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The abhidharma has been described as a systematic analysis and understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. Although abhidharma texts can be quite complex and detailed, this course has a pragmatic goal: to present abhidharma in the context of practice. In particular, we will examine what the abhidharma has to say about working with kleshas.

In the first part of the course, we will examine the principles related to the first two noble truths:

  • skandhas,
  • dhatus and ayatanas,
  • mind and mental events,
  • causes, conditions, effects,
  • dependent origination,
  • momentariness,
  • karmic cause and effect.

In the second part, we will harness what we have learned in the first part to explore (a) the nature and functioning of mental defilements (kleshas) and (b) the different strategies of working with them.

In the third part, we will explore what seeing reality properly means from the abhidharma point of view.

Most classes will include meditation practice.

About the Instructors

Lodrö is a student of the late Ven. Trungpa Rinpoche and of Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche. Born 1952 in Germany, he received his first ordination in the Karma Kagyü Sangha in 1984, France, and then moved to Gampo Abbey, Canada. From 1985–2002 he served as Secretary of International Kagyü Sangha Association of Buddhist Monks and Nuns and published its magazine The Profound Path of Peace. He completed the traditional three year retreat in 1996 and a four year study retreat in 2003. He also served for a few years as Acting Director of Gampo Abbey, was one of the co-founders of Nitartha Institute and served as chair of Vidyadhara Institute, the monastic college of Gampo Abbey, since its inception. His focus of study is in the systematic traditions of Buddhist Abhidharma. He has translated and published—under the supervision of Prof. Ernst Steinkellner —Erich Frauwallner’s The Philosophy of Buddhism (Motilal). He is the general editor and main translator of The Collected Works of Louis de La Vallée Poussin, of which Volume I: Abhidharmakośa-Bhāṣya of Vasubandhu, was published in 2012, and Volume II: Vijñapti-mātratā-siddhi. A Commentary (Cheng WishLun) on Vasubandhu’s Triṃśikā by Xuanzang, was published in 2017. He was also engaged for several years in translating the Collected Works of Prof. Lambert Schmithausen. As President of Karma Changchub Ling, he is presently engaged in establishing it as a monastic centre of the Karma Kagyü lineage.

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