with Ven. George Churinoff
Saturdays, August 27 – October 15, 2022
10:00am – 11:45am PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)
optional after class discussion group
Note: The course will be taught over many months and registration dates will be offered for a series of, approximately, 8-week units. Timings, Saturdays 10:00am – 11:45am Pacific Time, will remain the same for the duration of the course.
This program is offered in collaboration with Shantideva Center, New York.
If one does not possess the wisdom realizing reality,
To achieve enlightenment, the ultimate aim of oneself and others, it is not sufficient to have fully developed pure renunciation of samsara and the altruistic intention to achieve enlightenment. One definitely needs to have realized the ultimate truth of all phenomena: emptiness.
The correct understanding of emptiness—the fact that all phenomena are dependent arisings and hence empty of inherent existence—was taught by the Buddha and subsequently clarified by Arya Nagarjuna as the Middle Way (Madhyamaka).
Chandrakirti made Nagarjuna’s teachings accessible with his Auto-Commentary to Entering the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara-bhashya), and Lama Tsong Khapa clarified those very instructions in his Illuminating the Intent of the Middle Way (dbu ma gong pa rab gsal).
This course is a detailed discourse on the Middle Way by means of these two texts. It will be taught over many months by American-born Buddhist monk George Churinoff (Gelong Thubten Tsultrim).
Venerable George received extensive teachings on Chandrakirti’s and Lama Tsong Khapa’s texts from several Tibetan masters including the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, Geshe Jampa Gyatso, Geshe Palden Dragpa and others. Venerable George further translated the entirety of Chandrakirti’s Auto-Commentary over more than four years and edited the extensive commentary on Illuminating the Intent given by Geshe Sopa during five one-month summer courses.
Participants should ideally have a foundation of the stages of the Buddhist path, a motivation to study this text for the ultimate benefit of others, and a determination to follow the course in its entirety.
Note: After Venerable Churinoff’s class, students are invited to participate in an optional self-organized weekly discussion session. This is to enhance our wisdom which arises from analysis, reflection and discussion.
The final length of the course is fluid. It will depend on the amount of detail students wish as well as the health of the teacher, holidays and other intangibles. Registration dates will be offered for a series of, approximately, eight-week units.
Venerable Churinoff began these extraordinary and inspiring teachings on June 4, 2022. If you missed the earlier sessions, view them online:
A physics graduate from MIT, Venerable George Churinoff earned a Masters degree in Buddhist studies from Delhi University, India. He took ordination in 1975 and studied the Geshe Studies Program at Manjushri Institute, England, where he also served as Spiritual Program Coordinator. Venerable George was instrumental in founding the Masters Program at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy, where he also served as Program Coordinator. After studying and teaching there for eight years he spent several years at Tushita Centre in Delhi, followed by three years as Lama Osel Rinpoche’s English curriculum tutor at Sera Je Monastery in South India.
Venerable George has done many retreats in the sutra and tantra traditions and taught extensively in FPMT centers all over the world. He taught the Basic Program as resident teacher at Dorje Chang Institute, New Zealand and at Land of Medicine Buddha, USA. Venerable George now resides in Asheville, NC and has recently completed a 3-year retreat.
Illuminating the Intent: An Exposition of Candrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way by Je Tsongkhapa, translated by Thupten Jinpa.
This text can be ordered from Wisdom Publications and other booksellers.
We are very grateful to Wisdom Publications for kindly offering a 40% discount on this book for exclusive use by the registered participants of this course. The Wisdom Publications discount code will be provided after your registration.