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The Buddhist Framework for Mahamudra
Initial Sketch of the Topic "Mahamudra" is a Sanskrit word meaning "great seal" and refers to the nature of all phenomena. Just as a wax seal is stamped on legal documents to authenticate their signature, likewise the nature of reality is figuratively stamped upon everything...
The Practical Application of Mahamudra
Essentials for Understanding and Practicing Tantra
Defining Tantra in Terms of Basis, Path and Result I am delighted to be here and to have this opportunity to speak with you about approaching Vajrayana as a Westerner. This is always an interesting question. Is there really a difference between approaching it as a Westerner or...
Approaching Tantra as a Westerner
Mahamudra: Review of the Common Preliminaries
Introductory Verses The text begins with the salutation and promise to compose: Namo mahamudraya: Homage to mahamudra, the great seal of reality. I respectfully bow at the feet of my peerless guru, lord of that which pervades everywhere, master of those with actual...
Commentary on “Root Text for Mahamudra” – Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche
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
Guru & Avalokiteshvara: Guru-Yoga, Refuge & Bodhichitta
This weekend I’ve been asked to speak about a practice that was composed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama called The Yoga of the Spiritual Master Inseparable from Avalokiteshvara, which is a practice of guru-yoga that focuses on the development and practice of compassion. And...
Commentary on "The Guru Inseparable from Avalokiteshvara" – Dr. Berzin
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
Dealing with Our Problems
Letting Down the Walls toward Learning As we discussed yesterday, what we try to do is to feel open to being of help to others – relating to others directly with the walls down. The walls need to be down not only toward people, but also toward learning things. It’s a similar...
Bringing Buddhism Down to Earth
What to Consider When Remembering Death
The Difficulty of Obtaining a Precious Human Rebirth and How to Take Best Advantage of It It is important to think in the beginning about the difficulty of obtaining a precious human rebirth with all its respites from situations preventing Dharma practice and all its...
Commentary on “The Foundation for Good Qualities” – Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche
Proper Friends, Safe Direction, Ethics, and Liberation
Verses 5 through 9 Brief Review We have seen that Togme Zangpo starts his poem with a presentation of the main points that we find in the lam-rim, the graded stages of the path. After paying homage to Avalokiteshvara, and the promise to compose the text, he talks of the...
Commentary on “37 Bodhisattva Practices” – Dr. Berzin
Openly Admitting Previous Negative Acts
(1) To gain hold of that precious mind, I offer sincerely to you, the Thusly Gone (Buddhas), to the stainless Rare Gem of the hallowed Dharma, and to you, the offspring of the Buddhas, with oceans of good qualities: (2) Whatever flowers and fruits there are and whatever...
Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior