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.

Mixing Mind with Space: A Study of the Chögyam Trungpa’s Unique System of Meditation and an Exploration of its Roots in The Treasury of Knowledge and the Mahamudra, Maha Ati, and Chod Traditions


This course will be both an in-depth exploration of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s presentation of the practice of meditation and its progression, and an effort to trace the sources for his unusual and unique system. Where does the boycott of the in breath come from? Labeling thinking? Where does mixing mind with space as part of Shamatha (see The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume One) come from? Why did he focus on the four foundations of mindfulness when this is not done in any other Tibetan Buddhist tradition? And why did he portray them the odd way that he did?

Our main focus will be his presentation of meditation give over the thirteen years of advanced training seminaries he conducted, where he gave an extensive commentary on the Shamatha-Vipashyana chapter of Jamgon Kongtrul’s 19th-century masterpiece The Treasury of Knowledge, and which is now encapsulated in three volumes of The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma. However, we will also explore Kongtrul’s main source, The Stages of Meditation by Kamalashila. And we will explore a number of other possible sources that Trungpa Rinpoche might have used from the Mahamudra, Maha Ati, and Chod traditions, including texts by The Third Khamtrul and Tashi Namgyal (Mahamudra), Jigme Lingpa (Maha Ati or Dzogchen), and Chod.

Trungpa Rinpoche identifies The Treasury of Knowledge as his main source in his first Seminary program:

I have been studying, reading the work of the great Jamgon Kongtrul, which consists of three volumes in Tibetan and each volume has something like 1, 500 pages. That particular survey of Buddhism is regarded as one of the most complete, particularly from the point of view of the eight schools of contemplative traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. And I think if you could approach from the contemplative way, that might also fit with the other courses you have been taking, in the light of some contrast or points leading to it.

from "Talk 3: The Eight States of Consciousness," Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 1973 Seminary. October 4, 1973

Core Materials

  1. Syllabus
  2. Sourcebook

Supplemental Materials

  1. The Satipatthana Sutta, Garuda Version Revised
  2. "Calmness of Mind" from Not Always So by Suzuki Roshi
  3. Formless Meditation Instructions
  4. Shamatha-Vipashyana Charts by Pete Brag

Class Recordings

  1. September 19, 2017
  2. September 26, 2017
  3. October 3, 2017
  4. October 10, 2017
  5. October 17, 2017
  6. October 24, 2017
  7. October 31, 2017
  8. November 7, 2017
  9. November 14, 2017
  10. November 28, 2017
  11. December 5, 2017
  12. December 12, 2017
  13. December 19, 2017
  14. January 2, 2018
  15. January 9, 2018