Not Even a Middle
At first, turn away from non-virtue,
In the middle, dispel misconceptions of self,
Finally, go beyond all philosophical views—
One who understands this is wise indeed.
(Āryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, 8.15)
Madhyamaka is the supreme view that goes beyond all views. In this class we will explore the lineage and methodology of Madhyamaka — the middle way — and will find that there is not even a middle.
Based on the MAH303 curriculum, we will enhance our study of Madhyamaka with an interactive and experiential format, utilizing inquiries, thought experiments, engaged discussion, contemplative homework, and practices designed to bring us closer conceptual certainty and non-conceptual glimpses of understanding.
If you’ve studied Madhyamaka before and found it to be a dry, intellectual exercise unrelated to daily life, or have been leery of studying Madhyamaka for this reason, this course will provide an opportunity to take a fresh look, bringing the study of Madhyamaka together with the heart of bodhicitta, and making it a practice we can use in our everyday lives.
Open to all!
Classes on Zoom: 9-10.30 am Pacific Time
Every other Saturday, starting on October 14 2023 to April 13, 2024
(excluding December 23)
Teaching will take place in English, with no translation available.
Recordings of all the classes will be made available
Karunika Beth Patterson took refuge vows with Ponlop Rinpoche in 1995, becoming his formal student in 2003. Beth’s roles in Nalandabodhi have included serving on the US Karma Sangha board of directors and as Sangha Care Director for Nalandabodhi International’s Senior Administrative Team. She is also a Nalandabodhi Practice Instructor, and has offered workshops on spiritual end of life preparations.
After a long career as an entertainment attorney in New York City, Beth received her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2006 and spent many years as a therapist specializing in grief, life transitions and trauma, with Buddhist psychology as the ground
of much of her work. Beth currently supervises crisis workers for CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets), Eugene, Oregon’s mobile crisis service that became a national model for responding to mental health and similar crises during the Black Lives Matter movement.
James Vitale has been a student of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche since 2003 and has also been studying at Nitartha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies for around 10 years. Additionally, he has engaged deeply in the Drikung Kagyu lineage’s special dharma teachings and practice for the past nine years.