Fall 2017 Course Descriptions and Registration Links
Interested in studying Buddhist Philosophy, practicing Meditation that uproots the causes of suffering, and developing skills that support other’s in their spiritual development? See the schedule on the left and the full details below for the complete course offerings this Fall. If you are new to Maitripa College and are wondering if a course is right for you, please contact Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for Prospective Student information, including links for the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity Degree Program applications, or consider joining us as a Continuing Education Student this Fall! Registration is now open.
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Introduction to Buddhist Thought (PHL301)
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.
Faculty: Yangsi Rinpoche
Time: 7-9 pm
Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (MDT301).
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 | PHL301d. 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.
Faculty: Yangsi Rinpoche
Time: 11am- 1pm
Madhyamaka Philosophy: Where is the Middle Way? (PHL303).
An overview and in-depth introduction to the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the philosophy and practice of Madhyamaka, or the Middle Way, as presented by the renowned Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna and his Indian and Tibetan commentators. Primary readings for this course include Lama Tsongkhapa’s Essence of Eloquence (Lekshe Nyingpo) and its sources. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in MDT303 Techniques of Meditation: Madhyamaka in conjunction with this class.
Faculty: Yangsi Rinpoche
Techniques of Meditation: Madhyamaka (MDT303)
The subject matter of this course will parallel the topics of Buddhist philosophy as taught in as taught in PHL303 | PHL303d. 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. 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.
Faculty: Yangsi Rinpoche
Time: 7-9 pm
Buddha: Stories, Theories, Songs, Images, Devotion (HIS317)
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.
Faculty: Roger Jackson, PhD
Dates: 4 weeks, November 6 – December 8, no class week of Thanksgiving
Days: Monday and Wednesday
Making the Invisible, Visible; Working with Unhealthy Bias and Up-rooting It (THL417)
This course will address Buddhist Principles and Racism in the U.S. through readings like: Marc Lamont Hill’s “Nobody,” Debbie Irving’s “Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race,” Carol Anderson’s “White Rage,” and parts of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me” and excerpts from the writing of James Baldwin. We will intersperse discussions of those readings with exercises and guided meditations on recognizing and working with our biases. The Tibetan Buddhist tradition offers meditation and contemplative techniques for cultivating equanimity, which we will consider in the context of contemporary social justice work.
Faculty: Jan Willis, PhD
Dates: October 9-27
Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Time: 5:30 – 7pm
The Good Heart: Advice for Living, Liberation, and Leadership (PHL324)
This class will explore the application and integration of spiritual values in leadership, from the perspectives of ancient India and contemporary contexts. The class will focus on a Buddhist text about the qualities and actions of enlightened leadership, such as Precious Garland of Advice for a King by Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (1st – 2nd century) who was an adviser to the ruler of an Indian kingdom. Nagarjuna presents the king with an overview of the entire Buddhist path to Enlightenment, encouraging him with advice for living, advice for liberation, and advice for public policy. As a person in a position of power, the king should enable happiness and spiritual development through his governance and construction of beneficial social policies. Herein, he emphasizes education and compassionate care for all beings, opposes the death penalty, advises on the selection of government figures who are not seeking profit or fame, and gives detailed rebuttal of attachment to pleasures and possessions. The classical text will be paired with emerging research from the field of contemporary social psychology to discuss the science of compassion, the role of ethical codes in promoting compassionate behaviors, and the science of power and powerlessness. The class will explore how leadership and power can be abused, how such abuses of power can be protected against, and how equitable distributions of power can be restored. The class will offer opportunity to compare classical Buddhist views of leadership with conventional American views. Throughout, the professors will encourage our understanding the complex interplay of leadership, compassion, ethics, and power in our own contexts, so that we are better able to become more compassionate, ethical, and powerful leaders
Faculty: Yangsi Rinpoche
Expressing the Bodhisattva Vow through Skillful Relating – An Introduction to Compassionate Communication (CST317)
You have a vow to help others become liberated from suffering, but the day to day of navigating your way through relationships can be challenging. Finding the words to say what’s essential can be difficult. You would like to express yourself in a way that truly helps others while remaining in integrity with your values. Communication can be one of the most satisfying aspects of relationships when it enables honesty, understanding, creation of community, and serves life. The course topics will help us understand and improve our communication with others. Topics include: causes of misunderstandings, self-empathy, honest expression, empathy, and managing forms of reactivity such as anger, guilt, shame, and depression. Compassionate Communication skills to build trust, meet conflict, embrace differences, and express empathy will be introduced and developed. This class series is experientially focused, including vulnerable engagement and self-examination of examples chosen from your own life, with the instructor and in small groups or pairs.
Faculty: LaShelle Lowe-Charde
Dates: 8 weeks, August 31 – October 19
Survival and Liberation: The Complicated Relationship Between Trauma and Dharma (CST237)
The experience of suffering is a gateway for many to the study of Buddhism. In the west. there is a common root of that suffering which propels exploring dharma but which is rarely named and discussed, although it can deeply effect the health of individual’s spiritual development and spiritual communities: trauma. In this course, we will look at Buddhism through the lens of trauma, starting with considering the life of the Buddha himself as informed by the traumatic witnessing of old age, sickness, and death, his quest for healing through meditation and spiritual practice, and his post-traumatic growth. The course will explore Buddhist figures, Buddhist meditation practices, and, to a lesser degree, Buddhist-inspired trauma interventions, to consider a spectrum of traumatic wounding, appropriate religious practices for persons healing from trauma, and trauma-informed spiritual care, practice, and leadership. In the latter, the course will develop an understanding of how awareness of the signs and symptoms of traumas illumine obstacles in Buddhist practice and improve skillfulness in communicating dharma and responding professionally as caregivers, spiritual leaders, or chaplains.
This course is not intended to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, or management of trauma, and will not offer or teach how to do trauma interventions. The course is not for self-help, self-improvement, or group psychotherapy, but provides an academic understanding of the intersections and interactions of trauma and Buddhism. If you are actively suffering from a trauma disorder, this class may not be appropriate for you. The instructor and College reserve the right to withdraw enrollment and recommend support measures to anyone who demonstrates inability to participate in the course as designed.
APA Continuing Education:
This course may be available for APA CE hours; please contact email@example.com for information. Maitripa College is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Maitripa College maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Faculty: Dan Rubin, PsyD
Who We Are & Who We Serve: Spiritual Formation & Foundations of Engagement. (CS001)
An introduction to the service “core” at Maitripa College for both MA and MDiv students, focusing on understanding and developing a personal theology for spiritual formation, understanding the concept of spiritual transformation through service, developing knowledge and relationships with local community partners, and developing a familiarity with the concept of “service” within the framework of traditional Buddhist philosophy. This class includes a 20-hour concurrent service-learning project.
Faculty: Namdrol Adams
Credits: 1 (1 credit, 1st Term MA & MDiv)
Compassionate Service: Conflict & Diversity, Wisdom & Method. (1 credit, 3rd Term MA & MDiv) (CS003)
This class focuses on applying real-world skillful means for the individual and groups in engaged service. The practical emphasis will be on learning Buddhist Ethics as a support to spiritual formation and service. This class will continue to examine personal narrative and storytelling as a means of constructing one’s relationships with others and the world. This class includes a 20-hour concurrent service-learning project.