Enso (untitled) Max Gimblett

Madhyamakavatara: 8-Week Program


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The Index locates topics in the teachings. For definitions and explanations, please see Glossary.

Please note the Index is still under construction. It is very incomplete. We hope that it is nevertheless still useful.


2 truths: see also [Glossary] ⇨2 truths
• “ultimately, all phenomena are free from extremes (of existence, non-existence, both, neither); relatively, all appearances are like an illusion” [Week 3, t = 1:05:49], see also: view and practice
• How Chandrakirti introduces the 2 truths to dispose of objections based on ordinary experience (i.e. ordinary people accept other-arising, so why shouldn’t we?) [6:22, Week 3, t = 1:33:53]
3 fetters that obstruct practice: belief in a self, attachment to rituals, doubt [Week 7, t = 0:12:37]
3 kinds of student or 3 kinds of listener: with different abilities to hear what’s being said (1 = right away, 2 = only with repetition, 3 = not until their capacity and experience as a listener changes):
• Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on 3 kinds of student [Week 3, t = 0:58:20]
• J. Cole on 3 kinds of listeners [Week 3, t = 1:01:57]
• See also: beginner’s mind
• See also: student of superior faculties [Week 6, t = 1:11:10]
3 types of compassion: see also [Glossary] ⇨3 types of compassion
• Distinguished by their 3 objects (beings, phenomena, no object) [1:3-1:4ab, Week 2, t = 0:58:00]
4 foundations of mindfulness, from Satipatthana Sutta [Week 3, t = 0:27:13]
5 aggregates: introduction; in Heart Sutra [Week 6, t = 0:27:42] See also: wiki on ➜skandhas
8 worldly dharmas: see also [Glossary] ⇨8 worldly dharmas
• Equalizing the 8 worldly dharmas as a sign of progress in internalizing the view of emptiness [Week 1, t = 0:31:14]
10 bulls: see also [Glossary] ⇨10 bulls
• 1. “The Search for The Bull” [Week 1, t = 0:15:42]
• 2. “Discovering the Footprints” [Week 2, t = 0:06:38]
• 3. “Perceiving the Bull” [Week 3, t = 0:19:25]
• 4. “Catching the Bull” [Week 4, t = 0:42:11]
• 5. “Taming the Bull” [Week 4, t = 0:42:11]
• 6. “Riding the Bull Home” [Week 5, t = 0:04:02]
• 7. “The Bull Transcended” [Week 5, t = 0:04:02]
• 8. “Both Bull and Self Transcended” [Week 6, t = 0:04:10]
• 9. “Reaching the Source” [Week 7, t= 0:01:54]
• 10. “In the World” [Week 8, t = 0:03:17]
• In Paul Reps (1957) Zen Flesh, Zen Bones : see [Bibliography] Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
10 equalities: Madhyamakavatara is based on 4th equality, “absence of birth” [Week 3, t = 0:27:42]
10 unanswered questions
• The 10 (in some traditions 14) metaphysical questions that the Buddha didn’t answer, e.g. “is the universe eternal or not?” [Philosophy in Buddhism, Week 1, t = 0:23:29]
• If self and aggregates are same, then Buddha should have answered [6:129, Week 5, t = 1:10:19]
20 wrong views (of self) refuted in the Madhyamakavatara [6:144-6:145, Week 5, t = 1:36:42]


Acceptance / non-judgement:
• The seeming paradox that we are taught both (1) to accept everything in the view, (2) to distinguish right/wrong thoughts and actions on the path [Week 2, t = 0:14:27]
• See also: view language and path language
Alagaddupama Sutta (MN 22.13, “The Water-Snake Simile”): “the teaching is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over, and not for getting hold of” [Week 1, t = 0:54:22]
• See also: sutras

AlphaGo, artificial intelligence/deep learning, defeats Go world champion [Week 5, t = 0:26:40]


