Path and Practices of Liberation Program

Path and Practices photo

Path and Practices of Liberation Program


Description:
The Path and Practices of Liberation Program is an intense immersion in Buddhist study and practice that is structured by the teachings of kaya, vacca, citta, guna and karma. The Path of Liberation classes and workshops form the core of this full-time program and provide a thorough grounding in the basic teachings and texts of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In addition, students in this program will be trained in Nyingma Psychology, Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga), Nyingma Meditation, Skillful Means, and Nyingma Practices.

Objective: Upon completion, students will have a basic understanding of fundamental Buddhist teachings, such as the Four Noble Truths, the Eight-fold Noble Path, Karma and Klesha, Interdependent Co-operation, and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. They will be familiar with Buddhist history and important works of literature and with the living spirit of Buddhist teaching and practice. Students will also have a thorough grounding in Nyingma Psychology, Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga), Nyingma Meditation, Skillful Means, and Nyingma Practices.

Length: Minimum 2 years; maximum 8 years.

Program Components:
There are three formats for taking this program.

  • Format I is a Retreat Format. Students who select this format take seven 5-week retreats and one four-week retreat.
  • Format II is a Full-time Format. Students who select this format take 50 classes, 27 workshops, and 2 one-week retreats over a minimum of two years.
  • Format III is a Combined Format. Students who select this format work with an advisor to select some retreats from the Retreat Format and some classes and workshops from the Full-time Format. Total Program instruction must equal a minimum of 1200 hours.

Program Cost: $12,000. May be paid in quarterly ($1500) or monthly ($500) installments.


Format I: Retreat Format

Students selecting this format attend the following eight 5-week retreats:
Note: the program cost includes nonresidential retreats only; residential retreats require an additional fee for room and board.


DHS501-505 Embodiment: An Awakened Vision

These weeks of retreat are a journey into the Buddha’s vision of what embodiment means. Students will use teachings and practices from Nyingma Psychology to integrate body and mind; will learn to release unnecessary tension and stress through Tibetan Yoga; will study the teachings of the Buddhist Abhidharma found in the mKhas-‘jug by the great teacher Lama Mipham; will learn about the symbolism of the form of the Buddha as presented in traditional art and sculpture; will learn to recognize the stages on the path and its view, result, and application; will deepen experiential knowledge of the mind through training in meditation.

DHS501 Awakening the Heart

DHS502 Openness Mind

DHS503 Awakening Vision

DHS504 Joy of Being

DHS505 Embodying Wisdom


DHS506-510 Transmitting Insight; Penetrating Illusion

At every moment we receive messages transmitted from our body, from our mind, and from the world around us. These messages form the basis of all that we know and do. The Dharma teaches us to ‘watch the watcher,’ to bring our attention to how the senses operate and how knowledge of ourselves and the world develops. In these weeks of retreat students will learn: how knowledge is transmitted from the outside world to the senses and from the senses to the mind and heart through study of the sense-fields and experiential exercises from Tibetan Yoga; how to attune themselves to their senses in ways that evoke insight to penetrate illusions; the teachings of the three marks of existence and the four thoughts that turn the mind to the Dharma, reversing the operation of suffering; basic teachings from mind training (Lojong) and Nyingma Psychology that help to integrate heart and mind.

DHS506 Tuning the Senses

DHS507 Turning the Mind to Joy

DHS508 Integrating Body with Mind

DHS509 Discovering the Marks of Existence

DHS510 Listening and Lightening Mind


DHS511-515 Who Owns Mind?

These weeks of retreat use tools of analysis and introspection to explore consciousness, looking for the source of thoughts, feelings, impulses, and actions. Using classical ‘insight’ meditation students will be guided in a search for an independent ‘self’ who controls and owns the mind and experience, glimpsing how mind, free of the confines of ‘self’, might function. Students will also: study teachings on karma and klesha; cultivate the ‘four immeasurable’ qualities of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity that expand the mind and heart; Deepen mindfulness; learn about the Bodhisattva’s aspiration and the role that faith and devotion play in Dharma study.

