Buddhadharma Studies – Nitartha Summer Institute 2015

nitarthaNITARTHA SUMMER INSTITUTE  10.July – 9. August 2015

The highlight of the year at the Nitartha Institute is Nitartha Summer Institute, which is a rigorous summer retreat program. The program is one month long, occurring in July/August. The schedule for 2015 is still not yet confirmed, but it is likely that the summer courses will be divided into three 9-day modules. Students could take as little as one 9-day module, and as many as three 9-day modules.

Drawing inspiration from the great Nalanda University of India, the Institute offers a wide range of programs, sorted into the categories of the Five Fields of Knowledge: Creativity, Healing, Language, Knowing & Reasoning, and Inner Science of Mind.

Students who enroll in the summer Shedra program typically begin by taking one or two courses during one module. For example, newcomers would start by studying the Pramana teachings by enrolling in Mind & Its World I (Valid Cognition) together with Clear Thinking (Classifications of Phenomena).

More detailed information about the Summer Shedra program and how to register will be posted on this webpage in the coming weeks/months: http://www.nitarthainstitute.org/programs_summer_institute_buddhiststudies.shtml.

In addition, Shedra students are encouraged to also attend the feature Shedra classes taught by our most senior and esteemed teachers. This summer, our two feature Shedra courses are as follows:

  • Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyeltsen will continue teaching Lama Mipham’s The Beacon of Certainty, and among the seven topics/questions taught in that text—which address the foundations of the Nyingma tradition, from Madhyamika philosophy to the view of Dzogchen—he will teach the second question, Do the Śhravaka and Pratyekabuddha Arhats Realize the Selflessness of Phenomena?, using the commentary by Khenpo Kunpal (c.1872-1943), a close disciple of Lama Mipham.
  • Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl will continue teaching the Uttaratantra. Of the Seven Vajra Points, he will be teaching on the 4th Vajra Point of The Basic Element, which is the most crucial section of the text. He will be teaching based on the Indian commentary by Asanga, the second-earliest Tibetan commentary by a student of Marpa Dopa Chokyi Wangchug, and excerpts from Go Lotsawa’s commentary with its Mahamudra interpretation of the Uttaratantra.

Furthermore, running parallel to the Shedra program, the main Teacher and founder of Nitartha Institute, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, will be leading a course on Mahamudra Vipashyana. Shedra students are welcome to attend Rinpoche’s course in addition to their Shedra courses. However, Shedra students should be aware that the Mahamudra Vipashyana course has very strict requirements/pre-requisites. More detailed information about this course’s restrictions and requirements can be found here: http://www.nitarthainstitute.org/programs_summer_institute_mahamudra.shtml.

NOTE: On January 5, 2015, we will begin a Mahamudra Shamatha Online course, which will allow students to meet the requirements for the 2015 Summer Mahamudra Vipashyana program. If you wish to take this course, in order to see Rinpoche teach next summer, please register here as soon as possible. Registration deadline is January 1, 2015http://www.nitarthainstitute.org/programs_summer_institute_mahamudra_online.shtml.



The curriculum presents the full Shedra tradition of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition drawn from the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages of Tibet. It is designed in close collaboration with lineage teachers.

Though the focus is the Kagyü and Nyingma understanding of the dharma, the Institute upholds the importance of non-sectarianism and appreciation of the many forms of Buddhism. The Institute is open to all—anyone interested in enriching their understanding of the Buddhadharma—and students of any background are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The curriculum presents the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana view through a well-developed progressive series of courses designed as Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced curriculum studies. Nitartha Institute begins with the study of mind and its relation to objects. In essence, how do we know what we know, and how do we know if this knowledge is correct? These courses provide a foundational understanding of the terms and methods used to support analytical inquiry into how mind engages with its world. They build a well-developed ground on which the intermediate and advanced curricula are built.

For more information about Nitartha Institute, please visit our website at: http://nitarthainstitute.org.

Should you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact our communications person, Christine, at chwang@nitarthainstitute.org.

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