• BUD 501

BUD 530

Mind and Its World IV: Sautrantika Philosophical Tradition

Faculty: Dr. Sandra Roscoe and Susan Stewart

About this course: This course will explore aspects of the Sautrantika philosophical system, including how all knowable objects are classified into specifically and generally characterized phenomena —which this foundational system considers ultimate reality and relative reality, respectively. The Sautrantikas also have a unique perspective about what they consider to be “hidden” phenomena, such as karma, which is understood as extremely hidden.  Plus, we will study their unique presentation on the aggregates, or skandhas.

We will also discuss the path and the results —or accomplishments— that are gained from practicing the foundational path, examine the meaning of path and some of the ways it is presented, which will different meditation practices that form the foundation of all Buddhist meditations. We will dive deeply into shamatha through meditation on repulsiveness, on the breath, and a visual exploration of the nine ways of abiding. And we will examine vipashyana by taking a detailed look at the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Four Noble Truths with their 16 aspects.

The course will conclude by describing the excellent qualities that manifest when becoming proficient in meditation, known as the 37 Branches of Enlightenment, and discussing the accomplishments or realizations of beings who fully engage with the path.

Analytical medications will be led at various points during the course to deepen our understanding of what we are studying and how it relates to our present-day lives.

From the Course Catalogue: This course is an exposition of the Sautrāntika philosophical tradition, followed by the presentation of the path and result of foundational Buddhism, based on The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. Students explore classifications of knowable object into specifically and generally characterized phenomena as well as the Sautrāntika’s distinct presentation of the five aggregates. The path consists of calm abiding and superior insight.


  • BUD 501


  • Root text: The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds (Truptha), by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Acharya Kelsang Wangdi, Nitartha Institute Publications.
  • Mind & Its World 4 Sourcebook, Nitartha Institute Publications.


Sundays 22 1 月, 2023 - 16 4 月, 2022, 10:00 am-11:30 am Pacific Time



Nitartha’s Payment Plan and Financial Assistance (PPFA) program is funded by fellow students to support those who would not be able to attend the Institute’s courses without this assistance. To request aid, please fill out the PPFA application before you register for the course.


  • The view of the Sautrantika Philosophical System
    • How this system classifies objects and its view of the two realities
    • What are specifically and generally characterized phenomena and why that matters
    • Their unique presentation of hidden phenomena and the aggregates
    • Their perspective about three times
  • The Path: Its Meaning
  • The Path: Shamatha
    • Meditation on repulsiveness
    • Meditation on the breath
    • Nine methods for mental abiding
  • The Path: Vipashyana
    • Special insight
    • Four Foundations of Mindfulness
  • Four Noble Truths and their 16 aspects
  • The 37 branches of enlightenment: 5 faculties, 5 powers, 8-fold path, 7 branches of enlightenment
  • The Results or Accomplishments of the Path
    Eight approachers and abiders


Analytical Meditations

Guided analytical meditations will offer unique opportunities to deepen your understanding and experience of the material studied.

Study Questions

Study questions are provided after each chapter. We highly encourage you to answer the questions as a way to self test your knowledge.

Interactive Discussions

Our teachers provide several opportunities for students to ask questions and discuss the topics. Students are also often invited to send questions to the teachers via email. We encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities to clarify questions and deepen their understanding.


Buddhist teacher, Sandra Roscoe teaching at Nitartha Institute..

Dr. Sandra Roscoe

Dr. Sandra Roscoe has been a practitioner of Buddhism since 1984 and a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1996. She began her Tibetan studies and practices in earnest when she met Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche in 2000. She started studying at Nitartha Institute in 2002 and she became a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche the same year. Sandra holds a PhD in psychology with a focus on family systems and was a graduate and undergraduate professor at NSU.


Susan Stewart

Susan Stewart became a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 1999. She first attended Nitartha in 2004, and joined Nitartha faculty in 2019. Professionally, Susan is a social practice artist, photographer, and educator. She is Associate Professor Emeritus at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, where she was the founding Dean for the Faculty of Culture and Community.