4. How to guide students to enlightenment
A. How to rely on spiritual teachers as the root of the path
1. What to do during the actual session
a. 6 preparatory practices
b. How to cultivate reliance on our teachers
c. How to conclude the session
2. What to do between sessions to develop reliance on our teachers
B. Stages for training the mind
1. Being persuaded to take advantage of our precious human life]
2. How to take advantage of our precious human life
A. Training our minds in the stages in common with a person of initial motivation - striving for the happiness of future lives
1. Taking an interest in benefiting future lives
a. Remembering death
b. Advantages and disadvantages of 2 kinds of rebirth
2. Methods for benefiting future lives
a. Taking refuge
b. Conviction in actions and their effects
B. Training our minds in the stages in common with a person of intermediate motivation - striving for liberation from cyclic existence (Contemplating the Four Noble Truths)
a. Purpose for proclaiming truth of suffering first
b. Meditation on suffering
2. Becoming convinced of the nature of the path
a. Causes of suffering
1. Disturbing attitudes
b. Actually becoming convinced of path to liberation
1. The kind of body with which we can break out of samsara
C. Training our minds in the stages of a person of higher motivation - striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings
1. Advantages of bodhicitta
a. Actual stages
b. How to take bodhisattva vows
3. Engaging in bodhisattvas' conduct
a. General conduct
1. Six perfections
b. Practicing the last two perfections
1. Calm abiding
2. Special insight
c. Special path of tantra
1. The preeminent qualities of the compilers
2. The preeminent qualities of the gradual path teachings
1. As presented in Atisha's Lamp of the Path.
a. It shows how all the doctrines of the Buddha are non-contradictory
b. It shows how all the teachings can be taken as personal advice.
c. The ultimate intention of the Buddha - to lead all beings to enlightenment by giving a variety of teachings - will easily be found
d. One will avoid the error of sectarian views regarding a Dharma lineage or doctrine.
b. How to cultivate
a. It encompasses the entire lamrim subject matter
b. It is easily applicable
Practice teachings which:
1. have their source in the Buddha
2. difficult points of which were clarified by great Indian pandits
3. has been practiced by sages
A. Of a Vinaya master:
1. Compassion for sick people
2. Has attendants with good qualities
2) wise in all 3 baskets and
3) keeps precepts taken from other masters.)
4. Pure ethics
5. Knowledge of Vinaya 6. Able to teach any teaching at any time.
1. Subdued physical and verbal behavior through practicing the higher training in ethics
2. Subdued mind through practicing the higher training in concentration
3. Very subdued through practicing the higher training in wisdom.
4. more knowledge in verbal and realizational Dharma than student.
5. richness in verbal doctrine, i.e. has studied a lot
6. richness in the realizational doctrine, i.e. deep, stable realization of emptiness
7. joy and enthusiasm for teaching
8. ability to express him/herself clearly
9. loving concern and compassion for students, teaches with pure motivation. 10. willing to put up with the difficulties of guiding others
1. Free from preconceptions, open-minded, not overwhelmed with attachment and aversion
2. Discriminating intelligence
3. Interest, commitment, wants to understand and experience the path.
A. the way to study (listen to) the Dharma
1. Consider the benefits of listening
2. Showing courtesy to the Dharma and the teacher
3. The actual way to study
a. Avoiding the three faults, using the analogy of a pot
1. Upside-down pot
2. Pot with hole in bottom
3. Dirty vessel
b. Relying on the 6 recognitions
1. Oneself as a sick person
2. The teacher as a skilled doctor
3. Dharma as the medicine.
4. Practicing the Dharma as the way to get cured
5. Buddha as holy being whose medicine of Dharma is non-deceptive
6. Methods we learn are things we should pray exist and flourish
1. Considering the benefits of explaining the Dharma
2. Enhancing the courtesy shown to the Buddha and Dharma
3. Thought and actions with which to teach
4. The difference between whom to teach and whom not
C. The concluding stage common to both teacher and student
4. How to lead students to enlightenment through the actual lamrim teachings
(Since the lamrim presupposes an understanding of mind, rebirth, cyclic existence and enlightenment, we will briefly discussed these subjects here.)
1. What is to be done during the meditation session
a. 6 preparatory practices.
