CS002. Compassionate Service: Building Bridges (1 credit, 2nd Term MA)
Building on the foundation of CS001, this course will focus on developing the students' practical understanding, fluency, and perspective on issues of Buddhist social service, with a focus on framing community issues in terms of spiritual practice, and caring for spiritual communities. As with all service learning curriculums at Maitripa, the course will emphasize the laboratory of the service partner environment and one's own mind as the foreground for understanding, integration, and transformation. This class includes a 20-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CST002. Compassionate Service: Building Bridges (3 credits, 2nd Term MDiv)
Building on the foundation of CST001, this course will focus on developing the students' practical understanding, fluency, and perspective on issues of Buddhist social service, with a focus on framing community issues in terms of spiritual practice, caring for spiritual communities, Interfaith relationships, and models of community care. As with all service learning curriculums at Maitripa, the course will emphasize the laboratory of the service partner environment and one's own mind as the foreground for understanding, integration, and transformation. As this is a core class for MDiv program students, another level of emphasis and exploration will also be placed on development of leadership skills and methods inside and outside one's own community. This class includes a 30-hour concurrent service-learning project.
CS004. A Life of Social Action (1 credit, 4th Term MA)
This course will focus on facilitating the fourth term student in their service experience and helping them shape their accumulated body service of work into their culminating work for the term, a final project. This will be accomplished through an advanced study of personal narrative and an immersion in a group reflective process based on their service experience thus far. The focus and direction of the primary course materials and reading lists for the term will be developed by each student in accordance with his or her needs in conjunction with the course instructor.
CST004. Buddhist Ministry & Leadership: Building Spiritual Communities (3 credits, 4th Term MDiv)
This course is intended for the intermediate/advanced student seeking a practical context for their spiritual training. The course will explore modern concepts of spiritual community and leadership and consider how a Buddhist community might evolve and integrate itself with purpose and dignity into the fabric of modern society. Topics covered will include leadership theory, as well as an introduction to organizational development, Dharma centers & communities, becoming an instructor, fundraising, the clash of cultures east & west, and more.
CST006. Buddhist Chaplaincy II (3 credits)
MDT302 | MDT302d. Techniques of Buddhist Meditation: The Medium & Great Scope (2 credits)
This course will continue with instruction in meditation based on the foundations established in MDT 301. 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 as taught in PHL302 | PHL302d. 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.
MDT304 Madhyamaka Meditation: Preparation for Vajrayana (2 credits)
The subject matter of this course will parallel the topics of Buddhist philosophy as taught in as taught in PHL304 | PHL304d. 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:
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.
MDT502. Lamrim Retreat: The Medium Scope (1 credit)
The topics of the retreat will include the truth of suffering, the cessation of suffering, the path of cessation, and the twelve links of dependent origination. A learning objective in the preparation stage will include refuge and familiarization with daily practice. Post-retreat daily practice will include focused training in concentration. Prerequisites: Successful completion of MDT302, PHL 302, and MDT501 Lamrim Retreat: The Small Scope.
PHL302 | PHL302d. Foundations of Buddhist Thought: The Medium and Great Scope (2 credits)
This class surveys the foundational philosophical ideas of the Buddhist tradition as presented by the great pandits of
and commented upon by the Tibetan inheritors of the Indian Buddhist tradition. The course will make use of philosophical treatises (primary sources in translation), literature, and historical analysis to present the foundations of Buddhist philosophy.
will include selections from Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakosha
, Dharmakirti’s Pramanavarttika
, the Abhisamayalamkara
(attributed to Maitreya), Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life,
and 70 Topics,
as well as modern scholarly analysis of the same. There will be a particular focus on the readings as they relate to the medium and great scope of the Lamrim as presented by the Tibetan scholar Je Tsongkhapa and others. Students will gain a strong foundation in Buddhist philosophy including key topics that relate to the medium and great scopes such as: cause and effect, the potential for enlightenment, the structure of existence according to the Buddhist world view. Students will gain a strong foundation in Buddhist philosophy including key topics that relate to the great scope such as: loving kindness, great compassion, and abandoning the mind of self-cherishing, as well as topics that relate to the great scope such as the mind of enlightenment, the six perfections, and an in-depth examination of the path of a bodhisattva.
