Atiśa Dīpaṃkara: Jewels of the Middle Way
with Prof. James B. Apple
Friday, February 19, 2021 - Atisha’s Jewels of the Middle Way: "Open Basket of Jewels"
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - Atisha’s Jewels of the Middle Way: "Articulating the Two Realities"
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - Atisha’s Jewels of the Middle Way: "How Madhyamakas Meditate"
Each class runs from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Classes will run 1 hour leaving 30 minutes for questions and discussion.
Via Zoom. Registration is required. See details below.
Few figures in the history of Buddhism in Tibet have had as far-reaching and profound an influence as the Indian scholar and adept Atiśa Dīpaṃkara (982–1054). Atiśa is best known for introducing many of the core Mahāyāna teachings that are widely practiced throughout the Tibetan Buddhist world, including the Stages of the Path to Awakening (lamrim) and Mind Training (lojong), as well as having contributed to highly influential commentaries on Madhyamaka (Middle Way philosophy) that synthesize various schools of thought. In addition, Atiśa was an influential practitioner of Tantra.
James B. Apple, a widely published author and professor at the University of Calgary, is a leading expert on Atiśa’s life and teachings. Drawing upon his landmark book by the same name, this 3-class course with Prof. James Apple will touch upon the full range of Atiśa’s contribution to the shaping of Madhayamaka thought in Tibetan Buddhism.
This course will be offered in the form of three classes (students can attend any and all classes) each focusing on the sections of Prof. Apple’s landmark book:
Atiśa’s Jewels of the Middle Way: “Open Basket of Jewels”
Friday, February 19, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm PST
Atiśa’s “Open Basket of Jewels: Special Instructions of the Middle Way” is one of the primary works among Atiśa’s collected writings and perhaps the most extensive of his writings composed in India. The text outlines a number of significant features regarding his theory and practice of Mahāyāna Buddhism in general as well as his understanding of Madhyamaka in particular. It contains over 120 citations from sutras, tantras, shastras and hymns attributed to seminal Buddhist figures such as Nagarjuna and Aryadeva.
Atiśa’s Jewels of the Middle Way: “Articulating the Two Realities”
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 6:30pm-8:00pm PDT
Atiśa, like a number of Indian Madhyamaka forerunners, based his teaching of Madhyamaka thought and practice on the two realities; conventional reality and ultimate reality. “Entry into the Two Realities” lays out, in 28 verses, a general exposition on the these two realities while presenting Atiśa’s views of valid cognition and reasoning. This introductory text presents an understanding based on synthesis of a number of previous Madhyamaka thinkers.
Atiśa’s Jewels of the Middle Way: "How Madhyamikas Meditate"
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 6:30pm-8:00pm PDT
Based on Atiśa’s “Collection of Special Instructions on the Middle Way” and its commentary, this class focuses on the practice of Madhyamaka in meditation according to Atiśa’s special instructions and guidance manual.
About James B. Apple:
James B. Apple is Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on the critical analysis of the Mahāyāna sūtras and topics within Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. His books include Jewels of the Middle Way: The Madhyamaka Legacy of Atiśa and His Early Tibetan Followers, A Stairway Taken by the Lucid: Tsong kha pa's Study of Noble Beings, and Stairway to Nirvāṇa.
This event will largely focus on James B. Apple’s acclaimed book, Jewels of the Middle Way: The Madhyamaka Legacy of Atisa and His Early Tibetan Followers (Wisdom, 2018).
To delve deeper into the life and thought of Atiśa, we encourage you to also seek out Professor Apple’s other recent publication Atiśa Dīpaṃkara: Illuminator of the Awakened Mind (Shambhala, 2019). This amazing work is composed for a general audience.
Your generous donations are essential for the continuation of programs like this. The Zoom link will be provided upon registration. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Please contact us to make special arrangements.