Reading the Sutras | Online | Start aug 23

Instructors: Pema Gellek and Hugh Joswick

Reading the Sutras is an ongoing course with essential teachings from the Mahayana. It is an introduction to the essential teachings of the Buddhist Sutras. In each class, we present some historical background on the Sutras, read aloud key passages, and discuss the importance of the ideas and practices that the Buddha invites us to contemplate. We complement our discussion with guided reflections and meditations.  

Nyingma Centrum Nederland is very happy to co-announce this beautiful ongoing course presented by two acclaimed instructors of the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California:  Pema Gellek and Hugh Joswick.

­­– Noble sons, the Tathāgata’s intention is to send down a great Dharma rain, to sound the great Dharma drum, to erect the great Dharma banner, to light the great Dharma lamp, to blow the great Dharma conch, and to beat the great Dharmabherī drum.82 Noble sons, that is the intention the Tathāgata has formed today
From The  Lotus Sutra

The Lotus Sutra

Starting August 23, we will read The White Lotus of the Good Dharma, known more familiarly as The Lotus Sutra. One of the most revered sutras in the Buddhist tradition, particularly in East Asia, it presents the fundamental teachings of the Mahayana as one vehicle taught with different skillful means. The different turnings of the wheel of Dharma are one consistent teaching. The sutra explores the nature of time and emptiness and shows the Buddha’s life, enlightenment, and parinirvana as manifestations of an enlightened teaching that continues to be performed. This sutra is filled with stories and magical events that awaken its audience. We will read a recent translation of the sutra available from the 84000 translation group.

Nothing exists at all -these words you have said- and yet nothing is nonexistent
From The Teaching of Vimalakirti

The Vimalakīrtinirdeśa

Starting October 25 we will read the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa: The Teaching of Vimalakīrti from a new, vibrant translation of the recently discovered Sanskrit text of the sutra. The Sanskrit text was long thought to be lost and prior translations had been made from texts in Chinese and Tibetan that were translated from the earlier Sanskrit. The sūtra centers around the mysterious figure of Vimalakīrti, a wealthy householder recognized by the Buddha as a brilliantly realized bodhisattva, whose questions can intimidate even Manjushri. With incisive interrogation, humorous dialogue, and fantastic miracles, he teaches the nonduality of the Mahayana path with striking clarity and immediacy. Students will be asked to buy this prize winning translation from Mangalam Press. If you live in Europe, please let us know timely if you’d like to order through NCN to save on international postage.

The sutra course will have a sequel planned for March-June 2024.  There will be study of First Turning teachings from the Pali Canon, followed by more Mahayana sutras. We will have more detailed announcements nearer to the date.


Pema Gellek, M.A., is a disciple of her father, Tarthang Tulku, and Chadral Rinpoche, and studied Tibetan Buddhism at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal. Working within her father’s mandala of organizations, she serves as a bridge between Dharma in the East and West and has helped carry out Tarthang Tulku’s Dharma activities in Asia for the past 20 years. Pema is also a filmmaker and director of Guna Foundation and has been a faculty member of Dharma College. She is co-dean at the Nyingma Institute and her areas of teaching at the Nyingma Institute are Buddhist Studies and Nyingma Psychology.

Hugh Joswick, Ph.D., has been studying and practicing at Nyingma Institute under Tarthang Tulku’s senior students since the mid-1990’s. He has also co-edited several books under the close direction of Tarthang Tulku, including Caring and the Lotus Trilogy books. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, and a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Hugh has taught philosophy at the university level and is currently the Managing Editor of Mangalam Press, the publishing arm of Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, which focuses primarily on scholarly works in the fields of Buddhist and Religious Studies.
Hugh brings a gentle approach and skillful style of inquiry to his teaching.

Hugh Joswick - senior instructor at Nyingma Institute in Berkeley, California, USA.

About the Sutra Study course

For who?
All with a sincere interest in the teachings of the Buddha are welcome to attend. The classes will be in English language.


  • August 23 – December 13
  • Wednesday  19.00- 20.30 CEST/ 10 – 11.30 am PST
  • 16 classes, no class October 18

Find your local time at

How to attend?
Online through Zoom

Costs of the course
€ 240,- or 4 x € 60,- p/m

Students will be asked to buy the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa: The Teaching of Vimalakīrti. This is a new, vibrant translation of the recently discovered Sanskrit text of the sutra from Mangalam Press. If you live in Europe, please let us know timely if you’d like to order through NCN.