Take a deep dive into the stages of the path to enlightenment, focusing on ethics and the determination to be free.
This class surveys the foundational philosophical ideas of the Buddhist tradition as presented by the great pandits of India and commented upon by the Tibetan inheritors of the Indian Buddhist tradition. The course will make use of philosophical treatises (primary sources in translation), literature, and historical analysis to present the foundations of Buddhist philosophy.
Readings may include selections from Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakosha, Dharmakirt’s Pramanavarttika, the Abhisamayalamkara (attributed to Maitreya), Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, and Seventy Topics from the Ornament of Clear Realizations by Maitreya, as well as modern scholarly analysis of the same.
There will be a particular focus on the readings as they relate to the medium and great scope of the Lamrim as presented by the Tibetan scholar Je Tsongkhapa and others. Students will gain a strong foundation in Buddhist philosophy including key topics that relate to the medium and great scopes such as: cause and effect, the potential for enlightenment, the structure of existence according to the Buddhist world view. Students will gain a strong foundation in Buddhist philosophy including key topics that relate to the great scope such as: loving kindness, great compassion, and abandoning the mind of self-cherishing, as well as topics that relate to the great scope such as the mind of enlightenment, the six perfections, and an in-depth examination of the path of a bodhisattva.