic” and pleasurable life you can imagine.

Once you are free from desire and attachments, not only you enjoy things like career success, marriage and entertainment but also not so exciting things like doing the laundry, breathing and drinking water.

Both meditation and mindset training of this course is designed so that you can experience this truth for yourself.

In the advanced stages of our meditation training, you’ll see that it is practically impossible to progress if you are constantly resisting and attaching to experiences instead of experiencing what is and accepting the present moment.

The mindset training is un-wiring the co-dependencies, faulty perceptions and neediness for external addictions.

Without having a strong foundation on mindfulness and psychology, you’ll lack the necessary insights to attain enlightenment.

As you can see, without a full and complete education of both the theory and the practice, you can’t fully eliminate your sufferings. 

Prepare to start an epic journey towards your mind.

4- What can we do to solve all of our psychological problems?

After thinking about these questions for a long time, I’ve decided to create my life’s work:

The Happiness Course: Integrating  Psychology, Meditation and Stoic Wisdom.

The training is split into 2 distinct sections.

1- Mindset Training: Integrating Stoic Wisdom and Psychology

2- Buddhist Meditation Training: Enlightenment and Mindfulness Work

Let’s start with the mindset training.

Here are just some of the main themes we’ll deeply explore. You’ll not only watch videos about these topics but also do worksheets so that you can interact with ideas, contemplate and make practical changes in your life.

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For us to end our psychological sufferings, we first need to establish a strong foundation for unconditional happiness.

Here are some of the key concepts you are going to deeply explore with me over the following months.

Since these are radical psychological changes, expect to go through some time to adjust your long-established negative habits and thought patterns.

     1) Unconditional Happiness: 

The Most Valuable Skill Ever     

Imagine that today, we take you away from your loved ones.

We take away your job title.

We also take away all your hobbies and interests.

Then we go ahead and put you in a cubicle black box.

In this box, there is only a bathroom, air ventilations and a basic bed?

Then we give you just enough meal and water so that you don’t die.

You are going to live here until you die.

No social contact. No nothing. Just you in this box.

And that’s it.

Now here is my question: Can you be happy in this circumstance?

Most people would say: No, of course not. Are you crazy?

Well, this is what unconditional happiness is all about.

 You might think this is an extreme example but not so fast.

Someone who cultivates true unconditional happiness can actually enjoy solitary confinement.

When I say that unconditional happiness is the single most important and valuable skill ever, I mean it.

If you haven’t realized yet, some people actually live this way.

Prisoners are stripped away all ‘personal’ control and being forced into living in these boxes without nothing to do.

This is what living in a solitary confinement feels like.

Now, I know that you are going to tell how these people are scarred for life, or how these people are stripped away the most basic needs of human beings in the Maslow’s pyramid, or how science is confirming how lack of social contact is necessary for our happiness because we are social animals.

Let me answer with this:

Yes, all of those appear to be true for almost everyone in our society. And I’m well aware how these prisoners are psychologically scarred after they get back to the society.

BUT… All of these negative effects are only true for people who haven’t developed this skill of unconditional happiness.

All of these are true for people who haven’t developed themselves psychologically.

Here is an example.

You are going to be shocked but Albert Woodfox, an ex solitary confinement prisoner, who served 43 years for a crime he didn’t commit, was able to stay sane all those years in that small box.

Do you know about yogis and master meditators (in other words, people who cultivate unconditional happiness) consciously choose to live humbly with less money, less relationships and less control?

In fact, there are meditation retreats that spans over years. 

The buddhist monk who chooses to go into a 5 year long meditation retreat to attain enlightenment is virtually no different than a prisoner who is sentenced to 5 year long solitary confinement.

You know what the actual difference is?

The monk already wants in and enjoys the experience but the prisoner wants out and feels trapped.

The monk makes the best out of every second by exercising mindfulness skills like concentration, equanimity and sensory clarity whereas the prisoner starts getting lost in the thinking mind and the feeling body in the form of monkey mind and boredom.

