The Buddha’s teachings shine light on how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. This clarity leads to insights that can deepen our compassion, expand our understanding, and help us realize our full potential.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche emphasizes the importance of engaging in study and contemplation, even before meditation. Under his direction, Nalandabodhi has developed a comprehensive and systematic Buddhist study curriculum that applies to our lives today.
Our curriculum covers the philosophical, meditative, and practical teachings presented in the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism. On the path of study, students will develop insight as they progress through the following courses:
The introductory series of classes explores the basic principles of the Buddha’s teachings. They provide practical advice for applying these teachings in our lives and broadening our understanding of the world around us, all the while laying the groundwork for later courses.
Also known as the “foundational vehicle,” Hinayana is the basis of entering the path as taught in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. In this stage of study and contemplation, we take a courageous look at our personal unease and suffering, as well as our comfort and happiness. By working with these experiences, we learn how to step away from confusion and toward truly helping ourselves and others.
Mahayana builds on the foundation of Hinayana, expanding our concern for our own happiness to include that of others. These teachings introduce us to the possibility of transforming even the most negative emotions into positive states of mind. By working with our emotions and exploring the illusory nature of all phenomena, we can develop a heart of genuine compassion. Mahayana also introduces us to the idea of buddha nature — the understanding that our hearts and minds are, from the beginning, the same as the Buddha’s.
Vajrayana Buddhism is the innermost essence of the Mahayana teachings. Continuing studies at this level are available to Nalandabodhi members who are actively engaged in the Vajrayana practices of our Path of Meditation.