Shantideva Center in NYC is very excited to be offering an in depth study of the Middle Way with Venerable George Churinoff!
Title: An Extensive Commentary on the Middle Way: Based on Chandrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way and Lama Tsong Khapa’s Illuminating the Intent
Timings: Saturdays 1:00-2:45pm EDT (optional after class discussion group).
Dates: 6/4, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30 (8 Sessions)
The final length of the course is fluid. It will depend on the amount of detail students wish as well as the health of the teacher, holidays and other intangibles. Registration dates will be offered for a series of, approximately, 8-week units.
If one does not possess the wisdom realizing reality,
Even though renunciation and bodhicitta are cultivated,
The root of cyclic existence cannot be cut. So,
Therefore, strive in the means to realize dependent arising.
(From Lama Tsong Khapa’s Three Principals of the Path)
To achieve enlightenment, the ultimate aim of oneself and others, it is not sufficient to have fully developed pure renunciation of samsara and the altruistic intention to achieve enlightenment. One definitely needs to have realized the ultimate truth of all phenomena, emptiness.
The correct understanding of emptiness, the fact that all phenomena are dependent arisings and hence empty of inherent existence, was taught by the Buddha and subsequently clarified by Arya Nagarjuna as the Middle Way (Madhyamaka).
Chandrakirti provided access into Nagarjuna’s teachings with his Auto-commentary to Entering the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara-bhashya) and Lama Tsong Khapa clarified those very instructions in his Illuminating the Intent of the Middle Way (dbu ma gong pa rab gsal).
This course will be a detailed discourse on the Middle Way by means of these two texts. The course will be taught over many months by the American born Buddhist monk, George Churinoff (Gelong Thubten Tsultrim).
Venerable George received extensive teachings on Chandrakirti’s and Lama Tsong Khapa’s texts from several Tibetan masters including the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, Geshe Jampa Gyatso, Geshe Palden Dragpa and others.
Venerable George further translated the entirety of Chandrakirti’s Auto-commentary over more than four years and edited the extensive commentary on Illuminating the Intent given by Geshe Sopa during five one month summer courses.
Participants should ideally have a foundation of the stages of the Buddhist path, a motivation to study this text for the ultimate benefit of others, and a determination to follow the course in its entirety.
As the duration of the course is uncertain, registration dates will be offered for an approximately 8-week series, with future dates to be announced based on Venerable George’s schedule.
Note: After Venerable Churinoff’s class, students are invited to participate in an optional self-organized weekly discussion session. This is to enhance our wisdom which arises from analysis, reflection and discussion.
Illuminating the Intent: An Exposition of Candrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way by Je Tsongkhapa,translated by Thupten Jinpa.