This course is an in-depth study of Chandrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will begin with the presentation of the Madhyamaka of the model texts followed by a close examination of the first five Madhyamakāvatāra's chapters correlated with the first five bodhisattva bhūmis. Several difficult points will be covered such as the three reasons which prove that arhats realize selflessness of person.

Prerequisite: BUD 691

Required texts:

    • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra by Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, 2008  Snow Lion Publications
    • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2004, Snow Lion Publications  
    • Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakāvatāra with Commentary by Jamgön Mipham, translated by Padmakara Translation Committee, 2001, Shambhala Publications
    • Commentary on Feast for the Fortunate, Grounds One-Five & Part I of Ground Six, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Commentary on The Chariot of the Dakpo Kagyü Siddhas, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Volume 1, Nitartha Institute Publications
    • Advanced Madhyamaka I, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is a continuation of the in-depth study of Chandrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will study the first part of the sixth chapter on the pāramitā of prajñā which primarily deals with the reasoning refuting arising from the four extremes. The difficult points covered include the prāsangika-svātantrika distinction as well as the presentation of the two truths. 

Prerequisite: BUD 700

Required texts: 

    • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra by Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, 2008  Snow Lion Publications
    • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2004, Snow Lion Publications  
    • Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakāvatāra with Commentary by Jamgön Mipham, translated by Padmakara Translation Committee, 2001, Shambhala Publications
    • Commentary on Feast for the Fortunate, Ground Six, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche & Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Advanced Madhyamaka II & III The Sixth Chapter, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications
    • Commentary on The Chariot of the Dakpo Kagyü Siddhas, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Volume 2, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is a continuation of the in-depth study of Chandrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will complete the bulk of the sixth chapter on the pāramitā of prajñā. The topics covered include a detailed refutation of the proponents of consciousness, and an extensive presentation of personal selflessness.

Prerequisite: BUD 701

Required texts: 

    • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra by Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, 2008  Snow Lion Publications
    • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2004, Snow Lion Publications  
    • Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakāvatāra with Commentary by Jamgön Mipham, translated by Padmakara Translation Committee, 2001, Shambhala Publications
    • Commentary on Feast for the Fortunate, Ground Six, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche & Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Advanced Madhyamaka II & III The Sixth Chapter, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications
    • Commentary on The Chariot of the Dakpo Kagyü Siddhas, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Volume 3, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is the completion of the in-depth study of Chandrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will conclude the sixth chapter followed by the presentation of remaining bodhisattva grounds of realization and the resultant bhūmi of Buddhahood. The topics covered include sixteen emptinesses and the discussion about the nature of budhahood: Does the Buddha’s wisdom exist and what do Buddhas see? 

Prerequisite: BUD 702 

Required texts: 

    • The Karmapa’s Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate, A Commentary on Chandrakirti’s Madhyamakāvatāra by Wangchuk Dorje, translated by Tyler Dewar, 2008  Snow Lion Publications
    • Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakāvatāra with Commentary by Jamgön Mipham, translated by Padmakara Translation Committee, 2001, Shambhala Publications
    • Commentary on The Chariot of the Dakpo Kagyü Siddhas, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Volume 4, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is an in-depth study of Abhisamayālamkāra by Maitreya (ca. 4th century) - the decisive elucidation of the hidden meaning of prajñāpāramitā related to the path of the Mahāyāna - based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will study the first of the eight abhisamayas, or clear realizations: Chapter one - "The Knowledge of All Aspects," which is the direct realization that all aspects are primordial peace. 

Prerequisite: BUD 691

Required texts: 

    • Gone Beyond, Volume One: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Kagyü Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2011, Snow Lion Publications
    • Commentary on the Ornament of Clear Realization, Introduction, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Commentary on the Ornament of Clear Realization, Topic One, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications 

This course is a continuation of the in-depth study of Abhisamayālamkāra by Maitreya (ca. 4th century), based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will study the second and the third abhisamaya: Chapter two - “The Knowledge of the Path,” which is direct realizations that the three paths are primordial peace, and Chapter three - “The All-knowledge,” the direct realization that all bases are primordial peace without abiding in existence or peace. 

Prerequisite: BUD 710

Required texts: 

    • Gone Beyond, Volume One: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Kagyü Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2011, Snow Lion Publications  
    • Commentary on the Ornament of Clear Realization, Topics Two and Three, by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications 


This course is the completion of the in-depth study of the Abhisamayālamkāra by Maitreya (ca. 4th century), based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will study remaining five abhisamayas: Chapter four through eight  - “The Training in All Aspects,” “The Culminating Training,” “The Serial Training,” “The Instantaneous Training,” and “The Dharmakāya.”

Prerequisite: BUD 711

Required texts: 

    • Gone Beyond, Volume Two: The Prajnaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Kagyü Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2012, Snow Lion Publications
    • Commentary on the Ornament of Clear Realization, Topic Four, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Commentary on the Ornament of Clear Realization, Topics Five-Eight, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 

This course is based on the Abhisamayālamkāra by Maitreya (ca. 4th century) and its commentaries in the Tibetan Nyingma Tradition.  Primarily we will study the commentary by Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808-1887), a prominent master of Rime, the 19th century non-sectarian movement in Tibet. 

Prerequisite: BUD 712

Required texts: 

    • Groundless Paths: The Prajñaparamita Sutras, The Ornament of Clear Realization, and Its Commentaries in the Tibetan Nyingma Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2012, Snow Lion Publications