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.

Gaining Certainty in the View, Part Two: The Subtleties of the Tibetan Rangtong and Shentong Traditions


This course will dive directly into the heart of the matter, the deeper distinctions in the understanding of emptiness, building on the prior course. We will begin with discussion and experiential exploration of meditation on emptiness--that is, how to bring the view into one’s daily practice and a review of the foundation covered in the fall.  Course materials will include both traditional and “radical” presentations on topics including:

  1. The traditional progressive stages of meditation on emptiness in the mahayana tradition, with an overview by Karl Brunnhölzl and a practical manual by Ga Rabjampa
  2. The Five Great Reasonings into Emptiness
    1. The traditional presentation, by Karl Brunnhölzl
    2. A radical presentation by Rongzom
  3. Rangtong and Shentong views by Jamgon Kongtrul as explained by Ringu Tulku
  4. A radical presentation of the history of the various madhyamaka schools by one of the most unusual promoters of the shentong view, Shakya Chogden
  5. Mipham’s version of the true middle between the middles of rangtong and shentong
    1. Expositions from experts in the field
    2. Excerpts from his commentary to Madhyamakavatara
    3. Excerpts from his text, The Lion’s Roar of Shentong
  6. Gorampa’s version of the true middle between the middles of rangtong and shentong as presented in his text, Distinguishing the Views

Core Materials:

  1. Source Book

Supplemental Materials:

  1. Definitions of Terms
  2. "Who Am I Really?" from Introduction to Emptiness
  3. The Eight Great Difficult Points of Tsongkhapa's Prasangika System
  4. The Fourth Moment from Mindfulness in Action
  5. "Are Virtual Particles Really Popping In and Out of Existence" from Scientific American
  6. "Quantum Foam" from Fermilabs Today
  7. Outline of Wish Fulfilling Meru
  8. Notes to Wish Fulfilling Meru
  9. DK Notes on MT
  10. Syllogism in Buddhism
  11. Review of Mipham’s Dialectics and the Debates on Emptiness
  12. Mipham's The Wheel of Investigative Meditation
  13. Notes to Mipham's Dialectics and the Debates on Emptiness
  14. Notes to "The Present Absence"

Class Recordings:

  1. January 12, 2016
  2. January 19, 2016
  3. January 26, 2016
  4. February 9, 2016
  5. February 16, 2016
  6. February 23, 2016
  7. March 1, 2016
  8. March 8, 2016
  9. March 15, 2016
  10. March 22, 2016
  11. March 29, 2016
  12. April 5, 2016
  13. April 12, 2016
  14. April 19, 2016
  15. April 26, 2016