The experience is 5 year long isolation for both of these individuals, but the buddhist monk comes out of that experience refreshed and possibly enlightened whereas the prisoner comes out psychologically scarred.

Do you see the importance of our responses to circumstances rather than the circumstances by themselves? 

 Well, all this meditation and psychology work that we are learning here is helping us to do just that.

We are going to delve in deep into this concept of unconditional happiness (that master meditators have realized for years) and make this one skill the motivation of our training.

2) Open Mindedness

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ― Isaac Asimov

Open mindedness is a key life style change you’ll have to make if you want to advance into higher stages of your potential.

The practices we are going to be go through like meditation, enlightenment work and mindfulness will go against the “common” wisdom.

Doing spiritiuality and consciousness work requires for you to be as open minded and adaptable as possible.

If you get stuck or defensive about your existing paradigms and value systems, growth will be virtually impossible.

3) Lifestyle Minimalism

Life style minimalism is the radical lifestyle change marked by the following sentence:

‘Less is More.’ 

The less connections you have to both physical and emotional things,  the more happy and free you’ll be.

 With this lifestyle change, you’ll teach yourself to appreciate the small beauties of life.

The only effective antidote to greediness, ungratefulness and ambition.            

4) The Power of Self Acceptance

Before I was introduced to Buddhism, Stoicism and Meditation, I was a  self-development junkie.

Back then, I was thinking like this:

“If someone does not develop themselves, then what is the point? You can’t be happy if there is no tangible progress and constant improvement. If you can do better, you always should.” – Typical self help dogma

As I have operated on that value system for awhile, I have seen its huge limitations as well.

Yes, you do develop and get better at your craft, but do you truly feel happier?

Do improvement and progress make you feel happy even temporarily let alone parmenantly?

After levelling up in a video game, you get the dopamine high and then on to “the next level”. It is a never ending cycle.

No different than addiction. The cure then is to practice self-acceptance. To love your current self. To be okay with what you already have. Not “needing” to improve all the time.

Learn to accept yourself as you are.

5) The Benefits of Meditation

Apart from mindfulness meditation, there are handful of other meditation types like self inquiry, loving kindness and do nothing techniques which can greatly aid your meditation training. 

These are tested and proven meditation techniques practiced by masters like Shinzen Young and Peter Ralston.

You can’t get any more effective than these when it comes mind training. Also we’ll get into the practical and neurochemical changes happening in your brain as you meditate.

Learning why we do what we do is important for you establish pure and solid motivations.

6) Complete Stoicism Education

Stoicism is a practical life guide that perfectly aids your meditation and enlightenment efforts.

Not only Stoicism will help you get results in your career, it will also help you to deal with difficulties and problems that might arise in your relationships.

Stoics argue that the only think you have control over is your mind. So what can be more important than to train it? 

As you go through this course material, keep these words in mind:

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius

We learn Stoicism not to show off our friends or to do armchair philosophy but to become a good human being, to learn how to live virtuously.

7) Adaptability: Avoid Dogmatism At All Costs

By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes. – Robert Greene

Life is like a chess game. If you keep making the same moves over and over again, you are bound to lose.

There is always a chance you may be wrong. So why the arrogance?

Times change. Trends change. Rules change. People die. Nations are born.  Everything changes.

Life is moving. Don’t let dogmas scare you away from change. Know when to let go and move on to unknown territory. Assume formlessness. Be like water.

8) Non-Duality: Good and Bad Doesn’t Exist

“There is nothing either good nor bad but thinking makes it so” – William Shakespeare

Non-duality is the concept that things are inherently “one”. Things don’t have their polar opposites like pain-pleasure, good-bad, or ecstatic-depressed.

At least not as distinct as you think. You can’t have bad without good, like ying and yang. They are inseparable. 

On the more practical level, you can verify this truth for yourself.

Every event that happens to you in life is fundamentally neutral. They are neither good nor bad.

Let’s say that if John hated his job and got fired, in some sense, this is good news for him. Now he can find something that he is more passionate about.

