Intermediate Curriculum

Cittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances are Mere Mind

A systematic presentation of the Cittamatra (“Mind Only”) system, which lays the ground for correctly understanding the Madhyamaka views and Mahamudra.

Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle

A systematic presentation of the philosophical tenets of the Madhyamaka (“Middle Way”) tradition of the Mahayana. Based on sections from Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Knowledge.

Paths and Bhumis: The Path to Enlightenment

A systematic presentation of the stages of the path of the Bodhisattva, as well as of the Hearer Arhat (Shravaka Arhat) and Solitary Buddha (Pratyekabuddha), based on Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Knowledge (Shey-ja-dzer) and Asanga’s Ornament of Clear Realization (Abhisamayalankara).

Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata

A systematic presentation of the teachings of the Buddha Nature tradition based on Maitreya’s Uttaratantra and its commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul.

Foundation Curriculum
Intermediate Curriculum
Advanced Curriculum

Complete List of Intermediate Courses

BUD 600 Methods of Analytical MeditationBUD 601 CittamatraBUD 610 MadhyamakaBUD 620 Paths and BhumisBUD 630 Buddha Nature

Intermediate Level Debate

BUD 653 Vaibhashika DebateBUD 654 Sautrantika DebateBUD 655 Cittamatra DebateBUD 656 Madhyamaka Debate

Intermediate Course Descriptions

BUD 600 Analytical Meditation II

This course is a systematic training in the meditation of special insight in the tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. The students learn the skills to gain certainty in the view of emptiness through the practice of the Four Mahayana Yogas, cultivating inferential wisdom and bringing it to personal experience.

PREREQUISITE: BUD 601

REQUIRED TEXTS: None

BUD 601 Cittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances Are Mere Mind

This course is an exposition of the Cittamatra philosophical tradition, based on The Mind Only Tenet System root text. Students engage in the philosophical reformulation of experience arising from meditation practice, declaring reasonings that establish objects as not separate from mind. This is followed by the presentation of the true and false aspectarians and the classification of knowable objects into the three natures, as well as the theory of the eight-fold collection of consciousness.

PREREQUISITES: BUD 501, BUD 510, BUD 520, BUD 530

REQUIRED TEXTS:

    • Root text: The Mind Only Tenet System (Semtsam), by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications
    • Mind Only Tenet System Sourcebook, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

BUD 610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle

This course is an exposition of the Middle Way philosophical tradition based on Part One of The Center of the Sunlit Sky, expressed as the ground, path and fruition of Madhyamaka. Students explore the classification of knowable objects into the two realities and cultivate certainty in the view of emptiness of all phenomena, formulating the five great Madhyamaka reasonings. The course includes the presentation of personal identitylessness with the sevenfold analysis of the chariot.

PREREQUISITES: BUD 501, BUD 510, BUD 520, BUD 530

REQUIRED TEXT:

    • The Center of the Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka in the Kagyü Tradition, by Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl, 2004, Snow Lion Publications

BUD 620 Paths and Bhumis: The Path to Enlightenment

This course is an exposition of the Buddhist path based on The Presentation of Bhumis, Paths & Results in the Treasury of Knowledge root text. Students learn what is necessary for entering and progressing on the path and what the goal of spiritual journey is, through exploring the five paths, the ten bodhisattva bhumis, as well as the result: nirvana, kayas, wisdoms and enlightened activity.

PREREQUISITES: BUD 501, BUD 510, BUD 520, BUD 530, BUD 601, BUD 610, BUD 630

REQUIRED TEXTS:

    • Root text: The Presentation of Bhumis, Paths & Results in the Treasury of Knowledge (Salam), by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, Nitartha Institute Publications
    • Commentary on The Presentation of Paths Bhumis, & Results in the Causal Vehicle of Characteristics from the Treasury of Knowledge by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl, Nitartha Institute Publications

BUD 630 Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathāgata

This course is an exposition of the Tathagatagarbha philosophical tradition, based on the The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra: Fourth Vajra Point root text. Students cultivate certainty in the view of Buddha nature — the essence of awakening present in all beings. The Fourth Vajra Point of the Uttaratantra establishes Buddha nature through three reasonings, its ten aspects, nine analogies and five reasons why it is necessary to teach it.

PREREQUISITES: BUD 501, BUD 510, BUD 520, BUD 530

REQUIRED TEXTS:

    • Root Text: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra: Fourth Vajra Point, by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, Nitartha Institute Publications
    • Commentary on the Fourth Vajra Point in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra, by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen and Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl, Nitartha Institute Publications

BUD 653 Vaibhashika Debate

This intermediate debate course trains in formally debating the tenets of the Vaibhashika philosophical tradition. Debate topics in this class consist of the refutation of the creator god as well as the refutation of personal identity using the seven-fold analysis of the chariot.

PREREQUISITE: BUD 555

REQUIRED TEXTS: None

BUD 654 Sautrantika Debate

This intermediate debate course trains in formally debating the tenets of the Sautrantika philosophical tradition. Debate topics in this class center around the proof of subtle impermanence — the reason of non-dependency that proves that entities do not rely on another cause for their momentary cessation other than their own dependently arisen appearance.

PREREQUISITE: BUD 653

REQUIRED TEXTS: None

BUD 655 Cittamatra Debate

This intermediate debate course trains in formally debating the tenets of Cittamatra — the Mind Only Mahayana philosophical school. From the true aspectarian view, students ascertain non-separation through the reason of definitive simultaneous observation, reason refuting arising of something similar, the reason of no connection and the reason refuting partless particles. From the false aspectarian view, debaters formulate reasonings refuting the existence of aspects.

PREREQUISITE: BUD 654

REQUIRED TEXTS: None

BUD 656 Madhyamaka Debate

This intermediate course is the introduction to Madhyamaka debate. Students enact the historical debates of the Middle Way masters with other philosophical schools — Buddhist and non-Buddhist — using the five great reasonings that analyze the cause, the result, both cause and result, the essence and mere appearance. Students train in utilizing different types of reasons of non-observation and work with the four uncommon reasonings of the Madhyamikas as presented in the Treasury of Knowledge: inference within the common consensus of others, consequences that expose contradictions, analogous applicability of the opponent’s reason and non-application of the means of proof due to its sameness with the probandum.

PREREQUISITE: BUD 655

REQUIRED TEXTS: None