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Mahayana: Compassion Without Limit

New Mahayana

In the Mahayana teachings, we look at the possibility of limitless compassion and bodhichitta, the boundless intention to help all sentient beings. This motivation and its application are based on the crucial Mahayana notion that all sentient beings possess buddha nature, the potential to become a perfect buddha.

The studies of personal selflessness in the Hinayana are the jumping-off point for widening our vision to embrace the profound Mahayana selflessness of the “great emptiness” of all phenomena as well as the vast training and fruition of the path of a buddha-to-be.

This course is an updated and greatly revised version of the Nalandabodhi Mahayana Series with many new materials based on talks by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, especially in the areas of mind training (Tib. lojong), Madhyamaka, Mind-Only, Yogachara, Shentong, and buddha nature. Thus, all Nalandabodhi students who have already studied the previous Mahayana Series are greatly encouraged to join the new classes of this series.

Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl will be teaching most of the classes, including MAH 303, 304, 305, and 306.


Monday evenings
November 14, 2016 to October 30, 2017
7:00 PM—8:30 PM


Course will start with MAH 303 and 304, then MAH 301 and 302, followed by MAH 305 and 306.

Pre-requisite: Introduction to Buddhism 

Nov 14, 2016 – Jan 16, 2017
MAH 303: Not Even a Middle

Jan 23 – March 6, 2017
(Class #6: Wednesday, March 1)
MAH 304: Yogachara, Mind Only, and Shentong

March 13 – April 3, 2017
MAH 301: The Heart of Daring

March 29, 2017 & April 17 – June 5, 2017
MAH 302: Kindling the Spark of Awakening

August 7 – Sept 11, 2017
MAH 305: Discovering Our Buddha Heart

September 18 – October 2, 2017
MAH 306: Paramitas, Paths, and Bhumis


The text for the course is available in the Nalanda bookstore.


For each course, the follow fee scale applies.

General: $65
Nalandabodhi members: $40
Course Repeat/Review: $20


Please register online or at first day of class.

New Mahayana MAH 304

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Quarterly Practice Day

Nalanda West
Saturday, 26 November 2016
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Mitra Karl Teaching at 1:45 PM

Please join fellow sangha brothers and sisters in our quarterly day of practice — a whole day where we meditate together, eat together, rest together, study together, meditate again, and dedicate the merit together.  Shamatha, Mahamudra, Ngondro and Vajrasattva practitioners will have the opportunity to engage in their specific practices. 


Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl will teach about The Essential Points of Recognizing our Mind. The talk will address questions such as

“What is the most important thing in meditation?”
“What is the role of visualization?”
“Why do we dedicate?”

He will also comment on the crucial points of the different practices of the Nalandabodhi Practice Paths and be available for Q&A after the talk.

We encourage you to attend the full retreat. The suggested offering for the meals and teaching is $25 is for the day.

Volunteer opportunities: We are looking for umdzes, facilitators for Ngondro and  Vajrasattva, kitchen, and clean-up help.
Contact:  Don Ross  dross11@earthlink.net

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Tara Drupchen

October 28—30, 2016
10:00 am – 6:30 pm at Nalanda West


For the first time, Nalandabodhi and Nalanda West are offering a Tara Drupchen. Nalandabodhi teachers will be preparing and presiding over this auspicious practice.

The Drupchen will be a day-long event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 28—30, 2016; however, people may join on a drop-in basis.

What is a “drupchen”?

Drupchen (Tibetan: སྒྲུབ་ཆེན་ ; literally, “great practice [gathering]” or “great accomplishment [gathering]”) is a traditional format for a practice-intensive retreat in the Vajrayana tradition. The practice of Drupchen is said to bring great benefit to its participants and the communities around them. In this way it is a strong generator of merit, purification, and blessings. It is a powerful method for dispelling obstacles and hindrances for ourselves and our sangha’s dharma activities.

Please register on the Nalanda West event page.

Volunteers are always appreciated. If you would like to assist in the preparation before, during or after the program, please email info@nalandawest.org.