On the other hand, if John loved his job and got fired, this could lead him into depression and misery. Now he has the perception that he lost something valuable.

The same situation happened but John’s interpretations of that situation were completely different.

On one side, he was happy. He thought getting fired was good. But on the other side, he was sad. He thought getting fired was bad. 

What changed? Nothing, but John’s perception of the event.

9) Skeptical Questioning:

Don’t Take Anything At Face Value

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”  – Albert Einstein

Enlightenment work – the search for truth and happiness – is not some theory, value system or a dogma. It is not “hearsay”. You don’t have to “believe” anything.

You can directly experience the truth. This is why half of this course is about teaching you how to meditate.  No reason to take anything at face value.

In fact, this is a dangerous habit that is deeply programmed in our subconscious from our childhood.

Ever since we were young, we followed orders from our families, culture, society, government and media.

We never knew what “we” wanted to do. We have blindly believed that if we just did what we were told, we would be all right. We would be “happy” and “accepted”.

Look where that mindset got you?  Are you where you exactly want to be?

Use your skeptical and objective questioning abilities. Always ask the question:

“Why? What is the point of this? Is this getting me closer to my wants and desires?”

Many of the things you do in your life would change dramatically if you questioned them and contemplated more before you take action.

10) Ego VS True Self

Ego is not just “being arrogant”. Ego is causing all of your psychological sufferings in life. When you are bored, that is ego. When you are angry, that is ego. When you have anxiety, that is ego.

Ego, as Eckhart Tolle describes, is any form of attachment. Whether negative or positive. Ego is your sense of being an individual self. Your ‘fixed and single’ identity.

When you identify yourself with your thoughts, something which is not “you” (ego), your thoughts control your life. 

If something good happens, your ego is ecstatic and if something bad happens, your ego is suicidal.

The essence of meditation work is to realize the deceptions of the ego which leads us to our true self.

And our true self is free from all sufferings.

PS: This is very deep topic so I can’t really condense it into a few sentences. We’ll explore this more deeply in the course.

      11) Self-Integrity: Drop All Conflicts And Lies

Self-integrity, honesty and non-judgemental attitudes are one of the fundamental building blocks of a happy life. 

Self integrity means that there no cognitive dissonance between the things that you care about and the kind of lifestyle you lead.

Your values are not conflicting. You are honest about what you care about and you take action that is congruent with those values.

For instance: If you steal and lie from other people, even though you inherently value honesty, then you’ll break self-integrity.

By doing so, you’ll create cognitive dissonance and subconsciously hate yourself.  Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself:

Do the actions you take truly feel “right” for you?  What is the worst thing that can happen?

Just be true to yourself.

      12) Stop Judgement Altogether: Both of Yourself and Others

Judging ourselves and other people is an unconscious process that most often fuels our moods and actions.

You can have a split-second negative judgement about someone who just entered the room. You were not conscious of this but you actually thought: “Eww look at that awkward walk.”

Or you sit down to cook a meal and the moment you dig in the spoon and taste it, you subconsciously tell yourself: “This is so not like my grandma’s soup. What a bland taste.”

This might seem innocent at first but actually you are re-inforcing negative judgements subconsciously and this becomes a life long habit.

The sad thing is that you are not even aware how much this internal monologue is ruining your life and your happiness.

Judgement’s twin sister is comparing. When you judge something in a negative manner, you are also comparing it to something that is better. That is why that thing you are judging is “not good enough”.

That is why you are negative about it. Because you’ve “known” and “seen” better. Instead of taking things one but one, enjoying the experience and seeing them as they are, you are constantly comparing that thing to your past experiences and try to find faults with it.

For negative people, this judgemental attitude is so ingrained into their psyche that when you tell them to accept whatever they experience without judgement, they look at you with a confused face.

Their psyche is so corrupt that that this is not even a possible operating system. But, it actually is. This is what healthy minds do. They accept instead of judge.

      13) Stop Moralizing: Removing The “Shoulds” From Your Life

You’d be shocked to know how much suffering arises because of moralization.

