This course is a systematic training in the meditation of special insight in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Having first established a ground of clam abiding, we will engage in analytical vipaśyanā or insight meditation into how our use of conceptuality contributes to the creation of karma and kleśa, and how to reverse that process by contemplating identitylessness, emptiness.

This course is taken with each Foundation and Intermediate course and is included in the credit hours of those courses.

This course explores the criteria of a valid cognition and its various classifications, based on the teachings of the Pramāna tradition, or Buddhist epistemology. We will analyze our consciousness and determine to what degree it is in agreement with its observed object or not; when our mind is direct or not; what the difference is between non-mistaken, non-deceiving, conceptual and non-conceptual types of awareness.

This course has two-fold purpose: It presents a detailed treatment of knowable objects in the form of definitions, examples, equivalents and classifications drawn from Collected Topics, the introductory textbook of Buddhist phenomenology or Abhidharma; secondly this material is used to teach methods for thinking clearly about the teachings using the debate typology of the four types of relationships there can be between any two phenomena. We will train in elementary debate skills in a relaxed environment, such as asking for definitions, equivalents and classifications.

This course completes the Classification of Mind (Lorik) root text, from the tradition of Pramāna or Buddhist epistemology that students began in Mind and Its World I. This course has two main sections. The first provides the practitioner with the tools for delineating conceptual and non- conceptual types of mind in meditation. This teaching is codified as the modes of engagement of mind. The second section investigates mind in terms of the mental factors/events that describe specific functional aspects of mind, as well as determine its virtuous or afflicted states, in order to cultivate the former and relinquish the latter.

Prerequisites: BUD 501, BUD 502

Required texts:

    • Root text: Classifications of Mind, (Lorik), by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Root text: Collected Topics (Düdra), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Mind & Its World 2 Sourcebook, Nitartha Institute Publications 

This course is an extensive exposition of the ground of Vaibhāśika philosophical tradition, based on the expanded version of The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. This school is valued for their presentation of a contemplative world-view of radical impermanence, without needing to postulate either a personal identity or any principle of divine creation.

Prerequisites: BUD 501, BUD 502

Required texts:

    • Root text: The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds (Truptha), by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Acharya Kelsang Wangdi, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Root text: Collected Topics (Düdra), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Mind & Its World 3 Sourcebook, Nitartha Institute Publications 

This course is an extensive exposition of the Sautrāntika philosophical tradition, based on the expanded version of The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. This school is renowned for classifying all knowable objects into specifically and generally characterized phenomena, based on our experience. The path and result presentation here is generally shared with the Vaibhāśika tradition.

Prerequisites: BUD 501, BUD 502

Required texts:

    • Root text: The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds (Truptha), by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Acharya Kelsang Wangdi, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • Mind & Its World 4 Sourcebook, Nitartha Institute Publications 

This course presents an overview of the theory of Buddhist logic which underlines the practice of Buddhist debate. We will study definitions and various classifications of correct and seeming reasons and formulate example reasonings for each their types. The course concludes with the exposition of genuine reality that transcends negations and proofs.

Prerequisites: BUD 501, BUD 502

Required texts:

  • Root Text: The Presentation of the Classifications of Reasons (Tarik), by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications
  • Commentary on The Presentation of the Classifications of Reasons, by Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

This course offers a methodical training in elementary debate skills on the basis of the Clear Thinking class. We will formulate reasonings with correct and seeming reasons and utilize those in a debate by learning how to challenge the first mode of a reasoning. Regarding the content, we will debate classification of objects in terms of entity from Collected Topics that was taught in Clear Thinking course.

Prerequisites: BUD 502

No required texts

This course continues a methodical training in elementary debate skills on the basis of Debate I. We will learn how to challenge the second mode of a reasoning, as well as the debate strategies of the challenger and the defender and how to bring a debate to completion. Thus we will cover all the basic skills needed for engaging in a formal debate. Regarding the content, we will continue debating the classification of objects in terms of entity and add classification of mind into primary minds and mental events.

Prerequisite: BUD 553

No required texts

This course trains in enhancing debate skills on the basis of the skills acquired in Debate I and Debate II. This includes bringing absurd consequences as a technique into debate and mastering the shorter form of formulating reasoning and modes challenge. Regarding the content, we will continue debating classification of objects in terms of entity and will add the methods that lead to cognition of objects, classification of things in terms of function, as well as classification of objects the way they are taken as objects.

Prerequisite: BUD 554

No required texts