10 Week Live Online Course

Tuesdays May 11th - July 13th (Live on Zoom)

10am Los Angeles | 1pm New York | 7pm Rome/ Central Europe

(Each session is 

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In this ten week study group course students will explore the various Ngöndro or preliminary prayers and practices of the Yuthok Nyingthig, studying each prayer syllable-by-syllable. Drawing on his skills as a cultural anthropologist, translator and scholar-practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, Dr Joffe will assist students in gaining a deeper appreciation of the rich layers of meaning in each word of Yuthok’s ngöndro prayers. Enrollees in the study group will be provided with new and improved annotated English translations for each Ngöndro practice as well as additional audio-visual resources and simple homework exercises which will help them to enrich their understanding of the profound significance and power of these foundational practices, which are at once the beginning, middle, and end of Buddhadharma. 

This course will be of interest and benefit to both experienced and beginner practitioners of the Yuthok Nyingthig as well as to practitioners of other lineages and will be especially useful for students wishing to improve their understanding of the Tibetan language. By studying the words of each prayer syllable-by-syllable, students will gain a fuller sense of both the immediate meanings and wider implications and associations behind each word. Through exploring the broader contexts and world-views for Buddhist terminology and vocabulary, they will be able to recite the prayers in Tibetan with increased confidence and understanding. 

All classes will be taught in English. There will be no live translation into other languages since this goes against the aim of starting from the Tibetan source material itself. Nonetheless, for students with a good grasp of English as a second language, this course will prove helpful for developing new translations into students’ primary languages.


Week 1: Ali Kali Mantra, Refuge and Bodhicitta

Week 2: Gangku Sangchenma/‘Whose Highest, Most Secret Form’

Week 3: Four Immeasurables

Week 4: Prostration Prayer

Week 5: Mandala Offering

Week 6: Circumambulation/Medicine Buddha Mantras

Week 7: Vajrasattva Practice

Week 8: Kusali Chöd Practice

Week 9: Shanglön and Short Tsok practice

Week 10: Dedication of Merit and Mantra of Interdependence

Course curriculum

  • 1

    WELCOME

    • Course Schedule

    • Classroom Etiquette & Technical Requirements

    • How to Use this Learning Platform (Video)

    • How to Use this Learning Platform (PDF)

  • 2

    LIBRARY

    • Texts & Supplementary Files (Updated Regularly)

    • View-only Lecture Slides

  • 3

    LIVE ONLINE PROGRAM

    • Class One | May 11th

    • Class Two | May 18th

    • Class Three | May 25th

    • Class Four | June 1st

    • Class Five | June 8th

    • Class Six | June 15th

    • Class Seven | June 22nd

    • Class Eight | June 29th

    • Class Nine | July 6th

    • Class Ten | July 13th

Dr. Ben Joffe

Dr Ben Joffe holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Born and raised in South Africa, he has spent several years studying Tibetan language, tantric Buddhism, and the history and cultural life of Tibet and the Himalayas. His research interests include the study of contemporary Tibet, Tibetan life in exile, and esoteric religions and magical traditions around the world. His doctoral dissertation research focused on Tibetan Buddhist non-celibate, non-monastic tantric householders, or ngakpa/ma, living outside of Tibet, and the globalization of Tibetan Buddhism. Dr. Ben Joffe is Chief editor and translator at Sky Press and his translations of Tibetan materials into English bring a rare and welcome clarity to often esoteric material.