Baby prince and the ministers, story to illustrate how the bodhisattvas outshine the Shravaka arhats with merit on 1st bhumi and with wisdom on 6th bhumi [1:8, Week 2, t = 1:16:21]
Batchelor, Stephen, and rationality – going beyond irrationality and blind faith, but not reaching the nondual and beyond-rational [Week 4, t = 0:35:03]. See also: beyond-rational
Beginner’s Mind,
• The Zen story A Cup of Tea [Week 1, t = 0:11:36]
• “Understanding is like a patch on clothing. Experience is like a mist in the morning. We should not be attached to them” [Week 5, t = 0:37:57]
• See also: 3 kinds of student
• Jigme Lingpa “As soon as we talk it is all contradiction / As soon as we think it is all confusion” [Week 3, t = 1:36:08]. See also: Jigme Lingpa
• Nonduality is beyond-rational, which isn’t the same as irrational: see irrational
• Secular Buddhists are trapped in rationality and can’t go beyond: see Stephen Batchelor
Buddhist philosophy
• Buddhism has no interest in metaphysical speculation: see 10 unanswered questions


Chandrakirti: see also [Glossary] ⇨Chandrakirti
• A Madhyamika who accepts conventional truth (jikten drakdé umapa) (see: conventional truth)
Chariot, simile of the, to illustrate wrong views of self/aggregates [6:151, Week 5, t = 1:40:09]
Charnel ground and forest glade: see forest glade and charnel ground
Compassion: see 3 types of compassion
Conventional truth: see also [Glossary] ⇨conventional truth
• Chandrakirti is a “Madhyamika who accepts [as conventionally true just] what the world acknowledges [to be true]” (rywiki: “Madhyamika acting in accordance with the world “) (Wylie: ‘jig rten grags sde dbu ma pa, Tibetan: འཇིག་རྟེན་གྲགས་སྡེ་དབུ་མ་པ་, jikten drakdé umapa), [Week 3, t = 0:51:03]
Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta (MN 63, “The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya” ), man wounded by poisoned arrow [Week 1, t = 0:23:29]
• See also: sutras


Dependent arising,
• Dependent arising is how things arise in conventional truth [6:114, Week 4, t = 1:44:07]
• Thich Nhat Hanh’s story of the cloud floating in the piece of paper [Week 3, t = 0:39:59]
Doubt: see 3 fetters

Dreyfus, Hubert, on artificial intelligence and What Computers Can’t Do [Week 5, t = 0:23:25]


• How to practice emptiness and nonduality: see horse practice and donkey practice
• See also: dependent arising, i.e. how we talk about arising in conventional truth
• Emptiness of emptiness [6:185-6:186, Week 6, t = 0:31:59]
Espoused Theory / Theory-in-Use (by Chris Argyris)
• In the context of practicing and realizing the view [Week 1, t = 0:37:36]


• The Buddha: “Do not accept any of my words on faith”: see Kalama Sutta
Falsifiability as part of the definition of valid relative truth [Week 5, t = 1:32:33]
Forest glade and charnel ground [Week 4, t = 0:27:09], see also: view and practice


• The Buddha’s invitation to critically examine the Dharma as if buying gold: see Kalama Sutta


Heart Sutra
• Text of Heart Sutra (Prajñaparamitahridaya): see [Practice] ⇨Heart Sutra
Prajñaparamita Sutras as scriptural source for Madhyamakavatara [6:223, Week 6, t = 0:46:59]
• See also: sutras
Horse practice & donkey practice, teaching by Padampa Sangye [Week 5, t = 0:37:57]


• Nonduality is beyond-rational, which isn’t the same as irrational: Irrational, rational and beyond-rational [Week 6, t = 1:11:10]


J. Cole on how people hear the message of his songs in 3 different ways: see 3 kinds of student
Jigme Lingpa
• The truth is beyond-rational: “As soon as we talk it is all contradiction / As soon as we think it is all confusion” [Week 3, t = 1:36:08]. See also: beyond-rational


