Chaire Satsuma 2018-19, Université catholique de Louvain

Approcher la méditation bouddhique au Tibet ancien : Entre repérage doxographique et expérience contemplative
Dr Dylan Esler
Dates : Les jeudis 21 mars, 4 avril, 25 avril et 9 mai 2019, de 16h15 à 18h15
Lieu : Local C 430 (ERAS 76 FIAL) (Institut orientaliste) du Collège Érasme, Place Blaise Pascal 1, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Résumé : Si la méditation fait partie intégrante du chemin bouddhique vers l’éveil, les présupposés pédagogiques concernant sa théorie et sa pratique divergent selon les différentes écoles. Ces différences sont particulièrement visibles lors des périodes de brassage culturel, lors desquelles des traditions bouddhiques issues de divers milieux se côtoient.
Une des périodes charnières de l’histoire culturelle du Tibet est celle dite de « l’âge sombre » ou « âge de la fragmentation », se situant entre la désintégration du pouvoir politique centralisé suite à l’assassinat du roi Darma Triu Dumtsen en 842 apr. J.-C. et l’introduction de nouvelles lignées bouddhiques au début du 11e s. Malgré le désarroi politique de cette époque, le bouddhisme ne disparut pas au Tibet, loin s’en faut, mais fut au contraire préservé par des maîtres tantriques qui, en-dehors des institutions monastiques, assurèrent la continuité de la transmission parmi leurs proches disciples au sein de lignées familiales.

Comme de nombreux courants bouddhiques, d’origine aussi bien indienne que chinoise, existaient au Tibet à cette époque, il incombait aux érudits tibétains de classifier ces différentes traditions doctrinales et contemplatives afin de parvenir à une synthèse proprement tibétaine. La classification doxographique doit donc être perçue non pas comme une forme de spéculation abstraite, mais comme un processus de clarification doctrinale qui est en dialogue avec la pratique contemplative. C’est dans cette optique que nous examinerons, lors de ce cours-conférence, une des classifications les plus anciennes et originales de cette époque, celle proposée par Nubchen Sangye Yeshe (10e s.), tout en la comparant à d’autres doxographies du même genre et en abordant la question plus large de l’interaction de l’expérience méditative et du repérage doxographique dans la construction d’une tradition contemplative.

Séance 1 : Éléments de contexte
Les sources : les manuscrits de Dunhuang et autres témoignages – Le roi Trisong Detsen et l’établissement du bouddhisme au Tibet – Fondation du monastère de Samye – Le(s) débat(s) de Samye – L’effondrement de l’empire – La figure de Nubchen Sangye Yeshe

Séance 2 : Portrait croisé de doxographies tibétaines
Profusion des classements doxographiques – Schémas de quatre, neuf et douze véhicules – Points de convergences et de divergences entre ces schémas

Séance 3 : Comparaison du Mahāyāna classique et du Chan tibétain
Les approches graduelle et simultanée – L’enjeu politique d’une différence doctrinale

Séance 4 : Comparaison de la voie tantrique et du Dzogchen
Le Mahāyoga tantrique au Tibet – La consolidation du Dzogchen – Les liens entre affinité contemplative et construction doxographique

Courses – Spring 2019

Dear friends,

We are pleased to announce that the registrations for the upcoming courses starting in April are open.
Please check the information about the courses here.

For organisational reasons, please confirm your attendance at the courses by sending us an e-mail at

Phowa Ireland 26-28 April 2019

Lama Jigmé will be returning to Ireland for a weekend of teachings on Phowa, also described as transference of consciousness at the moment of death.

Friday 26th April – 7.30 pm
Sat. 27th and Sun. 28th April – 10 am to 5 pm

Center” Feakle, County Clare (V94W2Y8), Ireland
Cost for weekend:
€120 (nonresidential, lunch included. Concessions available)

This is a very special opportunity to receive teachings on this unique practice. Lama Jigmé  is happy for people to receive this teaching regardless of how familiar or not they may be with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Initially he hesitated to teach such a profound  method  in the West but knowing how efficacious the practice is and seeing how some people may benefit from understanding something of the nature of the transitional consciousness at the moment of death, he has decided that it is timely to offer this instruction now.

