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

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!”

3 03, 2021

Mind & Mental Events

2021-06-16T09:00:38-07:00Categories: Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen, Blog, Buddhist Studies, Consciousness, Foundation Curriculum, Lorik, Mind & Its World, Self-Paced Online Course, Semester Course, Shedra, Summer Institute, Valid Cognition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Manifest & Hidden Phenomena This excerpt is copyrighted material, please do not use or copy without written permission from Nitartha Publications.This excerpt is from the sourcebook that we use for the Mind & Its World II course. This course completes the Classification of Mind (Lorik) root text, from the tradition of Pramāna or Buddhist epistemology that students began in Mind and Its World I. This course has two main sections. The first provides the practitioner with the tools for delineating conceptual and non- conceptual types of mind in meditation. This teaching is codified as the modes of engagement of mind. The second section investigates mind in terms

23 02, 2021

Manifest & Hidden Phenomena

2021-08-02T18:30:13-07:00Categories: Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen, Blog, Buddhist Studies, Consciousness, Foundation Curriculum, Mind & Its World, Sautrantika, Self-Paced Online Course, Semester Course, Shedra|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Manifest & Hidden Phenomena This excerpt is copyrighted material, please do not use or copy without written permission from Nitartha Publications.   This excerpt is from our sourcebook we use for the Mind & Its World IV course. This course is an extensive exposition of the Sautrantika philosophical tradition, based on the expanded version of The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. If you are curious about this course, learn more here: Nitartha Online Campus. MANIFEST & HIDDEN PHENOMENA ACHARYA SHERAB GYALTSEN The division of objects of comprehension is twofold: manifest phenomena and hidden phenomena. MANIFEST PHENOMENA A manifest phenomenon is

1 02, 2021

Meditation On Selflessness

2021-06-16T09:02:02-07:00Categories: Acharya Kelsang Wangdi, Blog, Buddhist Studies, Foundation Curriculum, Mind & Its World, Sautrantika, Self-Paced Online Course, Semester Course, Shedra, Valid Cognition|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Manifest & Hidden Phenomena This excerpt is copyrighted material, please do not use or copy without written permission from Nitartha Publications.This excerpt is from our sourcebook we use for Mind & Its World IV class. This course is an extensive exposition of the Sautrantika philosophical tradition, based on the expanded version of The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. MEDITATION ON SELFLESSNESS By ACHARYA KELSANG WANGDI Personal selflessness can be explained in three contexts: the twelve links of dependent origination. the four noble truths or the four realities. the sixteen aspects of the four realities. Here, we begin with body and mind.

1 02, 2021

Appearing Object & Referent Object

2021-06-16T09:03:02-07:00Categories: Blog, Buddhist Studies, Consciousness, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Foundation Curriculum, Lorik, Mind & Its World, Self-Paced Online Course, Semester Course, Shedra|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Manifest & Hidden Phenomena This excerpt is copyrighted material, please do not use or copy without written permission from Nitartha Publications.This excerpt is from Lorik Oral Commentary by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche: Objects of Conceptual Mind & Direct Perception. This is one of the topics we study in our popular "Mind & Its World II: Modes of Engagement & Mental Events" class. This course completes the Classification of Mind (Lorik) root text, from the tradition of Pramana or Buddhist epistemology that students began in Mind and Its World I. This course has two main sections. APPEARING OBJECT & REFERENT OBJECT By Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche The conceptual mind has

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