Sandhinirmocana Sutra

Taught by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
  • The Sandhinirmocana Sutra (The Sutra Unraveling the Intention [of the Buddha]) is a crucial sutra for the Yogacara tradition of the third Turning of the Wheel of dharma. It is the classic source from the Buddha’s teachings for unraveling his intent behind teaching three different Turnings of the wheel, as well as for his teachings on the eight consciousnesses, three natures, the ultimate, and the path of meditation that leads to nondual realization of the ultimate.

This course is open to all registered students and will be offered daily during Sessions 1 and 2.

The text is available online through the 84000 project. A printed translation also exists, by John Powers, called Wisdom of Buddha: The Samdhinirmochana Sutra (Publisher, Dharma Publishing (January 1, 1995); ISBN-10 : 089800246X)

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1 & 2 only (July 2-10 2021, July 12–20, 2021)
  • Daily 9:30-11am Pacific, 6:30-8pm CEST, 12:30-2am CST (China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video available up to 24 hours after date of teaching
  • Audio up to 5 weeks after date of each teaching

Mahamudra Shamatha Practice Sessions

with Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

In the afternoons, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will lead Mahamudra Shamatha practice sessions. These sessions are only open to students who have previously received Mahamudra Shamatha instructions from a qualified teacher and have practice experience. Please note that this is not the Nitartha Mahamudra shamatha curriculum course.

Prequisites are:

  • having taken at least one Mahamudra Shamatha course at Nitartha’s Summer Institute,
  • be following the Nalandabodhi Mahamudra Shamatha curriculum or having completed it, or
  • having attended retreats where Mahamudra Shamatha was taught by a qualified teacher and practiced by the retreatants.

Click here to verify your eligibility (required).

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1 & 2 only (July 2-10, 2021, July 12–20, 2021)
  • Daily 3-4:30pm Pacific, 12:00 -1:30am CEST, 6:00am-7:30am CST (China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available up to 7 days after the date of each session

Community Meditation Session

led by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen

Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen will lead meditation sessions every morning during sessions 1, 2 and 3. These sessions are open to all students who are registered for the Summer Institute. Join us for this opportunity to calm our minds, and connect with ourselves and one another by meditating together online!

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3 (July 2-10 2021, July 12–20 2021, July 22- 30, 2021)
  • Daily 8-9:15am PDT, 5-6:15pm CEST, 11pm-12:15am CST(China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available up to 7 days after the date of each session

Mind & Its World I & II (Level 1)

Taught by Dr. Phil Stanely and Scott Wellenbach

Mind & Its World I explores the criteria of valid cognition based on the teachings of the Pramāna tradition, or Buddhist epistemology. We will analyze our consciousness and determine to what degree it is in agreement with its observed object or not; what the difference is between non-mistaken, non-deceiving, conceptual and non-conceptual types of awareness. Practically speaking, this also provides the practitioner with the tools for delineating conceptual and nonconceptual types of mind in meditation.

Mind & Its World II presents a detailed treatment of objects in the form of definitions, examples, equivalents and classifications drawn from Collected Topics, the introductory textbook of the Abhidharma or Buddhist phenomenology. Furthermore, we will explore the modes of engagement of mind and investigate mind in terms of the mental events that describe specific functional aspects of mind, as well as determine its virtuous or afflicted states, in order to cultivate the former and relinquish the latter.

This course encompasses three main topics: valid cognition, modes of engagement, and mental factors.

This course is open to all Summer Institute students.

