KIBI - Karmapa International Buddhist Institute KIBI - Karmapa International Buddhist Institute

Course descriptions




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Languages

Course

Description

Time frame

Literature

Introduction to Colloquial Tibetan I

The course introduces students to the basics of modern colloquial Tibetan. It covers the Tibetan script, basic syntax, grammar and vocabulary. Emphasis is put on active learning, involving pattern drills, group work and role play. The class will cover the content of the first 20 chapters of Tournadre’s Manual of Standard Tibetan, Language and Civilization.

1h/day for 3/5 days a week

Tournadre Nicolas and Sangda Dorje. Manual of Standard Tibetan, Language and Civilization. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2003.

Tibetan Conversation I

Students will train, rehearse and improve their practical skills and knowledge of grammar acquired in the introductory course, so that they will be able to converse confidently in Tibetan. Students are also introduced to modern literary Tibetan by means of newspaper articles and short stories that are to be read as homework and discussed during class. A tutorial can be arranged upon demand.

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

 

Introduction to Colloquial Tibetan II

The course is a continuation of Introduction to colloquial Tibetan I.
Three times per week students will continue their study of modern colloquial Tibetan. The remaining chapters of the Manual of Standard Tibetan, Language and Civilization (chapter 21 – 41) will be covered. Students are introduced to more complex sentences, further grammatical phenomena and will enlarge their vocabulary. Further active training aims at developing more confidence in conversation.

1h/day for 3/5 days a week

Tournadre Nicolas and Sangda Dorje. Manual of Standard Tibetan, Language and Civilization. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2003.

Tibetan Conversation II

Students will continue to train, rehearse and improve their practical skills and knowledge of grammar acquired in the introductory course, so that they will be able to converse confidently in Tibetan. Students are also introduced to modern literary Tibetan by means of newspaper articles and short stories that are to be read as homework and discussed during class. A tutorial can be arranged upon demand.

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

 

Introduction to Classical Tibetan I and II

In Introduction to Classical Tibetan I students will begin their formal study of Classical Literary Tibetan. Students will study the grammar of Classical Tibetan, begin to understand complex sentences, discuss further grammatical phenomena and enlarge their Buddhist terminological vocabulary. In Classical Tibetan II students are slowly introduced to different genres of Tibetan literature, mainly focusing on Buddhist religious texts.

1h/day, 3/5 days a week

John Rockwell. A Primer of Classical Literary Tibetan. (2vols.) Samadhi Bookstore, 1991. [Vol I. (18 chapters) and Vol. II. (reader based on Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation)] dByangs can grub pa’i rdo rje. Legs bshad ljon dbang
dByangs can grub pa’i rdo rje. dKa’ ngad gsal ba’i me long

 

Classical Tibetan III and IV: Introduction to the Buddha Nature doctrine

 These courses for advanced students will significantly develop students’ grasp of Classical Literary Tibetan. They are an advanced reading class in Tibetan that will introduce students to the Tibetan reception of the Tathāgatagarbha or Buddha Nature doctrine. The textual basis for this course is a work by the third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje called the A Demonstration of [Tathāgata]garbha (snying po bstan pa). The explanations will be based on a commentary by the first Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye.

1h/day, 3/5 days a week

 Karmapa Rang byung rdo rje. De bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po bstan pa’i bstan bcos.
Karl Brunnhölzl(tr.). Luminous heart: The Third Karmapa on Consciousness, Wisdom, and Buddha Nature. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2009, 203-257.

 

English*

Introduction to English Academic Writing
The course helps students to acquire the skills required for modern academic writing. They will be introduced to different systems and requirements for academic essays and papers. Part of the training will consist of writing short essays relevant to the other subjects as homework. These essays will then be discussed in class focusing on both strengths and weaknesses.

1h/day, 3/5 days a week

 

 

Hindi*

Introduction to Hindi I and II
The course introduces students to the basics of Hindi. It covers reading and writing the Devanāgarī script, basic semantics, grammar and vocabulary. In addition, students will train, rehearse and improve their practical skills and knowledge of grammar acquired in the introductory course, so that they will be able to converse confidently in Hindi. Emphasis is put on active learning, involving pattern drills, group work and role play.

1h/day, 3/5 days a week

Olphen, Herman van. Hindī Praveśikā: Beginners Hindi, Writing and Conversation
Olphen, Herman van. Hindī Prāṭhyapustak: First Year Hindi Course
Olphen, Herman van. Hindī Prāṭhyapustak kī Abhyās Pustikā: First Year Hindi Course Workbook.

