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Mahayana 303: Not Even a Middle

Thursdays, April 29 – July 15, 2021, 7:00 – 9:00 PM Eastern Time

The teachings of the Buddha are very much based on knowledge and wisdom. Our inquisitiveness and enthusiasm to discover and know reality is the expression of that wisdom—be it the search for the wisdom of emptiness or the wisdom of enlightened compassion. Prince Siddhartha discovered that the genuine way of understanding wisdom is finding a middle way between the extremes of nihilism and permanence. This approach is most prominently and famously articulated by the Madhyamaka (Middle Way) School of Mahayana Buddhism and its teachings on emptiness derived from the prajnaparamita sutras.

This is the third of the six-course Mahayana series, which explores how Nagarjuna put those teachings into a logical perspective in terms of how we can analyze the different areas of the reality we experience right now with our ordinary mind. It will include discussions of the School’s historical development in India and Tibet, distinctions between its major branches, the two truths, the emptiness of all phenomena, and the “five great Madhyamaka reasonings.”

The format of the course consists of nine class discussions of materials drawn primarily from the teachings of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, one review class midway through the course, a class of analytical meditation practice, and a final “dharma exchange” in which students and facilitators discuss study questions that have been distributed throughout the course. Each class begins with 30 minutes of shamatha practice. All classes except the practicums and the dharma exchange will be recorded.

It is recommended that students have had some background in Buddhist studies. In particular, students should have a familiarity with such key Buddhist teachings as karma, rebirth, individual liberation, selflessness, and the Four Noble Truths; and that they have some experience with basic (shamatha) meditation practice.

Nalandabodhi students who have previously taken the Mahayana course series are welcome to join this course free of charge, and are invited to drop in to any of our classes.

Tuition: $45 for Nalandabodhi members, $65 for non-members. Reduced tuition options are also available when you register.
Study materials cost $15 and can be purchased at the Nalanda Store here

LOCATION Online via Zoom
REGISTRATION To register, please click here. Once registered, you will receive the Class Syllabus and Zoom link for attending the class. Please note that registration will close on June 1.
INFORMATION For more schedule or program details, please contact Allan Novick or Rob Prichard.

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