Daily Schedule

Doors Open

10:00am – 6:30pm
Tara practice with tea and lunch breaks

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Introduction to Buddhism

Wednesday Evenings, October 19, 2016 — February 8, 2017
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Nalanda West

Introduction to Buddhism a 16-week cycle of teachings on introductory and foundational Buddhist topics.

The introductory courses in the Nalandabodhi Path of Study explore the basic principles of Buddhism and lay the foundation for deeper studies, including being introduced to the views of different Buddhist schools.

All are welcome! These classes may be attended as a course or on a drop-in basis. Discussions led by Mitra teachers and senior students. The courses are free; donations are accepted.

“We’re cultivating our intelligence as opposed to expanding or upgrading its contents. It’s like brightening a room by putting a higher-watt lightbulb in a lamp. Suddenly we can see everything in the room much more clearly.”
— Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

The series is the pre-requisite for the Hinayana and Mahayana curricula.

Meditation instruction begins at 7 PM before each teaching.

The Life of the Buddha and the Spiritual Journey (INT 101)
4 Wednesdays: October 19, 26 and November 2, 9, 2016

October 19: “The Buddha was not a Buddhist”, part 1
October 26: “The Buddha was not a Buddhist”, part 2
November 2: “The World of Suffering and the Human Condition”
November 9: “Taming the Monkey Mind”

Traveling from Confusion to Original Sanity (INT 102)
4 Wednesdays: November 16, 30 and December 7, 2016

November 16: “The Path is the Goal”
November 23: “The Play of Confusion and Sanity” (aka “The Four Truths”)
November 30: “Trips of Confusion: Working with Emotions I”
December 7: “Trips of Confusion: Working with Emotions II”

Karma, Rebirth, and Selflessness (INT 103)
4 Wednesdays: December 14, 21, 2016, and January 4, 11, 2017

December 14: “The Four Seals of the Buddha’s Teaching I” – Impermanence, Suffering
December 21: “The Four Seals of the Buddha’s Teaching II” – No self, Freedom
<No session on Dec 28th>
January 4: “The Four Reminders”
January 11: “The Spiritual Friend: Connecting with Buddha’s Heart”

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (INT 104)
UPDATE: 4 Wednesdays: February 22, and March 1,8, 15, 2017

February 22: “The Practice of Fourfold Mindfulness and the Mindfulness of Body”
March 1: “The Mindfulness of Feelings”
March 8: “The Mindfulness of Mind”
March 15: “The Mindfulness of Phenomena”

The accompanying sourcebooks by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche are available for purchase at the Nalanda Store.  It is recommended that the class readings be done prior to each class. The bookstore is generally open Wednesdays 6:15—7:00 PM, Sundays 12:00—1:00 PM, and some weekday evenings. Please check the online calendar.

Contact: Nadine Selden nadine.seldenNB@gmail.com

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Hinayana Path and Fruition (HIN 202)


HIN202: September 12 to Nov 7, 2016

Mondays 7:00-8:30 PM

Buddhism is not a religion in the usual sense of the word. It is a method of investigation that allows you to work skillfully with the positive potentials and negative energies of your own mind. The teachings of the Hinayana represent the most fundamental instructions of the Buddha, which are central to everything that follows. Hinayana studies, therefore, are basic to any training in Buddhism.

In the Nalandabodhi Path of Study, Hinayana studies introduce you to Buddhism as a science of mind, or method of investigation. Your study of the Hinayana continues for one year, divided into two courses: The first course covers the ground or view of Hinayana, and the second covers the Hinayana path and its results.

The Hinayana Path and Fruition (HIN 202)

The second course, Hinayana Path and Fruition, shows you how the view is applied through the practices of the Hinayana path, where you will explore techniques of mindfulness, concentration, and insight.

More details:

Questions? Please contact Carmen Rumbaut crumbaut@hotmail.com or Stuart Horn stuarthor@gmail.com.

Course price is $40 for Nalandabodhi members and $65 for non-members, plus the cost of course materials available in the Nalanda Store.

Hinayana course

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