Courses

OL TSTD 102: The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicaryāvatāra) Part Two

The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyāvatāra) is Śāntideva’s classic work on Mahāyāna philosophy. This text teaches the preciousness of bodhicitta, the awakened mind, and explains how to practice generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, and meditation while striving to recognize that awakened mind. Chapter Nine, the Wisdom Chapter, is both a refutation of the philosophical positions of other Indian philosophical schools of the time, and of Buddhist non-Madhyamaka (Middle Way) schools.

OL BCA6: Cultivating Patience - Chapter Six of The Way of the Bodhisattva

The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicaryāvatāra) by Śāntideva teaches the preciousness of bodhicitta, the awakening mind, and explains how to practice generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditation, and wisdom while striving to recognize that awakened mind. In The Sixth Chapter, Śāntideva details the crucial importance of the Perfection of Patience in relation to the bodhisattva path of the Mahāyāna, or the Great Vehicle.

OL BCA9: Wisdom - Chapter Nine of The Way of the Bodhisattva

This online course examines Chapter Nine of The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicaryāvatāra) by Śāntideva, which provides an overview and refutation of various Indian philosophical schools, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist, in order to show the primacy of the Madhyamaka view.

OL SUN: A Brilliant Sun (Rabsel Nyima)

A Brilliant Sun is a short work written by Dza Paltrül Orgyen Jigmé Chökyi Wangpo (Patrül Rinpoche) (1808-1887) that outlines the stages of practice according to Śāntideva's The Way of the Bodhisattva. It is traditionally taught alongside more extensive study of The Way of the Bodhisattva, hence it is a perfect companion for those that are either studying this text or have already done so.

OL TA: The Tibetan Alphabet

This short self-study course guides students through learning the Tibetan alphabet. Upon concluding the seven units successfully, students will have gained visual and auditory familiarity with the 30 “letters” and four “vowels” of Tibetan, be able to spell according to the Tibetan spelling system, and read short sentences in Tibetan.

As this is an entry-level course, there is no prerequisite to study. This course is a prerequisite for RYI’s online Introduction to Classical Tibetan course.

OL TLAN 101: Introduction to Classical Tibetan

Introduction to Classical Tibetan covers the principal topics of classical Tibetan grammar using handbook material as well as text passages from classical Tibetan Buddhist literature. Although the topic of grammar is central, students are also introduced to the basic vocabulary of classical Tibetan philosophy. This course can serve as a springboard for students to begin to delve into Tibetan texts on their own, and as a foundation for more serious students to continue with confidence into more advanced language instruction.

OL FOB 1: Foundations of Buddhism

This course begins in India just before the time of the Buddha and considers the religious and social life there, before moving on to the story of the Buddha himself and his early teachings. Next, the course explores the spread of the Buddhist tradition through India, the rise of Mahāyāna and Vajrayana, and the spread of the tradition to other parts of Asia. The later philosophical developments of the Madhyamaka and Yogācāra schools are examined, as are a number of the new ideas in Mahāyāna Buddhism and the practices that arose as part of Vajrayana Buddhism.

OL BE 1: Buddhist Ethics

This short course in Buddhist Ethics tackles issues we face in our everyday lives and practice. Topics range from whether Buddhists should eat meat, the role of gender, and how violence has, perhaps surprisingly, played a role in the history of the Buddhist tradition. Without looking for easy answers, Professor Stephen Jenkins (Humboldt University) explores the textual and historical evidence for the tradition's position on a variety of ethical issues that still confront the world today.

OL LOB: The Life of the Buddha

This short self-study course explores both the culture of the Indian subcontinent before and during the time of Buddha Śākyamuni around 500 BCE. Students will first explore the cultural, political and socio-economic climate of the first known occupants of the subcontinent in order to set a broad context of place. Students, then, focus upon the transition between agriculturalist/pastoralist lifestyles to urbanization in order to understand the societal structure into which Buddha Śākyamuni was born.

OL BMT: Basics of Mahāyāna Thought

This short course considers both the depth and the breadth of the philosophical thought systems of the Mahāyāna tradition of Buddhism. Students will explore the origins of Mahāyāna thought from the Prajñāpāramitā sutras through the philosophical systems of the Madhyamaka and Yogācāra schools and their methods of refutation in attempt to understand ultimate truth. This course also includes lectures on Laity and Women in the Mahāyāna. This course works well as a companion to RYI's Root Verses of the Middle Way (Mulamadhyamikakārikā) course, helping contextualize Nāgārjuna's classic text.

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