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ACI Foundation Courses

In this 18-course series you will learn the same material taught in the great monasteries of India and Tibet. You will learn the essence of the Six Great Books of Buddhism as taught in the traditional “Geshe” program—presented in modern English with lots of great stories, examples and practical advice. Each course contains 10 audio classes, readings translated from the Buddhist classics, and homeworks and quizzes to help you learn and integrate the material.

ACI Course 13: The Art of Reasoning (1998, New York)

Topics include: the correct motivation for debate; debating tactics and the flow of a debate; the subject, quality, and reason of the debate; why logic is more valuable than faith; how studying logic leads to perceiving emptiness; what makes a reason correct; contradictions and relationships; relationships of identity, and relationships of cause and effect; proving the absence of something; material causes and contributing factors; valid perception; changing and unchanging things; an outline of all existing things; the concept of time according to each of the four schools of thought; and the reason why suffering has an end. ... Read More...

ACI Course 14: Lojong, Developing the Good Heart (1998, New York)

Topics include: How to develop a good heart, how to practice throughout the day, how to develop the wish for enlightenment, the eight verses of mind training, 18 pledges for developing a good heart, the six keys to successful practice, the five powers, the five mental poisons, seven steps to developing a good heart, the three virtues, how to respond to the eight worldly thoughts, the real meaning of freedom from attachment, how to behave in difficult situations, the difference between how things happen and why things happen, how to send your mind into death (powa), and seeing angels.... Read More...

ACI Course 15: What the Buddha Really Meant (1998, New York)

Topics include: The importance of evaluating spiritual teachings, how to interpret when spiritual teachings are literal or figurative, how to evaluate apparently conflicting teachings, a summary of the teachings Lord Buddha gave in each of the three Turnings of the Wheel of the Dharma, the goal of each of the three Turnings of the Wheel, an explanation of the ideas held by each of the main schools of Buddhism, ultimate reality (emptiness) according to each of the schools, the three progressively higher understandings of emptiness, the three attributes of reality, a comparison of the Mind- Only School and the Middle- Way School explanations of emptiness and dependent origination, how to use an understanding of emptiness to stop all your suffering, and how to stop your aging and death by stopping your ignorance.... Read More...

ACI Course 16: The Great Ideas of Buddhism, Part 1 (1999, New York)

The fifteen Formal Study Courses cover the main ideas of the entire course of study followed by a Tibetan monk-scholar (or geshe) at one of the great monasteries of Tibet. The three-part Great Ideas series summarizes all fifteen ACI Courses, along with the teachings of the traditional training of a Tibetan Buddhist Master. In part one, we cover the first five ACI Courses: The Principal Teachings of Buddhism, Buddhist Refuge, Applied Meditation, Proof of Future Lives, and How Karma Works. ... Read More...

ACI Course 17: The Great Ideas of Buddhism, Part 2 (1999, New York)

The fifteen Formal Study Courses cover the main ideas of the entire course of study followed by a Tibetan monk-scholar (or geshe) at one of the great monasteries of Tibet. This course summarizes the great ideas of the ACI Course Six through Ten. The first half of each class in this course was taught by Geshe Michael and is available below.... Read More...

ACI Course 18: The Great Ideas of Buddhism, Part 3 (1999, New York)

The fifteen Formal Study Courses cover the main ideas of the entire course of study followed by a Tibetan monk-scholar (or geshe) at one of the great monasteries of Tibet. This course summarizes the great ideas of the ACI Course Eleven through Fifteen. The first half of each class in this course was taught by Geshe Michael and is available below. ... Read More...