CS301 Foundations of Buddhist Service
Tuesdays, 10am – 12pm ~ Dr. Namdrol Adams
This class is an introduction to the service core at Maitripa College for all students, focusing on understanding and developing a Personal Theology both within and outside of the Buddhist tradition, understanding the concept of spiritual transformation through service, and developing an understanding of “suffering” in the context of a Buddhist worldview This class includes a 15-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CS303 Chaplaincy and Models of Spiritual Care
Wednesdays, 10am – 12pm ~ Dr. Leigh Miller
Spiritual Care, or offering the arts of ministry and chaplaincy in the midst of others’ suffering, is now being done by Buddhists in a variety of secular and multi-faith contexts. Through multiple roles, institutional settings, and activities, they are integrating Buddhist religious education, personal spiritual formation, and ministerial agility into their vocation outside of Buddhist communities. This work is informed by, at times in tension with, and also beginning to influence Chaplaincy models of care. This course aims first to understand the history of chaplaincy, what chaplains actually do, chaplaincy sectors, and the paths (educational, personal, religious, and clinical) to professional chaplaincy. The course will then explore innovations and current research in the field of chaplaincy, and prepare students to apply for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residencies. The emergence nationally of various forms of Buddhist ministry and chaplaincy will be situated in relation to this context. Ethical codes, standards of practice, and chaplaincy competencies will be explored towards the formulation and articulation of one’s Buddhist theology of spiritual care, for whatever contexts they may serve within in the future. Students will broaden their base of compassion and strengthen internal resources through theological reflection and continuing to develop their e-portfolios.
MDT301 Introduction to Buddhist Meditation
Thursdays, 10am-12pm ~ Yangsi Rinpoche
This course will provide a broad introduction to the vast corpus of techniques and practices of Buddhist meditation, with particular emphasis on the techniques of analytical meditation. The course will be taught in an interactive format, allowing students the opportunity to learn specific meditations as directed by the instructor, practice them, and discuss their experiences in class. The subject matter will parallel the topics of Buddhist philosophy as taught in PHL301. Part of this class will include regular meditation sessions out of class, the keeping of a sitting journal, and the opportunity for objective discussion on the effect of these practices on the individual’s mind. If desired, the committed student will have the opportunity to work with the instructor to design a personal meditation practice.
MDT303 Techniques of Meditation: Madhyamika
Fridays, 10am-12pm ~ Yangsi Rinpoche
This course will introduce students to some of the key structures and approaches to Madhyamaka meditation on emptiness found within Tibetan Buddhism. The topics of this course will parallel those covered in PHL303 and students will 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 such as 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, three personal meditation reports, and the opportunity to meet with the instructor to design a personal meditation practice. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in PHL303 in conjunction with this class.
PHL301: Introduction to Buddhist Thought
Tuesdays, 1pm-3pm ~ Yangsi Rinpoche
This class will make use of philosophical treatises, literature, and historical analysis to present the foundations of Buddhist philosophy as taught by the early Indian pandits and commented upon by Tibetan scholars. Readings will include selections from the Abhidharma Kosha, Pramanavarttika, and Abhisamayalamkara, with particular focus on the readings that relate to the three scopes of the lamrim as presented by the Tibetan scholar Je Tsongkhapa. Students will come away from this course with a foundation in Buddhist philosophy and knowledge of key issues of Buddhist Studies, including personal identity and the five skandhas, subtle impermanence, and the basics of a Buddhist world view. Students will gain important grounding in basic principles of dependent arising, the structure of Buddhist logic, and familiarity with Buddhist logic and logical arguments.
PHL303: Madhyamaka Philosophy: Where is the Middle Way?
Wednesdays, 1pm-3pm ~ Yangsi Rinpoche
This course will provide an overview and in-depth introduction to the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the philosophy and practice of the Middle Way (madhyamaka, dbu ma), as presented by Nāgārjuna, Cāndrakīrti, and their Tibetan commentators. Primary readings for this course may include Insight into Emptiness by Khensur Jampa Tegchok and Meditation on Emptiness by Jeffrey Hopkins. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in MDT303 in conjunction with this class.
THL423: Spiritual Care in Practice
Thursdays, 1-3pm ~ Instructor: TBD
This class will develop the students’ interpersonal competencies of spiritual care or pastoral care and counseling, focusing on the foundational skills most often used by those in service roles such as chaplains, therapists, counselors, dharma instructors, and community leaders. Students will learn and practice current therapeutic skills such as compassionate presence, reflective listening, bearing witness, spiritual assessment, and explore concepts of suffering, spiritual struggle, and supporting others’ in crisis and to create change. Students will develop self-awareness while offering pastoral/spiritual care, and may begin to discover how their personal histories and spiritual traditions inform their practice of caregiving/ministry. This class may offer practical training in communication and contemplative skills for effectively, compassionately, and sustainably engaging in helping relationships with others. The introductory course is intended for both MA and MDiv students and community members or CE students.
THL410 Buddhist Rituals, Ethics, Services, and Ceremonies
Fridays, 1pm-3pm ~ Yangsi Rinpoche
This course will present an overview of some of the most important rituals, ethics, services, and ceremonies that form the core of Buddhist practice in the Tibetan tradition, and shape the everyday life of practitioners. We will explore rituals in Tibetan Buddhist practice, useful for the practitioner as well as Buddhist engaged in care giving or community leadership. The course will include an introduction to and, where relevant, instruction in, rituals, services, and ceremonies performed by the clergy and by practitioners themselves in the course of everyday life. Finally, the course may touch on some of the more esoteric rituals and ceremonies of the tradition, such as divination, offering practices, and so forth, and their significance in the tradition and in the lives of practitioners and Buddhist communities.
TIB201: Classical Tibetan Language Intermediate I
Mondays and Thursdays, 10-11am ~ Dr. William Magee
Students continue to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan grammar and syntax through reading and decoding basic verse and prose texts and commentaries on Buddhist philosophy and practice in their original language. This course also introduces basic translation theory. Whenever possible, students receive oral commentary of the texts they are working with as part of the class, and begin to learn how to translate formal logical statements so common in Tibetan philosophical exegesis.
TIB301: Seminar in Translation
Tuesdays, 10am-12pm ~ Yangsi Rinpoche
Students read and translate Tibetan texts and their commentaries in their original language. In this course we will learn reading and reciting Tibetan texts, developing pronunciation, and translating with an emphasis on communicating the meaning.