Special thanks to The Guhyasamaja Center for allowing us to co-host these teachings

Journey From MIT to Monasticism

Venerable George shares a brief overview of his journey to becoming a monastic and receiving ordination from remarkable masters including the senior and junior tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Living the Dharma: Profound Wisdom and Great Compassion

Wednesday October 28, 2020

The sravakas and those who are partway to buddhahood are born from the Buddha,
And buddhas are born from bodhisattvas.

The mind of compassion, non-duality, and enlightenment
Are the causes of bodhisattvas.

Kindness is considered to be the seed of the abundant harvest which is buddhahood
Like water that causes it to grow over a long time
And ripen in a state of joy.

For this reason, I will praise compassion from the outset.

Candrakirti, Madhyamakavatara

The Buddha revealed that the path to awakening must be rooted in the concurrent cultivation of wisdom (Sanskrit: prajña) and compassion (Sanskrit: karuṇā). In some Buddhist teachings, the two have been described as the wings of a bird, each equally indispensable in enabling us to move towards and reach the goal of enlightenment.

When we train in wisdom, we begin to gain a clearer and more realistic picture of the nature of inner and outer phenomena, our minds and external reality. When we train in compassion, we learn how to relate to ourselves and others in a way that recognizes the struggles we all face with a brave and courageous attitude. In combining these we have the most effective method for inner development and transformation. 

In this teaching, Venerable George will help us uncover the tools we need to utilize in daily life to support our spiritual growth. This teaching is open to and appropriate for everyone.

Weekend Retreat: What it Means to be a Bodhisattva

Friday October 30-Sunday November 1, 2020

The “37 Practices of a Bodhisattva” is a powerful lojong (or ‘mind training’) text by the Tibetan monk and Bodhisattva Gyelsay Togmay Zangpo (1295-1369). In thirty-seven verses, it gives instructions on how to follow the bodhisattva path to transform our minds from suffering to unshakable happiness through dedicating ourselves to working for the benefit of others.

Bodhisattvas have recognized their true potential and let go of everything which could hinder them on their spiritual journey; they entrust themselves to the path taught by the Buddha. Resisting disturbing emotions, they learn to respond to difficult situations in a constructive way. Fully understanding the nature of reality and the illusion-like nature of pleasure and pain, they overcome clinging attachment and aversion. Through training, Bodhisattvas come to cherish living beings as the source of all happiness and are ultimately able to work solely for the good of all.

In this weekend retreat, Venerable George will help us gain insight into the wisdom of this ancient text and show how we can begin to apply the teachings it contains to deal with the challenges we face in our everyday lives and how to use this knowledge to enrich our spiritual practice. These teachings are open to and appropriate for everyone.

Benefits and Beauty of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva

Venerable Dondrub of Guhyasamaja Center speaks with Venerable George about the text he will teach on and the greatness of the author, who epitomized the bodhisattva ideal.


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.