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.

Wisdom: Chapter Nine of Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara

This class will take a slow, grounded journey into the world of madhyamaka. We will address such basic questions as "What are we talking about when we talk about existence? How do we actually think things exist? What do we find when we look closer and closer at things? Why is causation so important? What is empty of what? How does all this help us?"

Using the framework and content of the famous "Wisdom" chapter from Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara as the main reference point, we will make the text more accessible by branching off into the background and details of various major topics which arise throughout the chapter, and with which Shantideva assumes his readers are familiar. These topics include the Buddhist tenet systems, the schema of the 75 or 100 dharmas, the classification of phenomena into existents and non-existents, and the way cognition works with different types of objects.

We will use the version of the Bodhicharyavatara translated by Padmakara Translation Group, called The Way of the Bodhisattva, for the root text of the ninth chapter, and two supporting texts. Participants should purchase the book Practicing Wisdom by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.


Core Materials

  1. Sourcebook

Supplemental Materials

  1. Pawo Rinpoche Commentary from Center of the Sunlit Sky
  2. Marion Matics Commentary
  3. The Brilliant Torch by Kunzang Sonam
  4. "Wisdom Chapter" translated by Stephen Batchelor
  5. Mipham on Exclusion and Detection
  6. Vaibashika and Sautrantika Reality

Class Recordings

  1. September 17, 2013
  2. October 8, 2013
  3. October 15, 2013
  4. October 22, 2015
  5. October 29, 2013
  6. November 5, 2013
  7. November 12, 2013
  8. November 19, 2013
  9. November 26, 2013
  10. December 3, 2013
  11. January 7, 2014
  12. January 14, 2014
  13. January 28, 2014
  14. February 4, 2014
  15. February 11, 2014
  16. February 18, 2014
  17. February 25, 2014
  18. March 4, 2014