June 4, 2019 - April 7, 2020 (33 Class Sessions)Tuesdays, 6:30 - 7:45 pm, MTTelecourse via the Zoom Conference Platform Join Michael Mugaku Zimmerman Roshi for Zen
June 4, 2019 – April 7, 2020 (33 Class Sessions)
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:45 pm, MT
Telecourse via the Zoom Conference Platform
Join Michael Mugaku Zimmerman Roshi for Zen study and inquiry in an online class via the Zoom conference platform on Tuesday evenings, 6:30 – 7:45 pm MT, starting on June 4, 2019 continuing in 33 total class sessions ending on April 7, 2020.
In fourth-century India, one of the great geniuses of Buddhism, Vasubandhu, sought to reconcile the diverse ideas and forms of Buddhism practiced at the time and demonstrate how they could be effectively integrated into a single system. This was the Yogacara movement, and it continues to have great influence in modern Tibetan and Zen Buddhism.
Vasubandhu’s “Thirty Verses” lay out a path of practice that integrates the most powerful of Buddhism’s psychological and mystical possibilities, weaving the insights of early Buddhism and the Mahayana. The Thirty Verses go to the heart of the matter—how do we alleviate suffering through shedding our emotional knots and our sense of alienation?
In online telecourse sessions with Mugaku Roshi you will engage:
- A rich line-by-line reading of Vasubandhu’s The Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only (Trimshika), guided by Michael Mugaku Zimmerman, a transmitted Zen Teacher.
- Active text-based inquiry with Mugaku Roshi and your fellow practitioners. Each week will focus on one verse and one chapter of reading in a contemplative, practice-oriented exploration.
- Personal guidance to support and strengthen your daily meditation practice.
- The experience of a virtual sangha — a committed community of practice meeting over ten months, via an online video platform.
The text for this course is Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara: A Practitioner’s Guide, by Ben Connelly (Wisdom Publications, 2016). It is available in the TAZ READING LIST, at all online booksellers, and in the Two Arrows Zen store at Artspace Zendo. Prior to the class start on June 4 all students are asked to read the entire book through once in preparation for a deep dive over ten months of contemplation, study, and practice.
A Message from Mugaku Roshi:
“I find Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara one of the best things I have encountered as and for a practitioner. Connelly’s book is written for students of the Dharma, not theoreticians. He cares for students, and their liberation from unnecessary suffering. Here, as in Inside the Grass Hut, he writes with concern and warmth. His writing is quite approachable, yet very clear, making surprisingly transparent what could be daunting teachings. The book conveys a holistic sense of what Buddhist practice is, and even what liberation feels like.
In the Vasabandu of the Thirty Verses, Connelly finds a deep thinker striving to bring about a profound harmonization of what others may see as divergent Buddhist thought: first, the Early Buddhist teachings that underlie Theravada/Vipassana/Insight practice; second, the later arising Abidharma/Yogacara/Consciousness Only teachings that build upon and particularize these Early Buddhist teachings; third, and finally, the Mahayana Emptiness teachings which ground Chan/Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. As Connelly presents Vasabandu’s Thirty Verses, those verses teach a capacious practice that is inclusive and non-sectarian. I think Connelly finds in Vasabandu what he longs for in Zen—an ecumenical approach to Buddha’s profound psychological and existential insights.
I’m offering this class because Inside Vasubandhu’s Yogacara is not just a book about Zen theory or Buddhist history. It is a very important book about meditation practice. I think it’s important for any student who is serious about practice.”
– Mugaku Roshi
Those with a new curiosity about Zen practice are welcome. Experienced practitioners will be enlivened by this opportunity to go deeper into new aspects of their practice.
Enrollment includes weekly access to downloadable Zoom video and audio files, and a complete set of edited mp3 files, along with supplemental materials as provided.
Class Schedule and Readings
Tuesday Evenings 6:30 – 7:45 pm via Zoom Conference Platform
Reading: A read-through of the entire book is required prior to the class start.
Week 1, June 4: Orientation and background
Week 2, June 11: Introduction, pp 1-24
Week 3, June 18: Chapter 1 – Self and Other, pp 25-30
Week 4, June 25: Chapter 2 – The Eight-Consciousness Model, pp 31-36
Week 5, July 2: Chapter 3 – Store Consciousness, pp 37-48
Week 6, July 9: Chapter 4 – Aspects of the Buddhist Unconscious, pp 49-56
Week 7, July 16: Chapter 5 – Mind Makes Self and Other, pp 57-62
BREAK July 23 (MMZ Travel)
Week 8, July 30: Chapter 6 – Stuck on the Self, pp 63-68
Week 9, Aug 6: Chapter 7 – Seeing Through I, Me, and Mine, pp 69-72
Week 10, Aug 13: Chapter 8 – The All, pp 73-78
AUGUST BREAK Aug 20, 27
Week 11, Sept 3: Chapter 9 – Mindfulness of Phenomena, pp 79-82
Week 12, Sept 10: Chapter 10 – Five Aggregates, Five Universal Factors, pp 83-88
Week 13, Sept 17: Chapter 11 – Cultivating Seeds of Goodness, pp 89-94
BREAK Sept 24 (Sit As A Mountain Sesshin, Torrey)
Week 14, Oct 1: Chapter 12 – Being with Suffering, pp 94-100
Week 15, Oct 8: Chapter 13 – Taking Care of Suffering, pp 101-104
BREAK Oct 15 (MMZ Travel)
Week 16, Oct 29: Chapter 14 – Not Always So, pp 105-108
Week 17, Nov 5: Chapter 15 – The Water and the Waves, pp 109-114
Week 18, Nov 12: Chapter 16 – On Thinking, pp 115-120
Week 19, Nov 19: Chapter 17 – Projection Only, pp 121-126
Week 20, Nov 26: Chapter 18 – The Process of Consciousness, pp 127-130
HOLIDAY/ROHATSU BREAK Dec 3 – Dec 31
Week 21, Jan 7, 2020: Chapter 19 – The Ripening of Karma, pp 131-136
Week 22, Jan 14: Chapter 20 – Three Natures, pp 137-142
Week 23, Jan 21: Chapter 21 – Dependence and Realization, pp 143-150
Week 24, Jan 28: Chapter 22 – The Harmony of Difference and Sameness, pp 151-154
Week 25, Feb 4: Chapter 23 – No Own Nature, pp 155-162
Week 26, Feb 11: Chapter 24 – Three Natures, All Without Self, pp 163-166
BREAK Feb 18
Week 27, Feb 25: Chapter 25 – Four Ways to Express the Inexpressible, pp 167-172
Week 28, March 3: Chapter 26 – How We Are Bound, pp 172-176
Week 29, March 10: Chapter 27 – Thinking About It Is Not Enough, pp 177-180
Week 30, March 17: Chapter 28 – Being At Rest, pp 181-186
Week 31, March 24: Chapter 29 – Transformation of the Root of Suffering, pp 187-190
Week 32, March 31: Chapter 30 – The Blissful Body of LIberation, pp 191-194
Week 33, April 7: Epilogue, pp 195-202
(Tuesday) 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm MST
Zoom Conference Platform Telecourses