Required texts:

Mind and Its World I Sourcebook ($56.74)
Mind and Its World II Sourcebook ($50.34)
Classifications of Mind (Lorik) root text ($23.46)
Collected Topics (Dudra) root text ($22.50)

Also available as ebooks:

Ebooks for Android
Classifications of Mind (Lorik) root text
Mind and It’s World 1 Sourcebook
Mind and It’s World 2 Sourcebook

Ebooks for Apple
Classifications of Mind (Lorik) root text
Mind and It’s World 1 Sourcebook
Mind and It’s World 2 Sourcebook

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3 (July 2-10 2021, July 12–20 2021, July 22- 30, 2021)
  • Daily 12:30- 2:00pm Pacific, 9:30-11:00pm CEST, 3:30-5:00am CST(China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available until October 1, 2021

Course: BUD 501/BUD 510

Mind & Its World III & IV (Level 2)

Taught by Mark Seibold, Francis Sullivan and Alison McKee

Mind & Its World III is an exposition of the Vaibhasika and Sautrantika philosophical traditions, based on the The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. Students explore foundational classifications of knowable objects: the five bases, five aggregates, twelve sources and eighteen constituents, followed by the presentation of Vaibhāśika theory of causation from Collected Topics, and the twelve links of dependent origination.

Mind & Its World IV presents the path and result of foundational Buddhism. Students explore classifications of knowable object into specifically and generally characterized phenomena as well as the Sautrantika’s distinct presentation of the five aggregates. The path consists of calm abiding and superior insight.

Prerequisite: BUD501

Required Texts:

Mind and Its World III Sourcebook ($55.27)
Mind and Its World IV Sourcebook ($TBD)
The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds (Truptha) ($30.02)
Root text: Collected Topics (Düdra), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications ($22.50)

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3 (July 12-10 2021, July 12–20 July 2021, July 22- 30, 2021)
  • Daily 12:30- 2:00pm Pacific, 9:30-11:00pm CEST, 3:30-5:00am CST(China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available until October 1, 2021

Course: BUD 520/BUD 530

Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle (Level 3)

Taught by Dr. Stuart Horn and Dr. Sandra Roscoe

This course is an exposition of the Middle Way philosophical tradition, based on Part One of The Center of the Sunlit Sky, expressed as the ground, path and fruition of Madhyamaka. Students explore classification of knowable objects into the two realities and cultivate certainty in the view of emptiness of all phenomena, formulating the five great Madhyamaka reasonings. The course includes presentation of personal identitylessness, the sevenfold analysis of the chariot.

Prerequisite: BUD501 is required, and it is recommended that all four Mind and Its World courses be taken before taking level 3.

Required texts: 

  • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyü Tradition, by Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl, 2004, Snow Lion Publications ($78, also available in Kindle)

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1 & 2 (July 2-10 2021 and July 12–20 2021)
  • Daily 12:30- 2:00pm Pacific, 9:30-11:00pm CEST, 3:30-5:00am CST(China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available until October 1, 2021

Course: BUD 610

Cittamatra and Buddha Nature (Level 4)

Taught by Jirka Hladiš and Susan Stewart

This course covers both Cittamatra and Buddha Nature. The teachings on Cittamatra are a systematic presentation of the Cittamatra, or Mind Only meditative view of Mahāyāna Buddhism. We will engage in the philosophical reformulation of experiences arising from meditation practice—declaring reasonings establishing objects as not separate from mind, as well as the three natures theory and the eight-fold collection of consciousness. The teachings on Buddha Nature present an overview of the Tathāgatagarbha, or Buddha Nature tradition, the view of the luminous essence of awakening, the heart of goodness shared by all beings. Our exploration will rely on the key section of Uttaratantra of Maitreya (ca. 4th century) which establishes Buddha nature through three reasonings, its ten facets, nine analogies and five reasons why it is necessary to teach it.

Prerequisite: BUD501 is required, and it is recommended that all four Mind and Its World courses be taken before taking level 4.

