2017 Summer Classical Tibetan Intensive and Fall Courses

~ Click on the tabs to review courses coming this summer and fall ~
~ Enroll Now for Summer Tibetan Intensive; Fall Registration Opens May 15, 2017 ~

SUMMER 2017: Classical Tibetan Language Summer Intensive with Bill Magee, PhD: Grammar and Translation Methodology (TIB 110) covers the grammar and methodology components of Classical Tibetan language training including:

  • Alphabet, pronunciation and particles
  • Patterns within syllables, words and phrases
  • Grammar as found in Indian treatises and in indigenous Tibetan philosophical works
  • Methodologies for preparing translations of philosophical works

The course will draw from Joe Wilson’s Translating Buddhism from Tibetan, Tibetan philosophic text(s) and commentaries in the original language, and supplemental materials. By the end of the summer, students will begin translation work with excerpts from the Second Dalai lama’s Presentation of Tenets, Mi-pham’s Fundamental Mind and other texts chosen by the instructor.

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SUMMER 2017: TIB118: Introduction to Translating Classical Tibetan Text (1 credit) with Bill Magee, PhD is for the student who wishes to gain entry to reading Tibetan Buddhist philosophic works in the original language. Students will begin to learn translation skills by working through an annotated commentary of Tsong-kha-pa’s Great Exposition of the Path and other texts chosen by the instructor. At minimum, students should have familiarity with the alphabet, but little or no prior formal study of classical Tibetan grammar is required.

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FALL 2017: Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (PHL 301) will introduce antecedents that underpin Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, including a brief history of how current Tibetan Buddhist philosophy arose from Buddha’s teachings. The tenet system will be introduced, and its foundational understanding will allow the student to begin to understand this evolution of philosophical thought. Additionally, there will be a brief introduction to the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition of logic or syllogism that dominates the Gelug monastic debate court. Finally, the course will explore Je Tsongkhapa’s classical Tibetan text, the Lamrim Chenmo, commonly known as the gradual path to enlightenment. For this exploration, we will be drawing on the major Indian Buddhist philosophical texts as our entry into detailed examinations of basic Lamrim topics. This class will read and discuss key philosophical treatises, texts, and historical analyses to facilitate an in-depth exploration of the foundations of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Identify and differentiate key aspects of the tenet system, and the role they play in the development of Tibetan Buddhist philosophical views of reality.
  • Identify and discuss the basic understanding of dependent arising/emptiness among the tenet systems.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the Sanskrit tradition of Buddhist logic – including structure and philosophical implications.
  • Describe the importance of Je Tsongkhapa and the Lamrim Chenmo in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.
  • List, define, and differentiate the three scopes of the path to enlightenment as discussed in Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo.
  • Recognize, define, and summarize key topics in the Lamrim Chenmo.
  • Clearly communicate thoughts and ideas through writing an academic paper correctly using the Maitripa College Style Guide.

Instructor:  Yangsi Rinpoche

About This Instructor

FALL 2017: Lam Rim Meditation (MDT301) will provide a broad introduction to techniques and practices common to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition with an emphasis on analytical meditation.  Common challenges faced in establishing a meditation practice will be addressed, such as lack of time or inspiration. In this course, students will gain familiarity with basic Buddhist meditation structure and establish grounding in a traditional approach to meditation practice. A consistent framework for a meditation practice will be gradually built and reinforced over the course of the semester, with variable contemplations introduced each week. The course will be taught in an interactive format, allowing students the opportunity to learn specific meditations as directed by the instructor, as well as to practice, and discuss their experiences in class and one to one with the instructor.  Topics will mirror those in its paired philosophy class; the meditation techniques will be drawn from the topics and readings from Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy (PHL 301), however, either course can be taken independently. Course expectations include regular meditation sessions out of class and keeping a meditation journal. If desired, the committed student will have the opportunity to work with the instructor to design a personal meditation practice.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Discuss and write about their meditation experience as they practice the various analytical meditation techniques taught in class.
  • Demonstrate understanding through practice and discussion about the role of meditation as it relates to the classical text the Lamrim Chenmo.
  • Demonstrate the ability to craft a written version of a meditation in preparation to lead a group meditation.

