Shedra is a Tibetan word meaning: Buddhist Philosophical University. Although Shedra refers to a course that begins and ends covering one or more texts,
the actual word Shedra refers to continuous study and the graduation is when you realize the meaning of the teachings. Realization is a Buddhist term and does not refer to hearing something and then knowing it, or something suddenly clicking in the intellect. It is significantly more than that. Realization is a totally stable understanding, with no regression or deterioration, once something is realized it remains undiminishible.
To fully realize the teachings is to realize emptiness. The realization of emptiness means that the treasure that lives within ourselves blossoms. This is why the texts continually refer to realization of emptiness, compassion ect.., because realization is how the Lineage is preserved,
for the lama who has realized the teachings then guides his students to the same realization. Those students then transmit that realization to the next generation. Buddha Shakyamuni’s Great Realization 2633 years ago has been passed down exactly in this way to the present day.
The three foundations of our Shedra will be Learning, Contemplation and Mediation. These three practices arouse Wisdom. From Learning comes understanding. From Contemplation comes experience and from Meditation Realization will arise.
Our aspiration for these seven months, is to form a learning community based on these three principles. Often Buddhist teachings are not give the respect they merit. Most people give a university education more respect, importance, and fastidious care than Dharma studies because it will determine one’s status in the world, economic power and area of occupation.
While all these things are highly important, what all beings truly wish for is happiness itself, and lacking happiness the material gains a university education can provide will not fully satisy or bring peace of mind on their own. Buddha’s teachings however when treated with respect and given due importance and fastidious care, lead to a true happiness, a realization that is happiness,
thourougly stable, unshakeable. For this reason they are of a higher value than mundane subjects. Also, for this reason our respectful request is, those interested in this Shedra give it the due seriousness these texts, the teacher and the lineage they transmits merits.
As part of Learning, there will be some memorization involved. However, the most important commitment we are asking is to not miss classes. The second to come having read the material on the syllabus and third if a class is missed to download audio of the missed class and come to the next session up to date and ready to learn.
If the shedra students have time and interest, we will have a reading group where we will read through the material before each lesson in a group out loud.
Through learning, contemplation, and meditation, the lineage is transmitted. To learn the teachings and have the genuine ability to use them for others benefit is the key point and reason for a Shedra’s existence. It is not to be able to boast of one’s
credentials or to gather respect as is often the case with say a P.H. D. or other degrees. We hope to set the student out on the path to the realization of the true state of phenomena and welcome all who are seriously committed to this endeavor to join this shedra in which we will study from the Nyingma Lineage.
The most important function of a shedra is to generate positive spiritual energy (Jyin Lab) and help students progress along the spiritual path.
Teaching from Lopon Osel on the precious and meaningful human life, audio download.