Online class: The Samdhinirmocana Sutra, starting April 5

Event Details

This event finished on 31 May 2022

Eight-week class led by Ian Case and Jefre Cantu

Class dates: Tuesdays 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/31 (please note that the class will not meet on 4/26)

Class time:  7:00 to 8:30pm. Students are encouraged to sit zazen before the class starts, if possible.

This class will be offered online via live stream. Participants will receive log in details after registering.

The Samdhinirmocana Sutra

Taught by the Buddha as a skillful means, the Samdhinirmocana Sutra is intended as a basis for meditation practice, a guide to a bodhisattva’s training for enlightenment. Bearing this in mind may encourage the reader to undertake the careful and sustained study, contemplation, and application in daily life that will ultimately reveal the full depth and scope of this profound work.

– John Powers, introduction to his translation of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra (1995)

In this online 8-week class, we will explore the rich and subtle teachings of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra, a central text of the Yogacara tradition. Many of the themes in the sutra–the dynamic function of the storehouse consciousness and the doctrine of the three natures, for example–will be familiar to those who took the Introduction to Yogacara class that was offered two years ago, but this sutra is unique in the analytical thoroughness with which these ideas are presented and its instruction in how we may illuminate them in practice. It truly is a bodhisattva training manual.

For this class, we will be using John Powers’ 1995 translation of the sutra from the Tibetan, Wisdom of Buddha.  A PDF of the translation will be provided. We will also be referring to Reb Anderson’s commentary The Third Turning of the Wheel. All supplemental readings will be made available.

Perfect attendance is strongly encouraged as this is a dense text and we have a lot of ground to cover in eight weeks. All participants should have a regular meditation practice. Those who took the Introduction to Yogacara class are encouraged to participate since these teachings unfold through repeated study, but that class is not a prerequisite.

Please note that registration for this class closes by the date of the second class meeting (4/12).

Please note our cancellation policy for this offering: To request a refund for this class, you must notify BZC in writing by the start of the first class. Refunds will be issued in the total paid less a $15 processing fee. Please note that there are no refunds for events with registration fees under $50. Please see our complete cancellation policy here.

About Ian Case



Ian has been a student at Brooklyn Zen Center since its inception in 2005. During this time he has taken on various administrative and practice roles at the center, including serving for several years as Ino (head of the meditation hall). He was in residence for 15 months at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 2015-2016 and was ordained as a priest by Teah Strozer in October 2016. He served as shuso (head student) at BZC for the fall 2019 practice period. Ian holds an MA in Linguistics from the City University of New York an a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Ian currently serves as director at BZC.


About Jefre Cantu

Jefre Cantu began practicing Zen Buddhism 2003 at the San Francisco Zen Center and has been a member of the Brooklyn Zen Center sangha since moving to New York in 2013. He was ordained as a priest by Teah Strozer in October 2021. Jefre holds a Masters of Divinity in Buddhism & Interreligious Engagement from Union Theological Seminary, and currently works as a hospice chaplain in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he lives with his family.