Sanskrit

Introduction to Classical Sanskrit I and II
Students are introduced to the principal topics of Classical Sanskrit language. Using examples from the classical Sanskrit literature, it gives an overview over the most common grammatical phenomena. Grammatical explanations discuss both the modern linguistic perspective as well as the presentation of the indigenous Sanskrit grammatical tradition. The textbook used for this class is Madhav Deshpande’s Samskrta-Subodhini, chapers 1-22.

1h/day, 3/5 days a week

Lit.: Madhav Deshpande. Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer. Ann Arbor: Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, 2001. (Reprint, 1997).

 *These classes will not be offered every year but alternately.

History / Culture / Research Context

Course

Description

Time frame

Literature

History of Buddhism in India I 

This course offers a thorough introduction to the history of Buddhism in India on the basis of a combination of scriptural, scholarly and traditional works.   

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

Gethin, Rupert. The Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford UP, 1998.
Selected suttasfrom the Pāli Canon.
Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, Alaka Chattopadhyaya.Tāranātha’s History of Buddhism in India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997 (reprint, 1979).

History of Buddhism in India II

The course is a continuation of the “History of Buddhism in India I”. 

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

 

History of Buddhism in Tibet I

This course offers a thorough introduction to the history of Buddhism in Tibet on the basis of ‘Gos lo tsā ba’ s Blue annals (deb ther sngon po) and Geoffrey Samuel’s Introducing Tibetan Buddhism. The former is a traditional work, discussing among others the early and later spread of Buddhism in Tibet, as well as the development of the different religious traditions. The latter is a contemporary scholarly introduction to Tibetan religion and history.

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

George N. Roerich (tr.). The Blue Annals. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1995 (reprint, 1949).
Samuel, Geoffrey. Introducing Tibetan Buddhism. London: Routledge, 2012.

History of Buddhism in Tibet II

The course is a continuation of HBT2. It will cover the remaining chapters of ‘Gos lo tsā ba’ s Blue annals (deb ther sngon po) and Samuel’s Introducing Tibetan Buddhism.

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

 

Seminar: Tibetan and Buddhist Studies

This course will give students a general introduction to Tibetan and Buddhist studies by giving a short overview of the field and development of different relevant research methods. Apart from gaining a basic understanding of the history of Tibetan and Buddhist studies along with its basic terminologies, students will acquire essential competences needed for their further studies like presentation- and paper-writing, literature research, bibliography and referencing. Students will learn how to gain, critically assess and process data for their research. Participants will actively participate in the seminar by giving short presentations on selected scholarly articles.

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

 

Seminar: Specialized Studies

The topic of this advanced seminar will change from year to year, depending on the Professor who is invited to teach it.  The seminar will introduce students to a specialized subject within the field of Tibetan or Indian Buddhist Studies.

1h/day, 2/5 days a week

 

Religion

Course

 

Description

 

Time frame

 

Literature

Jewel Ornament of Liberation

Gampopa’s influential Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwags po thar rgyan) will be the focus of study for a total of 4 semesters.  This text, which combines Atīśa’s Kadampa tradition with the Mahāmudrā tradition of Marpa, will serve as the platform from which students will be led on an in-depth analysis of the religious Buddhist path and practice.

 

Dwags po rin po che. Dwags po thar rgyan.
Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche (tr.). The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1998.
Chos kyi grags pa ye shes dpal bzang po. Chos bzhi gsal ba’i sgron me.
Karl Brunnhölzl. Straight from the heart: Buddhist pith instructions. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2009, 321-330.

Jewel Ornament of Liberation I

This series of lectures introduces students to this traditional religious text of the stages of the path (lam rim) genre, giving a detailed presentation of the religious Buddhist practice. This course covers chapters 1-6 of Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwags po thar rgyan).

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

 

Jewel Ornament of Liberation II

This course is the second part in a series of lectures, which gives a detailed presentation of religious Buddhist doctrine and practice through a detailed study of Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwags po thar rgyan). This course covers chapters 7-11.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

 

Jewel Ornament of Liberation III

This course is the third part in a series of lectures, which gives a detailed presentation of religious Buddhist doctrine and practice through a detailed study of Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwags po thar rgyan). This course covers chapters 12-16. 