1. Clean the room, set up the shrine
2. Obtain offerings properly and arrange them nicely
3. Sitting in the 8-point posture, in positive frame of mind, take refuge and generate bodhicitta
4. Visualize field of positive potential
5. Purifying and accumulating positive potential:
6. Requesting inspiration
7 limbs and mandala offering
a. We become closer to enlightenment
b. We please all the buddhas
c. Harmful forces and misleading friends can't affect us
d. Our disturbing attitudes and faulty behavior decrease
e. We gain meditative experiences and stable realizations
f. We won't lack spiritual teachers in future lives
g. We won't take a lower rebirth h.
All our temporary and ultimate goals will be realized
a. It's like showing contempt for all the buddhas
b. We will be reborn in lower realms for same number of eons as number of moments we were angry with our teacher
c. Although we try to practice tantra, we won't attain enlightenment
d. Although we may put great effort into tantric practice, it will amount to actualizing hellish rebirth
e. We won't develop any new qualities or siddhis and what we have developed will decline
f. Many unwished for things, like sickness and calamities, will befall us in this life.
g. In future lives we will roam endlessly in lower realms
h. We will lack spiritual teachers in future lives.
3. How to rely on our teachers with our thoughts
a. Developing confidence that our teachers are buddhas
1. Why it is necessary to regard our teachers as buddha
2. Why it is possible to regard our teachers as buddha
3. What to think to do this
a. Vajradhara asserted high teachers are buddhas
b. Our teachers are the media for conveying the buddhas' enlightening influence to us
c. In this degenerate age, the buddhas and bodhisattvas still work for the benefit of beings
d. Our opinions aren't always reliable
1. Their kindness exceeds that of the buddha
2. Their kindness in teaching us the dharma
3. Their kindness in inspiring us
4. Their kindness in including us in their circle of students and providing for us materially
a. Offering material
c. How to conclude the session
2. What is to be done between sessions
1. Being persuaded to take advantage of our precious human life
a. Recognizing the 8 freedoms and the 10 richnesses
1. The 8 freedoms
a. The 4 non-human states with no chance for Dharma study
1. Life forms experiencing continual pain and fear
2. Life forms experiencing continual frustration and clinging
4. Celestial beings
b. The 4 human situations with no chance for Dharma study
1. Barbarian among uncivilized savages or in country where religion was outlawed.
2. Where Buddha's teachings are unavailable, where a Buddha hasn't appeared and taught
3. Mentally retarded, deaf, dumb, blind 4. Having instinctive wrong views
1. Born as a human
2. Living in central Buddhist region
3. Having complete and healthy sense and mental faculties
4. Not having committed any of the five 5 heinous actions; not doing actions against the Dharma such as being a butcher.
5. Having instinctive belief in things worthy of respect: the Dharma, the value of ethics, the path to enlightenment, etc.
b. The 5 richnesses from society 1. Living where and when a Buddha has appeared
2. Living where and when a Buddha has taught the Dharma
3. Living where and when the Dharma still exists
4. Living where and when there's a sangha community following Buddha's teachings
5. Living where and when there are others with loving concern: patrons, teachers, so we have clothes, food, other conditions to practice
1. From the viewpoint of temporary goals
2. From viewpoint of ultimate goals
3. In every moment our precious human life is valuable
1. From the viewpoint of its causes (ethics, practicing the other far-reaching attitudes, pure prayers)
2. From the viewpoint of analogies
3. From the viewpoint of its nature, numbers
2. How to take advantage of our precious human life
1. Taking an interest in our future lives
a. Remembering death
a. We won't remember or be mindful of the Dharma
b. Even if we remember Dharma, we won't practice it and will procrastinate.
c. Even if we practice, we won't do so purely. Our practice will be mixed with the eight worldly concerns
Attachment to receiving material possessions, aversion to not receiving or being separated from them
Attachment to praise, aversion to blame
Attachment to a good reputation, aversion to a bad one
Attachment to pleasures of the 5 senses, aversion to unpleasant experiences
d. We won't practice earnestly at all times. Our practice will lack intensity.
e. By acting negatively, we'll prevent ourselves from gaining liberation
f. We will die with regret
a. We'll act meaningfully and will want to practice Dharma
b. All our positive actions will be powerful and effective
c. It's important at the beginning: it gets us started on the path
d. It's important in the middle: it helps us to persevere
e. It's important at the end: it keeps us focused on beneficial goals.