PHL304. Madhyamaka Philosophy: A Dose of Emptiness (2 credits)
A continuation of Madhyamaka I class, in which the exploration and debate of the philosophy and practice of Madhyamaka, or the “
” is deepened and refined. The primary reading text for this class will be Khedrup Je’s Dose of Emptiness (stong thun chen mo)
, a detailed critical exposition of the theory and practice of emptiness as expounded in the three major schools of Mahayana philosophy, as well as its commentaries. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in MDT306 Madhyamaka Meditation: Preparation for Vajrayana
in conjunction with this class.
PHL324 | PHL324d. The Good Heart (2 credits)
This class will explore the application and integration of spiritual values in the role of organizational leadership. We will examine ethics, compassion, and wisdom as it applies to a variety of secular contexts, from ancient India to contemporary issues in leadership. The first eight weeks of the class will be taught by Yangsi Rinpoche and focus on Buddhist texts about the qualities of enlightened leadership, , such as the popular text Letter to a Friend
by Nagarjuna (1st
century), a collection of advice written to King
Gautamiputra. The second eight weeks of the course will be taught by Dr. Steven Vannoy, and will include readings sourced from academic journals in the field of psychology.
PHL500. Masters Thesis/Comprehensive Exam (4 credits)
Final mastery for the master's degree is demonstrated through one of the following two options:
1. Completion of a Master's Thesis
- The MA thesis is submitted to a committee of no fewer than two faculty members at least three weeks prior to the final oral defense of the thesis. The oral defense includes a short presentation of the thesis by the student (30 minutes), followed by a question-and-answer period with the audience (including other graduate students and faculty), followed by a closed-door question-and-answer period between the thesis committee and the student. A final decision is made by the committee members there. Students propose, frame, and present drafts of the thesis in consultation with the thesis advisor in the months preceding the final defense.
2. Passing a Final, Comprehensive Exam
- The comprehensive exam is an on-campus four-hour exam covering the breadth of content of the subject matter of the MA degree. A list of 40 potential questions from which the faculty will draw are given to the students in advance for their study and preparation. The actual exam will have twelve questions from which the student will choose eight to serve as the subjects of their essays.
THL305. Engaged Buddhism: Non-Violence and Social Justice in Buddhist Thought and Practice (2 credits)
Engaged Buddhism is the application of the Dharma to large and small scale problems that cause suffering in the world. Most commonly it is thought of as Buddhist social and political action, but can include everything from hospice care, to environmental work, to anti-war activism, to soup kitchen work, to solitary meditation in a Himalayan cave for ultimate benefit of all living beings. Socially Engaged Buddhism is not aligned with any particular Buddhist denomination and can be found across the Buddhist world. It has been more clearly defined and prominent in the past fifty years thanks to the efforts of leading Engaged Buddhist thinkers like Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sulak Sivaraksa, Samdhong Rinpoche, and Robert Thurman among others. In this class we will look at the writings of these Engaged Buddhists and investigate the kinds of activities Engaged Buddhists are doing in order to transforms society to create a world that engenders our highest ideals and nurtures compassion and wisdom.
THL422. Contemplative Care and Counseling Skills (1 credit)
This class will focus on developing practical contemplative care and counseling skills, applicable in therapeutic, organizational, and interpersonal contexts. Using techniques such as role plays, self-assessment exercises, and other forms of experiential learning and skills building, students deepen self-awareness and its influence on their role in working with others. Special topics will include Buddhist and Western approaches to suffering and healing, how to form a helping relationship, difficult emotions, grief and loss, chronic illness, pain, conflict resolution, and multicultural issues. This course requires a minimum of five students. This course may be repeated for credit.
THL500. Master of Divinity Final Comprehensive Paper (4 credits)
The Final Comprehensive Paper embodies the integration of the student's practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding gained in the Master of Divinity program. The paper is comprised of questions in several sections that are designed to reflect on your training as a whole; essays in response may draw upon coursework, experiences with community service partners, and personal growth while a student at Maitripa College, and should demonstrate areas of competency.
TIB202. Classical Tibetan Language Intermediate II (2 credits)
Students continue to deepen their knowledge of Tibetan grammar and syntax through reading and decoding more complex texts, treatises, poetry, and commentaries on Buddhist philosophy and practice in their original language. This course includes the continued study of translation theory, and students will begin working on their own basic translations. Students receive oral commentary of the texts they are working with as part of the class and as an aid to their understanding and translation of the texts.
TIB301r. Seminar in Tibetan Translation (2 credits)
Students read and translate Tibetan texts and their commentaries in their original language.