Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata

Instructor: Karl Brunnhölzl

Attendance: Online and Nalanda West, Seattle.

Meeting Times: Wednesday evenings, 7-9 pm (PST), September 5 –  November 28, 2018.

Course Description:
This course is an overview of the Tathagatagarbha, or Buddha Nature tradition, the view of the luminous essence of awakening, the heart of goodness shared by all beings. Our exploration will rely on the key section of Uttaratantra of Maitreya (ca. 4th century) which establishes Buddha nature through three reasonings, its ten facets, nine analogies and five reasons why it is necessary to teach it.

Prerequisites: Though any student may take any intermediate course at any time, it is recommended that students complete the Foundation Curriculum before beginning the Intermediate Curriculum, then take all four intermediate courses in the order of:
• BUD 601 Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances are Mere Mind
• BUD 610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle
• BUD 620 Paths and Bhumis: The Path to Enlightenment
• BUD 630 Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata

Required texts:
• Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary, by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, tr. by Rosemarie Fuchs, Snow Lion Publications, 2000
• Commentary on the Fourth Vajra Point in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

Class topics:
• The element: three reasons the element is present in all sentient beings
• Ten aspects of the element
• Nine examples explaining why the defilements are to be purified though the essence is unchanging
• Five reasons why it is necessary to explain the element