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with David Midgley 

10:30-17:00 on Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 May

10:30-17:00 on Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 June

10:30-17:00 on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 July

Foundation of Buddhist Thought Module 5: Emptiness

The Buddha taught that the underlying cause of all suffering is our mistaken view of the nature of reality, the way that things, events and persons, especially oneself, actually exist.  According to the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Tibet, the Prasangika-Madhyamika view of Emptiness represents the most profound understanding of the true nature of reality that we need to realise to become finally free of suffering. This view will be taught in depth in this module, both in terms of how to gain an accurate intellectual understanding of the view and how to gain actual realization of it through meditation.

Course pre-requisites: This module is suitable for those who have a good basic grounding in Buddhism, for example, familiarity with the Four Noble Truths or the Lamrim teachings, or have completed all or most of the Discovering Buddhism programme or have regularly attended teachings by Geshe Tashi Tsering or other visiting teachers at Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds, or elsewhere.  If you would like to discuss if you have the necessary background to study this module, contact the course tutor davidmidgley02@gmail.com.

How to register:

Book for the complete module using the ‘book an event’ button at the top of the page, or email smile@jamyangleeds.co.uk to book for individual weekends.

The course is designed to be of greatest benefit if people commit to attending a full module at a time. However, if you are not able to attend all the sessions for a given module, you can get in touch with the course leader David Midgley, by emailing smile@jamyangleeds.co.uk to discuss what will best meet your needs.

If you would like to discuss if the course is suitable for you, you can also contact David Midgley by emailing smile@jamyangleeds.co.uk.

The suggested donation for each module (3 weekends) is £150 or £450 per year (3 modules over one year).


Upcoming  ‘Foundation of Buddhist Thought’ modules in 2019.

Emptiness – May to July 2019

Looking at the most profound view of emptiness – the view that brings release from samsara – as expounded by the Middle Way Prasangika school.

An Overview of Tantric Paths and Grounds – September to Dec 2019

Looking in depth at what tantra is and what it means to do a Vajrayana practice, based on a detailed study of the Guhyasamaja practice. The module is extraordinary in the way this profound and esoteric subject is made accessible.


About the Teacher:

David Midgley

David Midgley studied philosophy at Manchester, Oxford and York from 1971 to 1985.  He met with Tibetan Buddhism in 1980, received his initiation from Lama Zopa Rinpoche a year later and began teaching Buddhism in 1995, under the guidance of Geshe Tashi Tsering.  In 1996 he founded Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds, serving as its Director for five years and Assistant Director for a further four years, and for the last ten years has been a Trustee of the Centre.

In 2013, David was approved as a certified teacher for the Foundation of Buddhist Thought programme and taught the full programme at Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds over the succeeding two years.  In addition to teaching at Jamyang Leeds, he now also leads two other Buddhist groups, in York and Hull.

About the Author:

Geshe Tashi Tsering

Geshe Tashi Tsering was born in Tibet in 1958 and received his Geshe Lharampa degree (similar to a doctorate in divinity) from Sera Monastery in India in 1987. He gained the highest marks possible at every level of the sixteen-year course. In 1991 the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked him to take up a three-year appointment at Nalanda Monastery in France to teach advanced level Tibetan Buddhist philosophy to Western students.

Since 1994, he has been the guiding teacher of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, while also teaching at other Buddhist Centres worldwide. Geshe Tashi is also one of the principal translators for His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet when he visits Europe.

“Geshe Tashi’s systematic approach to Buddhist thought allows readers to gradually but surely enhance their knowledge of Buddhism without feeling overwhelmed.” —Eastern Horizon

“Geshe Tashi’s insights can be enjoyed by a wide audience of both specialists and newcomers to the Buddhist tradition.”—Thupten Jinpa, Director of the Institute of Tibetan Classics

Student Comments: ‘I’m thoroughly enjoying the course in every way. The material covered is exactly what I was looking for and the depth we are going into is just right. It’s challenging and it has me looking deeper into things that I’ve previously not realised had so much depth. That has been wonderful, as it is just like exploring uncharted territory.’

‘Having completed the majority of the Discovering Buddhism course, I was concerned I didn’t have enough experience, knowledge and understanding to begin FBT. This is definitely not the case and I am thoroughly enjoying studying in a detailed, disciplined manner. The study of materials out of class is manageable as texts are staggered into achievable portions. I have found myself committed to reading in order to fully prepare for each class.  Meeting and sharing with others regularly motivates and encourages, and David’s ability to explain even complex topics in a down to earth way inspires and challenges, something I find harder to achieve studying on my own. The guided meditations in class and weekly suggestions on what/how to practice at home are invaluable. I thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding and practice of Buddhism.’

‘I started by doing the Discovering Buddhism course which gave me a very good introduction to Buddhism. I got the hang of it you could say. FBT takes you much deeper. You come to know Buddhism more from the inside, from the foundations upwards – it is a well-named course! The thoughtful and structured approach helps you to build your understanding week by week, a process that is deepened by home study and practice and group discussion. It’s not only about the intellectual study – it asks for a lot of inner reflection also. Its thought-provoking, challenging and rewarding and the commitment to study over 2 years offers a path and orientation that feels very meaningful.’