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Relative Truth, Ultimate Truth (Foundation of Buddhist Thought Module 2) 

Saturday and Sunday, 21-22 April, 19-20 May and 30 June & 1 July

with David Midgley, 10:30-17:00

Once you have some background in Buddhism, such as studying the Four Noble Truths,  this second module of the Foundation of Buddhist Thought offers an excellent opportunity to go deeper and get to grips with one of the most fundamental topics in the Buddhist path.

The Two Truths explores the difference between Relative and Ultimate Truth – between how things appear and how they actually exist.  It is this discrepancy which is the root cause of all our suffering, and it is understanding the Two Truths and applying this understanding in our lives that can liberate us from that suffering. During the twelve weeks of this module, we will follow Geshe Tashi’s detailed presentation of the Two Truths as explained in the Four Schools of Buddhist Philosophy, beginning with the simplest view, the Vaibhashika school, and progressing to the final Prasangika-Madhyamika view (which is studied in greater detail in FBT Module 5).  Students will have an opportunity to discuss, debate and meditate on each topic to gain a thorough understanding.

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 Lam Rim 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 are in doubt as to whether you have the necessary background to study this module, contact the course tutor david@schumacher-north.co.uk Please email smile@jamyangleeds.co.uk to book a place.

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 is £150 (3 weekends = 1 module) or £450 per year (3 modules over one year).


Upcoming  ‘Foundation of Buddhist Thought’ modules

Buddhist Psychology – September to December 2018

This module looks at the mind as it is taught in Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the mind and mental factors.

Year Two

The Awakening Mind – January to March  2019

Looking at the importance of compassion in our lives and the traditional techniques for developing bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment.

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 very 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 centers 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