DHS511 Mind’s Hall of Mirrors

DHS512 Base of Suffering

DHS513 Reversing the Direction

DHS514 Expanding Heart and Mind

DHS515 Mindfulness and Faith


DHS516-520 Compassion in Action

Buddhist teachers have said that, “The depth and vastness of the Dharma restore the foundation, purpose, and direction of human life, inspiring a way of living oriented toward loving-kindness, compassion, and selflessness.” In these weeks of retreat students will explore what it means to live a life dedicated to compassion and wisdom, looking at the biographies of great masters, men and women from India and Tibet. They will also continue to cultivate inner capabilities for compassionate wisdom and deepen the knowledge of cause and effect through studying interdependent coproduction (Pratitya samutpada). Finally, they will look at the way this vision is manifesting in the Western world.

DHS516 Interdependent Arising

DHS517 The Compassionate Response

DHS518 How the Buddha Taught

DHS519 Stories of Liberation

DHS520 An Unending Path

DHS521-525 Cultivating the Seed of Enlightenment

All living beings have the nature of a Buddha, yet this nature is obscured by veils of obscurations. Traditional teachings and practices help students develop confidence in their ability to discover Bodhicitta (the ‘seed of enlightenment’). Mind training practices will help to overcome the destructive forces of anger, attachment, and ignorance in our lives. These weeks of retreat also explores: the qualities of a spiritual teacher and the qualities of a worthy student; how to practice guru yoga and go to refuge; the twelve actions of a fully enlightened Buddha; meditations from Path of Heroes such as Tong-len; practices that heighten awareness of the ‘seed of enlightenment’.

DHS521 Miraculous Body of Knowledge

DHS522 Working the Mind

DHS523 Entering Openness

DHS524 Practices from the Heart

DHS525 The Sunlight of Merit and Wisdom

DHS526-530 Gateway to Knowledge

Students deepen their search for awakened mind through an in-depth study of topics from Gateway to Knowledge (Tib. mKhyas-‘jug) by the great Tibetan teacher Lama Mipham. These will include ‘what is possible and what is impossible’; time; and the arising of the system of suffering. Meditation practice will focus on analyzing the constituents of inner and outer phenomena and the sense fields. Kum Nye practice will help to deepen the analysis.

DHS526 The Transmission of Insight

DHS527 Fields of Awareness

DHS528 Attuning to Dharma

DHS529 Time and the Arising of Suffering

DHS530 The Possible and the Impossible

DHS531-535 Deluded Mind/Awakened Mind

All the teachings of the Dharma are informed by knowledge of the inner workings of consciousness. As the mind is cultivated through meditation and analysis, what seems confused or difficult becomes workable. ‘Deluded mind’ is no longer an obstacle: all that arises can be brought onto the path of liberation. In these weeks of retreat students will learn: advanced teachings from Nyingma Psychology on how to penetrate the veils of ignorance within ordinary consciousness; Lojong teachings from Path of Heroes with an emphasis on meditation practice; and traditional teachings from Tibetan authors on the nature of mind.

DHS531 Parting the Veil of Delusion

DHS532 Regaining the Power of Mind

DHS533 Distinguishing Phenomena and Pure Being

DHS534 Refining Mind

DHS535 Guidelines for Self-Mastery

DHS536-539 The World as Sacred Space

Powerful Buddhist symbols point toward a comprehensive vision in which the universe itself arises as a mandala—a sacred space in which the journey to awakening is assured. Students will explore this vision, studying accounts of what a mandala is and how experience can be transformed. This will lead to an in-depth exploration of the meaning of sacred Buddhist symbols, especially focusing on those that have been created by the Nyingma organizations. Students will also study: the form of the mandala and how it informs the operation of Buddhist organizations; the symbolic language of Tibetan art; teachings on the efficacy of Tibetan ritual projects such as prayer-wheels and prayer flags; teachings on the Buddha Fields.

DHS536 The Emerging Mandala

DHS537 Lineage of Light

DHS538 Inner and Outer Symbols of Enlightenment

DHS539 Aspiration and Accomplishment

DHS540 Majestic Purpose


Format II: Full-time Format

10 required Path of Liberation Classes (2014-2015 Program)
(unless written permission to the contrary is given by both the Program Director and the Chief Academic Officer, these classes must be taken in sequential order):

DHS201 An Awakened Vision of Being

WINTER 2014: January 7 - March 13, 2014, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

This course is a journey into the Buddha’s vision of what embodiment means. Students will study the teachings of the Buddhist Abhidharma, be introduced to the life-story of the Buddha and the symbolism of the form of the Buddha as presented in traditional art and sculpture, and recognize the stages on the Buddhist path.

