This course elucidates the theory and practice of analytical meditation, an approach to meditation where the view is determined through the analyses of the perceptual, conceptual and emotional minds. In our quest, we will rely on the approach of Ju Mipham Rinpoche (1846–1912) as well as on oral instructions from the practice lineages of Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Prerequisite: BUD 500

Required texts:

    • The Wheel of Analytical Meditation of Detailed Examination: The Complete Training in the Analysis of Mind by Ju Mipham Rinpoche, translated by Khenpo Gawang and Gerry Wiener
    • Beacon of Certainty: Topic 3. Does meditation involve grasping at an object? and topic 4. Should we do analytical meditation or settling meditation? translated by Chris Stagg

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 overview of the final view of the Buddhist philosophy—the Madhyamaka, or the Middle Way tradition of Mahāyāna, which propounds the view of śūnyatā, the emptiness of all phenomena, the transcendence of all views, freedom from elaborations. We will study the presentation of the two truths, their union, and the five great Madhyamaka reasonings.

Prerequisite: BUD 601

Required text:

    • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyü Tradition, by Karl Brunnhölzl, 2004, Snow Lion Publications

Recommended texts:

    • Commentary on the Presentation of Madhyamaka in the Treasury of Knowledge by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • There is No Secret Ingredient: A Contemporary Introduction to Studying and Using Madhyamaka, by Karl Brunnhölzl, Nitartha Institute Publications

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.

Prerequisite: BUD 610

Required texts:

    • Root text: The Presentation of Bhumis, Paths & Results in the Treasury of Knowledge (Salam), by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, Nitartha Institute Publications 
    • 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 overview of the Tathāgatagarbha, or Buddha Nature tradition, the view of the luminous essence of awakening, the heart of goodness shared by all beings. Our exploration will rely on the key section of Uttaratantra of Maitreya (ca. 4th century) which establishes Buddha nature through three reasonings, its ten facets, nine analogies and five reasons why it is necessary to teach it.

Prerequisite: BUD 620

Required texts: 

    • Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary, by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, translated by Rosemarie Fuchs, 2000, Snow Lion Publications
    • Commentary on the Fourth Vajra Point in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications 

This intermediate debate course trains in formally debating tenets of the Vaibhāśika philosophical tradition. Debate topic of this class consists of the refutation of the creator god as well as refutation of personal identity using the seven-fold analysis of the chariot.

Prerequisite: BUD 555

No required texts

This intermediate debate course trains in formally debating tenets of the Sautrāntika philosophical tradition. Debate topics of this class center around the proof of subtle impermanence - the reason of non-dependency that proves that entities do not rely on another cause for their momentary cessation other than their own dependently arisen appearance.

Prerequisite: BUD 555

No required texts

This intermediate debate course trains in formally debating the tenets of Cittamātra, the Mind Only Mahāyāna philosophical school. From the point of view of true aspectarians we will ascertain non-separation through the reason of definitive simultaneous observation, reason refuting arising of something similar, the reason of no connection and the reason refuting partless particle. From the point of view of the false aspectarians, we will formulate reasonings refuting existence of aspects.

Prerequisite: BUD 555

No required texts

This intermediate course is the introduction to Madhyamaka debate. We will reinstate the historical debates of the Middle Way masters with other philosophical schools, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, using the five great reasonings that analyze the cause, the result, both cause and result, the essence, as well as the mere appearance. We will utilize different types of reasons of non-observation in debate and work with the four uncommon reasonings of the Madhyamikas as presented in the Treasury of Knowledge: inference within the common consensus of others, consequences that expose contradictions, analogous applicability of the opponent's reason and non-application of the means of proof due to its sameness with the probandum.

Prerequisite: BUD 655

No required texts