Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche
Online, 17 – 28 May 2020
Dependent Arising and Emptiness
Serkong Rinpoche will give a teaching on the Dependent Arising and Emptiness on the basis of Candrakīrti’s commentary The Clear Words.
This treatise is considered the most important commentary on the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, the Foundation of Wisdom, rarely explained in the West.
The Lama Tzong Khapa Institute is happy to confirm the teachings of Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche from 17 to 28 May 2020. Due to the current pandemic, Serkong Rinpoche’s teachings will be offered online in Italian and English. You can join this Zoom webinar through our e-learning platform, which enables interactive and dynamic exchange between participants. This webinar is offered free of charge. All donations are welcome. To make a donation, please use one of the methods described below.
As a Tibetan Lama of the new generation, Rinpoche is held in high regard by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Emptiness and dependent arising are distinctive features of the Buddha‘s teachings, and the foundation of all three turnings of the wheel of Dharma. These include both Pali and Sanskrit traditions that developed after Buddha’s parinirvāṇa. By expounding on the nature of phenomena, the two truths – the conventional and the ultimate, the Buddha Bhagwan presented the two most important aspects of the path, method and wisdom. At the culmination of the path, one attains the two exalted bodies, the final awakening characterised by the complete abandonment of the two obscurations and the complete development of all qualities.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama advised us to approach the study and our daily practice of the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way on the basis of the four out of 27 chapters of the root text. In line with this advice, Serkong Rinpoche will follow the sequence indicated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Namely, he will start with chapter 26 (The analysis of the twelve branches of existence), continue with chapters 18 (The analysis of self) and 24 (The analysis of the Four Noble Truths), and conclude with chapter 22 (The analysis of the Tathāgata).
Produced in partnership with Wisdom Publication.
These teachings are available to all members of the Wisdom Experience (Free, Plus, and All-Access).
- Sunday 17 May
10 am – 12 am
- 18 May to 28 May
12.30 am – 2.30 pm
How to access livestreams and course materials
- Open: https://corsi.iltk.org/
- If you are accessing for the first time, you will have to create a free user account.
- On the home page, select Teachings with Serkong Rinpoche.
- On the registration page, select free SIGN UP.
If you cannot join us live, do not worry! The recordings of Serkong Rinpoche’s teachings will be uploaded daily and will remain freely accessible on the e-learning platform for the duration of this course. Recordings will not be available for download. They will be used as the basic study material for the follow-up “Thought Education and Emotional Hygiene” course.
- Please be advised during teachings is forbidden to take photos and any kind of video/audio registration.
- Only authorized ILTK staff can take photos and video/audio registrations.
PRELIMINARY TEACHINGS FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO ATTEND SERKONG TSENSHAB RINPOCHE’S PROGRAM
In February, at the request of Serkong Rinpoche, the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute organised and recorded the preliminary video teachings with Fabrizio and Atisha to prepare students for the Rinpoche’s Program in May.
The main aim of these preliminary classes was to introduce and clarify the logical structure of the text and meditations related to it. All audio-visual materials (in English and Italian) can be accessed free of charge on the Institute’s e-learning platform.
The preliminary teachings were based on The Science and Philosophy in the Indian Classics, chapter 2 – Methods of Inquiry: Critical Reflection and Four Reliances, and the first two chapters of the Exposition of Valid Cognition. (Both texts are available in English and Italian).
- Three means of valid cognition
- Principle of direct contradiction and elimination of the other
- Precise boundaries of the object of negation
- Definition of ignorance or wrong consciousness
- Introduction to the truth of cessation
Master Nāgārjuna is the pioneer of this tradition of transcendental wisdom stemming from the sutras on the perfection of wisdom. Each of his words is an ocean of the vast and the profound meaning that leads to the complete development of human qualities.
In June 2020, we will also launch a follow-up on-line study program called Thought Education and Emotional Hygiene. The aim of this new on-line course, which will be presented during Serkong Rinpoche’s teachings, is to bring the Buddha’s words as interpreted by the great Indian masters of Nālandā, such as Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti, closer to a wider audience.
The tutors for this new on-line course, Fabrizio Pallotti and Atisha Mathur, will provide philosophical and logical insights (in English and Italian) as a follow-up to Serkong Rinpoche’s May teachings on The Clear Words of Candrakīrti.
Registration opens in June 2020!
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Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche II
At the age of two, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche II (1984 – present) pointed at the photo of the recently deceased assistant tutor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and said, “That’s me!” Recognized as the reincarnation of the former Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, the young tulku received his initial Buddhist training at Ganden Jangtse Monastery in South India. After deciding to continue his work for the benefit of Dharma as a layman, he completed his education at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala. On the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he completed an intensive two-year English course in Canada, and he continues his higher Buddhist training.
Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche I
Kyabje Tsenshab Serkong Tugse Rinpoche was born on 28 July 1914 in the area of Loka in southern Tibet. His father was one of the most outstanding masters of the last century, the great Serkong Dorjechang, the incarnation of Marpa the Translator, his mother the incarnation of Marpa’s wife Dagmema, and Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche the incarnation of Marpa’s son, Darma Dode.
Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche studied with masters from all four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. He studied at the Ganden Jangtse Monastic University and received his Geshe Lharampa degree after fourteen years of study. He then spent nine years at Gyume Tantric College. Once he successfully completed all exams, he became the Master of Discipline. In 1948, he was appointed one of the seven Tsenshabs or master debate partners of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche served His Holiness in this capacity for the rest of his life. He also imparted to His Holiness many lineages, initiations and oral transmissions. He accompanied His Holiness to China in 1954 and came in exile to India in 1959.
In India, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche continued to serve His Holiness, helping him to establish the Office of Religious and Cultural Affairs. He also served as one of His Holiness’ main advisors, his personal ritual master, his teacher of the Buddhist technical knowledge and skills, such as mandala construction, and his spiritual communications and policy implementation officer.
As the master of sutras and all four classes of tantra, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche travelled extensively throughout India and Nepal to give teachings and initiations, helping monasteries to re-start their activities in the exile. He made five trips to Spiti, where he followed Atiśa’s example by introducing reforms and revitalizing the monasteries and the Buddhist tradition of that remote mountain region. He also went on two North American and European tours.
Taking on all obstacles for the welfare and the propagation of activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche passed away in full control and in accordance with his intentions, in the manner of the Buddha Shakyamuni, on 20 August 1983 in Kyipar, Spiti, India. His Holiness the Dalai Lama praised his former Master Debate Partner as a real Kadampa Geshe, who always remained humble in the truest sense of the word.