Date & Time Details: Wednesdays 9:00-10:30 am PT

Location: Online Web Conferencing on Zoom

Michelle Gould

Email us about program

Northern Sierra Sangha Book Study & Chöd Practice

With Polly Ryan, MA, MFT

October 2 - December 11, 2019

Tibet: A History by Sam Van Schaik

How did Buddhism take root in Tibet? Who are the key benefactors, teachers and practitioners who developed tantric Buddhism in Tibet? What was the effect of Buddhism on Tibetan culture? What led to the rise of the Dalai Lamas? What are the socio-political events that led to the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese in the 1950s? How did Tibet become a part of China, and what does this mean to Tibetans? How did Tibetan Buddhism migrate to the West? Learn the answers to these questions and more in Sam Van Schaik’s Tibet: A History, an eloquent exploration of the development of Tibetan Buddhism from the glory days of the Tibetan Empire in the 7th century through its spread across Asia and later arrival in the West.

Tibetan Buddhism is a potent blend of Indian Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, Tibetan Bön, and the influence of the unique and colorful Tibetan culture. Over the centuries, diligent practitioners (both monastic and householders) living in this remote region of the Himalayas perfected the Buddhist practices they received from India and added much to its traditions. After the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet in the 1950s, the insular world of the Tibetan people was tragically destroyed, and the seeds of their culture and spiritual tradition spread to the West and throughout the world.

As the fortunate beneficiaries of the profound wisdom and skillful practices of Tibet, it is helpful for Western students to understand and appreciate the unique history of the development of Buddhism in Tibet. Please join us as we explore this well-written, warm, sensitive and informative book.

Week #1: Oct 2nd (Pp. 1-49)
Chapter 1 Tibet Appears, 600-700
Chapter 2 The Holy Buddhist Empire, 700-97

Week #2: Oct 16th (Pp. 50-73)
Chapter 3 Keepers of the Flame, 797-1054

Week #3: Oct 23rd (Pp. 74-102)
Chapter 4 Patrons and Priests, 1054-1315

Week #4: Oct 30th (Pp. 103-176)
Chapter 5 Golden Age, 1315-1543
Chapter 6 The Rise and Fall of the Dalai Lamas, 1543-1757

Week #5: Nov 6th (Pp. 177-218)
Chapter 7The Balancing Act, 1757-1904

Week #6: Nov 20th (Pp. 219-251)
Chapter 8 Independence, 1904-1950

Week #7: Dec 4th (Pp. 252-289)
Chapter 9 Under the Red Roof, 1950-1959

Week #8: Dec 11th (Pp. 253-290)
Chapter 10 Two Tibets, 1959 to the Present

Dates: 8 meetings, Wednesdays 9:00 – 10:30am Pacific Time
Oct 2nd to Dec 11th — No meetings 10/9, 11/13, 11/27

Format: Polly will lead Namkai Norbu Chöd at the start of each session. You can practice (if you have been taught and want to practice) or receive. In order to ensure rich discussion and participation, we would like participants to commit to attending the live sessions of the book study as much as possible. That said, we know obstacles arise, so session recordings will be available to registered participants. We will be meeting online via Zoom only.

Registration: Please email ratnatruckee@taramandala.org to register and provide:

· a good daytime phone number,
· method and amount of payment
· how you learned about this book study
· your location (city/state, city/country)

Suggested Program Support: $90 – $120 As always, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Payment can be made by:

· Check made out to Tara Mandala, PO Box 141, Truckee, CA 96160 with a note in the memo “Northern Sierra Sangha/book study
· Paypal: Enter ratnatruckee@taramandala.org in the “their email” window. (Please check “gift” option, or “send money to friends and family”) or paypal.me/northernsierrasangha

Offering Teacher Dana: Polly Ryan via check at PO Box 2315, Truckee, CA 96160 or Paypal.me/pollyryan


Polly Ryan, MA, MFT
Polly Ryan, MA, MFT has been a devoted student of Lama Tsultrim Allione since 1992. She has also studied with B. Alan Wallace for over two decades. Under the tutelage of B. Alan Wallace, she has studied Shamatha, The Four Applications of Mindfulness, Seven Point Mind Training, The Four Immeasurables,…
Learn more about Polly Ryan, MA, MFT