Menla Online: Good Wise Sweet Love - the Noble Teachings of Vimalakīrti
About This Event
In this weekly class series, Robert A.F. Thurman will guide students through a close reading of “The Noble Teaching of Vimalakīrti”. Thurman will use the classic text to introduce basic Buddhist meditation, history, philosophy, and realization with relevant digressions bringing Vimalakirti's wisdom alive today!
The Vimalakīrti Sutra records happenings in Shakyamuni Buddha' time (6th Century BCE) but was not published as a text until around 0 CE, a watershed moment in Buddhist history that brought sacred teachings out of the monasteries and into the streets and around the world, and out of classical language and into the vernacular.
Presenting the major teachings of Mahāyāna Buddhism in a precise, dramatic, and even humorous form, this Sūtra, called the “jewel of the Mahāyāna Sūtras,” has enjoyed immense popularity among Mahāyāna Buddhists in India, central and southeast Asia, Japan, and especially China, where its incidents were the basis for a style in art and literature prevalent during several centuries. Recently, it has become extremely popular in America, Europe, and Australia, through its various versions and translations.
Thurman's translation of the text is available for free download from (contact info blocked), as The Noble Teaching of Vimalakīrti. There is a dramatically fun introduction in the spirit of Vimalakirti by the Venerable Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche, also on that website.
In this magical work, the elder layman, Vimalakirti, entertains and instructs a host of mendicant disciples and lay bodhisattvas and effectively shares his deep enlightenment and kind understanding. The work is characterized by humor, a radical and democratizing aspect, and an inclusive world of spiritually-charged reciprocity, which gently levels hierarchies.
The Sutra examines foundational concepts of Buddhist wisdom and omnicompetent compassion; the transformation of the “ordinary mis-knowing body” into a “buddha body”; and reveals the purpose of life—to educate oneself in the delicious fun of freedom through the wisdom of Vimalakirti, a layman, considered a close colleague in teaching by the Buddha himself.
This class series is intended for all levels of interest.
When: 8:00 PM EST Sunday, May 17th & Saturday, May 23rd.
Individual Class: $20 General Public / $18 for Tibet House/Menla Members
Class Series of next two sessions with access to past recordings: $40 / $36 THUS Members
This class series will continue on Saturdays, May 30th-June 20th, 2020 as "Vimalakīrti's Silence: Sci-Fi Feast and Buddhaverse Infrastructure" with covering Chapters 8-12 of the text. To to learn more and to register, please visit: (contact info blocked).
To watch the first session from April 4, 2020, please visit the Tibet House US Menla YouTube Channel.
Every dollar lends crucial support to Tibet House/Menla during this financial crisis. Anyone whose financial circumstances are dire can appeal for scholarship assistance. To request a need-based scholarship, please email (contact info blocked).
We encourage those who are still financially comfortable to contribute any amount of donation above the normal class fees to support scholarships specifically or Tibet House/Menla generally. Sarvamangalam! May all be well and happy!
We ask for your patience as we develop further courses that we can offer for free, as well as on a sliding scale. Thank you for your support, and be well.