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Objective and Subjective Emptiness

May 8 @ 3:00 pm - May 17 @ 3:00 pm PDT

At this time (March 15), we hope to hold events after April 15 as scheduled.

We’ll reassess the local and global situation regularly. Check back on this course after April 15. 

A course in Buddhist philosophy with Dr. Jay L. Garfield

If Buddhist philosophy is your “thing,” this course on Objective and Subjective Emptiness is for you!

Professor Jay L. Garfield is a distinguished scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. He will guide us in a lively exploration of the objective and subjective aspects of emptiness as presented in the Madhyamaka and Yogacharya schools of tenets.

In the second turning of the wheel of Dharma, the Buddha identifies the teaching of emptiness as the antidote that brings an end to the afflictions. This is the Madhyamaka view. In the third turning, the Buddha taught that emptiness can also be considered as the basis or expanse within which the afflictions and conceptualizations are brought to an end with only the essential nature of the mind remaining. This is the Yogacharya stance. How do these views compare?

To find out, join Jay and the Abbey community for a deep dive into Buddhist philosophy.

This course is for advanced students. Some background in Buddhist philosphical studies is recommended.

Dr. Jay L. Garfield

Jay is the Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities at Smith College. He chairs Smith’s Philosophy department and directs their logic and Buddhist studies programs as well as the Five College Tibetan Studies in India program. He is also visiting professor of Buddhist philosophy at Harvard Divinity School, professor of philosophy at Melbourne University, and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, in Sarnath, India.

Jay also shares a teacher with Sravasti Abbey residents. He studied  Nagarjuna’s works with eminent scholar Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe at the Central University of Tibetan Studies (now Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies) in Sarnath. Geshe Thabkhe has guided the Abbey community through Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Stanzas and Dharmakirti’s Pramanavarttika.

Suggested reading to prepare for the course:

  • The phenomenology chapter of Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy, by Jay L. Garfield
  • Chapter 7 of the Saṁdhinirmocana-sūtra  (the John Powers translation, Wisdom of the Buddha, is recommended)
  • Vasubandhu’s Trisvabhāva-nirdeśa, included in Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, edited by Jay L. Garfield and  William Edelgass,
  • Dignāga’s Ālambanaparīkṣā  with its commentaries, collected in , A Philosophical Legacy in India and Tibet: Dignaga’s Ālambanaparīkṣā and its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries, by Duckworth, et al.

dana offering and registration form (use the long form) are requested to reserve your place.

Arrive by 3:00 on Friday. Retreat begins with a live-streamed teaching that begins promptly at 5:55. Retreat ends after lunch on Sunday, May 17.

Read all about Visiting the Abbey, including Getting Here and Visiting Guidelines.

For more information, write the office or call 509-447-5549.


May 8 @ 3:00 pm
May 17 @ 3:00 pm
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Sravasti Abbey Event Organizer
(509) 447 5549


Sravasti Abbey
692 Country Lane
Newport, WA 99156 United States
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