What is a moralization?

It is the feeling that you “have to” do something. Things like:

I “should” be a happy person.

You “must be” this particular way because your religion tells you so. Because your government, parents or education system tells you so.

Or maybe even a self development coach tells you why you should live this way.

After awhile, you feel that this is the one single “truth” and you “MUST” live this particular way or otherwise you are doing something “wrong”.

This stems from our black and white thinking and lack of authority questioning. Also remember non-duality. There is no “objectively” correct way to live.

There are artistic musicians and rational professors. You can’t truly say one is more “true of a career path” than the other. 

We’ll look more into how moralizations work and we’ll also learn how to get rid of this infectious virus from our psyche.

    14) Proper Expectations: Be Conservative and Objective

One of the characteristics of a happy and healthy mind stems from  “little to no expectation” mindset. 

Imagine that you are waiting for your girlfriend in front of Starbucks. She said that she is going to be there at 7 pm but now it is 11 pm.

You are frustrated and angry. She is not picking up the phone. You start to get worried. You’ve literally spent 4 hours in an anxious state waiting for a simple coffee date. 

When she finally arrives at midnight, you learn that she forgot about the date and fell asleep. 

Anyone would be angry, right?

Well, not someone who knows how to manage expectations. 

You are waiting and she is nowhere to be seen, right?

Just, calm down. Focus on the present moment. You did everything in your control. What you can do after calling her is simply enjoying the present moment.

What if you went out alone that night? Since you don’t expect your girlfriend, you’d enjoy the present moment anyways.

You’d grab a coffee and pick up a book. You’d enjoy the scenery.

But since you attached your happiness to your girlfriend at that moment, since you expected her to be as punctual as you are, you’ve spent that night in misery.

This all happened because you jumped the gun too early and set your expectations improperly.

If you were objective, you’d also see that she was never a “punctual” person anyways so it was irrational to expect her just at the designated time. 

But at that moment, you thought she “should” be as punctual as you are. But the reality is not like that. She can have many lazy tendencies.

You’ve projected your own ideologies to this person and therefore your faulty expectations made you feel even angrier.

Without learning to manage your expectations properly, a happy life will be a pipe dream.


FORUM: Participate In Our Community

One of the greatest motivators while learning new skills is to become a part of a community of friends who share the same values.

This is why there will be a members special forum for asking questions, building relationships and learning from each other. 

When you become a student of this training, you’ll be able to join the Stoic Leaders Forum for free. 

Make sure to introduce yourself and read the guidelines before posting your questions.



              Let’s continue with the second part of the course. Here are the 10 main stages we’ll go through in our meditation training.

    STAGE 1: ESTABLISHING A DAILY PRACTICE                 – Making Meditation A Life-Long Habit

Stage 1 is about developing a consistent and diligent meditation practice.

The elephant is all black, meaning the mind is dominated by the ego, compulsive thinking and psychological suffering. The monkey is all black, meaning attention scatters because there is little intentional control over its movements.

The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: High

Goals: Develop a regular meditation practice.

Obstacles: Resistance, procrastination, fatigue, impatience, boredom, lack of motivation.

Skills: Creating practice routines, setting specific practice goals, generating strong motivation, cultivating discipline and diligence.

Mastery: Never missing a daily practice session.

    STAGE 2: OVERCOMING MIND WANDERING                     – Building Your Concentration Skills

     The goal for Stage Two is to shorten the periods of mind-wandering  and extend the periods of sustained attention to the meditation    object.

     The meditator is still chasing the elephant, but the elephant and the monkey have slowed a bit, now walking instead of running

    The top of the elephant’s head has turned white, indicating that laziness, procrastination, resistance, reluctance, and doubt are      sufficiently overcome to establish a regular practice.

    The top of the monkey’s head is white, signifying that periods of mind-wandering are growing shorter.

    The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: *High*

     Goals: Shorten the periods of mind-wandering and extend the  periods of sustained attention to the meditation object.

     Obstacles: Mind-wandering, monkey-mind, and impatience.

