The Nitartha Shedra curriculum offers such a clear, deep, and precise presentation of many complex Buddhist tenet systems. This has offered me the necessary frameworks and highly specific vocabulary to effectively and more accurately engage in various writings from the textual tradition, as well as have a more informed eye when reviewing academic scholarship on the various Buddhist schools.
This is expanded further in Tibetan-Buddhist style debate training, where students have an experiential opportunity to, through collective, contemplative practice, see where their understanding is not strong. Debate in this setting is about compassion for one another, and comes with a shared intention for insight to emerge. It is not about one-upmanship.
I love that Nitartha is open to students from all backgrounds. If one is a Dharma practitioner, there is opportunity for guided contemplative practice and receiving transmission. If one holds a more secular, scholarly viewpoint, there is room for discussion and critical inquiry. If one is a Scholar-Practitioner, one benefits from having a container open to a wide variety of students.
The teachers are kind and open, and have clearly received extensive training to find themselves in the role of teacher. I so appreciated the teachers ability to interact with people holding a variety of viewpoints, while simultaneously offering an unpretentious confidence in their presentation of the material being covering.
I left Nitartha with great momentum and inspiration, and this has carried me through much of my year at grad school. Through simply being around masterful teachers and instructors, I was inspired to deepen my commitment to study and practice.
– Ashley Aspentree, Graduate Student in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with Language at Naropa University and Nitartha Summer Institute student 2017