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

 

Jewel Ornament of Liberation IV

This course is the fourth and final part in a series of lectures, which introduces students to religious Buddhist doctrine and practice through a detailed study of Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwags po thar rgyan). This course will cover the remaining chapters (17-21).  As a conclusion, the course will cover also the related pith instructions of the Four Dharmas of Gampopa (Dwags po chos zhi). The explanations on this subject will be based on a short commentary by the fourth Shamarpa Chokyi Dragpa Yeshe Palsangpo called The Lamp that Illuminates the Four Dharmas (Chos bzhi gsal ba’i sgron me). 

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

 

Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra I

This course is a close study of Śāntideva’s 8th century C.E. masterpiece, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhicaryāvatāra; chos ‘jug), a brilliant and poetic presentation of the path of the Bodhisattva. This course covers chapters 1-5.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

 

Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra II

This course is a close study of Śāntideva’s 8th century C.E. masterpiece, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhicaryāvatāra; chos ‘jug), a brilliant and poetic presentation of the path of the Bodhisattva. This course covers chapters 6-8.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

Śāntideva.  Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton, tr. The Bodhicaryāvatāra. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Zhi ba lha (Śāntideva).  byang chub sems dpa’i chos pa la ‘jug pa.

Philosophy and Diploma Study

Course

Description

Time frame

Literature

Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy I and II

This course will introduce students to important foundational concepts of Buddhist philosophy, particularly the skandhas, dhātus, āyatanas andpratītyasamutpāda. The text used for this class will be Mi pham’s Gateway to Knowledge (mKhas ‘jug), chapters 1-4.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

Erik Pema Kunsang (tr.). Gateway to Knowledge, Vol. 1, Chapter 1-4. Hong Kong, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1997.

Buddhist Philosophy III and IV

This course is the continuation of PBP 01 and will introduce students to various Buddhist philosophical concepts, particularly catvāryāryasatya,satyadvāya and the yānas. The text used for this class will be Mi pham’s Gateway to Knowledge (mkhas ‘jug), chapters 8-18.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

Erik Pema Kunsang (tr.). Gateway to Knowledge, Vol. 2 and 3, Chapter 8-14 + Chapter 15-18. Hong Kong, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004

Introduction to the Four Siddhāntas I and II

This course is an introduction to the Tibetan doxographical approach towards the Indian Buddhist philosophical schools. The first two semesters of this course will discuss the Vaibhāṣika and Sautrantika systems on the basis of a contemporary Tibetan scholarly work. The text used for this class is the appropriate chapters of the Grub mtha’ snying po kun las btus pa by Prof. Sempa Dorje.

1h/day, 4/5 days a week

mKhas dbang sems dpa’ rdo rje. Grub mtha’ snying po kun las btus pa lung rigs snye ma. Kalimpong: Shri Diwakar Publication, 2010

Four Siddhāntas III and IV

This course is the continuation of PFS 01 and PFS 02. The third and fourth semester of this course will discuss the Cittamātra system on the basis of the appropriate chapters from Prof. Sempa Dorje’s contemporary scholarly workGrub mtha’ snying po kun las btus pa.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

mKhas dbang sems dpa’ rdo rje. Grub mtha’ snying po kun las btus pa lung rigs snye ma. Kalimpong: Shri Diwakar Publication, 2010

Four Siddhāntas V and VI

A continuation of the previous courses, the third part of this course will discuss the Svatāntra-Madhyamaka and the Prasaṅga-Madhyamaka system on the basis of the appropriate chapters from Prof. Sempa Dorje’s contemporary scholarly work Grub mtha’ snying po kun las btus pa.

1h/day, 5/5 days a we

mKhas dbang sems dpa’ rdo rje. Grub mtha’ snying po kun las btus pa lung rigs snye ma. Kalimpong: Shri Diwakar Publication, 2010

Dependent Origination I

This series of lectures will introduce students to a fundamental topic of Buddhist philosophy, dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). The textual basis for the explanations will be the famous Rice Seedling Sūtra (Śālistambhasūtra), which explains the twelve links of dependent origination in great detail.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

 

Dependent Origination II

This series of lectures will continue to introduce students to a fundamental topic of Buddhist philosophy, dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). The textual basis for the explanations will be the famous Rice Seedling Sūtra (Śālistambhasūtra), which explains the twelve links of dependent origination in great detail.

1h/day, 5/5 days a week

Ross Reat. The Śālistambha Sūtra: Tibetan Original, Sanskrit Reconstruction, English Translation, Critical Notes (Including Pali Parallels, Chinese Version, and Ancient Tibetan Fragments). Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass, 1993

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