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BUD702 Madhyamakāvatāra III: Entrance to the Middle Way

This course is a continuation of the in-depth study of Chandrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). Students complete the bulk of the sixth chapter on the pāramitā of prajñā. The topics covered include a detailed refutation of the proponents of consciousness and an extensive presentation of personal selflessness.

It will cover Chapter 6 on Prajñā: 1) Refutation of the Chittamatra, 2) Completion of the Refutation of Production from Both Self and Other and From Neither and 3) The Presentation of Relative Production as a Dependent-Arising (Verses 6.48-6.119)

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BUD502 Clear Thinking

Colorful doodle flowers in vases on beige background vector
This course is an introductory exposition of knowable objects drawn from the Abhidhama tradition, based on Collected Topics root text. Students learn methods for thinking clearly by formulating definitions, examples, equivalents and classifications, and by exploring the four types of logical relationships between two phenomena.

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BUD520 Mind & Its World III: Vaibhashika Philosophical Tradition


This course is an exposition of the Vaibhashika philosophical tradition, based on 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 the Vaibhāṣika theory of causation from Collected Topics and the twelve links of dependent origination.

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BUD554 Debate II


This course continues the methodical training in elementary debate skills on the basis of the Collected Topics Debate I course. Students learn how to challenge the second mode, study the debate strategies of the challenger and the defender and how to bring a debate to completion. The debate content consists of the classification of objects in terms of entity and the classification of mind into primary minds and mental events.

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BUD610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle

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 the 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 the presentation of personal identitylessness with the sevenfold analysis of the chariot.

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Beginning Colloquial Tibetan Semester 2

This course is the continuation of Beginning Colloquial Tibetan (LAN 500). It is oriented toward students who have had some training in the Tibetan alphabet, spelling, and beginning dialogs. The emphasis of the classes is on developing fluency with spoken Tibetan. Students focus on training in successively more complex Tibetan colloquial dialogs. The class covers the material in the first three to four chapters of The Heart of Tibetan Language by Franziska Oertle. Supplementary material is also provided, including flashcards.

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Intermediate Colloquial Tibetan Semester 2

This course is a continuation of our Colloquial Tibetan series and is oriented toward continuing students who have had training in the Tibetan alphabet, spelling, and beginning dialogs. The emphasis of the classes is on developing further fluency with spoken Tibetan both in listening and in speaking. Students focus on training in successively more complex Tibetan colloquial dialogs. Spoken Tibetan is emphasized in class and students are encouraged to use Tibetan when asking questions as opposed to resorting to English. The course covers the material in chapters 6, 7, 8 of The Heart of Tibetan Language (HOTL) by Franziska Oertle. Homework is assigned.

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Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Literature

This course focuses on acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to read Buddhist literature—primarily liturgical and commentarial texts—in Tibetan. Students engage in a detailed study of Tibetan grammar from the perspective of both classical and modern analyses. Reading starts with simple phrases to build vocabulary and familiarity with common grammatical structures. As students gain experience, they gradually read increasingly long and complex passages. Students are introduced to the traditional discipline of jor-lo (sbyor klog) — “reading the connections.”

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Reading Tibetan Buddhist Literature Semester 2

This course is oriented towards reading Tibetan Buddhist texts and literature. It uses Tokmé Zangbo’s famous 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva (རྒྱལ་སྲེཨ་ལག་ལེན་སོ་བདུན་མ།) as the basis for developing familiarity with Tibetan grammar and developing reading skills. Interesting and important grammatical points are explained in the context of specific passages. Opening and closing chants are done in Tibetan. Students are encouraged to practice 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.”