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.

Mipham's Profound Middle Way View: Navigating the Subtleties of the Rangtong and Shentong Traditions


While this course will focus on Mipham Rinpoche’s most important presentation of the Buddhist view, it will be one of the more accessible courses in the Rime Shedra and so it is an easy way for newcomers to us.

Mipham’s magnum corpus of the Madhyamaka view is called The Beacon of Certainty.  This text was composed at the request of Mipham Rinpoche's lama, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. At that time, there were many contemporary texts presenting the teachings of Dzogchen, however there were almost none presenting the Nyingma tradition’s unique system for understanding the view that supports and furthers our practice. For this reason, Mipham composed this text to explain and clarify the Nyingma understanding of Mahayana’s Middle Way---the two truths, the factors and nuances of the paths, and the result. 

Because the original text is difficult to penetrate we will use a recent commentary by Anyen Rinpoche called Journey to Certainty. In this book, the author presents the essential meaning in the form of an experiential guide or roadmap.  He presents “the most meaningful and useful ideas for modern practitioners, adding the words and ideas of other great masters where they shed light on a given topic.”

Please purchase a copy of the book, Journey to Certainty by Anyen Rinpoche, before the first class. Additionally, there will be a small sourcebook, primarily containing a translation of the root text.

Note: The author's colophon to The Beacon of Certainty reads, "When I was very young and had just begun my studies, this text, The Beacon of Certainty, was written just as it came to mind. Looking at them now, some of the words seem a bit awkward, but since they are not contradictory and since there are important points to be understood here, I have not changed them but left them as is. Thus, this was spoken by Mipham at age seven."

Core Materials

  1. Course Syllabus
  2. Excerpts from Mipham's The Beacon of Certainty
  3. Shedra Chants and Mipham's Seven Topics
  4. Instruction for the Practice of Analytical Meditation
  5. Summary of Atisha's Madhyamaka Pith Instructions

Class Recordings

  1. May 10, 2016
  2. May 17, 2016
  3. May 24, 2016
  4. May 31, 2016
  5. June 7, 2016
  6. June 14, 2016
  7. June 28, 2016
  8. July 5, 2016
  9. July 12, 2016
  10. July 19, 2016