BUD 501
Mind & Its World I:
Valid Cognition

Foundation Curriculum

Course Credits: 2 credits
Course Code: BUD 501

Course Description: This course explores the criteria of a valid cognition and its various classifications, based on the teachings of the Pramana tradition, or Buddhist epistemology. We will analyze our consciousness and determine to what degree it is in agreement with its observed object or not; when our mind is direct or not; what the difference is between non-mistaken, non-deceiving, conceptual and non-conceptual types of awareness.

Prerequisite: Students should first take BUD 501 Mind & Its World 1 and BUD 502 Clear Thinking. These classes are always taught together as a pair during inclass programs, and it is recommended that online students take them concurrently as well, since Mind & Its World 1 uses the methods of analysis and concepts taught in Clear Thinking. After that, we recommend that students take the three remaining courses in sequential order, but they may take them in any order if that is better for their schedules, especially if they are mixing inclass and online courses. The Mind & Its World 2-4 courses also use the methods and concepts of Clear Thinking, thus it is important to complete Clear Thinking before taking Mind & Its World 2-4 if one took Mind & Its World 1 without Clear Thinking.

Class Topics
  • Divisions of mind
  • Definitions of valid cognition
  • Definition of direct valid cognition
  • Sense direct valid cognition
  • Two truths in Vaibhashika and Sautrantika view
  • Process of perception in Vaibhashika and Sautrantika view
  • Mental direct valid cognition
  • Self-aware direct valid cognition
  • Yogic direct valid cognition
  • Seeming direct cognition
  • Definition of inferential valid cognition for oneself and for others
  • Appearing object, referent object, object of engagement
  • Nonvalid cognition
  • Three results of valid cognition
Required Texts
  • Root text: Classifications of Mind (Lorik), by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications
  • Mind and Its World I Sourcebook, Nitartha Institute Publications

We recommend that you take the Foundation Curriculum in sequence. It is particularly important to begin with Mind and Its World I and its companion course Clear Thinking before proceeding through the rest of the Foundation Curriculum.