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2023 FALL SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE October 2 – December 8, 2023

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October 2 – December 8, 2023


Namgyal Zoom Classes:  Namgyal will host all fall classes by Zoom. Audio recordings of the Zoom session for a class will be available for download the next day after class. 


Classes will start later than usual this fall due to the events of the Grand Opening Ceremony for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Library and Learning Center September 8th as well as the Interfaith and Secular Ethics Conference September 9-10th.  Classes will start October 2nd and run for 10 weeks. 


The cost for Zoom class access is $170.  To register for classes, contact  Payments can be made by check or online through the Namgyal website: 

Senior Citizen Discount: A discount of 15% will be granted to seniors (age 65 or older), applicable

to full-time tuition or tuition for individual classes.

 1)  Buddhist Science and Philosophy:  Volume 4 - Philosophical Views:  Emptiness and Dependent Arising

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe

Mondays :  Oct:  2, 9,16, 23 30 Nov: 6, 13, 20, 27 Dec: 4

Time: 6:30pm  to 7:45pm 

Tuition: $170 for semester (payable in full or in two $85 installments)


For over 25 years, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama has engaged in annual Mind-Life Conferences with Western scientists from various disciplines to explore the commonalities and differences in Buddhist and Western views on the nature of reality and the mind.  One outcome of these discussions is that HHDL convened a group of renown Buddhist scholars (Geshes) to compile all the treatises from the classical Indian Buddhists texts that provide discourses on Buddhist science and philosophy. 

 The fourth volume in this series provides a compilation and synthesis of teachings on the Indian Buddhist philosophical teachings.  In this class, Geshe-la will provide teachings on Chapter 19 of this volume, which focuses on emptiness and dependent arising.  Developing a deep understanding of these views requires ongoing study and contemplation as well as meditation.  Geshe-la’s commentary on this chapter will help students better understand the view of emptiness and its relationship to dependent arising. Geshe-la will also teach methods that enable students to make progress towards deeper realization. For students new to Buddhism, this is an excellent introduction. For more experienced students, this is an opportunity to further deepen their understanding and practice.

 Text: Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics Vol. 4:  Philosophical Topics

Conceived and Introduced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Edited by Thupten Jinpa


2)  Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment):  Foundation of All Good Qualities

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe

Tuesdays : Oct: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Nov: 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec: 5

Time: 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Tuition: $170 for semester (payable in full or in two $85 installments)


Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) texts provide a systematic overview of all the practices necessary to attain enlightenment.  Such texts cover all the scopes or levels of practices that are essential to sustained progress on the path.  The foundational teachings and practices of the initial scope include contemplating the preciousness of this human life, reflecting on impermanence and going for refuge.  The middle scope teachings include reflections on karma, the twelve links of dependent origination and the aspiration for personal liberation from cyclic existence (samsara).  Finally, teachings on the great scope of the bodhisattva path include generating the mind of awakening (bodhichitta), cultivating the wisdom realizing emptiness and practicing the six perfections. This semester Geshe-la will provide teaching on this short text by Je Tsongkhapa, which covers all the stages of the path leading up to Vajrayana. This is an excellent teaching for students at all levels of experience as it provides a clear framework to newcomers for understanding the stages of the path, and it helps deepen understanding and practice for more experienced students. Given the brevity of this text, it can be recited daily to assist practitioner in reflecting on the stages of the path.  There are several translations of this text that can be downloaded from the internet.


3)  Text Study:  Seven Point Mind Training: Meditations for overcoming difficulties and creating lasting happiness.


Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe

Wednesdays: Oct: 4, 11, 18, 25 Nov: 1, 8, 15, 23, 30 Dec: 6

Time: 6:30-7:45

Tuition: $170 for semester (payable in full or in two $85 installments)


In the West, spiritual practitioners most often think of meditation in terms of mindfulness practices.  However, the Tibetan Buddhist tradition includes the powerful technique of training the mind through analytical meditation. This style of meditation helps you become more familiar with new ways of seeing oneself and others that counteract mental afflictions and cultivate a more beneficial mind frame.  This change in mind set in turn helps you replace negative habitual patterns with more constructive ones, thus leading to a more lasting form of happiness.  Such techniques are essential to help meet current challenges and build sufficient resilience to handle all the difficulties that arise.  The Seven Point Mind Training presents a comprehensive set of meditations designed to transform the mind in this way.  The teachings were originally given by the Indian Nalanda Master Atisha in Tibet and compiled by his student Chekawa.   Geshe-la will provide extensive commentary on this text and explain how to utlize these meditations to overcome difficulties and create lasting happiness in one’s daily life.

Recommended Reading:  The Seven-Point Mind Training: A Tibetan Method for Cultivating Mind and Heart by B. Alan Wallace (Shambhala Publications)

Root Text:



4)  Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism Part 3.1:  Samsara (Cyclic Existence)

Instructor:  Deana Bodnar

Thursdays:  Oct: 5, 12, 19, 26 Nov: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Dec: 7

Time: 6:30-7:45

Tuition: $170 for semester (payable in full or in two $85 installments)


This course focuses on reading and discussion of a volume from the series written by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama and an American Buddhist Nun, Thubten Chodron.  During this semester we will review the first half of the third volume, which provides an excellent overview of important concepts in Buddhism related to the suffering of samsara (cyclic existence).   By understanding the basis of suffering, a practitioner is then able to engage in practices necessary to attain freedom from samsara and experience the peace of nirvana.  Topics covered this semester include: 1) The Self and the Four Noble Truths; 2) Truth of Suffering; 3) Truth of the Origin of Suffering; 4) Afflictions and their Antidotes; 5) Afflictions and Karma; 6) Karma, the Universe and Evolution 7) Twelve Links of Dependent Origination. The goal of the course is to give students a basic framework for understanding different teachings and practices within Buddhism and to explore how we can integrate them into our daily lives to support our spiritual development.  Each class will also provide time for questions and discussion about these topics as well time for meditation practice.


Recommended Reading: Samsara, Nirvana and Buddha Nature, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion Volume 3 by His Holiness the 14th Dalia Lama and Thubten Chodron (Wisdom Publications)


Deana Bodnar has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism at Namgyal Monastery for over 20 years.  She has previously taught classes on the Neurobiology of Meditation.