DHS202 Transmitting Insight; Penetrating Illusion

SPRING 2014: March 25 - May 29, 2014, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

At every moment we receive messages transmitted from our body, from our mind, and from the world around us. These messages form the basis of all that we know and do. The Dharma teaches us to ‘watch the watcher,’ to bring our attention to how the senses operate and how knowledge of ourselves and the world develops. This course focuses on how information from the body, mind, and world is transmitted and received. The Abhidharma and Lojong (Mind Training) teachings form the textual basis of the course. Prerequisite: DHS201 or equivalent.

DHS203 Who Owns Mind?

SUMMER 2014: June 10 - August 14, 2014, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

We sensitively explore consciousness, looking for the source of thoughts, feelings, impulses, and actions. We search for an independent ‘self’ who controls and owns the mind and experience. Following an ancient analysis from the time of the Buddha, we glimpse how mind, free of the confines of ‘self’, might function. Our primary practices are mindfulness in all things and the four immeasurable states (love, compassion, joy, and equanimity). Prerequisite: DHS202 or equivalent.

DHS204 Four Foundations of Mindfulness

SEPTEMBER 2014: September 2 -September 23, Tuesdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

The Buddha taught that mindfulness—the steady and sustained contemplation of the body, feelings, mind, and phenomena—leads to wisdom. Training in these “Four Foundations of Mindfulness” leads to an unshakably present state of mind and is the foundation for further study and practice. Prerequisite: DHS203 or equivalent.

DHS205 Compassion in Action

FALL 2014: October 7-December 11, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

What does it mean to live a life dedicated to compassion and wisdom? We look to the ways of life that the Buddha established and read biographies of great masters, men and women from India and Tibet. We also continue to cultivate our own inner capabilities for compassionate wisdom and deepen our knowledge of cause and effect. Taking steps in the direction of the path, our entire orientation begins to shift from being centered on our own benefit to being centered on the benefit of others. In this quarter we deepen understanding of interdependent co-production (Pratitya samutpada), study the lives of great masters of the Indian and Tibetan tradition, and reflect on how the Buddhist vision could manifest in the Western world. Prerequisite: DHS204 or equivalent.

DHS206 The Resolve for Ultimate Goodness

WINTER 2015: January 6-March 12, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

All living beings have the nature of a Buddha, yet this nature is obscured by veils of obscurations. We live in ignorance of this great treasure, like a poor, blind man, unaware that a jewel of infinite value lies buried under his hearth. Traditional teachings and practices can help us develop confidence in our ability to discover the Buddha nature within. We will study teachings on Bodhicitta (the ‘seed of enlightenment’) and continue to work on mind training practices that overcome the destructive forces of anger, attachment, and ignorance in our lives. Prerequisite: DHS205 or equivalent.

DHS207 Gateway to Knowledge

SPRING 2015: March 24-May 28, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

We deepen our search for awakened mind through an in-depth study of topics from Gateway to Knowledge (Tib. mKhas-’jug and its commentary) by the great Tibetan teacher Lama Mipham. With penetrating analysis, we look again at inner and outer phenomena and the sense fields. We explore teachings on ‘what is possible and what is impossible’ along with teachings on time and the arising of the system of suffering. Prerequisite: DHS206 or equivalent.

DHS208 Deluded Mind/Awakened Mind

SUMMER 2015: June 9-August 13, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

All the teachings of the Dharma are informed by knowledge of the inner workings of consciousness. As the mind is further cultivated, what seemed confused or difficult becomes magically workable. ‘Deluded mind’ is no longer an obstacle: all that arises can be brought onto the path of liberation. Prerequisite: DHS207 or equivalent.

DHS209 Majestic Aspirations

SEPTEMBER 2015: September 1-22, Tuesdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-2015 Program)

We study the Pranidhana Raja, a text beloved in the Mahayana tradition that expresses the Bodhisattva’s vows and commitments in poetic form. Prerequisite: DHS208 or equivalent.

DHS210 The World as Sacred Space

FALL 2015: October 6-December 10, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:15-7:45 PM (2014-15 Program)

Powerful Buddhist symbols point toward a comprehensive vision in which the universe itself arises as a mandala—a sacred space in which the journey to awakening is assured. We explore this vision, studying how every aspect experience can be transformed. We also look at the sacred symbols that have been created by the Nyingma organizations and how the mandala structures its operations. Prerequisite: DHS209 or equivalent.

