Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Mind

At Nitartha Institute, students gain authentic experience in Buddhist studies by gradually progressing through the views of different Buddhist philosophical systems, as well as by training in analysis, debate and meditation. The Nitartha curriculum is offered online and in person through semester courses, the intensive Summer Institute, and Self-Paced Online Courses (SPOC). Nitartha also offers courses in Tibetan language and the Buddhist Science of Art.

Rooted in the traditions of the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages, Nitartha Institute courses are taught by highly renowned faculty: Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, and several Western teachers including Dr. Karl Brunnhölzl, Scott Wellenbach, Dr. Phil Stanley, and many others. Attending Nitartha classes is an experience of precious moments of heart transmission between teacher and student.

What does “Nitartha” mean?

Nitartha is a Sanskrit word that means “definitive meaning”. The teachings of the Buddha can be divided into those of “provisional meaning” and those of “definitive meaning”. Understanding this division helps to clarify how the different teachings from scriptures that seem contradictory when taken literally are actually consistent. The definitive meaning is the true meaning, or the teachings on ultimate truth, while the provisional meaning is a temporary, skillful means of teaching in accordance with different stages and individual capacities on the path.

At Nitartha, everyday thought and speech, as well as movement of the body, can serve as tools for discovering this definitive meaning — the wisdom and spontaneous compassion of the buddhadharma.

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Analytical Meditation: Taming the Mind.

Upcoming Semester Courses

BUD502 Clear Thinking

7 classes: Mondays, September 15 – October 25, 2021 6:00 – 7:30pm Pacific time

BUD520 Mind & Its World III: Vaibhashika Philosophical Tradition

14 classes: Sundays, September 26 – December 19, 2021, 7:30am – 9:00am Pacific time

BUD554 Debate II

14 classes: Mondays, September 13–December 13, 2021, 5:00–6:30pm Pacific time

BUD610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle

17 classes: Tuesdays and Thursdays, October 26–December 23, 2021, 4:30–6:00pm Pacific time

BUD702 Madhyamakavatara II with DPR (1999), Part I

12 classes: Saturdays, August 28–November 13, 2021, 9:00-10:00am Pacific time

Self-Paced Online Courses


How To Look For The Self In The Skandhas
by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

If we find that our thoughts self originate within the five skandhas, then we should search through each of the five skandhas individually.

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