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FALL SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE September 26 – December 16, 2022

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FALL SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE September 26 – December 16, 2022

Date:  September 26 – December 16, 2022

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.  The cost for Zoom class access is $200.  To register for classes, contact office@namgyal.org.  Payments can be made by check or online through the Namgyal website. www.namgyal.org

Senior Citizen Discount: A discount of 15% will be granted to seniors (age 65 or older), applicableto full-time tuition or tuition for individual classes.

 

1.  TOPIC: Buddhist Science and Philosophy:  Volume Two-The Mind: Parts 3 & 4 

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe
Mondays = 6:30pm to 7:45pm Sept: 26, Oct: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Nov: 7, 14, 21, 28 Dec: 5, 12

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 HHDL 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 take students through Part 3: Gross and Subtle Minds and Part 4: Mind and Its Objects.  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. 

Text: Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics Vol. 2:  The MindConceived and Introduced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Edited by Thupten Jinpa

 

2.  TOPIC: Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment):  Essence of Refined Gold 

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe
 Tuesdays: 6:30pm to 7:45pm Sept: 27, Oct: 4, 11, 18,  25, Nov: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Dec: 6, 13
 Tuition: $200 for semester (payable in full or in two $100 installments)

 The Essence of Refined Gold is a short text by the Third Dalai Lama Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso that describes the stages of the path to enlightenment (Lam Rim).  This text condenses all of the principal points of the sutras and tantras and hence, provides a clear, concise and complete overview of the study and practice of the Buddha Dharma. 

The topics covered in this text include: 

1) understanding the different aspects and perspectives of various teachings given by the Buddha; 

2) finding a qualified  teacher and the qualities to look for; 

3) reflecting on impermanence, death, karma and the preciousness of our human rebirth; 

4) understanding the meaning of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharam and Sangha;

5) practicing the foundational teachings in ethical discipline;

6) generating the altruistic attitude to seek enlightenment to benefit others (bodhichitta);

7) cultivating positive qualities and the practice of far-reaching virtues (six perfections) and

8) entering the Vajrayana path and the practice of tantra.  

 During this course, Geshe-la will provide explanation on the major points of this text and how to apply these in one’s daily life.  This is an excellent teaching for those new to Buddhism as it will afford a comprehensive overview of the study and practice within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  The teaching will also benefit students who have been studying and practicing Buddhism for some time, by deepening their understanding and realization of the key elements of the path.

 Essence of Refined Gold Root Text is available to download:  https://thubtenchodron.org/2007/01/root-text-lamrim/

Books on Essence of Refined Gold with Commentary by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama:
• The Path to Enlightenment, Snow Lion Publications
• Refining Gold, Wisdom Publications

 

3.  TOPIC: Text Study:  Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: Chapters on Patience and Meditation

Instructor:  Geshe Jamyang Dakpa translation by Palden Oshoe

Wednesdays:  6:30-7:45 Sept: 28, Oct: 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Dec: 7, 14
Tuition: $200 for semester (payable in full or in two $100 installments)

 The practice of patience and meditation are two key elements for maintaining mental peace and joy.  The cultivation of patience serves to counteract the arising of anger which quickly destroys our peace of mind and can be very destructive in our relationships with others.  The practice of meditation enables us to train the mind to stabilize our mental peace and joy. 

Hence, understanding how to maintain our patience and equanimity in the face of challenging situations with others is essential to living a meaningful and happy life.  Shantideva’s Chapters on Patience and Meditation in the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life provide important insights into how we can train our minds to cultivate patience, meditative stability and equanimity and thereby maintain our inner peace and happiness. 

In particular, the chapter on patience provides practical mind-training tools when faced with difficult situations. The chapter on meditation provides instruction both on single-pointed concentration as well as equalizing and exchanging self and others. 

During this class, Geshe-la will continue his explanation of the chapter on patience from this text and then move onto the chapter on meditation.  This course will provide practical guidance and support for anyone struggling with anger, frustrations and conflicts with others as well as those working to develop their mediation.

Recommended Texts: 

Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s Way of Life Root Text Translations:
• The Way of the Bodhisattva, Padmakara Translation Group, Shambhala Publications
• A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Vesna and B. Alan Wallace Translators, Shambhala Publications

Books with Commentary by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama:
• The Perfection of Patience: Buddhist Techniques to Overcome Anger, Wisdom Publications

 

4.  TOPIC: Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism Part 1:  Approaching the Buddhist Path 

Instructor:  Deana Bodnar
 Thursdays: 6:30pm to 7:45pm Sept: 29, Oct: 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov: 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec: 1, 8, 15

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) basics of the Buddhist view of life and mind;

2) working with destructive emotions;

3) cultivation of constructive emotions such as love and compassion;

4) overview of the core teachings given by Buddha Shakyamuni;

5) overview of various meditation and mind-training practices and

6) exploration of how these practices can support our mental peace and happiness in our daily life out in the world. 

 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: Approaching the Buddhist Path by His Holiness the 14th Dalia Lama and Thubten Chodron (Wishom 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.