     Skills: Reinforcing spontaneous introspective awareness and learning to sustain attention on the meditation object.

     Mastery: You can sustain attention on the meditation object for minutes, while most periods of mind-wandering last only a few               seconds.

 STAGE 3: OVERCOMING FORGETTING       – Improved Concentration and Attention

The goal for Stage Three is to overcome forgetting and falling asleep.

The meditator has caught up with the elephant enough to put the  rope around its neck, meaning the power of mindfulness is beginning to restrain the mind.

The monkey’s head is white, meaning periods of mind-wandering  have become shorter and forgetting happens less often.

The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: High

Goals: Overcome forgetting and falling asleep.

Obstacles: Distractions, forgetting, mind-wandering, and sleepiness.

Skills: Use the techniques of following the breath and connecting to extend the periods of uninterrupted attention, and become familiar  with how forgetting happens. (We’ll explain these terms in the course)

Mastery: Rarely forgetting the breath or falling asleep.

    STAGE 4: OVERCOME STRONG DISTRACTIONS           – Deal With Sleepiness and Strong Dullness

     You can stay focused on the breath more or less continuously, but  attention still shifts rapidly back and forth between the breath and         various distractions.

     The shoulders and forelegs of the elephant are white, signifying the weakening of laziness, lethargy, and strong dullness is being overcome.

    The shoulders and arms of the monkey are white, signifying that forgetting and mind-wandering have been overcome, and the            meditator is working on strong distraction.

    The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: *Medium*

     Goals: Overcome strong distraction and dullness.

     Obstacles: Distractions, pain and discomfort, intellectual insights, emotionally charged visions and memories.

     Skills: Learning to work with pain. Purifying the mind of past trauma and unwholesome conditioning.

     Mastery: Strong distractions no longer push the breath into the  background, and breath sensations don’t fade or become distorted        due to strong dullness.

 STAGE 5: HIGH LEVEL MINDFULNESS                                      – Overcoming Subtle Dullness

The goal of Stage Five is to overcome subtle dullness and increase  the power of mindfulness.

The meditator has started to gain some control over the elephant  (the mind), and now leads it and uses the goad.

The monkey is half white. Strong distractions have been completely overcome.

The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: Medium

Goals: To overcome subtle dullness and increase the power of mindfulness.

Obstacles: Subtle dullness is difficult to recognize, creates an illusion of stable attention, and is seductively pleasant.

Skills: Cultivating even stronger and more continuous introspective awareness. Learning a new body scanning technique.

Mastery: You can sustain or even increase the power of your mindfulness during each meditation session.

 STAGE 6: OVERCOME SUBTLE DISTRACTIONS         – Master Metacognitive Introspective Awareness

     Attention is fairly stable but still alternates between the meditation object and subtle distractions in the background.

     The meditator leads, the elephant and the monkey follow. As the mind becomes pacified, the practice becomes easier and more satisfying.

    The elephant is white except for the hindquarters. The attraction of subtle dullness has been overcome.

    The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: *Low*

     Goals: To subdue subtle distractions and develop metacognitive introspective awareness.

     Obstacles: The tendency for attention to alternate to the continuous stream of distracting thoughts and other mental objects in peripheral awareness.

     Skills: Defining your scope of attention more precisely than before, and ignoring everything outside that scope until subtle distractions         fade away.

     Mastery: Subtle distractions have almost entirely disappeared, and you have unwavering exclusive attention together with vivid mindfulness.

  STAGE 7: EFFORTLESS ATTENTION                                   – Unify The Mind And Establish Conscious Intent

The goal of Stage Seven is to effortlessly sustain exclusive attention and powerful mindfulness.

The meditator allows the elephant to go ahead, following behind to keep the monkey and the rabbit, who still follow, away from the elephant.

The elephant is mostly white now, because majority of psychological sufferings no longer intrude the mind during meditation.

The flame indicates the effort required pass this stage: Low

Goals: Effortlessly sustained exclusive attention and powerful mindfulness.

