This course covers the Buddhist code of ethics and the relationship between an ethical way of life, meditating deeply, and experiencing ultimate reality. This Course is based upon the Sutra on Vowed Morality (Vinaya Sutra) by Master Gunaprabha (500 AD), with commentaries from The Essence of the Ocean of Vinaya (Dulwa Gyatsoy Nyingpo) by Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419), The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (Yishin Norbu) by Choney Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748), and Day Maker (Nyin Je) by Master Ngulchu Dharma Bhadra (1772-1851).

Topics include: The three trainings; one day vows; the five lifetime lay vows; the individual freedom vows; an outline of novice, intermediate, and fully ordained monastic vows; the essence of vows; the basic nature of vows; reasons to live an ethical life; reasons to take vows; why morality is the key to meditation and seeing emptiness directly; how to keep vows from being damaged; how vows are lost; the specific karma resulting from each of the ten non-virtues; how to find a teacher; the characteristics of a qualified teacher; taking refuge; the four forces of karmic purification; the four truths; and the six perfections. 

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Course Materials

Course Materials




Class One: Overview of the Course

Class Two: A Synopsis of the Sutra on Discipline

Class Three: Introduction to the Vows of Freedom

Class Four: A General Description of the Vows, Part One

Class Five: A General Description of the Vows, Part Two

Class Six: Taking and Keeping the Vows

Class Seven: The Ten Non-Virtues and their Results

Class Eight: Introduction to the Steps of the Path

Class Nine: Description of the Lesser Scope

Class Ten: Description of the Medium and Greater Scopes

Class Eleven: Course Review