RimeShedra.NYC

Ignorance is the cause of suffering

The goal of the Rime Shedra is to make accessible the vast treasures of Buddhist wisdom to those who wish to progress further in their understanding of the profound principles presented in these advanced Buddhist texts. The understanding of the ultimate nature of reality is the key to liberation. For practitioners this program provides an opportunity to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of reality.  For scholars it provides an opportunity to expand their understanding of Buddhism by cultivating an experiential understanding. The program is based upon the traditional Shedra, or monastic college, curriculum which is the cornerstone of Buddhist education in all of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Madhyamaka

The development of the view together with the cultivation of meditation from the heart of our path. There is an alternation between the two such that at times we develop the view within meditation And other times we develop meditation within the view. In other words, they compliment each other and by cultivating both together or alternately they each advance more deeply and expansively.

Normally when we say view we are talking in a dualistic way about viewing an object. So in a conventional sense we can talk about developing the viewing of the truth. By saying that we are developing the view, we mean that our understanding of the truth changes as we progress on the path, as we shift through the silt that has built up on our visor or our windshield by practicing Shamatha and as we piece the many layers of delusion through Vipashyana.

In all phases of that process and in all stages of the path and in all traditions of Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to understand or develop the view of the middle between all extremes. What that is gets refined by each tradition, at every stage, into progressively more and more sophisticated definitions. The culmination varies depending upon which tradition one adheres to.

The core text in this topic is the Madhyamakavatara by Chandrakirti. Using the framework of the path of the bodhisattva progressing through the ten bhumis, he offers the presentation for the development of the view accepted as definitive by all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

There are certainly differences in interpreting his text and certain traditions include other texts as essential to complete their presentation, but Chandrakirti's masterpiece is universally accepted as the authoritative presentation of the highest understanding of the nature of our world, of reality, as consisting of two aspects simultaneously interpenetrating each other and yet also completely separate: the conventional level that we participate in with concepts and preconceptions; and the ultimate level that transcends all of our mental fabrications.

He eloquently and clearly presents the traditional schemes of reasoning refuting inherent existence in both persons and phenomena.

In refuting the true existence of persons, Chandrakirti uses the traditional scheme of the sevenfold contemplation of the chariot as a metaphor for comparing our belief in a self to the way we actually experience the aggregates that serve as the basis of imputation for that belief.

In refuting the true existence of phenomena, Chandrakirti presents in great detail what has become known as the vajra slivers argument. This is one of four or five main arguments that Nagarjuna codified in his Root Text on the Middle Way, or Mulamadhyamikalarika. The others are presented in detail in other major texts of the tradition. They are presented all together by Mipham in his short text, The Four Great Arguments of the Middle Way.

Courses

  1. Wisdom: Chapter Nine of Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara
  2. Great Middle Way: Buddha Nature
  3. Reading the Words of the Buddha
  4. The Adornment of the Middle Way, Part 2
  5. The Adornment of the Middle Way, Part 1
  6. Rime Philosophy
  7. The Path of the Middle Way
  8. Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy
  9. The Myth of Emptiness
  10. What Am I?
  11. Cittamatra and the Shentong View
  12. The Myth of Creation
  13. Madhyamaka and the Mahayana Middle Way
  14. Gaining Certainty in the View, Part One
  15. Gaining Certainty in the View, Part Two
  16. Mipham's Profound Middle Way View