40 required additional classes:*
First Year:

NPS101 Reclaiming the Heart

Mind can reflect immense beauty, love, and clarity, but mind can also weave an intricate web of suffering. This course is designed to increase self-understanding and to heal mind through experiential investigation into its structures and functions. Topics include: emotions as hidden knowledge, conflict and self-image, and reclaiming the heart.

NPR102 Transforming Negative Emotions

Introspective practices and insights from the Buddhist tradition can transform the destructive power of “everyday” negative emotions. Based on Tarthang Tulku’s Openness Mind, this course gives specific antidotes for anger, fear, anxiety, and attachment.

NPS106 Nyingma Gateway: Love of Knowledge

This course was designed by Tarthang Tulku to introduce a new way of understanding love and knowledge. Unique meditation, movement, and awareness practices blend with lecture and discussion and become a gateway to understanding the Tibetan Nyingma approach to life.

NPS107 Inner Psychology

Mind rules our lives. But what is mind? Buddhist psychologists have studied this question for thousands of years. Drawing on their insights, this course examines mind, thought, and emotions and shows how impoverishing mental patterns can be transformed into liberating growth. Includes mindfulness and meditation practices.

NPR101 The Practice of Mantra

Mantras are deeply symbolic words that activate qualities of wisdom, compassion, and healing when they are chanted with a quiet mind and an open heart. This class gives students an opportunity to learn traditional mantras and short prayers.

KNR101 Beginning Kum Nye: Promoting Spaciousness

Kum Nye teaches us to live spaciously as it gently moves us beyond perceived limits and boundaries. Students open the senses and then navigate the space of sensations, emotions, and perceptions, moving toward an integration of body and mind.

KNR102 Beginning Kum Nye: Working with Lower Body Energy

In this course, Kum Nye exercises will be presented that energize the belly, hips, legs, and spine. Bringing awareness to the lower part of the body in this way counteracts being ‘stuck’ in our heads and brings us in touch with the vitality of our full embodiment.

KNR103 Beginning Kum Nye: Releasing Tension and Restoring Balance

Kum Nye movement and awareness exercises help release physical and emotional tension. Practices in this course will focus on giving students tools to restore balance to their lives and deepen their spiritual awareness.

KNR104 Beginning Kum Nye: Kum Nye to Balance Feelings

Gentle movement practices expand and balance feelings, harmonizing body and mind. A sense of deep fulfillment arises as students connect more fully with their senses.

KNR105 Beginning Kum Nye: Expanding Enjoyment and Ease

A series of Kum Nye practices that help to reduce physical and mental tension are combined with practices that expand the enjoyment of each of the senses.

MED102 Beginning Meditation: Developing Inner Serenity

Meditation allows us to tap a deep source of inner peace that can protect us from suffering and frustration. Through sitting meditation, walking meditation and mantra practice, students learn to relax tension and cultivate equanimity. The focus is on reducing mental distraction.

MED103 Beginning Meditation: Calm and Clear

Meditation both calms the mind and leads to insight. Students learn how to foster both through clear, simple instructions for beginning or revitalizing a meditation practice. The focus is on the process that leads to insight and overcomes resistance.

MED104 Beginning Meditation: Self-Observation

The focus of this course is on observing the mind, emotions, and feelings. Students will learn how to stay mindful in a relaxed, but concentrated manner. Basic meditation practices will also be presented in a manner that helps make wholesome self-discovery a way of life.

MED105 Beginning Meditation: Meditation for Healing

Many health benefits come from regular meditation practice. This course focuses on meditations that stimulate natural healing.

MED201 Intermediate Meditation: Sustaining Meditation

This class is for students who have begun a meditation practice and are ready for further guidance and inspiration. The goal is to sustain effortless meditative concentration.

SKM102 Achieving All Goals

This class teaches students how to use the pressures and challenges of work as a powerful spiritual practice. Consistent with the highest Buddhist teachings, the obstacles of daily life are transformed into opportunities for change, growth and accomplishment.

SKM103 Skillful Means

The Skillful Means approach to work and human development has proven successful in the past 35 years that it has been applied in the Western world. This class highlights the methodology of working with Skillful Means. May be repeated for credit as the focus will change.

DHS211 Buddhist Studies Tutorial

In this intermediate and advanced tutorial, students closely read primary sources which can include Indian Buddhist works in translation (such as the Bodhicharyavatara) or Tibetan Buddhist works such as the Ngal-gso-skor-gsum. If a text or commentary has not been published in English translation the instructor will provide a translation of the sections of the text relevant to the class. Class may be repeated since content changes quarterly.

