Practice of Emptiness
with Venerable George Churinoff

Mondays, Mar 7, 14, 21, 28, Apr 11, 18, 25 & May 2, 7–8:30pm EST ONLINE

“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.

Important Note

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.

After registering, the system automatically sends a confirmation and/or a receipt email that contains the Zoom meeting link or other instructions. If you are using Zoom for the first time, please login a few minutes earlier to allow any necessary installations on your device.

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, , or $144 for all 8-weeks of the course
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 Standard Time (GMT/UTC-5)

For questions regarding registration, please email [email protected] for assistance.

Additional Materials


All recordings will be available soon.

Dana for the Teacher

Shantideva Center makes offerings to all of our teachers using the funds collected through registration. You can give additional support to the teacher and create a stronger karmic connection by offering dana. Please make sure to select the teacher’s name in the dropdown menu. Dana offered is passed entirely to the teacher, but please note that it is not tax-deductible.

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 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 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.