2013 Rigpe Dorje Philosophy Programme

January 7th – March 7th

The programme will be daily except on Wednesdays. It is compulsory to attend all the Main Teachings, one Scripture and one Language class.

 

MAIN TEACHING

Daily 9.00 am – 11.00 am (except Wednesdays)

"PRAJNA—PRECISE KNOWLEDGE,"
NINTH CHAPTER OF SHANTIDEVA'S
ENGAGING IN BODHISATTVA CONDUCT
Bodhicharyavatara (Skt) or Chod Jug (Tib)

Based on the commentary by Je Mipham Rinpoche

In studying the view as presented in the four Buddhist tenet systems sequentially, the understanding of each step advances understanding the next. The progression thereby facilitates comprehension, an exceedingly important point. Consequently, this sequence is a developmental method for easily engaging the ultimate view of the Madhyamaka, or Middle Way school, presented in both the Rangtong (Self-Empty) and Shentong (Other-Empty) schools. Our topic this year presents the Self-Empty view of the Consequence Middle Way, which, when realised, allows one to penetrate to the very depths of the basic nature. This is an unsurpassed process of skilful means for guiding students; it is not intended to stoke quarrels through proofs and refutations.

The principal aim of bodhisattvas is to achieve buddhahood for the benefit of others. Among the classes of obscuration, the main inhibitor to attaining buddhahood is cognitive obscuration. The antidote for this is prajna embraced by upaya: knowledge combined with method. Specifically, this refers to the precise knowledge realizing the lack of self-entity of phenomena (that is, emptiness utterly devoid of conceptual extremes) coupled with the skilful means of the first five transcendent perfections (the paramitas of generosity, ethical discipline, forbearance, diligence, and meditative concentration).

"Prajna," the ninth chapter of Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara (Engaging in Bodhisattva Conduct), explains the object of this precise knowledge, namely the two subtlemost aspects of no-self, according to the Consequence Middle Way (Prasangika Madhyamaka) tradition. The hallmark of this chapter is the description of the system of close application of mindfulness through rigorous determination of the lack of self-entity of body, feeling, mind, and phenomena. Lack of self-entity of these phenomena specifically counteracts the four mistaken beliefs comprised of conceiving of body, feeling, mind, and phenomena as pure, pleasant, permanent, and possessing self-entity, respectively.

 

SCRIPTURES CLASSES

Daily 11.30 am – 1.00 pm (except Wednesdays)

The classes are principally aimed at those who wish to develop a foundation
in classical Dharma Tibetan language


I. Root Text Class: Ninth Chapter of Bodhicharyavatara

Root text by Shantideva and Commentary by Mipham Rinpoche.
Study of the scriptural sources for the main Dharma teaching.

Medium of Instruction: English.


II. Advanced Scripture Class: Ascertaining Correct View

Root text and Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye.
Study of correct view supplementing the main Dharma teaching.

Medium of Instruction: Tibetan with English.

 

TIBETAN LANGUAGE CLASSES

Daily 2.30 pm – 4.00 pm (except Wednesdays)


I. BEGINNER LANGUAGE CLASS –

Emphasis: Alphabet and reading skills, foundations of grammar,
some basic colloquial Tibetan language.
Medium of Instruction: Tibetan and English.
Prerequisites: None.


II. INTERMEDIATE LANGUAGE CLASS –

Emphasis: Advanced Tibetan grammar, reading skills and 
colloquial Tibetan language.
Medium of Instruction: English with some Tibetan.
Prerequisites: Intermediate reading skills ability. 


III. ADVANCED LANGUAGE CLASS –

Emphasis: Advanced Tibetan grammar, reading skills and 
colloquial Tibetan language.
Medium of Instruction: English with some Tibetan.
Prerequisites: Intermediate reading skills ability and
basic ability to translate written Tibetan.