f. We'll die with a happy mind
a. 9-point death meditation
1. Death is inevitable, definite
a. Nothing can prevent our eventually dying
b. Our life span can't be extended when it is time for us to die and with each passing moment we approach death.
c. We will die even if we have not had time to practice Dharma. Conclusion: we must practice the Dharma
a. In general there is no certainty of lifespan in our world
b. There are more chances of dying and less of remaining alive
c. Our body is extremely fragile Conclusion: We will practice Dharma continually beginning now.
a. Wealth is of no help.
b. Friends and relatives are of no help.
c. Not even our body is of any help. Conclusion: We will practice purely.
b. Considering the quality of life in the 2 possible kinds of future rebirth
1. Thinking of the suffering of the life forms experiencing continuous pain and fear.
2. Thinking of the suffering of the life forms experiencing continuous frustration and clinging
3. Thinking of the suffering of animals
2. Methods for benefiting our future lives a. Taking refuge as the superior gateway for entering the Dharma
1. Reasons for taking refuge
. Dread and caution regarding rebirth in unfortunate life forms or in all of cyclic existence
2. What objects to take refuge in a. Recognizing the proper objects to take refuge in
a. Ultimate = Dharmakaya: the nature body and the wisdom Dharmakaya
b. Conventional = Rupakaya (form body): the enjoyment body and the emanation body
a. Ultimate = Arya's true cessation and true path
b. Conventional = 84,000 Dharma teachings: the scriptures
a. Ultimate = Arya's knowledge and liberation: true path and true cessation
b. Conventional = individual arya or assembly of ordained beings
1. Causal - those persons or things that already are the Three Jewels. They guide us by: - Buddha manifests in different forms to guide and teach us - Dharma is the actual refuge because by actualizing it, we abandon obscurations and develop qualities. - Sangha guides by being a good example and encouraging us.
b. Reasons they are suitable objects of refuge
1. Buddhas are free from all fears of cyclic existence and self-complacent peace.
2. They have skillful and effective means to free others from all fear
3. They have equal compassion for all, regardless of whether we have faith in them or not
4. They fulfill the aims of all beings whether or not those beings have helped them
3. Measuring the extent to which we have taken refuge; how to take refuge
a. Qualities and skills of a Buddha's body
b. Qualities and skills of a Buddha's speech
c. Qualities and skills of a Buddha's mind: wisdom and compassion
d. Qualities and skills of a Buddha's enlightening influence
a. True path directly destroys ignorance
b. True cessation prevents disturbing attitudes from re-arising
1. Hearer aryas
2. Solitary realizer aryas 3. Arya bodhisattvas
b. Taking refuge by knowing their differences in terms of:
2. Enlightening influence
3. Aspirations or fervent regard we have for each
4. How we practice in terms of each
5. What qualities to remember or to be mindful of
6. How positive potential is gained in relation to them
1. Buddha is the ideal teacher, is like the doctor.
2. Dharma is what will actually free us, like medicine.
3. Sangha are ideal friends for helping us realize the refuge, nurse
d. Taking refuge by not speaking in favor of other refuges
e. Taking refuge from knowing the three ultimate objects of refuge
a. [We become Buddhists]]
b. We establish the foundation for taking all further vows
c. We can eliminate results of previously accumulated negative karma.
d. We can quickly accumulate great positive karma e. We can't be harmed by humans and non-humans.
f. We won't fall to unfortunate rebirths
g. In general our virtuous purposes and temporal goals will be fulfilled
h. We will quickly attain Buddhahood
a. Specific guidelines
1. Having taken refuge in the Buddha:
a. do not turn for refuge in worldly deities.
b. respect all images of the Buddha
a. avoid harming any living being
b. respect the written words which describe the path
a. do not cultivate the friendship of people who criticize the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, who teach wrong views or who act unruly
b. develop respect for monks and nuns
b. Common guidelines
1. Being mindful of the qualities, skills, and differences between the Three Jewels and other possible refuges, repeatedly take refuge in them
2. Remembering their kindness, make offerings to them
3. Mindful of their compassion, encourage others to take refuge
4. Remembering the benefits of taking refuge, do so 3 times each morning and evening
5. Do all actions by entrusting yourself to the Three Jewels.
6. Do not forsake your refuge at the cost of our life or as a joke
b. Developing conviction in actions and their effects
1. Thinking about the general aspects of actions and their effects
A. Actual way to consider its general aspects
1. Karma is definite.
2. Results of an action increase.
3. If an action is not done, one won't meet with its results.
4. Actions don't go to waste without yielding a result.
B. Differentiating and considering its specific aspects
1. Thinking about negative actions and their results
a. Actual paths of negative actions 1.
