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Year One Spring Class Description

Philosophical Tenets: Sutra Schools

In Buddhism, the cultivation of limitless wisdom is inextricably linked to the concept of selflessness. The Buddhist philosophical tenets represent different views and interpretations of the meaning of selflessness. Progression through the tenets takes one to more and more subtle understandings of selflessness. Thus, for one to fully realize wisdom, one must develop an understanding of selflessness through listening to, contemplating and meditating on each of the tenet views. This class examines differences in Non-Buddhist and Buddhist views of self and on the tenets of the early Buddhist philosophical Sutra School.

Text: Cutting Through Appearances by Great Jangya Rolbay Dorjay.

Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) Part 2: Middle Scope (Personal Liberation)

The Lam Rim is a fundamental text in Tibetan Buddhism that details all the teachings and practices of the complete path for the attainment of enlightenment. Part Two covers the second stage of the path in which one realizes to end suffering one must gain complete liberation from cyclic existence (samsara). Topics covered include: Nirvana/ Liberation, Four Noble Truths, the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, the six root and twenty close delusions, and six wrong views.

Text: Lama Tsongkhapa’s the great treatise on the stages of the path to enlightenment or other scholars’ lam rim text.

Book Study (Mind training Text): Eight Verses for Training the Mind

The Eight Verses for Training the Mind is considered two foundational texts within Buddhist practice. These two texts provide practical instruction and guidance on how to practice both mind training in one’s daily interactions with others and in meditation in order to cultivate a transformation of mind. The Eight Verses for Training the Mind focuses on training the mind in holding positive views of others in our daily relationships even in the face of difficult circumstances and interactions, as for example when others insult or betray us. By training the mind to hold a different view of others in the face of challenging situations, one’s emotional reactions and behavioral responses in these situations will then also eventually change.

Beginning Colloquial Tibetan

Study materials: Fluent Tibetan, Vol. I, Snow Lion Publications.

This course is an introduction to the modern Tibetan language in both its spoken and written forms. Students will learn the Tibetan alphabet and basic grammar, and develop speaking and comprehension proficiency through extensive use of drill and conversational practices. Fluent Tibetan, Vol. I will be used as the main text for the course and will be supplemented with selected handouts from the instructor.