How have Tibetan Buddhists understood the teachings of the Buddha? What practices did they develop to reach the goal of enlightenment in a single lifetime? Why is Buddhism such an important part of Tibetan culture? What’s “Tibetan” about Tibetan Buddhism? How has Tibetan Buddhism transformed over time as it has spread across the world?
This course will explore the history, development, beliefs, and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Over the course of four modules, we will attempt to answer these questions by studying the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet, its institutionalization and politicization, and its continued spread around the globe within the last century. In addition to studying the history of Tibetan Buddhism, we will also explore key beliefs and practices related to emptiness, compassion, and tantric meditation. Students in this course will develop a multifaceted understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, exploring this rich and fascinating tradition from multiple perspectives.
Module 1 — Tibetan Buddhist History
Module 2 — The Schools of Tibetan Buddhism
Module 3 — Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy
Module 4 — Tibetan Buddhist Practices
Students Will Receive:
- 4 Video + Audio lectures (90 min)
- 4 Prerecorded Q&A sessions (90 min)
- 4 BS Credits
- 12 Hours of CE credit with YA
- Course Syllabus (PDF)
- Weekly Readings (PDF)
- 4 Multiple Choice Quizzes
- Yogic Studies Certificate (PDF)
- Access to Yogic Studies Community
Dr. Constance Kassor
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin
Dr. Constance Kassor is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she teaches courses on Buddhist thought and Asian religious traditions. Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty in 2016, she taught Buddhist Studies at Smith College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal.
Connie’s research primarily focuses on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and she is interested in different ways that Tibetan Buddhist scholars understand the cultivation of knowledge. Her forthcoming book, Accounting for Awakened Awareness, examines the nature of knowledge through the lens of the 15th century philosopher Gorampa Sonam Senge. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Connie is also currently translating Gorampa’s extensive Madhyamaka treatise, Synopsis of Madhyamaka (dbu ma’i spyi don) into English, in collaboration with Khenpo Dr. Ngawang Jorden, principal and abbot of the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal.
Connie has spent several years living, working, and teaching in Buddhist communities in India and Nepal. In addition to her scholarly publications, she has written for Lion’s Roar and Tricycle, and has recently published an audio course for The Great Courses and Audible, titled Religious Lessons from Asia to the World. She is currently preparing a video course for The Great Courses, titled Tibet: History, Culture, and Religion, scheduled to be released in 2023.
"Dr. Kassor delivered this online course brilliantly. There was so much to be taught, and her knowledge seems to be endless. She took the time to explain everything and the importance of the history. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is looking to understand the complexities of Buddhism."
— BS 104 Student
"Dr. Kassor is a very engaging lecturer. She is a master of the technique of clear and methodical explanation of concepts. I really appreciated the way she takes every question seriously."
— BS 104 Student
"I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to learn from Dr. Constance Kassor. I haven’t taken a course like this in a long time. Fortunately, I was able to study among a group of people who are educated and kind-hearted, with the same ambition and interests. I feel so blissful, thank you!"
— Violet Li (New York, USA)
"I am new to Buddhist Studies, and this course was an excellent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Dr. Connie Kassor was very organized, and her lectures were very easy to consume. She is a very clear teacher, making a very complex subject memorable."
— BS 104 Student
This course is eligible for 12 hours of Continued Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance
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