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Semester Courses

Semester courses are presented in several North American regions and are designed for those who cannot take time off to attend the Summer Institute, as well as for those who would like to take the complete Nitartha curriculum. Semester courses are held on evenings and weekends over a few months. Some of these semester programs are also streamed live online, and recordings of the classes are available to registered students through Nitartha’s online campus.

(Need financial assistance to attend a course? Please click here for details.)

Fall semester courses will be posted soon!  For an idea of what a semester could cover at the Nitartha Institute, see our 2020 spring semester courses below.

2020 Winter/Spring Semester Courses

BUD501 Mind and Its World I: Valid Cognition (Enrollmented limited to the Nalandabodhi Boulder cohort)
Instructors: Francis Sullivan
Attendance: In person only (Nalandabodhi Boulder cohort only)
Meeting Times: Monday evenings at Nalandabodhi Boulder, January 6 – March 30th, 2020
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

Click here for full course description, required texts, and to register.

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BUD 530 Mind and Its World IV: Sautrāntika Philosophical Tradition (Enrollment limited to the Summer Institute 2019 and Connecticut cohorts)
Instructors:
Dr. Phil Stanley (2019 Summer Institute cohort)
Jirka Hlädis (Connecticut cohort)
Attendance: Online (for the 2019 Summer Institute and Connecticut cohorts only) 
Prerequisite: BUD 520
Meeting Times: 2019 Summer Institute cohort: Thursday evenings, March 19 – June 25, 2020
Connecticut Cohort: Tuesday evenings, March 17 – June 23, 2020
Course Description:
This course is an extensive exposition of the Sautrāntika philosophical tradition, based on the expanded version of The Gateway that Reveals the Philosophical Traditions to Fresh Minds root text. This school is renowned for classifying all knowable objects into specifically and generally characterized phenomena, based on our experience. The path and result presentation here is generally shared with the Vaibhāśika tradition.

Click here for full course description, required texts, and to register.

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BUD 620 Paths and Bhūmis: The Path to Enlightenment (Open Enrollment, Online course)
Instructor: Jirka Hladiš
Attendance: Online
Prerequisite: BUD 610
Meeting Times: 14 Mondays Jan 27-May 4, 2020 with a break on March 23, 2020, 7pm-9pm Mountain Time
Course Description:
This course is a presentation of the five paths on the voyage to awakening, the ten bodhisattvas’ bhūmis, or levels or realization, and the result: the enlightenment, buddha’s kāyas and wisdoms as well as enlightened activity. We will study what is required to embark and progress on the path and what the goal of such spiritual journey is.

Click here for full course description, required texts, and to register.

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BUD 700 Madhyamakāvatāra I: Entrance to the Middle Way (Special Advanced SPOC course, open enrollment, online course)
Instructor: Special advanced course with 1997 recordings of teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and weekly discussion groups facilitated by Dr. Phil Stanley. 
Attendance: Online
Prerequisites: This course can be taken for Nitartha Institute credit as well as for non-credit. If taken for credit, completion of the foundation and intermediate Nitartha curricula is required.
Meeting Times: Course opens Saturday Feb 1 for viewing of recordings. Discussion groups will be held on Saturdays from February 8 -May 11, 2020, 10am – 11am Mountain Time
Course Description:
This course is an in-depth study of Chandrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra based on the commentary by the Eight Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje (1507-1554). We will begin with the presentation of the Madhyamaka of the model texts followed by a close examination of the first five Madhyamakāvatāra’s chapters correlated with the first five bodhisattva bhūmis. Several difficult points will be covered such as the three reasons which prove that arhats realize selflessness of person.

Click here for full course description, required texts, and to register.