12 04, 2024

Mind and Its World I: Valid Cognition

2024-04-12T11:41:04-07:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Mind & Its World, Semester Course, Shedra, Valid Cognition|

This is the first course in Nitartha’s curriculum, and one of many that will be offered at this year’s Summer Institute in July.  This course explores the question: How do you obtain accurate and valid knowledge about the world? That’s the subject of pramana, or Buddhist epistemology. We typically assume that what we know about the world is valid. But is it? Our mind processes information so quickly, it responds so fast to what’s happening around us that we usually don’t realize when we are having a conceptual experience that is not actually in agreement with the object that we are experiencing. In this course, we become able

16 08, 2023

Non-Thinking through Clear Thinking

2024-03-26T09:41:45-07:00Categories: Blog, Cittamatra, Karl Brunnholzl, Mahamudra, Mind Only, Shedra, Summer Institute, Yogacara|

Non-Thinking through Clear ThinkingIt sometimes feels like study proliferates our thoughts, when what we really want is for the mind to be still. But our thoughts are a tool. We can use them to undermine our belief in solidity. In fact, Nitartha’s Clear Thinking course offers a method to arrive at non-thought, which is one aspect of the experience of meditation.Dignaga and Dharmakirti analyzed language, words and clauses, and observed that among those the most elemental unit of expression is a word which is imbued with meaning. They noted that thoughts are language and concluded that language is the same as logical operations, and that the expression of

11 04, 2023

Yogacara: the remedy for the poor diet of “Mind Only”

2023-04-11T16:55:53-07:00Categories: Blog, Cittamatra, Karl Brunnholzl, Mahamudra, Mind Only, Shedra, Summer Institute, Yogacara|

Yogacara: the remedy for the poor diet of "Mind Only" by Mitra Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl. Mitra Brunnhölzl will be teaching on Yogacara at July's Summer Institute. To remedy the poor diet of “Mind-Only” always being refuted by Madhyamaka as the highest Buddhist view and do justice to the great Indian Mahayana Yogacara tradition, recent teachings on Vasubandhu’s Thirty Verses by H.H. the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, extensively discuss the need to review the way Tibetan doxographies present the so-called “Mind-Only School” in light of the classical Yogacara School in India and China. Yogacara is (mis)represented as “Mind-Only” for three main reasons: superficial and out-of-context judgments based on

22 02, 2023

Enhance Your Mahamudra Practice through Space Awareness

2023-03-09T11:07:26-08:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Mahamudra, Summer Institute|

Enhance Your Mahamudra Practice through Space Awareness Space Awareness will be offered on site at this year's Summer Institute (for details, check out the Summer Institute Enhancement Activities page). I wonder, how would we be able to experience the "spaciously relaxed" quality of Mahamudra meditation without having a sense of space? How big is your sense of space? As you go about your day, do you feel the space behind your back? Are you aware of the space above and below you as you walk, talk or wash the dishes? Or do you go through most of your day only aware of what is in the visual field

7 12, 2022

Sautrantika Philosophical System: The Path of Vipashyana

2022-12-07T17:29:06-08:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Shedra, Uncategorized|

Once we have developed calm-abiding to some degree, the mind becomes settled enough that we can take anything that arises in our present moment experience as the object of meditation. For example, in this course we will explore the key vipashyana practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, which encompasses everything that we experience. We will have an opportunity to practice some of these four foundations through guided analytical meditations. Another vipashyana practice is meditation on the Four Noble Truths: what we are to know (the truth of suffering), what we relinquish (the origin of suffering), what we attain (the truth of cessation) and what we rely upon

7 12, 2022

The Sautrantika Philosophical System: The Path of Shamatha

2022-12-08T10:21:50-08:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Mind & Its World, Sautrantika, Semester Course, Shedra|

What is a path? It is something that, once we have entered it, will bring us to more supreme states. The previous blog discussed one aspect of the view of the Sautrantika philosophical system — that our sense perceptions do not perceive outer appearances, but rather they perceive mental images. The path, or meditation, offers an opportunity to experience the phenomena described by the view. In fact, what appears during meditation is precisely that which is presented by the view. Having studied the view, we can then bring clarity to our meditative experience. This is the very purpose of studying the view at Nitartha Institute – to

7 12, 2022

Is there a real world out there?

2022-12-12T11:43:46-08:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Foundation Curriculum, Mind & Its World, Shedra|

The Sautrantika response to “Is there a real world out there?” In Mind and Its World IV, the last course in Nitartha’s foundation curriculum, we arrive at the Sautrantika view. The Sautrantikas share a lot with the Vaibashikas, who are the topic of Mind and Its World III, but go even further. Their perspective on existence is more subtle and they are considered even more insightful. Understanding their views helps us to understand our own confusion even more, and also better prepares us for what comes in Nitartha’s intermediate courses. So, is there a real world out there? Well, if you are a Sautrantika you would say, “Yes!”

31 05, 2022

Madhyamaka: a crucial stage on our journey to emptiness

2024-03-20T12:33:52-07:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Consciousness, Jirka Hladis, Madhyamaka, Summer Institute|Tags: , , , |

Madhyamaka and many more courses will be offered at this year’s Summer Institute in July. The topics are incredible. Don’t miss out! Check out all the information about the 2024 Nitartha Summer Institute here: https://bit.ly/nsi24retreat Madhyamaka:a crucial stage on our journey to emptinessOn our journey to emptiness, the Nitartha curriculum takes us through several stages. In the Mind and Its World series, we become familiar with how the data coming in through our senses changes from moment to moment. There is nobody who owns it, there is no personal identity. In the Mind Only class we further discover and learn to appreciate how this manifold experience

27 12, 2021

Buddhist Studies starting in January 2022

2022-01-17T09:56:47-08:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Consciousness, Foundation Curriculum, Mind & Its World, Sautrantika, Semester Courses|Tags: , , , |

Nitartha Institute courses begin in January. There is a lot happening, and all online. Join us! MIND AND ITS WORLD IV: SAUTRANTIKA PHILOSOPHICAL TRADITION Faculty: Dr. Sandra Roscoe and Susan Stewart Learn about the Sautrantika presentation of the ground, path and results, including: objects, two realities, specifically and generally characterized phenomena, manifest and hidden phenomena, the three times, calm abiding and special insight, 37 practices of enlightenment, and much more! When: Sundays, beginning January 23rd, 2022 Read More ..................................................................................................................   COLLECTED TOPICS DEBATE I (BUD 533) Faculty: Dr. Sandra Roscoe and Susan Stewart #f79c00 Learn about the Sautrantika presentation of the

2 12, 2021

Thank you for your generosity!

2021-12-14T11:52:13-08:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Consciousness, Foundation Curriculum, Mind & Its World, Scott Wallenbach, Summer Institute|Tags: , , , |

Financial Assistance for Nitartha Institute Students Generosity and demand for Nitartha’s courses at all-time highs. Please Give Now! Thank you to all who have donated to our Giving Tuesday campaign to replenish our financial assistance fund, which provides partial and full tuition discounts to students who otherwise would not be able to attend Nitartha. Altogether, we have received over $22,000! We know many dharma students are struggling to pay the cost of dharma courses and programs. Now, many of those students will be able to study at Nitartha, thanks to all those who donated! Did you know? You will be entered into a drawing to

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