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2023 - SPRING SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE February 27 to May 18, 2023

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Date:  February 27 – May 18, 2023


Namgyal Zoom Classes:  Namgyal will host all spring classes by Zoom. Audio recordings of the Zoom session for a class will be available for download the next day after class.  The cost for Zoom class access is $200.  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. TOPIC:  Buddhist Science and Philosophy:  Volume Two, The Mind

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa - Translator: Palden Oshoe

Mondays 6:30- 7:45PM

Tuition: $200 for semester (payable in full or in two $100 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 His Holiness convened a group of renown Buddhist scholars (Geshes) to compile all the treatises from classical Indian Buddhists texts that provide discourses on Buddhist science and philosophy.  The second volume in this series provides a compilation and synthesis of teachings on the Indian Buddhist view of nature of the mind.  In this class, Geshe-la will provide teachings on cultivation of special insight using analytical meditation and then using these tools revisit the sections on The Mind and Mental Factors.  This class provides a unique opportunity for students to gain understanding and have discussion about the foundational concepts of the classical Indian Buddhist views of mind and to develop meditation practices essential to gaining insight into the nature of mind. 


Text: Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics Vol. 2:  The Mind

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


2. TOPIC:  Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment):  Songs of Experience by Je Tsongkapa

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa - Translator: Palden Oshoe

Tuesdays 6:30-7:45PM

Tuition: $200 for semester (payable in full or in two $100 installments)


Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) texts are a genre of teaching in Tibetan Buddhism that provide a systematic overview of all the practices necessary for the attainment of enlightenment.  Such texts cover all the scopes or levels of teachings and practices that are essential to a practitioner’s gradual and sustained development 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.  Middling scope teachings include reflections on karma, the twelve-dependent 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 generation of the mind of awakening (bodhichitta), cultivation of the wisdom realizing emptiness and the practice of the six perfections. In this condensed lam rim text, Je Tsongkhapa provides an overview of all these stages of the path in forty-five poetic verses. (A link to a translation of this text by Thupten Jinpa is below.)  During this teaching Geshe-la will provide teachings on the different practices outlined in this text.  This is an excellent teaching for students at all levels of experience as it will provide a clear framework to newcomers for understanding the stages of the path and it will help deepen understanding and practices for more experienced students.


Root Text is available to download:



3> TOPIC:  Text Study:  Special Insight Section of Middle Length Lam Rim by Je Tsongkapa

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe

Wednesdays 6:30-7:45PM

Tuition: $200 for semester (payable in full or in two $100 installments)


The philosophical view of emptiness is fundamental to the practice of Buddhism, in particular to the cultivation of wisdom.  The view of the selflessness of persons and phenomena of the Madhyamaka-Prasangika School is considered the most subtle and profound view of emptiness.  The Special Insight Section of Je Tsongkapa’s Middle Length Lam Rim provides concise and practical guidance in how to cultivate the Prasangika view of emptiness.  The text provides teachings on identifying ignorance as the root of cyclic existence, cultivating the view of selflessness of persons, illusory-like appearance and selflessness of phenomena together with detailed explanations of conventional and ultimate truths.  Finally, it outlines meditation procedures for cultivating special insight and view of emptiness.  During this class, Geshe-la will give detailed commentary on Tsongkapa’s teachings on selflessness discussed in this text and Prasangika view of emptiness.  Geshe-la will provide time for students to ask questions and have discussion on this important topic.  This is an excellent opportunity for students receive teachings on this profound view of emptiness.

 Recommended Reading:

 Insight section only: Supramundane Special Insight included in Tsong-kha-pa’s Final Exposition of Wisdom by Jeffrey Hopkins. Snow Lion/Shambhala Publications.

Complete Translation:  The Middle-Length Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Wisdom Culture Series) Translation by Philip Quarcoo.  Wisdom Publications.



4. TOPIC:  Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism Part 2:  Foundations of Buddhist Practice

Instructor:  Deana Bodnar

Thursdays 6:30-7:45PM

Tuition: $200 for semester (payable in full or in two $100 installments)


This course will provide an introduction to key points and practices in Buddhism.  The course will focus on reading and discussion of a book written by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama and American Buddhist Nun, Thubten Chodron.  This text provides an excellent overview of important concepts and principles in Buddhism and connects these to modern life for Westerners.   Topics covered include: 1) basis of Buddhist philosophical view; 2) how to structure a meditation session; 2) choosing and relying on a spiritual mentor; 3) Buddhist view of mind and basis of the self; 4) impermanence, death and rebirth and 5) karma, its effects and results.  The goal of the course is to give students a basic framework for understanding different teachings and practices within Buddhism and 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: The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion Volume 2 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.