Instructor:  Yangsi Rinpoche

About This Instructor

FALL 2017: Madhyamaka Philosophy:  Where is the Middle Way? (PHL 303) provides an overview and in-depth introduction to the philosophy and practice of Mādhyamaka, the “Middle Way” as presented by Nāgārjuna based on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras revealed in the Second Turning of Wheel Of Dharma. In particular, the Geluk presentation of Madhyamaka thought as inaugurated by Je Tsongkhapa will be the focus of this class. Beginning in the 14th century in Tibet, the philosophical works of Tsongkhapa have had a wide-ranging impact on social, spiritual, political, and philosophical life in Tibet. His influential works have spawned both admiration and condemnation, and in this class we will study his thought through the lens of a modern commentator in Khensur Jampa Tegchok, and by reading Tsongkhapa’s works directly, as translated by Jeffrey Hopkins. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in MDT303 in conjunction with this class. 

Course Objectives

By the end of this class students should be able to:

  • Understand how the practice of wisdom fits into the larger soteriological goal of liberation and enlightenment.
  • Identify what constitutes falling into the extremes and where the Middle Way lies in the various Madhyamika schools of thought.
  • Identify the object of negation (superimposition) in Svatantrika and Prasangika Madhyamika schools and explain various reasonings to refute the object of negation.
  • Recognize how emotional suffering in their own personal experience and those of others can be attributed to the cognitive error of superimposing an exaggerated status to self and phenomena.
  • Learn to go beyond appearances and deconstruct reality as a way to relate to self and others in a more emotionally balanced and healthy way.
  • Clearly communicate thoughts and ideas through writing an academic paper correctly using the Maitripa College Style Guide.

Instructor:  Yangsi Rinpoche

About This Instructor

FALL 2017: Madhyamaka Meditation: Finding the Middle Way (MDT 303) will introduce students to some of the key structures and approaches to meditation on emptiness found within the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The topics of this course will parallel those covered in PHL303, and students have the opportunity to integrate their philosophical contemplation within their meditation. A blend of traditional preliminary practices, calm abiding, and specific wisdom meditations will be taught to provide a balanced and grounded framework for approaching profound meditations on the nature of reality. The course will also address common problems in establishing a meditation practice, e.g. lack of time or inspiration. The class will consist of weekly meditations guided by the instructor, daily self-guided meditation integrating the weekly topics into the overall practice structure, four personal meditation reports, and the opportunity to meet with the instructor to design a personal mediation practice. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in PHL303 in conjunction with this class.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the structure of the Madhyamaka and supporting meditation practices.
  • Understand the relationship between Jorcho meditation and the practice of wisdom, and they will integrate Jorcho into their daily practice.
  • Structure and perform meditation through the application of the theories of no self and emptiness.
  • Meditate on emptiness through each of the following three approaches:
    a. through an understanding the theory of the middle way
    b. through the motivation of compassion and bodhicitta
    c. through specifically recognizing the misperceptions of self-grasping
  • Students will deepen their knowledge of meditation by reviewing the section of the Lam Rim Chenmo on calm abiding as well as revisiting Kamalasila’s Middling Stages of Meditation.
  • Clearly communicate thoughts and ideas through writing an academic paper correctly using the Maitripa College Style Guide.

Instructor:  Yangsi Rinpoche

About This Instructor
FALL 2017: CS001 – Who We Are & Who We Serve: Personal Theology & Foundations of Engagement with Namdrol Adams.  Details coming soon! 
FALL 2017: CS003 – Compassionate Service: Conflict & Diversity, Wisdom & Method with Namdrol Adams. Details coming soon! 
FALL 2017: HIS317 – Buddha: Stories, Theories, Songs, Images, Devotion with Roger Jackson. Buddha, “the awakened,” is the ideal being–and state of being – in all Buddhist traditions. This course will explore the contours of the Buddha-ideal as revealed in legendary narratives, devotional poems, ritual texts, visionary accounts, philosophical treatises, meditation manuals, and artistic representations. We will consider both classical conceptions of Buddha and modern reinterpretations. In doing so, we will trace “Buddha” from the historical Shakyamuni’s biography, to Mahayana metaphysics, the arts and devotional practices, and into our contemporary social and cultural contexts. 

Fall 2017
Faculty: Roger Jackson, PhD
Dates: 4 weeks, November 6 – December 8, no class week of Thanksgiving
Days: Monday and Wednesday
Time: 5-7pm
Credits: 1

FALL 2017 THL000 – Making the InvisibleVisible; Working with Unhealthy Bias and Up-rooting It with Jan Willis, PhD. Details coming soon! 
FALL 2017: Survival and Liberation: The Complicated Relationship between Trauma and Dharma with Dan Rubin. Details coming soon! 
2017-05-11T17:59:57+00:00