At Nitartha Institute, your Buddhist Studies begin with two classes that are normally taken together: Mind and Its World (Part 1) and Clear Thinking. These two classes build the foundation of your Nitartha journey and will help you to gain a much deeper understanding of the Buddhist view.
Mind and Its World: Valid Cognition
This first course of the four Mind and Its World courses explores the criteria of a valid cognition based on the teachings of the Pramana tradition, or Buddhist epistemology. You will analyze your consciousness and determine to what degree it is in agreement with its observed object or not; when our mind is directly perceiving or not; and what the difference is between non-mistaken, non-deceiving, conceptual and non-conceptual types of awareness.
In Sum: How do you know if what you are perceiving is valid or not? This course invites you to questions your current perception and views and gain a much deeper understanding on how your mind and its world works.
This course introduces you to definitions, examples, equivalents and classifications drawn from Collected Topics, the introductory textbook of Buddhist phenomenology or Abhidharma. You will be introduced to the four types of relationship which any two phenomena can have:
- Mutually exclusive, e.g. white and black socks
- Mutually inclusive, e.g. synonyms like ocean and sea
- One completely included in the other, e.g. children and humans, where children are included in humans
- Overlapping sets, e.g. Canadians and Women, where there is an overlapping group of Canadian women, but there are Canadians who are not women and women who are not Canadian.
Understanding these helps us to gain clarity about our mind and our concepts about the world. These four types of relationship are also the foundation for debate.
The methods used in Nitartha classes include presentations, discussion groups, analytical meditation and debate. This variety allows you to explore the presented material from a variety of angles and thereby lead you to a much deeper understanding.
If you can’t attend in person, you can take the Nitartha curriculum also as Self-paced Online classes.