Obstacles: Boredom, restlessness, and doubt tend to arise during    this time. Also, bizarre sensations and involuntary body movements can distract you from your practice.

Skills: Practicing patiently and diligently will bring you to the    threshold of effortlessness. It will get you past all the boredom         and doubt, as well as the bizarre sensations and movements.

Mastery: You can drop all effort, and the mind still maintains an unprecedented degree of stability and clarity.

STAGE 8: CULTIVATION OF MEDITATIVE JOY                                – Effortless Meditation and Mental Fluidity

     You can effortlessly sustain exclusive attention and mindfulness, but physical pain and discomfort still limit how long you can sit.

     The meditator leads, and the elephant obediently follows. The mind has been tamed. The monkey and the rabbit are gone: scattering of attention and dullness are no longer a threat.

    There is no flame, because meditation is effortless.

     Goals: Complete pacification of the senses and the full arising of meditative joy.

     Obstacles: The primary challenge is not to be distracted or distressed by the variety of extraordinary experiences during this stage.

     Skills: Practicing effortless attention and introspective awareness will naturally lead to continued unification, pacification of the senses, and the arising of meditative joy.

     Mastery: You can sit for hours without dullness, distraction, or  physical discomfort.

        STAGE 9: TRANQUILITY AND EQUANIMITY                          – Starting Your Insight Practice

The goal of Stage Nine is the maturation of meditative joy that produces tranquility and equanimity. This stage is also the beginning of your insight practice.

The meditator sits in meditation, while the elephant rests peacefully at his feet. With the attainment of mental and physical pliancy, the meditator can effortlessly sit in deep meditation for hours at a time. The mind develops tranquility, equanimity, and śamatha is achieved.

Goals: The maturation of meditative joy, producing tranquility and equanimity.

Obstacles: The intensity of meditative joy can perturb the mind, becoming a distraction and disrupting your practice.

Skills: Becoming familiar with meditative joy through continued practice until the excitement fades, replaced by tranquility and equanimity.

Mastery: Consistently evoking mental and physical pliancy, accompanied by profound tranquility and equanimity.

 STAGE 10: THE END OF SUFFERING                                       – Insight Accumulation and Spiritual Awakening

     You enter Stage Ten with all the qualities of samatha: effortlessly  stable attention, mindfulness, joy, tranquility, and equanimity.

      At first these qualities immediately fade after the meditation has ended. But as you continue to practice, they persist longer and longer  between meditation sessions. Eventually they become        the normal condition of the mind.

      Stage 10: The road has become a rainbow: the rainbow road to full Awakening. The meditator calmly rides on the elephant’s back.

      For you to reach this final stage, you will also need accumulations of insights which you will get both from your advanced meditation sits and from the mindset training part of our course.

      Spiritual Awakening is fully realized once you have these 5 key insights matured in the mind.

     1- Impermanence

     2- Causal Dependency of All Things

     3- Emptiness

     4- The True Nature of Suffering

     5- The Illusion of a Seperate Self

Student Testimonials 

– What People Say About The Training – 

I just want to say thank you, Arda. I am amazed actually.

You have done a service to mankind of unprecedented value.

When I first got into the training, I found the psychology training to be very in depth and I was simply mesmerized by your solid and unwavering delivery of ideas and information.

 I feel such a strong sense of gratitude to you for the efforts you have put forth on behalf of so many. 

Thanks to your daily vipassana meditation training, I have eliminated my anxiety and depression.

   – Malika

This might be the most comprehensive psychology and meditation education I have ever seen.

I have taken many courses on these topics on Udemy but this one is just on a whole another level. 

Every month, Arda is giving these foundational lessons on psychology and meditation without overwhelming the learner.

After going through an episode, you sit down and do the exercise sheets designed to help you interact with the ideas and contemplate how to apply these teachings to your practical life.

This interactivity and pragmatism added so much to the course as a whole.  Every month is like an intense crash course on how to live a happy life.

After years of trying, I can finally sit down and meditate consistently.

