This course is a systematic presentation of Chittamātra, or Mind Only meditative view of Mahāyāna Buddhism. We will engage in the philosophical reformulation of experiences arising from meditation practice – declaring reasonings establishing objects as not separate from mind, as well as the three natures theory and the eight-fold collection of consciousness.

Prerequisite: BUD 530

Required texts:

    • Root text: The Mind Only Tenet System (Semtsam), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Mind Only Tenet System Sourcebook, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 

Recommended text:

    • Commentary on the Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition, by Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is an exposition of the Middle Way philosophical tradition based on Part One of The Center of the Sunlit Sky, expressed as the ground, path and fruition of Madhyamaka. Students explore the classification of knowable objects into the two realities and cultivate certainty in the view of emptiness of all phenomena, formulating the five great Madhyamaka reasonings. The course includes the presentation of personal identitylessness with the sevenfold analysis of the chariot.

Prerequisite: BUD501 is required, and it is recommended that all four Mind and Its World courses be taken before taking level 3.

Required Texts:

  • Mahayana 303: Not Even A Middle (NEM), by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Nalandabodhi Publications
  • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyü Tradition (CSS), by Karl Brunnhölzl, Snow Lion Publications, 2004

This course is a presentation of the five paths on the voyage to awakening, the ten bodhisattvas' bhūmis, or levels of realization, and the result: the enlightenment, buddha's kāyas and wisdoms as well as enlightened activity. We will study what is required to embark and progress on the path and what the goal of such spiritual journey is.

Prerequisites: Taking BUD 610 (Madhyamaka) is recommended before this course.

Required Texts: 

    • Root text: The Presentation of Bhumis, Paths & Results in the Treasury of Knowledge (Salam), by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Sourcebook: Commentary on The Presentation of Paths Bhumis, & Results in the Causal Vehicle of Characteristics from the Treasury of Knowledge by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Karl Brunnhölzl, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course is an exposition of the Tathāgatagarbha philosophical tradition, based on The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra: Fourth Vajra Point root text. Students cultivate certainty in the view of Buddha nature —the essence of awakening present in all beings. The Fourth Vajra Point of the Uttaratantra establishes Buddha nature through three reasonings, its ten aspects, nine analogies, and five reasons why it is necessary to teach it.