FALL SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE – September 23rd – December 12, 2019


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FALL SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE September 23rd – December 12, 2019

From 6.30pm until 7.45pm

At Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies,

201 Tibet Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850


Namgyal Monastery office / office@namgyal.org or Call: 607-279-8805


September 23rd – December 12, 2019


Full-Time Tuition: Full-time tuition for Monday through Thursday classes is $950, which includes access to all courses offered.  Full-time students are also granted access to two weekend intensives throughout the semester (excludes special programming).  Payment schedules can be arranged with the Administrator prior to the beginning of each session.


Senior Citizen Discount: A discount of 15% will be granted to seniors (age 65 or older), applicable

to full-time tuition or tuition for individual classes.


Live-Stream Recordings:  All classes will be live-streamed and recorded.  Livestream video recordings can be viewed at any time that is convenient and the links to the recordings remain available for 2-3 months.  The cost for live-stream access is $200.  To register for live-stream recording email deana_bodnar@msn.com and send payment to Namgyal Monastery (contact office@namgyal.org for information on payment options).


Philosophical Tenets:  Madhyamaka

Instructor: Geshe Lobsang Dhondup, translation by Palden Oshoe

Mondays:  6:30-7:45

Tuition: $265.00 for semester (payable in full or in two $132.50 installments)


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 the view of the selflessness of persons and phenomena of the Svatantrika- and Prasangika-Madhyamaka Schools.  The class discussion will examine important differences between these two schools, such as the types of arguments they use and the object of negation in the analysis of persons and phenomena.


Text: Jangya Rolbay Dorjay , Cutting Through Appearances (Shambhala-Snow Lion Publications)


Book Study:  Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend


Instructor:  Geshe Lobsang Dhondup translation by Palden Oshoe

Tuesdays 6:30-7:45

Tuition: $265.00 for semester (payable in full or in two $132.50 installments)


Letter to a Friend is a short text written by the great Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna for a South Indian king.  The text to provides concise teachings of the entire Mahayana stages on thee path to enlightenment as well practical advice to conduct oneself in daily life in accordance with the teachings.  Geshe-la will provide an explanation of the teachings contained within the verses of this great text and how to apply these in one’s daily life.


Text: Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend (Shambhala-Snow Lion Publications)



Cultivating Bodhichitta and Practicing the Six Perfections (Far-Reaching Attitudes)

Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) Part 3

Instructor:  Geshe Lobsang Dhondup translation by Palden Oshoe

Wednesdays 6:30-7:45

Tuition: $265.00 for semester (payable in full or in two $132.50 installments)


Bodhichitta is the altruistic intention to attain Buddhahood for the benefits of all sentient beings. Cultivating this aspiration is considered essential for entering the Mahayana Path and achieving Buddhahood.  The practical application of bodhichitta in one’s daily life involves the practice of the six perfections: generosity, ethical discipline, patience, joyful effort, meditation and wisdom.  These are sometimes referred to as the six far-reaching attitudes as they are to be extended all beings regardless of our relationship with them.  This class will provide instruction on the cultivation of bodhichitta and the practice of the six perfections as taught in the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim).   


Text: Lama Tsongkhapa’s the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment Vol. 2


Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism

Instructor:  Deana Bodnar

Thursdays 6:30-7:45

Tuition: $265.00 for semester (payable in full or in two $132.50 installments)


This course will provide an overview of key points and practices in Tibetan Buddhism.   Course topics will include: 1) history of Buddhism in general and Tibetan Buddhism in particular; 2) overview of fundamental teachings and practices such as the Four Noble Truths, refuge and bodhichitta; 3) overview teachings by various masters within Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and 4) overview of different types of meditation and mind training practices.  The goal of the course is to give students a basic framework for understanding different teachings and practices as well as how to integrate these into one’s daily life.  Each class will also provide time for questions and discussion about these topics as well time for meditation practice.


Recommended Reading: Path to Enlightenment by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalia Lama (Shambhala-Snow Lion Publications)


Deana Bodnar has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism at Namgyal Monastery for over 15 years.  She has previously taught classes on the Neurobiology of Meditation.


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