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.

RimeShedra.NYC Courses

The curriculum is presented in a ten to twelve week course of study using either one key text or a selection of representative texts to illustrate a variety of differing approaches or views on a topic. Classes are primarily in the form of a combination of “word” and “meaning” commentaries, which are traditional Tibetan ways of teaching. This consists of a close reading of the texts, going through them sentence by sentence and extrapolating upon their terminology and explaining both their specific and general meaning. Questions and other input from participants are encouraged throughout the class instead of waiting for the end of a presentation. This approach strengthens the discussion and helps to build a richer overall exploration of the text and the topics. For each course, we use either a published text, supplemented with handouts, or a sourcebook (usually also supplemented by more handouts). Syllabi, sourcebooks, handouts and recordings of all classes are made available here:

RimeShedra.NYC Podcast


Identifying the Elements of Experience

  1. The Gateway to Knowledge by Mipham
  2. The Root Text of the Yogacara: Maitreya’s Madhyantavibhaga
  3. The Elements of Experience: A Condensed Presentation of the Essentials of the Abhidharma Systems
  4. The Five Skandhas by Vasubandhu with commentary by Sthiramati
  5. The Treasury of Abhidharma by Vasubandhu


Sharpening the Mind through Reasoning

  1. Dudra: The Collected Topics by Acharya Tenpa Gyaltsen
  2. Lorik: Classifications of Mind by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
  3. The Sword of Wisdom by Mipham with Commentary by Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche
  4. The Miraculous Key to the Treasury of Knowledge by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
  5. A Drop of Reason Goes a Long Way: The Nyayabindu of Dharmakirti with the Nyayabindu-tika of Dharmottara
  6. Pramana: A Condensed Presentation of the Essentials of the Buddhist System of Logic


The Path of Realization

  1. Frameworks of Shamatha and Vipashyana: The Chapter on Shamatha and Vipashyana from Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge
  2. From Fright to Flight: Meditation & Wisdom in the Theravada Buddhist Traditions
  3. Intellect and Intuition: Meditation & Wisdom in the Indian Mahayana Buddhist Tradition
  4. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Three Traditions of the Core Buddhist Practice - Theravadin, Mahayana, and Chögyam Trungpa
  5. Vipashyana: The Indian Root Sources
  6. Vipashyana: The Tibetan Root Sources
  7. Chögyam Trungpa's Path of Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation


The Gradual Unfolding of the Dharma

  1. The Development of the Dharma in India: Based primarily upon Buton and Dudjom Rinpoche
  2. The Development of the Dharma in Tibet: The Rime History of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great

The Stage of Views as Tenets

  1. Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
  2. Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy: The Tenets section of Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge
  3. The Sautrantika by Konchok Jigmey Wangpo
  4. The Cittamatra and the Yogacara: The Three Natures by Vasubandhu and its Two Branch Traditions

The Provisional and Definitive Dimensions of the Dharma

  1. The Levels of Understanding and the Distinguishing Points of the View

Gaining Certainty in the View of the Middle Way

  1. Reading the Words of the Buddha: A Selection of Major Mahayana Sutras
  2. Source Texts of the Madhyamaka: Selections from the Sutras, Arya Nagarjuna, and from Aryadeva
  3. Madhyamaka:  The Four Great Arguments - The Madhyamaka chapters of Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge
  4. Radical Rejection: The Introduction to the Middle Way by Chandrakirti with commentary by Mipham and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
  5. The Ornament of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita’s Madhyamakalamkara
  6. Wisdom: Chapter Nine of Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara
  7. The Great Middle Way, Emptiness Endowed with all the Supreme Qualities: Buddha Nature from Shakyamuni to the Traditions of Tibet
  8. Quibbling Over Nothing: Rangtong and Shentong Controversies in Tibet
  9. The Lion’s Roar of Other Emptiness: Mipham and Botrul
  10. Mipham’s The Beacon of Certainty with Commentary by Anyen Rinpoche

The Bodhisattva Path

Rules of Conduct as Precepts for Practice

  1. The Treasury of Precious Qualities: The Hinayana and Mahayana path based on the commentary by Kangyur Rinpoche on the root verses of Jigme Lingpa
  2. Bodhicitta: Stages in the Path of Cultivating the Pure Bodhisattva Intention - The Entry into the Way of a Bodhisattva by Shantideva (chapters 1-8)
  3. The Three Vows Tradition in the Lineages of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism

The Characteristics of the Stages of Maturity

  1. The Gradual Stages of the Path: The Lamp for the Path by Atisha and Its Tradition
  2. Where is it all Going? A Detailed Exploration of the Paths of Accumulation and Joining
  3. The Ornament of Higher Realization: Abhisamayalankara of Maitreya with Commentaries