The Buddha first taught the middle way between the extremes of indulgence and asceticism. Later, he taught the middle way between the extremes of permanence and nihilism. This latter teaching is the basis for what became the Middle Way in Buddhism. The highly influential Madhyamaka or Middle Way school of Indian Buddhism was based on the teachings of the great Nagajuna, and were further elaborated upon by Dharmakirti and Chandrakirti. This philosophical approach emphasizes the negation of independent phenomenal reality (inherent existence) through logical reductionism in order to arrive at a true understanding of emptiness. This approach is comparable to that of Mahamudra and Dzogchen for understanding the ultimate nature of reality, void of all particular characteristics. Developmental meditations on emptiness are included. Prerequisite: 501/502M or 501/502D. Texts for Part 1: Introduction to the Middle Way by the Padmakara Translation Group, and Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. Texts for Part 2: Introduction to Emptiness by Guy Newland (2nd ed.), and The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason by H.H. the Dalai Lama.