Although to a complete newcomer some of the concepts and ways of seeing embodied in this practice may seem hard to grasp, there is no doubt that everyone will come away with a deeper understanding and for those who wish to build on this, there will be many opportunities in the future to do so.

Lama will teach in English with regular intervals to  summarise any difficult points and clarify any mispronunciations by him of the English terms.

A  light lunch will be provided. 

For those needing or wanting overnight accommodation nearby, the Clare Ecolodge (situated in Feakle village, less than 1 mile from Center) is offering us very reasonable rates for single, double & dormitory-style rooms. They will also provide an ample continental breakfast (again for a very good price).  We can really recommend it. Please contact Vicki for more info, or contact the Ecolodge  at, quoting Rates for Vicki at Center. 

There are also various AIRBNB possibilities in the vicinity.

It is intended to restrict the numbers attending to 20 people. Those wishing to attend should register their intention by email please, as soon as possible.  Registration is secured on receipt of a deposit of €50 before April 15th.  (Methods for payment will be sent to you personally on receipt of your registration email).

There are possibilities that those who wish to attend but who are unable to pay the full amount may avail of a reduction.

Contact for registration and event details.

Losar celebration at Centre Culturel Tibétain – 10 February 2019

Artwork: Tomás Castro

Losar Tashidelek!

Lama Jigme and the Centre Culturel Tibétain wish you a Happy Tibetan New Year (Losar).
May the year 2019, the year of the Female Wild Pig, be full of peace and happiness for all.

Please join us for a Losar celebration at our center!

Date: Sunday, 10 February, 2019
Time: 16:00 – 18:00
Place: Centre Culturel Tibétain
Address: 1, rue Charlotte Engels L-1482 Luxembourg

February 5, 2019, marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year, and represents one of the most important Tibetan festivals of the year. The day is calculated astrologically according to the Tibetan lunar calendar, and changes every year to coincide with the annual lunar cycle.

We will be celebrating with food and drink as a potluck festivity:  please bring your favorite food and/or beverages to share! 

Friends, family and children are welcome to join us! We look forward to celebrating together as a sangha the fresh beginnings of the new year.

May this new year bring auspicious benefit to everyone!

Retreat in the Netherlands: The Bardos of Life and Death – 22 Feb. to 1 March

Photo: Jeremy Ryan

The Tibetan Buddhist center Phuntsok Chö Ling is organizing its Spring  retreat from 22 February (16:00) to 1 March 2019 (17:00) in Koudekerke, in the Netherlands.

Lama Jigmé Namgyal will explain the bardos of life and dying during a seven day retreat. Bardo is a Tibetan word that simply means ‘transition’ or ‘intermediate state’. A gap between the completion of one situation and the onset of another. In the Buddhist approach, life and death are seen as one whole, where death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is like a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected. This view is central to the most ancient school of Tibetan Buddhism. The word bardo is commonly used to denote the intermediate state between death and rebirth. In reality, bardos are occurring continuously throughout both life and death. They are seen as unique moments whereby the possibility of liberation or enlightenment is heightened.

During this profound retreat Lama Jigmé will dive into being more aware and accepting of impermanence. This can help in everyday life to deal with loss and setbacks easier and eventually lead to less (or no) fear during the transition to the bardo of death.

Lama Jigmé will teach in English with simultaneous translation into Dutch.

The retreat will take place from Friday 22 February to Friday 1 March 2019 at the following address: Broedershoek, Koksweg 1, 4371 RC Koudekerke.

For more details about the retreat and the registration procedure please visit the event page on Phuntsok Chö Ling’s website or contact Phuntsok Chö Ling directly by sending an email to

Registration before 12 February 2019

Note: An early bird discount is applicable for registration before 1 February 2019 (all prices include an 25% early bird discount!!!)