DHS302 Path and Practices of Liberation Tutorial

This tutorial is designed to help students integrate all the fields of knowledge and practice that they are receiving in the Path and Practices of Liberation Program

Second Year:

DHS302 Path and Practices of Liberation Tutorial

This tutorial is designed to help students integrate all the fields of knowledge and practice that they are receiving in the Path and Practices of Liberation Program

DHS211 Buddhist Studies Tutorial

In this intermediate and advanced tutorial, students closely read primary sources which can include Indian Buddhist works in translation (such as the Bodhicharyavatara) or Tibetan Buddhist works such as the Ngal-gso-skor-gsum. If a text or commentary has not been published in English translation the instructor will provide a translation of the sections of the text relevant to the class. Class may be repeated since content changes quarterly.

DHS101 Words of the Buddha

The Buddha expressed an enlightened wisdom that has been preserved in thirty-six Tibetan volumes known as the Kanjur. This course offers readings and reflections on selections from the Buddha’s words. The particular texts studied will vary and this course may be repeated for credit with the Instructors’ consent.

KNR201 Intermediate Kum Nye: Inner and Outer Massage of Feeling

This class provides a foundation for understanding the basis and development of Kum Nye, and the three levels on which its exercises can be experienced. Breathing, awareness, movement, and self-massage practices promote deep relaxation.

KNR202 Intermediate Kum Nye: Balancing and Integrating Body and Mind

Kum Nye exercises are introduced that allow feelings and sensations to flow more freely within and between body and mind. Students reach a more natural state of balance.

KNR203 Intermediate Kum Nye: Stimulating Inner Energy

When inner energy is flowing smoothly, there is health and vitality. This class works with exercises that stimulate the free flow of inner energy.

KNR204 Intermediate Kum Nye: Opening the Energy Centers

Practices in this class stimulate awareness of the ‘energy centers’ of the head, throat, heart, and belly. Tension in these areas is loosened.

KNR205 Intermediate Kum Nye: Transforming Inner Energy

Intermediate practices for this Quarter activate and balance inner energy, harmonizing body, mind, and environment. Practice leads to greater mental and physical vitality.

MED202 Intermediate Meditation: Overcoming Obstacles

In this class students will learn to identify and overcome the most common obstacles to meditation: sleepiness, overactive thoughts, and ‘dreaminess.’ The class also includes practices and teachings that further develop concentration and awareness.

MED203 Intermediate Meditation: Meditations to Open the Heart

Genuine satisfaction, love, and beauty are found within the heart. Silent and guided meditations open the heart to feeling in this class. Students develop new integrity and balance.

MED204 Intermediate Meditation: Discovering Mind

Through meditation the mind is experienced as alive, sensitive, and brilliant. In this class, students will be led through contemplative practices that reveal deeper levels of mind than are ordinarily recognized.

MED205 Intermediate Meditation: Knowing Mind Differently

In this experiential philosophy class, two views of how we know ourselves are juxtaposed: reflections of the European philosopher Rene Descartes and meditations from Tarthang Tulku’s Openness Mind.

MED301 Advanced Meditation

Advanced meditation teachings are based on traditional Tibetan texts. Students are introduced to new techniques that increase mindfulness and insight as they deepen the meditative experience of bliss and openness. The focus this quarter is on introducing new modes of non-conceptual study.

NPS202 Inner Mandala

The intricate forms of the Tibetan mandala reveal a multilayered world of meaning. Each color, image, and design speaks in a symbolic language designed to lead the viewer to deeper levels of awareness, appreciation, and understanding. The message is compelling: our ‘ordinary’ way of being, with its attendant pain and suffering, can be totally transformed. In this class, the symbolic form of the mandala will be a lens through which we view emotions, perceptions, and actions.

NPR102 Tibetan Chanting and Sacred Art

Chanting Buddhist prayers calms the mind and opens it to deeper dimensions of consciousness and meaning. This course includes periods of chanting followed by sitting meditation. Students will be introduced to important prayers and mantras.

SKM101 Mastering Successful Work

Students learn how to develop a regular rhythm of awareness practices in all activities to increase relaxation and accomplishment. Class practices and discussion help students engage tasks in ways that make work more enjoyable and productive.