Required texts:

Mind Only Tenet System Sourcebook ($47.95)
The Mind Only Tenet System (Semtsam) root text ($20.86)
The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra: Fourth Vajra Point ($47.95)
Commentary on the Fourth Vajra Point in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra ($TBD)

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3 (July 2-10 2021, July 12–20 2021, July 22- 30, 2021)
  • Daily 12:30- 2:00pm Pacific, 9:30-11:00pm CEST, 3:30-5:00am CST(China Standard Time)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available until October 1, 2021

Course: BUD 601/630

Tibetan Language Courses

Beginning Colloquial Tibetan

Taught by Gerry Wiener and Nima Bhuti

This course is oriented toward beginning Tibetan-language students who are interested in furthering their connections to the language. It assumes no prior knowledge of Tibetan. In order to learn a language and make it your own, it is important to make a wide variety of connections to the language. Even though your focus may be on learning how to read classical Tibetan Buddhist literature, it is still extremely beneficial to gain some proficiency in listening to and speaking Tibetan. The class will begin with proper pronunciation of the Tibetan alphabet and Tibetan words and will lead to elementary conversations. The beginning student will gain practice in listening to, speaking, reading, and writing Tibetan.

Intermediate Colloquial Tibetan

Taught by Gerry Wiener and Nima Bhuti

This course is for those students who already have some grounding in colloquial Tibetan. The focus will be to gain further fluency in reading, speaking, and listening to Tibetan using the Central Tibetan dialect. Required Text: The Heart of Tibetan Language, Franziska Oertle, and its associated exercise book (print available from KTD’s Namse Bangdzo bookstore and ebook available from Tibetan Library)

Prerequisites: Students should know how to read basic Tibetan sentences aloud (but not necessarily understand their entire meaning), verb tenses (past, present, and future) and auxiliary verbs, essential and existential verbs including yin, min, red, ma red, yod med, ‘dug, mi ‘dug, yod red and yod ma red, some basics of locative, genitive, and instrumental cases

Please note: Beginning and intermediate levels of Colloquial Tibetan will be offered on alternating days, starting on Day 1 (July 2, 2021).

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3 (July 2–10 2021, July 12–20 2021, July 22–30, 2021)
  • 7:00–8:30pm Pacific, 4:00–5:30am CEST, 10:00–11:30am CST (Beginning and intermediate levels on alternating days)

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available until October 1, 2021

Course: LAN500

Reading Tibetan Buddhist Literature (Intermediate)

Taught by Mark Seibold

This course is oriented towards reading Tibetan Buddhist texts and literature. It focuses on acquiring and developing reading skills. Interesting and important grammatical points will be explained in the context of specific passages. Students practice both reading aloud to learn the rhythms and feel of the phrasing of the language and train in the traditional discipline of jor-lo (sbyor klog) – “reading the connections.” Text: Tokmé Zangbo’s 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva

Prerequisites: Knowledge of the Tibetan alphabet, spelling rules, and a functional grasp of Tibetan grammar. Students are asked to translate a short passage from Tibetan to English to help the instructor determine their proficiency. Instructor’s permission is required.

Real-time:

  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3 (July 3-10 2021, July 12–20 2021, July 22- 30, 2021) – no class on Day 1 of the Nitartha Summer Institute, July 2, 2021
  • Daily, 6:30–7:50 am PDT, 3:30–4:50 pm CEST, 9:30 pm–10:50 pm CST

Recordings:

  • Video and audio
  • Available until October 1, 2021

Course: LAN510

Register today!

Complete Nitartha’s entire shedra curriculum!

Are you interested in taking Nitartha’s full Foundational and Intermediate shedra curricula? The Summer Institute is an excellent way to take a good portion of Nitartha’s offerings. The entire curriculum can be completed in 3 years by attending 3 Summer Institutes plus 3 semester courses, and/or through Self-Paced Online Courses.

Semester courses offer live webcasts of classes being taught during the current semester, as well as recordings that can be viewed for up to 2 months after the course ends.

Self-Paced Online Courses (SPOC) is another excellent option if a course you are interested in taking at a particular time is not being offered at the Summer Institute or through semester courses, or if you need a little more time to a complete it.

About the Foundation Curriculum
About the Intermediate Curriculum

For more information about any of these options, please contact our registrar, Elena Weiss, at eweiss@nitarthainstitute.org.