CS001 | CST001. Who We Are & Who We Serve: Personal Theology & Foundations of Engagement (1 credit, 1st Term MA & MDiv
An introduction to the service core at Maitripa College for both MA and MDiv students, focusing on understanding and developing a personal theology both within and outside of the Buddhist tradition, understanding the concept of spiritual transformation through service, developing knowledge and relationships with local community partners, and developing a familiarity with the concept of "service" within the framework of traditional Buddhist philosophy. This class includes a 20-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CS003. Compassionate Service: Conflict & Diversity, Wisdom & Method (1 credit, 3rd Term MA)
This class focuses on applying real-world skillful means for the individual and groups working in engaged service. The practical emphasis will be on ethics, identifying and engaging with diverse populations. This class will also examine personal narrative and storytelling as a means of constructing one's relationships with others and the world. This class includes a 20-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CST003. Compassionate Service: Wisdom & Method (3 credits, 3rd Term MDiv)
This class focuses on applying real-world skillful means for the individual and groups working in engaged service. The practical emphasis will be on ethics, diversity, and developing an awareness of multiculturalism. Topics will include an introduction to various theories and practices of group dynamics and systems, as well as an introduction to productive communication models such as compassionate communication. This class will also examine personal narrative and storytelling as a means of constructing one's relationships with others and the world. This class includes a 30-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CST005. Buddhist Chaplaincy (3 credits, 5th Term MDiv)
This class will explore the emerging need for Buddhist Chaplaincy in America, and the field of study and practice forming in response. This class is the first semester of a final year-long course in community spiritual care and the arts of ministry for the advanced MDiv student preparing for Buddhist Chaplaincy within secular, interreligious, or Buddhist communities or service settings. Students will acquire competencies in a core set of Buddhist practices from religious and cultural perspectives, build skills for spiritual care of self and others, and prepare for and practice public communications including religious education, community or pastoral care, and facilitation of meditations, chanting, and rituals. Students will complete a 45 hour Field Education placement.
HIS301 | HIS301d. History of Buddhist Philosophy: India and Tibet (2 credits)
This course will provide a broad-based survey of the history of Buddhism in India and Tibet. We will begin by discussing the historical and cultural context out of which Buddhism emerged, namely the Vedic period and Vedic traditions that preceded classical Hindu traditions in India. From here we will discuss the brahmana (ascetic) movement, the life the historical Buddha, and the formulation of the early sangha. After discussing Buddhism during the lifetime of the Buddha, we will cover the early history of Buddhism including the early Buddhist councils, the creation of the Buddhist canon, and the formulation of early Buddhist schools. We will then cover the beginnings of the Mahayana, the early Mahayana philosophers and the intellectual history of Mahayana Buddhism in India. In addition to reading histories of Buddhism, we will also read and discuss scholarly articles about the proper methods for approaching and understanding this history. We will then turn our attention to the transmission of Buddhism from India to Tibet. We will discuss the key figures in both the early and later disseminations of Buddhism to Tibet and the key events which helped shape the forms Tibetan Buddhism takes today. This portion of the course will be divided into two sections: the early transmission and the later transmission. Each of the four major Tibetan Buddhist schools as well as the indigenous Bon tradition, their histories, key figures, texts and lineages will be discussed. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of Buddhist beginnings in India, its history and development in the land of its origin, and the manner in which the tradition was transmitted to Tibet. In addition, students will gain a detailed understanding of the religious and intellectual history of Buddhism in Tibet, including the key figures, lineages, texts, and practices which make the schools of Buddhism in Tibet unique.
MDT301 | MDT301d. Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (2 credits)
This course will provide a broad introduction to the vast corpus of techniques and practices of Buddhist meditation, with particular emphasis on the techniques of analytical meditation. The course will be taught in an interactive format, allowing students the opportunity to learn specific meditations as directed by the instructor, practice them, and discuss their experiences in class. The subject matter will parallel the topics of Buddhist philosophy as taught in PHL301 | PHL301d. Part of this class will include regular meditation sessions out of class, the keeping of a sitting journal, and the opportunity for objective discussion on the effect of these practices on the individual’s mind. If desired, the committed student will have the opportunity to work with the instructor to design a personal meditation practice.
MDT303 | MDT303d. Techniques of Meditation: Madhyamaka (2 credits)
The subject matter of this course will parallel the topics of Buddhist philosophy as taught in as taught in PHL303 | PHL303d.
The course will be taught in an interactive format, allowing students the opportunity to learn specific meditations as directed by the instructor, practice them, and discuss their experiences in class. Part of this class will include regular meditation sessions out of class, the keeping of a sitting journal, and the opportunity for objective discussion on the effect of these practices on the individual’s mind. If desired, the committed student will have the opportunity to work with the instructor to design a personal meditation practice.