SKM103 Skillful Means

The Skillful Means approach to work and human development has proven successful in the past 35 years that it has been applied in the Western world. This class highlights the methodology of working with Skillful Means. May be repeated for credit since the focus will change.

TSK102 Opening Space

Space is primordially peaceful and open. Its openness accommodates all views and all experience, gathering them together without denying their unique contributions. In this course students work with Tarthang Tulku’s book Time, Space, and Knowledge to expand their experience of space and spaciousness.

TIB101 Beginning Tibetan, Level I

FALL 2014: Thursdays, 8:00-9:30 PM

The alphabet is introduced along with pronunciation, basic grammar, and vocabulary.

15 required Path of Liberation workshops, which begin Friday evenings from 7-9 PM and continue on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:45 PM:

DHS401 Visions of Enlightenment

The form of the Buddha reflects the reality that all who live can cultivate the same wisdom and compassion. In this workshop, students study the ways that a Buddha is embodied: the Dharmakaya, the Sambhogakaya, and the Nirmanakaya; look at the process of achieving this perfect embodiment through studying the Jatakas (birth stories of the Buddha); and contemplate the form of the Buddha as it is represented in Tibetan art and sculpture. The workshop also includes a meditation evoking the presence of the Buddha written by the 19th century Nyingma Master, Lama Mipham. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS201 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS402 Faith in Dharma

The awakening of faith in the Dharma means that we have surrendered our heart to truth. This workshop outlines the steps to such faith. Students will learn to distinguish belief from faith and skepticism from inquiry. Class discussion and practice will focus on how to build inner confidence in our own abilities as we seek guidance from those who are wiser. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS201 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS403 Turning the Mind to the Dharma

Students will study the “four thoughts” that turn the mind to the Dharma: contemplating freedom and good fortune, impermanence, suffering, and karma. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS202 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS404 Training for Freedom

Classic Buddhist education uses three trainings—shila (ethics), samadhi (meditation), and prajna (wisdom)—to develop wholesome knowledge and power. This workshop will introduce you to these traditional tools for clearing away the network of confusion and karmic patterns. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS202 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS405 Question of Identity: Ten Kinds of Self

Who creates, controls, enjoys, defiles, or purifies experience? Am ‘I' substantial, or have 'I' as Tarthang Tulku writes, "entered into an illusory partnership with an entity that has no existence of its own"? Experiential exercises will shed light on these questions, while lecture will examine the ten kinds of self as described by the Bodhisattva Maitreya and the Nyingma master Lama Mipham. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS203 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS406 Four Immeasurable States of Being

Love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and impartial equanimity can be practiced in a manner that extends beyond all limits. These four ways of pure abiding mutually interact and purify each other. Practicing them, students can discover an inner wellspring of wholesome peace that goes beyond the limits of the ordinary world, for the benefit of all. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS203 or consent of the Instructors.

NPR402 Cultivating Compassionate Love

We can learn to love ourselves and others more deeply through actively cultivating compassionate love. This kind of love heals the painful divisions between living beings, allowing us to forgive others and to cleanse ourselves of ill will. The workshop introduces gentle visualization, mantra and meditation practices given by the enlightened Buddha. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS205 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS407 Making Mind the Matter

In order to make the Dharma relevant to our lives, we explore the activity of our mind. Working specifically with the ‘three trainings’ of shila, samadhi, and prajna, we gain insight into how samsara is being fabricated and by whom, and what patterns of ego, personality, and identity are being put in place. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS206 or consent of the Instructors.

MED413 Filled with Devotion

The final chapter of the sacred text known as the Uttaratantra, titled ‘Benefit’, describes how one ‘filled with devotion’ and with certainty in the Dharma creates immense merit in the world. This advanced meditation workshop invites faith based on insight. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS206 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS408 The Wheel of Life

The symbolic imagery of the Tibetan wheel of life demonstrates fundamental Buddhist teachings about the chain of causality and how conscious life evolves. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS207 or consent of the Instructors.

