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Levels of Mental Activity in Sarma and Dzogchen
[As background, see Dzogchen in Comparison with Other Buddhist Systems. See also: The Major Facets of Dzogchen] What is Mind? The four facts of life (four noble truths) may be formulated in terms of mind, which means in terms of an individual being’s experiencing of them: The...
How to Meditate on Dzogchen
Harmonizing the Five Buddha-Family Traits
Introduction This seminar is about how the five Buddha-family traits create our view of the universe. This is a topic that deals with what we call in Buddhism “Buddha-nature.” The word “family” in “Buddha-family” is actually the Sanskrit word for caste, a social system that...
Using the Five Buddha-Family Traits in Daily Life
States of Mind Needed for Bodhichitta Meditation
Homage Verse and Verse 1 The Author, Atisha A Bodhisattva’s Garland of Gems (Skt. Bodhisattva-mani-avali) was written by the great Indian master Atisha (Atisha Dipamkarashrijnana, 982–1054). As a great Buddhist master at the Vikramashila Monastery, he was very concerned about...
Commentary on “A Bodhisattva’s Garland of Gems” – Dr. Berzin
The Ten Mental Factors That Accompany Each Moment of Experience
Having a Quiet Mind and Caring Attitude In the development of balanced sensitivity, there are many different variables involved in overcoming the extremes of being either insensitive or oversensitive regarding ourselves and others. This has to do with how we pay attention to...
Working with Mental Factors in Daily Life
Sweeping and Cleaning the Meditation Room
Introduction The six preparatory practices (jorcho, sbyor-chos) derive from Atisha, who learned them from his teacher in Indonesia, Serlingpa, and then transmitted them to Tibet. They are preparation for any meditation session that we do. We find them discussed in the standard...
The Six Preparatory Practices before Meditation
Kriya Tantra: Six Deities Practice
Kriya tantra (ritual tantra) is the first of the four tantra classes in the Sarma classification scheme and the first of the six tantra classes in the Nyingma scheme. It puts a great deal of emphasis on cleanliness, vegetarianism and purification. PreliminariesBefore sitting...
Kriya Tantra Practice
Main Features of Meditation
Meditation is something that is found in many traditions, not just Buddhism; but while many aspects of meditation are found in all Indian traditions, here we shall limit our discussion to the way that meditation is presented in Buddhism. What Is Meditation? The word...
Meditation: Main Points
Cherishing Others Gives Meaning to Life
Introduction In our weekend seminar we will focus on refuge. If we look at any of the Buddhist texts, we find that refuge is always described as the most fundamental aspect of the Buddhist path. In fact, it is the entry way into Buddhism. Refuge defines the dividing line...
Refuge: Putting a Safe Direction & Meaning in Our Lives
Starting a Meditation Session & Precious Human Rebirth
Reaffirming the Motivation We need to have a proper motivation for listening to the teachings; otherwise we will miss an opportunity to build up a great deal of positive force and to incorporate this teaching in our mental continuum. We try not to be motivated by wanting...
Commentary on “Mind Training Like the Rays of the Sun” – The Dalai Lama
Thai & Burmese Theravada Traditions of Mindfulness
The Thai Theravada System of Four Close Placements of Mindfulness Many people nowadays practice so-called “mindfulness meditation.” Mindfulness meditation is one adaptation of the Theravada practice of the four close placements of mindfulness. The Pali term for the close...
Meditation on the 16 Aspects of the 4 Noble Truths