Knowing Reality: Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way
with Geshe Tenzin Namdak and Prof. Georges Dreyfus
Sundays, Jun 20, Jul 18 & Sep 19, 10am–12pm EDT ONLINE
Tuesdays, Sep 21, 28, Oct 12 & Nov 2, 7–8:30pm EDT ONLINE
“May the Buddha’s teaching be upheld by countless masters
Who realize the truth of dependent origination,
Which comes from Nagarjuna, chief among all philosophers,
Who is the single eye through which one can view
The truth of reality as taught by the Buddha.”
–Tsongkhapa, Ocean of Reasoning
Scholars of Buddhism, from Chandrakirti to Tsongkhapa up to the present day, have marveled at the electrifying presentation of Madhyamaka philosophy in Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (Mūlamadhyamakakārikā), composed by the Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna around 150 CE. In its 27 chapters, this master work takes as its subject the Buddha’s teachings on dependent origination, and applies thorough analyses to an array of metaphysical topics to demonstrate the emptiness of inherent existence.
Gain clear understanding of the profound teachings on emptiness from two seasoned scholars, Geshe Tenzin Namdak, from Jamyang Buddhist Center, and Professor Georges Dreyfus, as they guide you through seven key chapters from this foundational text. This is a rare opportunity to study a treasured volume in the wisdom lineage with qualified teachers.
The complete series includes 7 sessions spanning seven chapters—the same ones taught by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Follow the entire trajectory, or drop in at any point. The chapters studied include:
Chapter 26 (6/20): The 12 Links of Dependent Origination (with Geshe Namdak)
Chapter 18 (7/18): Self and Entities (with Geshe Namdak)
Chapter 22 (9/19): The Tathagata (with Geshe Namdak)
Chapters 1 & 15 (9/21, 9/28): Conditions & Essence (with Professor Dreyfus)
Chapter 24 (10/12): The Four Noble Truths (with Professor Dreyfus)
Chapter 13 (11/2): Compounded Phenomena (with Professor Dreyfus)
This is an online-only event that is administered using Zoom, as the center is currently closed due to COVID-19. Zoom is an interactive video-conferencing tool that allows participants to see one another and ask questions. You will need a computer, a tablet or a smartphone with the Zoom application to attend.
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If you don’t immediately receive the email(s) with the Zoom information, or you have questions about Zoom or accessing the class online, please contact us at [email protected].
Registration / Schedule
Suggested: $20 per session
Other offering options: free, $5, $10, $30
The suggested amount helps support teacher offerings and expenses, direct costs and rent. Shantideva member discounts or benefits will be applied automatically if you have a membership in MindBody.
Shantideva Center may publish recorded sessions in the public domain (e.g., on YouTube). By registering for this event, you are agreeing to give your consent to this process. To protect your privacy, we recommend being conscious about any personal information you share during the sessions. To further enhance anonymity, you may want to consider turning off video or naming yourself using abbreviations.
Time zone: US Eastern Daylight Time (GMT/UTC-4)
Recommended Books for the Series:
- Ocean of Reasoning by Geshe Ngawang Samten and Jay Garfield
- The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Author), Thupten Jinpa Ph.D.(Translator)
Geshe Tenzin Namdak sessions: Chapters 26-18-22 of the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way; English translation by Geshe Dorji Damdul (Tibet House, New Delhi)
Prof. Georges Dreyfus sessions: Recommended text is Nagarjuna’s Middle Way: Mūlamadhyamakakārikā by Mark Siderits and Shoryu Katsura
Resources mentioned by Geshe Tenzin Namdak:
Dana for the Teacher
About the Teachers
Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdak first worked as an environmental researcher having graduated in hydrology. He started studying Buddhism at Maitreya Institute in The Netherlands in 1993 and took ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama before engaging in his formal studies in Buddhist philosophy and psychology at Sera Jey Monastic University, South India, in 1997. He completed the entire twenty-year Geshe program at Sera Jey in 2017 and the traditional one year Vajrayana study program at Gyume Tantric College in January 2019, the first Westerner to do so.
Geshe Namdak has received a great number of teachings from His Holiness and many other highly respected teachers and lineage masters, has done many retreats and is an experienced teacher in practical and philosophical aspects of Buddhism, that he teaches with great clarity and a good sense of humour. Currently, he is the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, and teaches worldwide.
Prof. Georges Dreyfus, To Be Provided