The amount of life satisfaction and happiness I have cultivated with this training is just ridiculous.

Thank you so much again for giving incredible amount of value.


Frequently Asked Questions From Our Students

What Is The Importance of Stoic Psychology and Buddhist Meditation?
Think of psychology and meditation as the two sides of the same apple. 

Without integrating both puzzle pieces, it is not possible to achieve permanent freedom from unhappiness, dissatisfaction, suffering and depression.

Buddhist Meditation Training is necessary because it teaches the person critical skills of happiness on an experiential level.

Skills like:

– Concentration

– Awareness

– Mindfulness

– Sensory Clarity

– Equanimity

– Tranquility

– Emotional Control

– Inducing a Meditative Flow State (This is called “Jhanas” in the Buddhist Literature)

– Unconditional Happiness

– Insight Practice

– Detachment From Addictions

– Self Inquiry Practice and many more…

Stoic Psychology Training is necessary because it teaches the person to understand the big picture, see the practical consequences, and develop proper and lasting motivation for the meditation training.

Without understanding how the mind works, how can you expect to make any lasting changes to the system?

Self actualization is not this practice you do only on the cushion but also as you interact with the world. Things like:

– Your reactions to external events. – Your understanding of the Stoic control dichotomy.

– Your accurate perception of events.  – Your capacity for emphaty and compassion.

– Your relationships with friends and family. – Your practice of virtue.

– Your undersanding of the cause of psychological sufferings. – Your ability to take a theoretical idea and put it to a practical application.

– Your ability to accept yourself and others as they are without judgements.

– Your ability to get rid of unhealthy addictions. – Your ability to set aside “dogma” and think for yourself freely.

All of these things are crucial for the development of a healthy human mind.

Just meditating will not cut it. You must also understand the mindset shifts and the psychology aspects of journey.

How Should I Go About The Course?
You can go about the course in any way but I strongly suggest that you watch and apply both psychology and meditation episodes simultaneously.

Start a daily meditation practice right away and make sure to finish each episode and its corresponding worksheet before moving on to the next episode.

What is The Course Schedule?

The course is designed to be a 10 month long training where you go through both the meditation and pscyhology teachings at the same time.

As long as you’ve paid monthly payments successfully for 10 months, you will have access to all member’s special content and keep asking me about your questions. When the payment fails for any reason, your account will stay ‘on hold’ until the transaction is completed. 

The meditation training is designed to be 10 stages.

Meaning you’ll learn one stage per month. I don’t want to overwhelm you with theory. Remember the key to results is “action”.

I will talk about new techniques every stage. Also the stages are divided so that you can tackle different obstacles.

For instance, in stage 1, all the effort will go to make the meditation a habit. You should not concern yourself too much with meditation quality in the first month of the training.

But In stage 4, your major obstacle will be sleepiness and distractions. Increasing meditation quality will be our key goal in this stage.

So the techniques will change according to these key goals.

However, this doesn’t mean you’ll go through each stage in one month.

The earlier stages of meditation (Stages 1-6) of the training will take significantly longer than the advanced stages (Stages 6-10) prior to enlightenment.

In the psychology training, you’ll get videos with worksheets every month. I find interactivity to be the best teacher.

Instead of sitting down and passively watching videos, you need to interact with the ideas to turn them into practical actions.

This is why I will include an exercise worksheet with each episode to facilitate action and deep contemplation.

In each worksheet, you’ll find many practical exercise questions teaching you how to take action on these ideas.

Also I will give as much practical examples in the video itself to make these videos as “actionable” as possible.

Payment: How Long Is The Training?

The main course takes about 10 months to finish.

You’ll pay the membership price (currently $39,99) on a monthly basis and gain access to the rest of the course material as time goes on.

But since this is a membership course, I’ll continue to add new videos and training episodes during and after the main course.

Throughout these months, the course content and videos will increase but the price of the membership will always stay the same.

So if you continue to stay a member, you’ll eventually get more value and training episodes for the same price.

