Semester courses are presented in several North American regions and are designed for those who cannot take time off to attend the Summer Institute or 9-day courses. Semester courses are equivalent to one two-week session at the Summer Institute and take place in an evening and weekend format over two months. Some of these semester programs are also streamed live online.

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Current & Upcoming Semester Courses

Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata
Cittamātra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances Are Mere Mind

BUD 630


Instructor: Karl Brunnhölzl

Attendance: Online and Nalanda West, Seattle.

Meeting Times: Wednesday evenings, 7-9 pm (PST), September 12 – November 28, 2018.

Course Description:
This course is an overview of the Tathagatagarbha, 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.

Prerequisites: 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

Required texts:
• Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary, by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, tr. by Rosemarie Fuchs, Snow Lion Publications, 2000
• Commentary on the Fourth Vajra Point in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

Class topics:
• The element: three reasons the element is present in all sentient beings
• Ten aspects of the element
• Nine examples explaining why the defilements are to be purified though the essence is unchanging
• Five reasons why it is necessary to explain the element

Register Now for BUD 630
BUD 601


Instructor: Jirka Hladis

Attendance: Online

Meeting Times: Monday evenings, 7-9 pm (MST), September 10 – November 19, 2018.

Course Description:
This course is a systematic presentation of Cittamātra, 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.

Prerequisites: BUD 530 Mind and Its World IV

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

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

Register Now for BUD 601