3 destructive actions of body
a. Taking life
1. Object or basis
2. Complete intention:
a. Correct recognition of the object
c. One of the 3 poisonous attitudes must be involved.
3. Actual Action 4. Completion of the Action
b. Taking what is not given
c. Unwise sexual conduct
b. Divisive speech, slander
c. Harsh words
d. Idle talk
3. 3 destructive actions of mind
c. Wrong views
1. Nature of the action
2. Basis or object
3. Strength of the intention
4. How the action was done
6. Whether an opponent was applied or not
c. The results of these destructive actions
1. Maturation or ripening result
2. The result similar to the cause:
a. in terms of what one experiences
b. in terms of one's instinctive behavior patterns
3. Environmental result
2. Thinking about positive actions and their results
3. Summarizing and indicating parameters affecting the strength of the results an action will bring (intensity of karma)
a. Field of action: the person we act that way to
b. Level of reliance or belief in the laws of actions and results
c. Manner, what is involved in the action
a. Throwing and completing karma
b. Definite and indefinite karma
c. Performed (committed) and accumulated karma
1. Long life
2. Sound, attractive and healthy body
3. Birth in a good, reputable family
4. Wealth, good reputation and many friends
5. Honesty and credibility of speech
6. Strong influence on others
7. Courageous, objective, assertive, diligent. In traditional texts this one is listed as birth as a male. (calm down, this is due to cultural bias and will be explained.)
8. Mental and physical stamina B. Proper utilization of these 8 favorable qualities C. Virtuous actions which are causes leading to human birth with these
3. Having considered actions and their results, how to engage in positive actions and avoid destructive ones. A. How to do this in general
1. Regret - purifies result similar to cause in terms of experience
2. Object (restoring the relationship: refuge and altruistic intention) - purifies environmental result
3. Determination not to repeat it - purifies result similar to cause in terms of behavior
4. Remedial actions- purifies maturation result.
- striving for liberation from cyclic existence (Contemplating the Four Noble Truths)
a. The Buddha's purpose for stating the truth of unsatisfactory experiences as the first of the 4 truths of the noble ones.
1. Thinking of the suffering of cyclic existence in general
a. No certainty
b. No satisfaction
c. Having to abandon your body repeatedly
d. Having to take rebirth in cyclic existence repeatedly.
e. Changing status repeatedly, from exalted to humble.
f. Essentially being alone, no friends.
a. the unsatisfactory experience of suffering and pain
b. the unsatisfactory experience of change
c. the compounded, pervading unsatisfactory experience
2. Thinking about the suffering of individual states
a. Suffering of 3 unfortunate states (discussed earlier)
b. Suffering of 3 fortunate states
e. Being parted from what you like
f. Meeting with what you don't like
g. Not obtaining what you like
2. Unsatisfactory experiences of the demi-gods
3. Unsatisfactory experiences of the gods
a. Thinking about the causes of suffering and how they place and keep us in cyclic existence
1. How the disturbing attitudes develop
a. Recognizing the disturbing attitudes
1. Root disturbing attitudes
b. Anger, aversion
e. Defiled doubt
f. Afflicted views:
1. View of the transitory collection
2. View holding to an extreme
3. Conception of an incorrect view as supreme
4. Conception of improper ethics and conduct as supreme
5. Incorrect views
2. Secondary disturbing attitudes
b. Order development of the disturbing attitudes
c. Causes for the arisal of the disturbing attitudes
1. Dependent basis: the seed of the disturbing attitudes
2. Object stimulating them to arise
3. Detrimental influences: wrong friends
4. Verbal stimuli
6. Inappropriate decisive attention
d. Disadvantages of the disturbing attitudes
2. How karma is accumulated by the disturbing attitudes
a. Karma accumulated through mental actions
b. Karma accumulated which is derived from mental actions
a. Way death occurs
b. Way bardo is reached after death
b. Becoming convinced of nature of the path to liberation
1. Kind of body with which you can break out of cyclic existence
2. Kind of path to follow to break out of cyclic existence
a. Advantages of observing the high training in ethics
1. Maintaining Buddha's teaching as a living tradition
2. Being a vessel for holding bodhisattva and tantric vows
3. Being living example to inspire others
4. Upholding the Dharma of insight or realization
5. Benefit of keeping ethics in degenerate times
b. Disadvantages of not observing ethics
- striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings
1. Advantages of the altruistic intention
a. It is the only gateway for entering the mahayana path
b. One receives the name "child of the Buddha"
c. One will surpass in brilliance the sravakas and solitary realizers.
