Nitartha Institute Weekend Program 2/7-2/8/04

Nitartha Institute Weekend Regional Program

February 7-8, 2004 in Hartford, Connecticut - Save the Date

Nitartha is a Sanskrit word for "definitive meaning." At Nitartha Instituteeveryday thought and speech serve as tools for discovering "definitive meaning," the unconditioned wisdom and spontaneous compassion of the buddha-dharma.

Under the guidance of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and other eminent teachers of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, participants study, practice, and question what they learn in an atmosphere of generosity, quick-witted good humor, and gentle yet rigorous analysis.

The curriculum at Nitartha Institute is devoted to the intensive study of Buddhist view and to the contemplative practices through which we can personally engage these teachings and apply them to our own experience. The Institute offers a month-long summer program, divided into two two-week sessions. Students may come to one or both of the two-week sessions in a given program.

The Institute is modeled on the Tibetan tradition of monastic colleges, or shedra, which combine Buddhist scholarship and practice in an atmosphere of lively dialogue. It provides a unique combination of in-depth teaching, study, and analytical meditation to give Westerners a sound basis for understanding Vajrayana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Through the transmission of teachings and translations of key texts and their commentaries, the Institute is helping to transplant this ancient oral and philosophical tradition to the West.

At this weekend Regional Program in Bloomfield students will have an opportunity to experience a two-day "slice" of the full Nitartha Institute summer program, including analytical meditation, debate, introduction to logic, several classes in Buddhist philosophy and lujong exercises.

Regional Program Schedule

The Mind and Its World course is the principal focus for first-year students at Nitartha and will provide the main focus for the regional weekend program. This class is based on the teachings of pramana, or valid cognition, and explores what exactly is meant by "mind". The term "mind" is used in a variety of ways in common usage, but in actuality our understanding of what we mean by "mind" is quite vague. This lack of clarity is at the root of our confusion and suffering.

In order to begin to clarify this confusion, the course introduces students to what mind is, how one's mental world can be defined more clearly, and how the mind engages its world. This is done through exploring direct perception and conception, along with the inter- relationship of the two, in the context of our "inner and outer" worlds.

The class also looks at the analytical tools used by practitioners to increase penetrating insight in analytical meditation and debate practice at the Institute. The course will introduce the concepts of logic used in analysis, though there will not be sufficient time to engage in actual debate practice over the weekend. Discussion groups will be provided to help students resolve their confusion and develop insight.

The material presented in these classes will be further explored in Introduction to Analytical Meditation where students will be guided by teachers in a detailed and contemplative examination of the topics from the classes in their first-hand experience.

Each day will begin with optional instruction in the body/mind practice of Lujong exercise, a form of yoga. Opportunities will be provided throughout the weekend for students to socialize with each other and with the teachers.

Regional Program Location and Accommodations

This program will be offered at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Single room accommodations and meals are available. Registration materials will be available shortly and will be distributed by email and by regular mail.

Regional Program Sponsorship

This Program is co-sponsored by Nitartha Institute, Nalandbodhi Connecticut, and Hartford Karma Thegsum Choling.

You can find more information about Nitartha Institute on the Web at