Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi

Teachings in Southern California

On Bodhicitta

A One Day Retreat with Ven Tenzin Priyadarshi

Sunday, November 9, 2014
9am to 4:30pm
University of California Irvine
Graduate Resource Center (GRC)
3100 Gateway Study Center

Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi will give commentary combining the two texts "Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea" by Khunu Lama, and "Verses of the Middle Way (Mulamadhyamaka-karika)" by Arya Nagarjuna; and show us how to apply these teachings to our daily lives.

"When Buddhas and Bodhisattvas thought,
'What is the means that lets one obtain easily
the supreme stage, where the two extremes
(of samsara and nirvana)
have been abandoned?'
They saw that it was this precious Bodhicitta."

Khunu Lama praises the many aspects of Bodhicitta, the Mind of Awakening, through image and metaphor. Bodhicitta is the heart of the Mahayana Buddhist path to complete enlightenment, and generating it within oneself brings together the two necessary cultivations that lead to Buddhahood: attention to the needs and sufferings of others, and realization of that view of reality which is unique to Buddha’s teachings.

"Whatever is dependently co-arisen
that is explained to be emptiness.
That, being a dependent designation,
is itself the middle way."

Nagarjuna analyses the nature of reality from many angles and reveals different aspects of the Middle Way view. It is a way in-between our usual confused entanglement in life the way we ordinarily perceive it, and the other extreme of complete escapism through achieving a state of private peace, detached from the world; in-between believing things really exist the way we perceive them, and the other extreme, thinking that things don’t exist at all.

Nagarjuna is a central figure in Buddhism. He is considered to be a pioneer of the Mahayana, and an originator of the Madhyamaka tradition through his critical analyses and presentations of many Buddhist concepts, especially the view of "Emptiness".

Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen Negi, a contemporary Indian Buddhist sage, kept a journal of his reflections on Bodhicitta, which was collected into the present text. Sogyal Rinpoche said that “To hold in your hands Khunu Rinpoche’s own words on bodhicitta is to be given a priceless opportunity – of touching the heart of a master who had made it the guiding light of his entire life…whenever I think of Khunu Rinpoche, I always say to myself, this is what St. Francis of Assisi must have been like”.

The retreat will consist of commentary on these texts, meditation, question and answer, and opening and closing prayers.
It will be held in a classroom setting. Chairs will be available. Bring your own cushion if you want to sit on the floor. There may be Khata offering at the end of the retreat.

The texts to be used are "Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea: verses in praise of Bodhicitta" by Khunu Rinpoche; and “The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way,” translation and commentary by Jay L. Garfield. Both are in print and available at bookstores.



Transforming the Inner and the Outer:
Conversations on Sustainable Spirituality

 A Public Talk by Ven Priyadarshi

Monday, November 10, 2014
Wallace All-Faiths Chapel
Chapman University, Orange, CA.

The Emptiness of Emptiness

Weeklong Retreat with Ven Tenzin Priyadarshi

January 30 to February 5, 2015
La Casa de Maria Retreat Center, Montecito, CA

"Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.
Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness.
In the same way feeling, perception, formation and consciousness are emptiness."

A week long intensive retreat on the understanding, practice, and realization of emptiness. This retreat will provide an opportunity to understand the conceptual framework of emptiness as it was presented and discussed in the literatures of  Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajryana schools. Participants will then proceed to deconstruct this conceptual framework to encounter emptiness “face to face”— proceeding to a naked awareness of no “face to face”.

The retreat will explore emptiness through teachings, discussions and meditation practices.   Beginners and advanced students are encouraged to attend.
Suggested Readings (in any available language): The Heart Sutra; Acharya Nagarjuna’s “Verses of the Middle Way” (mulamadhyamika-karika)— “Seventy Stanzas of Emptiness” (“sunyata-saptatih).

Details and Registration through our affiliate Bodhimarga    


Dharma Study Circle:  The Study Circle is an opportunity to progress in one's spiritual growth through becoming familiar with Buddhist texts, by having constructive discussions of the texts, and by interacting in the fellowship of sangha community with other aspirants. Periodically there will be Q&A sessions with Ven Priyadarshi on the text under discussion.

Currently we are discussing Atisha's "Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment." 
Groups are meeting in Huntington Beach, West L.A., and Santa Barbara.
Contact us if interested in joining a group.

Go to our Blog to see previous retreats and more of Ven. Tenzin's activities.

Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is the President of The Prajnopaya Institute and Foundation, a worldwide humanitarian organization. He is also the founding Director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is the Buddhist chaplain there as well. He was ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is his spiritual mentor, and has received instruction and training under several great Buddhist teachers. He teaches in the spirit of the non-sectarian, Rime' tradition. Ven. Tenzin teaches around the world, including recently in Russia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Japan, and Mexico.   (More about Ven. Tenzin)

Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi