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Year Two Fall Class Description

Buddhist Philosophical Tenets: Mind-Only School

In Buddhism, the cultivation of limitless wisdom is inextricably linked to the understanding and realization 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 focuses on the tenets of the Mind Only School. It is recommended that students have some basic familiarity with Buddhist Philosophy.

Text: Cutting Through Appearances by Great Jangya Rolbay Dorje and Opening the eye of Awareness by H.H.14th Dalai Lama’s.

Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment): Part 3. Great Scope (Aspiration Toward Buddhahood – Mahayana Path)

The Lam Rim (The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) is a fundamental text in Tibetan Buddhism that details all the teachings and practices of the complete path for the attainment of enlightenment. Part Three covers the first part of the stage of the path in which one realizes to achieve Buddhahood one must work for the welfare of all beings and liberate them from suffering. Topics covered in this class include: bodhichitta (the enlightened mind); methods for cultivating bodhichitta; seven cause and effect instructions and exchanging self and other; and the practice of the six perfections.

Text: Lama Tsongkhapa’s the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment or other scholars’ lam rim text.

Book Study: Kindness, Clarity and Insight by HH Dalai Lama

Kindness, Clarity and Insight is one of the first books written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in explaining Buddhism to westerns. This book provides explanations and teachings on range of topics central to Buddhist philosophy and practice. These topic include: karma, compassion, Four Noble Truths, selflessness and meditation. In this class, student will have an opportunity to read and discuss these topics and receive further teaching and clarification on these topics by Venerable Choesang. This is an excellent class for persons new to Buddhism as well as student with some familiarity with these topics.

Language of Tibetan Buddhist Practice: Homage and Praises to Buddha Shakyamuni

Palden Oshoe, the translator for Namgyal Monastery will lead a class in teaching the translation and vocabulary for Prayers to Buddha Shakyamuni. These prayers are often recited in before meditation practice. He will provide the Tibetan to English translation of words as well as discuss their meaning and significance Tibetan Buddhism. The class will also provide basic understanding of classical Tibetan grammar. Students will have the opportunity to practice their pronunciation and recitation of these prayers. No previous knowledge of Tibetan or Buddhism is required.