(2 credits)  This course will give an introduction and overview to Buddhist tantra as it came through India to Tibet. We will explore its history and lineage, as well as gain an understanding of basic tantric philosophy. We will get a broad overview of the four classes of tantra, learn how to practice simple tantric methods, and explore the bass of practicing tantra, the differences between sutra and tantra, and deity yoga.

In particular we will explore how the Madhyamaka understanding of reality is integrated into the tantric view, and how an individual navigates the tantric path. We will also focus on how the tantric lineage was preserved in Tibet and clarify the misunderstandings and main points of the path. The early part of the semester will focus on the philosophy, practice, and the ritual of Avalokiteshvara (nyung nye), and the latter part will focus on the more advanced practices of purifying the life, death, and intermediate stage, and transforming into the path of Enlightenment.