Practice of Emptiness
with Venerable George Churinoff
“Through meditating until a decision is reached, you gain conviction.”
–His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, Sacred Word of Manjushri
In the Tibetan Buddhist view, the Buddha embodying the wisdom realizing emptiness is Manjushri. Wielding a flaming sword and holding a lotus flower on which a sacred text rests, Manjushri is associated with the great scholars and teachers who made significant contributions to explicating the ultimate nature of reality–such as Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, and Lama Tsongkhapa.
In this eight-session course, Venerable George Churinoff guides us through a unique text in the wisdom tradition, “The Perfection of Wisdom” chapter from Sacred Word of Manjushri. Written in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, this lucid text offers surprisingly accessible and practical instructions for attaining the view of emptiness. Praising correct individual analysis, this chapter brings in key points from Madhyamaka masters to unlock the wisdom realizing emptiness in analytic meditation. According to its author the 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, understanding the nature of ultimate reality correctly at a non-conceptual level depends exactly on such analysis. Some special features of this work are the Q&A format, detailed instructions on identifying the self as the object of negation, and methods for not only ascertaining the view of selflessness but for sustaining it. Through study of this text, you will learn techniques for loosening the tightly-held assumptions of an inherently existent self.
About the Teacher
A physics graduate from MIT, Venerable George Churinoff earned a Masters degree in Buddhist studies from Delhi University, India. He took ordination in 1975 and studied the Geshe Studies Program at Manjushri Institute, England, where he also served as Spiritual Program Coordinator. Venerable George was instrumental in founding the FPMT Masters Program at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy, where he also served as Program Coordinator. After studying and teaching there for eight years he spent several years at Tushita Centre in Delhi, followed by three years as Lama Osel Rinpoche’s English curriculum tutor at Sera Je Monastery in South India.
Venerable George has done many retreats in the sutra and tantra traditions and taught extensively in FPMT centers all over the world. He taught the FPMT Basic Program as resident teacher at Dorje Chang Institute, New Zealand and at Land of Medicine Buddha, USA. Venerable George now resides in Asheville, NC and has recently completed a 3-year retreat.