Kalama Sutta (AN 3.65, “To The Kalamas”): “Do not accept any of my words on faith, believing them just because I said them. Be like an analyst buying gold, who cuts, burns, and critically examines his product for authenticity” [Week 1, t = 0:50:47]
• See also: sutras
• Going beyond good karma and bad karma [6:42, Week 3, t= 1:57:05]. See also: 6:106 [Week 4, t= 1:38:27].
“Those who are ignorant engage in bad deeds and go to hell.
Those who ignorant engage in good deeds and go to heaven.
Those who are wise go beyond good and bad and attain liberation.”
Kegan, Robert
• Going beyond subject/object duality; difference between nonduality of baby & nonduality of Buddha [Week 2, t = 1:39:37]
• The developmental journey from social conformity and the socialized self to self-authorship [Week 8, t = 0:25:12]
Keynes, John Maynard: “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist” [Week 5, t = 1:39:01]
Koans and Zen stories
• Great collection of koans and Zen stories, including Mumonkan and 101 Zen Stories, in Paul Reps (1957) Zen Flesh, Zen Bones : see [Bibliography] ⇨Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
• “A Cup of Tea”, #1 from Mumonkan [Week 1, t = 0:11:36]
• “Nothing Exists”, #82 from 101 Zen Stories [Week 3, t = 1:04:35]
• “Time to Die”, #85 from 101 Zen Stories [Week 4, t = 0:24:39]
• “Muddy Road”, #14 from 101 Zen Stories [Week 5, t = 0:35:24]


Lojong, and renunciation mind. See: renunciation mind


• Mahayana-Madhyamaka as the sole final vehicle of all Buddhist paths [6:79, Week 4, t = 1:22:07]
• Revisited in Mipham’s commentary on shravakas/bodhisattvas, verse 6:179 [Week 6, t = 0:14:21]
• 4 foundations of mindfulness: see 4 foundations of mindfulness


Narak Kong Shak confession practice: the nondual ‘confession of the view’ [Week 6, t = 0:39:41]

• Nonduality is beyond-rational, but not irrational: see beyond-rational and irrational
• Robert Kegan on nonduality [Week 2, t = 1:39:37]
Non-judgment: see acceptance

Nyoshul Lungtok, with Patrul Rinpoche outside Dzogchen monastery: see Patrul Rinpoche


Outshining, how bodhisattvas outshine Shravaka arhats: see baby prince and the ministers


Padampa Sangye
• Horse practice and donkey practice: see horse practice and donkey practice
• All phenomena of the ground, path and fruit are emptiness [6:201cd-6:215, Week 6, t = 0:44:15]
• See also: practice
Patrul Rinpoche
• Introducing the nature of mind to Nyoshul Lungtok at Dzogchen Monastery [Week 3, t = 0:56:55]
Phena Sutta (SN 22.85, “Foam”): “Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick” [Week 2, t = 1:30:30]
• See also: sutras
• Philosophy in Buddhism: see Buddhist philosophy

Poisoned arrow, story of man wounded by: see Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta

• Forest glade and charnel ground: see forest glade and charnel ground
• Horse practice and donkey practice, advice on how to practice emptiness and nonduality by Padampa Sangye: see: horse practice and donkey practice
• Renunciation mind [Week 4, t = 0:32:23]
• See also: path
Prajñaparamita: see Heart Sutra


Raft, simile of the: see Alagaddupama Sutta
• The limits of rationality: see beyond-rational and irrational
• Distinction of realism and representationalism [Week 5, t = 0:17:38]
• Should a contemporary follower of Chandrakirti accept rebirth, given that Chandrakirti follows conventional truth and rebirth isn’t conventional in modern world? [Week 4, t = 1:35:06]
• Mipham on the 10th emptiness: “there is no (real) going (from one life to a later life) and no coming (from an earlier life to the present life)—all is but a dreamlike appearance” [6:194-6:195, Week 6, t = 0:38:55]
Renunciation mind, and lojong practice [Week 4, t = 0:32:23]
• Distinction of representationalism and realism [Week 5, t = 0:17:38]
Role model
•  The sage (from the 10th bull) and the dzogchen yogi as role models [Week 8, t = 0:03:17]