MEDITATION RETREAT SERIES (See catalogue for other courses in this series)
General Description: Each semester, one or two opportunities will be offered to guide students through all aspects of meditation retreat, centered on a weekend meditation retreat at Maitripa to learn and practice specific meditations as directed by the instructor. Students will meet regularly with the instructors who will provide guidance in preparing for retreat, creating retreat structure, and sustaining the benefits of meditation retreat after the weekend. The course begins with preparations, including: 1) daily preliminary practices to prepare for retreat, 2) a written learning contract which identifies the mentorship, educational goals including concepts, insights, and skills to be developed as the purpose of the retreat, and evaluation methods, and 3) readings. The retreat will take place Friday Sunday; students should have no other obligations during this weekend. Following the retreat, students work with instructors on assessment, focus on maintaining a daily practice for that reinforces main themes of the retreat learning and, for MDiv students, may include development of practical pedagogical or other skills.
Please note retreat pre-requisites.
Some retreat credits may be applied to the Spiritual Formation concentration for MA or MDiv students, fulfilled through a combination of retreat and coursework options. Please seek advising to discuss your degree progress plans.
MDT501. Lam Rim Retreat: The Small Scope
(1 credit hour)
The topics of the retreat will include Impermanence and Death, Precious Human Rebirth, Karma, and Refuge. A learning objective in the preparation stage will include setting up a shrine and familiarization with daily practice. Post-retreat practice will review motivations for spiritual practice in daily practice. Prerequisites
: Successful completion of MDT301 and PHL 301.
PHL301 | PHL301d. Introduction to Buddhist Thought (2 credits)
This class will make use of philosophical treatises, literature, and historical analysis to present the foundations of Buddhist philosophy as taught by the early Indian pandits and commented upon by Tibetan scholars. Readings will include selections from the Abhidharma Kosha, Pramanavarttika,
with particular focus on the readings that relate to the three scopes of the lamrim as presented by the Tibetan scholar Je Tsongkhapa. Students will come away from this course with a foundation in Buddhist philosophy and knowledge of key issues of Buddhist Studies, including personal identity and the five skandhas, subtle impermanence, and the basics of a Buddhist world view. Students will gain important grounding in basic principles of dependent arising, the structure of Buddhist logic, and familiarity with Buddhist logic and logical arguments.
PHL303 | PHL303d. Madhyamaka Philosophy: Where is the Middle Way? (2 credits)
An overview and in-depth introduction to the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the philosophy and practice of Madhyamaka, or the “Middle Way,” as presented by the renowned Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna and his Indian and Tibetan commentators. Primary readings for this course include Lama Tsongkhapa’s Essence of Eloquence (Lekshé Nyingpo)
and its sources. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in MDT303 Techniques of Meditation
in conjunction with this class.
PHL323│PHL323d. The Good Heart: Cultivating Patience and Joyous Effort, Reducing Anger and Apathy (2 credits)
This course will examine the cultivation of patience as an antidote to anger, and joyous effort as an antidote to apathy from both traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhist and western psychological perspectives. Specific attention will be focused on the analytic thoughts and meditations, worldviews, research, and secular techniques said to reduce anger and apathy and increase patience and joyful effort in daily living. The Buddhist perspective will be examined through a close reading of two chapters from the sixth century Indian mater Shantideva’s timeless classic, the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,
a beloved text in all the Tibetan Buddhist tradition’s lineages and often praised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a peerless text on the cultivation of compassion. Shantideva’s text offers techniques and inspiration to avoid major psychological pitfalls on the path to developing a deep altruism for others and oneself. Western clinical and social psychology specializes in the observation, description and development of humans as social beings, illuminating the best and worst of behavior. The Western psychological perspective will be examined through readings on theories of emotion, motivation, and social behavior. A combination of philosophical study, discussion, reflection, and meditation training will be utilized in the exploration of these topics and the interstices and convergences between Buddhist and western psychology.
THL421. Buddhist and Western Approaches to Pastoral Care and Counseling (2 credits)
This class will focus on counseling and communication skills relevant to pastoral counselors or other helping professions. We will discuss theories of counseling, healing, psychopathology, faith, and suffering, as well as special topics such as grief and loss, multicultural issues, chronic illness, and self-care. This class will emphasize practical training in communication and contemplative skills that are essential to anyone who wishes to effectively and compassionately be in a helping relationship with others. Skills and assignments for this class are also designed to support those students on a path towards Chaplaincy.
THL501. Final Project Continuation: Master of Divinity (1 credit)
This course is required of MDIV students who have successfully completed all coursework toward their degree with the exception of their culminating project. Students must register for THL501 to maintain residency in their program for each term that their final project is in process toward final submission and approval. Students are strongly advised to meet with their project advisor in regard to staying in compliance with policies on final project completion. Pre-requisite: THL500 Master of Divinity Final Project: Personal Theology (4 credits) offered spring term only.
TIB201. Classical Tibetan Language Intermediate I (2 credits)
Students continue to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan grammar and syntax through reading and decoding basic verse and prose texts and commentaries on Buddhist philosophy and practice in their original language. This course also introduces basic translation theory. Whenever possible, students receive oral commentary of the texts they are working with as part of the class, and begin to learn how to "decode" some of the more cryptic forms of Tibetan philosophical exegesis.
TIB301. Seminar in Tibetan Translation (2 credits)
Students read and translate Tibetan texts and their commentaries in their original language.