Our curriculum follows the preliminary studies used in Ge-luk monasteries, but without the depth found in a monastic setting. Our intention is to prepare translators with the training they will need to pursue their research interests in the future.
THE DHARMA FARM’S CURRICULUM FOR ASPIRING TRANSLATORS OF TIBETAN BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS AIMS TO PREPARES TRANSLATORS IN TWO WAYS:
(1) Students will acquire the technical vocabulary and fluency with the idioms of Tibetan philosophical writing and
(2) Students will also acquire a variety of cognitive maps on which they can locate the ideas and controversies they will encounter in the future as translators.
FOLLOWING GE-LUK MONASTIC TRAINING, WE PRESENT A FIVE-COURSE SEQUENCE:
(1) Collected Topics on Valid Cognition (bsdus grwa). Collected Topics presents the techniques and basic concepts necessary to engage in debate. It also introduces the basic concepts of logic and epistemology that will be used throughout later study. A further reason this is an indispensable prerequisite for translators is Tibetan philosophical writing often uses the logical and syntactic conventions of debate in addition to more narrative sentence structures.
(2) Types of Mind (blo rigs) presents the main concepts used in Buddhist Epistemology: the nature of knowledge, its types, and its objects.
(3) Types of Evidence (rtags rigs) presents the types of reasoning and distinctions such as those between probative arguments and statements of consequence.
(4) Tenets/Doxography (grub mtha’) examines Buddhist and non-Buddhist systems in the manner of stark compare and contrast. In this way, the presentation of tenets shows the shape of the Buddhist tradition as a whole, its main ideas, and its most important distinctions.
(5) Grounds and Paths (sa lam) deepens understanding of the structure of the Buddhist worldview through a more detailed presentation of the paths of Hearers, Solitary Realizers, and Bodhisattvas focusing on their respective objects of observation and objects of abandonment. Many of the controversies among the Middle Way schools are introduced here.