INTERMEDIATE CURRICULUM

The reason why it is important to understand the Chittamatra system is because, first of all, one will not be able to understand the view of Shentong Madhyamaka if one does not properly understand the Chittamatra view. Secondly, when one is learning the view of mahamudra that is explained in the Vajrayana, if one does not properly understand the Chittamatra view, one will have a difficult time understanding mahamudra. At the time of mahamudra pointing-out instructions on the basis of appearances, if one does not understand the Chittamatra view, one might be given the pointing-out instructions on the basis of appearances, but actually receiving that pointing out instruction in one’s own mind will be very difficult.

A systematic presentation of the philosophical tenets of the Madhyamaka (“Middle Way”) Tradition of the Mahayana. Based on sections from Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Knowledge.

A systematic presentation of the stages of the path of the Bodhisattva, as well as of the Hearer Arhat (Shravaka Arhat) and Solitary Buddha (Pratyekabuddha), based on Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Knowledge (Shey-ja-dzer) and Asanga’s Ornament of Clear Realization (Abhisamayalankara).

A systematic presentation of the teachings of the Buddha Nature tradition based on Maitreya’s Uttaratantra and its commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul.

BUD 601 Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances Are Mere Mind

Intermediate Curriculum
Self-Paced Online Course
Course Credits: 2 credits
Course Code: BUD 601
Location: Online only
Tuition: $200
Additional Information: For questions about this course, contact SPOC Coordinator Jenny Shu at jshu@nitarthainstitute.org.

Financial Assistance: If you need to apply for further financial assistance, please fill out the PPFA form after you register for the course. Click here to fill out the PPFA form.

Course Description: This course is a systematic presentation of Chittamatra, or Mind Only meditative view of Mahayana 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.

Prerequisite: Though any student may take any intermediate course at any time, it is recommended that students complete the Foundation Curriculum before beginning the Intermediate Curriculum, then take all four intermediate courses in the order of:

  • BUD 601 Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances are Mere Mind
  • BUD 610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle
  • BUD 620 Paths and Bhumis: The Path to Enlightenment
  • BUD 630 Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata
Faculty

Instructor: Stuart Horn

Meeting times

At your convenience!

Class Topics
  • Distinctions of the greater and lesser vehicles
  • Mind only scriptural sources, definition
  • The meaning of the term “mind only,” examples
  • Mind only school reasonings
  • Real aspectarians and false aspectarians
  • Presentation of the three natures
  • Definition of mind; self-awareness
  • All-base consciousness; immediate mind and klesha mind
  • Transformation of consciousness into five wisdoms and three kayas
Required Texts
  • Root text: The Mind Only Tenet System (Semtsam), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications
  • Mind Only Tenet System Sourcebook, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

You are responsible for purchasing your course texts from the Nalanda Store. Click here to go to the Nalanda Store. Once you are at the Nalanda Store website, enter the word Nitartha in the top right search box. All Nitartha Institute publications will be featured.

If there are further questions about texts, please write to publications@nitarthainstitute.org.

Mode of Instruction

The class is part of our online campus and is available as streaming video, as well as downloadable audio.  There are also posted study questions, recommended readings, exam questions and the ability to contact a distance learning advisor with questions.

You will receive an email providing information about accessing the online course within a week of registering.

Register Now