Are There Any Assignments or Worksheets?
Yes! Each episode has a worksheet attached to it.
In these worksheets, you’ll answer key questions about the training video which checks if you have truly understood and assimilated the core teachings.
These worksheets and lesson notes also give you practical assignments which helps you apply these theoretical teachings into your daily life.
For best results, do the worksheets right after you finish watching the video. Take your time and write your answers carefully.

What Exactly Is Enlightenment?
Enlightenment, as Buddha described, is the end of psychological sufferings.

This is the ultimate mission of the training. To help you end your psychological sufferings with buddhist meditation and stoic psychology.

Suffering, in this context, includes a large amount of negative feelings and emotional states ranging from sadness, anxiety, sorrow, regret, anticipaton, depression, shyness, self-loathing, existential confusion, boredom, meaninglessness, lack of purpose and overall dissatisfaction that you experience in life.

All of these negative states can be cured by meditating and taking psychology seriously.

To be more precise, enlightenment is this profound consciousness shift in our intuitive understanding of ourselves and our relationship to reality. 

When fully  enlightened, you will no longer see yourself as a “seperate self” trying to intereact with people and objects in the hope of attaining permanent happiness. You’ll realize that happiness is an internal state which is faciliated by the mind.

You don’t need the external world to “bend to your will” for you to be happy.

When mindfulness is applied with high intensity, you’ll find that “on/off” switch of your mind which will make you organically happier by getting the brain to secrete happiness hormones (like dopamine and seratonin) on a consistent and stable basis.

You’ll realize your being and  existential nature as “unified” with everything else which will eliminate your ego and self-agenda. 

Precisely this ego (your sense of being a seperate self) is creating these sufferings in life.

This also closely relates to mindfulness and being present in the moment.

When you are not present, your ego (the internal dialogue and thinking mechanism that you have) is energized and it is creating a lot of resistance, lack of appreciation and and overall dissatisfaction. 

Enlightenment will help you make peace with the “monkey mind” and it will help you live an unconditionally happy life.

  NOTE: If all of this sounds confusing, don’t worry. I’ll explain these concepts and ideas a lot more in depth in the training.

How Long Should I Meditate Daily To See Results?
I recommend complete beginner meditation students to start with 15-20 minutes daily. You will do this for 30 days without skipping a day.

The mind needs repetition and consistency to establish mindfulness as a default operating system.

After the first 30 day ends, you’ll increase the meditation time by 5 minutes every week until you reach 40 minutes.

For instance, if the meditation was 20 minutes long in the first month,

the second month will go like this:

1st week : 25 minutes 

2nd week: 30 minutes

3rd week: 35 minutes

4th week: 40 minutes

This means that by the end of your second month, you’ll start meditating for at least 40 minutes every day.

This might sound like a lot for beginners but trust me. By incrementally increasing the time, you won’t feel the difference.

Besides, 40 minutes is a very important time frame. Meditating for a shorter period of time will not do much for the mind for our purposes.

It is very difficult to develop tangible concentration, awareness and mindfulness skills in such a short amount of time.

As you advance in this practice, meditating for 1-2 hours in one session will be quite enjoyable and easy.

So don’t let the length of meditation scare you.  Just like learning any skill, it will get easier and easier.

Where Do I Go If I Have Technical Issues?
For any billing, website, course and technical issues, just send an email to : 

Our support staff will take care of your needs.

When Will New Training Videos Be Available?
The new training material will come on a 30 day basis starting from the date you join the membership.
Right after you send the membership payment for that month,  you’ll receive an email notification  about the new course material.
For some reason, if you don’t see the email notification, simply head over to the lessons page and you’ll see the new training episodes.

Can I Get A Refund? - Can I Quit?
Yes! Once you become a student if you ever feel dissatisfied with the training material, you can get a full refund in 7 days.
After 7 days, you won’t able to get a refund. But you can always quit the course whenever you want. You don’t have to finish the whole 10 months.
If you need to suspend your account for special reasons, quit the course or want to get a refund, get in contact with our support team at:

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