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How and Why to Follow the Graded Buddhist Path
What Is Lam-rim and How Did It Derive from Buddha’s Teachings? The graded path, lam-rim, is a way to access and integrate the basic Buddhist teachings into our lives. Buddha lived 2,500 years ago, with a community of monks, and later on, a community of nuns. He not only taught...
Introduction to the Graded Path
The Twelve Links: Ignorance
Twelve Links of Dependent Arising Describe Rebirth and How to Stop It The twelve links of dependent arising (rten-‘brel yan-lag bcu-gnyis) describe the mechanism of rebirth. Rebirth concerns the continuity of the mind. When we speak about mind in Buddhism, we are not talking...
The Twelve Links: An In-Depth Analysis
Overcoming Obstacles with the Initial Scope Lam-rim Teachings
Introduction Tomorrow is the Buddhist holiday known as Lhabab Duchen in Tibetan, or the Descent from the Heaven of the Thirty-three in English. The best way to celebrate this special day is to have a Buddhist teaching on the four noble truths, the first teaching that the...
Overcoming Obstacles to Realizing Renunciation, Bodhichitta and Emptiness
The Nature of Time
The Relevance of the Topic of Time Time (dus, Skt. kala) and such topics within the category of time like the past, the present, and the future are very important topics to study when we are on the Buddhist path. They’re not just metaphysically interesting, but they are...
Buddhist and Scientific Understandings of Time
Avoiding Worse Rebirths
How to Develop a Mind That Is Interested in Dharma The procedure here will be one of a dialogue, back and forth, of asking questions, because if I just sit here and lecture you, that is not of great benefit as we only have a few days. Whereas, if we ask questions and talk...
Serkong Rinpoche Dialogues with Students about Lam-rim
Developing Interest in Benefiting Future Lives
Background of the Text This text was written by Atisha, a great Indian master who lived about 1,000 years ago. He had been to study in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra. He had made a long, very difficult journey there. Buddhism had spread there long before, and he went...
Commentary on “Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment” – Dr. Berzin
The Root Cause for Samsaric Rebirth
The 12 links of dependent arising is a central and important topic in the Buddhist path, it’s important to know why it’s important in order to develop interest and motivation to study and learn about it. As way of introduction, let me discuss that for a little while first. The...
Perpetuating Samsara: The 12 Links of Dependent Arising
Temporally Related Phenomena
Introduction The past, the present, and the future are important topics to study on the Buddhist path. This is because, for the purification of karma, it is helpful to understand the nature of past destructive actions that we have committed and their future karmic results....
A Buddha's Knowledge of the Past, Present and Future
Uttaratantra: Precious Human Life and Setting the Motivation
Precious Human Life Today, we are at Lama Tsongkhapa Institute, which is headed by two great spiritual masters. We have come together for spiritual teachings, and we are all very fortunate to have this opportunity. I am very happy to be here with you today. In general, it is...
Commentary on “Uttaratantra” – Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche
Tantra: The Four Noble Truths as the Context
IntroductionWe started our discussion of tantra in general with an introduction to what tantra actually is. And one of the main points that I try to emphasize is that tantra is an advanced practice. It’s a practice that is not intended for beginners. Even if we have started...
Overview of Tantra