Mahayana Courses

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In the Nalandabodhi Path of Study, your studies of selflessness in the Hinayana are the jumping off point for understanding Mahayana selflessness, which broadens the notion beyond personal selflessness into the vastness of mahashunyata, or the “great emptiness.” The Mahayana Courses begin with an introductory course called “The Heart of Daring.” In the Mahayana teachings we look at the possibility of generating limitless compassion, the unbounded intention to help all sentient beings, known in Sanskrit as bodhichitta.

The brief outline on this page is only a general overview of the Mahayana courses offered by Nalandabodhi. The complete detailed syllabus and selection of reading materials is available to Nalandabodhi members and participants enrolled in the Path of Study program.

You can take these classes at Nalandabodhi centers and study group locations, or through online study.

The Mahayana Series: Compassion Without Limit

Introduction to the Mahayana: The Heart of Daring  (MAH 300)
The first course introduces you to the Mahayana teachings on selflessness, compassion and the concept of selfless compassion, the stages of the Mahayana path, and the role of the spiritual friend in reaching enlightenment, the goal of the Mahayana path.

Mahayana View I: Everything is Mind  (MAH 310)
In the second course, we begin detailed studies of the expanded view of emptiness, which grounds the activity of limitless compassion. We start by looking at the way the mind structures our reality through categories of consciousness and realms of existence.

Mahayana View II: Not Even a Middle (MAH 311)
We continue our detailed look at emptiness by a closer examination of the interdependence of all phenomena. What are we to make of the logical conclusion of these studies — that all phenomena have no self-nature? Is this lack of self-nature a mere absence? To answer this, we look at the teachings on “wisdom as luminous clarity.”

Mahayana Path I: Bodhicitta and the Six Paramitas (MAH 330)         

Mahayana Path II: Seven Points of Mind Training (MAH 331)    

Path and Fruition: The Ten Bhumis, the Three Kayas, and the Five Wisdoms (MAH 350)

In the concluding classes of the Mahayana in the Nalandabodhi Path of Study, we look at the practices and results of the Mahayana path. The bodhisattva intention to benefit all beings without limitation is made possible by a firm understanding that there are no inherent limitations on compassionate activity. Moreover, we learn that such activity is not a vague invitation to engage in “good works” of an unspecified nature. Rather, the teachings provide a detailed roadmap of paths and levels of accomplishment that are achieved through the specific techniques of the Mahayana path. The final attainment is Mahayana enlightenment. These teachings also provide a bridge to your study of the Vajrayana path.

There is a more detailed outline of courses in the Nalandabodhi Mahayana series on this website, but for a complete list of all course materials, please contact a Nalandabodhi Center. Nalandabodhi members receive a reduction in tuition for courses.

 The price for each course is $40 for Nalandabodhi members and $65 for non-members.

+See the video introductions to our Introduction to Buddhism and Hinayana courses.

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“We’re cultivating our intelligence as opposed to expanding or upgrading its contents. It’s like brightening a room by putting a higher-watt lightbulb in a lamp. Suddenly we can see everything in the room much more clearly.”
— Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche


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