Reading Jamgön Kongtrül’s Treasury of Knowledge
with Jules Levinson
8 classes on Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 Starting: October 4, 2023: October 4, 2023; October 11, 2023; October 25, 2023; November 1, 2023; November 8, 2023; November 15, 2023; November 29, 2023; December 6, 2023.
Course continues in Spring Semester: Jamgon Kongtrul’s Treasury of Knowledge: the Two Truths II
This course gives Dharma Farm students the opportunity to have fun
reading and discussing a classic of the Tibetan Nonsectarian (ris med)
Movement by Jamgön Kongtrül: The Treasury of Knowledge. We’ll be
looking at the section on the two truths.
If you’ve never heard of Jamgön Kongtrül (shes bya mdzod by kong
sprul blo gros mtha' yas. 1813–1899), this is the course for you. You’ll
get a relaxed introduction to a prolific writer of the nineteenth century
who spent his life working in Khams among the literary, intellectual, and
contemplative elite of the Ka-gyu (bka' brgyud) and Nying-ma (rnying
ma) and learn about his distinctive approach to Tibet’s reception of
Indian Buddhism’s fondness for seeing all there is in terms of the two
Here at the Dharma Farm we welcome those starting at the beginning.
Everyone gets a chance to find out what’s the big deal with the two truths
without feeling everyone in the room already knows.
If you are someone like Craig who since the 1970s has studied the way
the two truths are presented by Tsong-kha-pa (1357-1419), this course is
his idea of a good time re-visiting these familiar puzzles through the
contrasting eyes of Tibet’s Nonsectarian movement. Jules and Craig were
classmates years ago at the University of Virginia. For four years they
explored the views on the two truths of Tsong-kha-pa and his followers.
Since then Jules has continued his studies extensively with teachers in
the Nonsectarian Movement. He’s studied Jamgön Kongtrül’s The
Treasury of Knowledge under the guidance of Khen Rinpoché Tshül-
trim Gyatso (mkhan rin po che tshul khrims rgya mtsho).
Jules looks forward to introducing us to new topics, highlighting critical
points for us, defining off-putting but necessary terminology, and
prompting us to think about this world of wonder.