BUD 501
Mind & Its World I:
Valid Cognition

Foundation Curriculum

Course Credits: 2 credits
Course Code: BUD 501

Course Description: This course explores the criteria of a valid cognition and its various classifications, based on the teachings of the Pramana tradition, or Buddhist epistemology. We will analyze our consciousness and determine to what degree it is in agreement with its observed object or not; when our mind is direct or not; what the difference is between non-mistaken, non-deceiving, conceptual and non-conceptual types of awareness.

Prerequisites: (none)


Fall 2019 — Dr. Stuart Horn and Dr. Sandra Roscoe
SPOC — Scott Wellenbach

Meeting times

For the fall 2019 course in Seattle at Nalanda West and online, class meets Wednesday evenings 7:00–8:30pm Pacific Time from September 25–Dec 11, 2019.

For the Self-Paced Online Course, the class meets at your convenience!

Class Topics
  • Divisions of mind
  • Definitions of valid cognition
  • Definition of direct valid cognition
  • Sense direct valid cognition
  • Two truths in Vaibhashika and Sautrantika view
  • Process of perception in Vaibhashika and Sautrantika view
  • Mental direct valid cognition
  • Self-aware direct valid cognition
  • Yogic direct valid cognition
  • Seeming direct cognition
  • Definition of inferential valid cognition for oneself and for others
  • Appearing object, referent object, object of engagement
  • Nonvalid cognition
  • Three results of valid cognition
Required Texts
  • Root text: Classifications of Mind (Lorik), by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Nitartha Institute Publications
  • Root text: Collected Topics (Düdra), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen 
  • Mind and Its World I Sourcebook, Nitartha Institute Publications

Available for purchase by emailing bookstore@nitarthainstitute.org. Seattle students will be able to pick-up their books at Nalanda West on the first night of class.


We recommend that you take the Foundation Curriculum in sequence. It is particularly important to begin with Mind & Its World I and its companion course Clear Thinking before proceeding through the rest of the Foundation Curriculum.

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Additional Information

For questions about the fall 2019 course, please contact Seattle course coordinator Stephanie Basford <sbasford@nitarthainstitute.org>. 

For registration questions, contact Nitartha registrar Elena Weiss <eweiss@nitarthainstitute.org >.

For questions about the Self-Paced Online Course, contact SPOC coordinator Jenny Shu <jshu@nitarthainstitute.org>.