Upcoming In Depth Modules

Buddhist Tenets

Taught by Geshe Phuntsok Tsultrim
Interpreter and assistant teacher Venerable Kartson

Buddhist Tenets presents the philosophical systems or tenets of the four main schools of ancient Buddhist thought. The study of this subject is essential for further study in the Basic Program, clarifying the basis for many of the profound texts studied in the monastic universities.

In 2021

Part 1: 12 October to 4 November
Part 2: 16 November to 9 December

The first  module will cover 1) a general outline of the subject and the assertions two lower schools, the Great Exposition School and the Sutra School. Then the second module will delve into the fascinating way that the Mind Only School asserts how phenomena and persons exist.

In 2022

Part 3: 1 March – 24 March 2022 

Now we come to the Middle Way Schools, the Middle Way Autonomists and the Middle Way Consequence School, considered to hold the highest view of all. By working through the assertions of the lower schools methodically and in order, we come to this highest, most subtle view in a skilful way, which helps us to develop a clear understanding which will eventually enable us to realise the subtle view perceptually.

Mahayana Mind Training: Wheel of Sharp Weapons

One module of four weeks – 26 April – 19 May 2022

This four-week module will teach thought transformation on the basis of The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, by Dharmarakṣita, a 9th century Indian Buddhist scholar who was the teacher of Atisha.

‘Wheel of Sharp Weapons’ is an abbreviated title for ‘The Wheel of Sharp Weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe.’ This text is often referenced as a detailed source for how the laws of karma play out in our lives revealing many specific effects and their causes.

The metaphoric “wheel of sharp weapons” can be visualized as something we throw or propel, which then comes back to cut us… something like a boomerang. In this way, Dharmarakṣita explains, the non-virtuous causes we create through our self-interested behaviour come back to ‘cut us’ in future lives, as the ripening of the negative karma we have ourselves created. This, he explains, is the source of all our pain and suffering. It is our own self-cherishing that leads us to harm others, which in turn creates the negative karma which is the potential for future suffering. Our suffering is not a punishment, merely a self-created karmic result.

According to the Wheel of Sharp Weapons, the way to make an end of this cycle is to understand how this process comes about and how it is rooted in the grasping at a self or “I”. When we contemplate how our past actions, rooted in the grasping at self and other, cause our current suffering, then we use these very negative actions as a contemplative “weapon” to attack self-grasping, the real “foe” in our lives. Thus, the weapon which harms us is turned against the real source of our suffering, our “true enemy”. This explains the meaning of the full title The Wheel of Sharp Weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe.

heart of wisdom sutrA

One module of four weeks –21  June – 7  July 2022

The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (the Heart Sutra) is perhaps the most widely known sutra of the Mahayana tradition and is often recited daily by practitioners all over the world, particularly before receiving Dharma teachings. We too recite it before teachings during the Basic Program teachings.

Part of the Prajnaparamita Sutras, the Heart Sutra is a condensed presentation of the wisdom of emptiness as revealed by Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig) through the power of the Buddha, on Vulture’s Peak in Rajgir, India, to Shariputra, one of the Buddha’s main disciples.

It has been called “the most frequently used and recited text in the entire Mahayana Buddhist tradition”, translated into English dozens of times from Chinese, Sanskrit and Tibetan.

Geshela will devote four weeks of our study program schedule (three days per week) to this profound text, with assistance from Tutor Ven Kartson and other senior students.

Our schedule will continue as before with meditation, teachings, discussion and tutorials on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9.30am to 4.00pm.
We continue offering the teachings in person in our beautiful Gompa and online.

Payment is flexible. The recommended donation for a typical four-week course is $240, and we do set a minimum fee, but no one should miss out on these teachings because of financial considerations. 

Please offer as much as you are able to enable the centre to continue to offer these and other teachings. If you are unable to pay the minimum fee, please contact the course coordinator to request a further discount.

After you have registered to attend these modules, you will receive links to our online storage facility, our zoom sessions and the YouTube files for catch up later.