In this weekly class series Robert A.F. Thurman will guide students through a close reading (with relevant digressions taking Vimalakirti’s wisdom live for today) of “The Noble Teaching of Vimalakīrti” using the classic text to introduce basic Buddhist meditation, history, philosophy, and realization.
The Vimalakīrti Sutra records happenings in Shakyamuni Buddha’ time (6th Century BCE) but not published as a text until around 0CE, a watershed moment in Buddhist history that brought sacred teachings out of the monasteries and into the streets and around the world, and out of classical language and into the vernacular.
Presenting the major teachings of Mahāyāna Buddhism in a precise, dramatic, and even humorous form, this Sūtra, called the “jewel of the Mahāyāna Sūtras,” has enjoyed immense popularity among Mahāyāna Buddhists in India, central and southeast Asia, Japan, and especially China, where its incidents were the basis for a style in art and literature prevalent during several centuries. Recently, it has become extremely popular in America, Europe, and Australia, through its various versions and translations.
The Thurman translation version of the text we will be discussing is available for free download from www.84000.com, as The Noble Teaching of Vimalakīrti. There is a dramatically fun introduction in the spirit of Vimalakirti by the Venerable Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche, also on that website.In this magical work, the elder layman, Vimalakirti, entertains and instructs a host of mendicant disciples and lay bodhisattvas, and effectively shares his deep enlightenment and kind understanding. The work is characterized by humor, a radical and democratizing aspect, and an inclusive world of spiritually charged reciprocity, which gently levels hierarchies.
The Sutra examines foundational concepts of Buddhist wisdom and omnicompetent compassion; the transformation of the “ordinary mis-knowing body” into a “buddha body”; and reveals the purpose of life—to educate oneself in the delicious fun of freedom through the wisdom of Vimalakirti, a layman, considered a close colleague in teaching by the Buddha himself.This first class is Free, and the subsequent 7 or 11 in the Saturday night series, starting
Saturday, April 11th at 8 PM EST, will be available for subscribers for $20 a lesson.
$18 FOR TIBET HOUSE US (THUS) members!
Folks can register this week for the ongoing series, and should be aware that THUS/Menla sustaining income is only through this online activity.
Anyone whose financial circumstances are hared-pressed can appeal when seeking to register to apply for a scholarship, as in this difficult time we would not want to deprive any sincere student of access on account of money.
To request a need based scholarship, please email .From those who are still fortunately comfortabler, any amount of donation will be gratefully accepted as well. Sarvamangalam! May all be well and happy!You may register for the entire series, or a single class.
We understand that during this time of crisis, we will offer limited scholarships for our courses to those who have lost their income. Please email: [email protected] for further information.We ask for your patience as we develop courses that we can offer for free, as well as on a sliding scale.
Thank you for your support, and be well.Individual Class: $20 / $18 MembersClass Series of next seven: $140 / $126 THUS Members
This class series is intended for all levels of interest.To watch the first session, please visit the Tibet House US Menla YouTube Channel.