When a Buddha’s different Teachings appear to contradict themselves, how do you know what is right? What is the ultimate meaning of emptiness? And how could studying a view that is not quite correct actually help us understand the highest meaning much better?
This Course is based upon The Commentary on the True Intention of the Sutras (Saṃdhi Nirmocana Sūtra) and The Sutra Requested by the Arya Named Never-Ending Wisdom (Ārya Sāgaramati Paripṛcchā Sūtra) by Shakyamuni Buddha, with a commentary from The Essence of Eloquence on the Art of Interpretation (Drange Lekshe Nyingpo) by Je Tsongkapa (1357- 1419). Topics include: the importance of evaluating spiritual teachings, how to interpret when spiritual teachings are literal or figurative, how to evaluate apparently conflicting teachings, a summary of the teachings Lord Buddha gave in each of the three Turnings of the Wheel of the Dharma, an explanation of the ideas about ultimate reality held by each of the main schools of Buddhism, the three progressively higher understandings of emptiness, the “three attributes” of reality, a comparison of the Mind-Only School and the Middle-Way School explanations of emptiness and dependent origination, and how to use an understanding of emptiness to stop the cycle of suffering, aging, and death by lifting the veils of ignorance.
Eva Natanya is a doctoral candidate in Tibetan Buddhism at the University of Virginia. She has studied Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and yogic practice for over twelve years, principally under Geshe Michael Roach (Lobsang Chunzin), through the Asian Classics Institute and at Diamond Mountain University. After a long career as a professional dancer with the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London, she gained a master’s degree in Christian systematic theology. Her research now focuses on the development of philosophical tenets and Vajrayana practice in both India and Tibet, and she is especially interested in the possibilities of debate and interplay between Christian mystical theology and Buddhist systems of meditation. She currently serves on the Directorate of the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia.
ASIAN CLASSICS INSTITUTE
Saturday May 17, 12-2:30, 3:30-5:30 Sunday May 18, 11:30-2, 4-6 Tuesday May 20, 7-9:30 Thursday May 22, 7-9:30 Thursday May 29, 7-9:30 Saturday May 31, 12-2:30, 3:30-5:30 Sunday June 1, 11:30-2, 4-6