MED415 Cutting Off Negative Thoughts

Meditative action is the process of bringing even adverse conditions onto the path to enlightenment. The torment of negative thoughts dissolves as insight into the nature of mind and the action of karma arises. The heart’s natural capacity for love and compassion awakens. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS207 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS413 The Perfections of Patience and Strength

Based on the Bodhicaryavatara and its Tibetan commentaries, students will study the perfections of patience (ksanti) and strength (virya). Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS208 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS414 The Perfections of Meditation and Wisdom

Through study of chapters eight and nine of the Bodhicaryavatara and its Tibetan commentaries, students will learn the types of meditation and appropriate topics of meditation. Selected verses from the chapter on Wisdom will help illuminate the depth and complexity of its study. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS208 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS415 Path of Prayer to the Land of Bliss

We study texts and teachings about the Buddhafield of Sukhavati and about the Buddha Amithabha. Students will learn what a Buddhafield is. They will also hear examples of rituals that are used to connect human consciousness with Buddhafields. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS210 or consent of the Instructors.

DHS416 The Power of Buddhist Symbols

Even the colors and landscape elements in a Tibetan painting have symbolic meaning. This workshop introduces Buddhist symbols that are found worldwide, such as the Stupa, and other symbols found only in the Tibetan tradition. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in DHS210 or consent of the Instructors.

12 required additional workshops:*
7 in the first year:

NPS401 Transforming Negative Emotions

Potent meditations and analysis pacify unwanted emotions without suppressing them. First, students learn to balance and clear the mind; then they develop insight into how emotions arise. Finally, students learn techniques that help transform the negative aspect of emotional energy.

KNR403 Opening the Heart

The heart holds the key to leading a happy life in harmonious and loving accord with others. Kum Nye practices open the heart to deep levels of feeling and appreciation. This workshop includes exercises that loosen physical tension in the chest and upper back.

KNR404 Balancing Emotions through Tibetan Yoga

Kum Nye exercises relax and heal both body and mind. Movement, breathing, and awareness exercises transform tension and restore emotional balance, easing the stress of everyday life. Students will master exercises that can be used both in formal practice and in the midst of activities.

NPS405 Self-Image

False expectations, judgments, and negative emotions are based on complex images that we hold of ourselves and the world. This workshop looks directly at how self-images develop and how students can free themselves from their compulsive power.

NPS410 Clear Mind, Open Heart

There is a dynamic interplay between mind and heart. Practices and discussion in this workshop will help integrate head and heart knowledge, unlocking creativity and opening the heart.

KNR405 Tasting Relaxation

The relaxation that comes through Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga) practice is like a rich nectar that flows through the body and feelings. This workshop presents practices that allow participants to ‘taste’ this deep relaxation.

MED404 Unlocking Consciousness

Precise instructions for how to develop visualization will be accompanied by an overview of how these practices are used as part of the Tibetan path of mental development. Workshop will include meditation exercises that contact a higher awareness.

5 in the second year:

TSK401 Healing and Pain

Four specific meditation and visualization exercises will be presented that can touch and transform emotional and physical pain. Discussion will challenge commonly held assumptions about pain.

TSK402 Names and Namelessness

The active naming and identifying capacities of mind can cover over the source of meaning. TSK teachings probe the workings of the mind and help students uncover a space before and beyond labels and projections

KNR411 Revitalizing Inner Energy

In Kum Nye there are various ways, including both movement and stillness, that stimulate the flow of feeling and energy in the body/mind. Gentle movement and breath exercises lessen chronic physical and mental tightness sensitizing the student to subtle qualities of feeling that restore our inner vitality.

MED410 Origin of Appearance

Advanced meditation contacts states of mind free from desires and conflicting emotions. ‘Mind’ is directly experienced as a process emerging from the ground of being. Workshop includes Kunzhi practices and a brief introduction to the Yogachara school of Buddhist thought.

MED411 Nectar for Refining the Mind

Advanced meditation techniques combine with discussion of the “great armor” of emptiness, freedom, and openness as it is described in the Prajnaparamita.

2 elective retreat weeks:*

In consultation with their advisor, students choose two one-week retreats from the following list. Note: Path and Practices of Liberation Program cost includes nonresidential retreats only; residential retreats require an additional fee for room and board.

DHS501-540 Dharma Studies retreats (see Retreat format above).

Format III: Combined Format

Students selecting this format work with an advisor to select some retreat segments from the Retreat Format and some classes and workshops from the Full-time Format. Total instruction hours must be a minimum of 1200.


*In individual cases, to further a student’s educational goals, elective classes, workshops and retreats may be substituted for those on these lists with the consent of the Program Director or the Chief Academic Officer.

 

To enroll in the Path and Practices of Liberation Program or to find out more information, call (510) 809-1000 or email us at nyingma-institute@nyingma.org