Sabché (Wylie: sa bcad, Tibetan: ས་བཅད་): see structural outline

Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10, “The Way of Mindfulness”): see 4 foundations of mindfulness
• See also: sutras
Satori, initial glimpse of enlightenment in the Zen tradition [Week 2, t = 1:14:09]
• Science is not our opponent, example of Prasangika car mechanic [Week 5, t = 1:28:47]
• Science is conventional truth in modern world, just as Abhidharma was conventional truth during Chandrakirti’s time [Week 4, t = 1:35:06]

Secular Buddhism: see Batchelor, Stephen

Skandhas: see 5 aggregates
Spiritual materialism
• As dwelling on or becoming attached to the purity of our discipline [2:3, Week 2, t = 1:52:59]

Stockdale Paradox, holding both realism and optimism = face the truth but have confidence that you will prevail in the end [Week 4, t = 0:19:18]

Structural outline (Wylie: sa bcad, Tibetan: ས་བཅད་, sabché):
• Introduction to structural outline and its relationship to the commentary [Week 3, t = 1:27:54]
• Structural outline for refutation of the Cittamatra [Week 5, t = 0:52:08]
Sudden and gradual, progress on the path and types of enlightenment [Week 2, t = 1:14:09]
Superior faculties, student or practitioner of [Week 6, t = 1:11:10]

Superior understanding of one’s own object: Nagarjuna’s explanation of why the Mahayana understanding of the view is superior to that of the Shravakayana [Week 2, t = 1:22:27]

Sutras (by name)
• Alagaddupama Sutta (MN 22 from Pali Canon): see Alagaddupama Sutta
• Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta (MN 63 from Pali Canon): see Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta
• Heart Sutra (Mahayana): see Heart Sutra
• Kalama Sutta (AN 3.65 from Pali Canon): see Kalama Sutta
• Phena Sutta (SN 22.85 from Pali Canon): see Phena Sutta
• Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10 from Pali Canon): see 4 foundations of mindfulness
• Vajira Sutta (SN 5.10 from Pali Canon): see Vajira Sutta
Sutras (stories and examples from)
• [Arrow]: Story of man wounded by poisoned arrow: see Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta
• [Faith]: “Do not accept any of my words on faith”: see Kalama Sutta
• [Magic]: “Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick”: see Phena Sutta
• [Raft]: “The teaching is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over, and not for getting hold of”: see Alagaddupama Sutta


Theory-in-use: See espoused theory
Thich Nhat Hanh
• Story of the cloud floating in the piece of paper (dependent arising) [Week 3, t = 0:39:59]
Tulku: the different kinds of tulkus / manifestations [8:1-8:3, Week 7, t = 0:32:30]


Ultimate truth: see also [Glossary] ⇨ultimate truth
• Ultimate truth is independent and unfabricated [Week 3, t = 1:09:27]
• Ultimate truth vs. absolute truth [Week 3, t= 1:11:19]
• Textual Madhyamaka (approximate ultimate truth, finger pointing to the moon) vs. ultimate truth (nonduality that is beyond extremes, beyond words and concepts) [Week 4, t = 0:00:00]
• See also: 2 truths


Vajira Sutta: and the simile of the chariot [Week 5, t = 1:40:09]
• See also: sutras
View and practice / View, meditation, action
• “Ultimately, refute all views / Relatively, accept everything without analysis / Conventionally, do your practice” [Week 6, t = 1:00:04 end of section], see also: 2 truths
• The difference between view and practice [Week 1, t = 0:37:36]
• The forest glade and the charnel ground [Week 4, t = 0:27:09]
• Equalizing the 8 worldly dharmas as a sign of progress in internalizing the view of emptiness: see 8 worldly dharmas
• See also: horse practice and donkey practice
• See also: path / practice
• See also: view language and path language
View language and path language
• The difference between view language and path language [Week 2, t = 1:06:06]
• The seeming paradox that we are taught both (1) to accept everything in the view, (2) to distinguish right/wrong thoughts and actions on the path [Week 2, t = 0:14:27]
• See also: view and practice
• See also: path / practice


Wolves, Two: story of feeding the good/bad wolves as analogy for habits [Week 4: t = 0:52:02]


Zen / Chan
• Koans and Zen stories: see koans and Zen stories




Last updated 10 September 2017