d. One will become object of highest respect and offering
e. One will easily complete the collections of merit and insight
f. Obstacles and negative karma will be quickly eliminated.
g. Whatever you wish for in general will happen.
h. Altruism prevents and overcomes harm and interferences.
i. One will quickly complete all the realizations of the path.
j. One will become source of comfort and happiness for all beings.
2. The way to develop the altruistic intention
a. Actual stages of how to cultivate the altruistic intention
1. Cultivating it through the seven points of cause and effect
a. Recognizing that each sentient being has been one's mother
b. Remembering their kindness to you as your mother
c. Wishing to reciprocate that kindness
d. Heart-warming love--seeing others as lovable
e. Great compassion
f. Great determination
g. Altruistic intention
2. Cultivating it through equalizing and exchanging self and others
a. Equalizing self and others b. Disadvantages of self-centeredness
c. Advantages of cherishing others d. Exchanging self and others
e. Giving your own happiness and taking the suffering of others
3. Cultivating it through the eleven point bodhicitta meditation
b. Recognizing all sentient beings have been your mother
c. Remembering the kindness of others
d. Wishing to reciprocate that kindness
e. Equalizing self and others
f. Disadvantages of self-centeredness
g. Advantages of cherishing others
h. Taking others' suffering through compassion
i. Giving away your own happiness through love
j. Great determination
k. Altruistic intention
b. How to take the bodhisattva vows.
1. Taking the bodhisattva vows if they haven't taken them before
2. Having taken vows, how to keep them pure & prevent degeneration
a. Commitments of the aspiring bodhisattva vows
1. How to prevent the bodhicitta from degenerating this life
a. Remember the advantages of bodhicitta again and again.
b. To strengthen one's bodhicitta, generate the thought to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings three times in the morning and three times in the evening. Recitation and contemplation of the prayer for taking refuge and generating the dedicated heart is a good way to fulfil this.
c. Do not give up working for sentient beings even when they are harmful.
d. To enhance one's bodhicitta, accumulate both merit and wisdom continuously.
2. How to prevent losing the bodhicitta in future lives
a. Abandon the four black actions:
1. Deceiving the Guru, abbot or other holy beings with lies.
2. Causing others to regret virtuous actions that they have done.
3. Abusing or criticizing bodhisattvas or the Mahayana.
4. Not acting with a pure selfless wish but with pretension and deceit.
b. Practice the four white actions:
1. Abandon deliberately deceiving and lying to Gurus, abbots and so forth.
2. Be straightforward, without pretension or deceit.
3. Generate the recognition of bodhisattvas as one's teacher and praise them.
4. Assume the responsibility oneself to lead all sentient beings to enlightenment.
b. Commitments of the engaged bodhisattva vows See Pearl of Wisdom, book II
3. Having generated bodhicitta, how to engage in the bodhisattva's deeds
a. How to accomplish the general conduct of all bodhisattvas
1. Training in the 6 far-reaching attitudes to ripen your mind
1. Giving material aid
2. Giving protection from fear
3. Giving the Dharma
1. Ethics of restraining from acting destructively
2. Ethics of acting positively (gathering virtues)
3. Ethics of working for the benefit of others
1. Patience of not retaliating
2. Patience of enduring difficulties
3. Patience of definitely practicing the Dharma
d. Joyous Effort
1. The three kinds of joyous effort
a. Armor-like joyous effort
b. Joyous effort of acting positively (gathering virtues)
c. Joyous effort of working for the benefit of others
2. The three kinds of laziness which interrupt joyous effort
a. Procrastination b. Attraction to trivial matters & negative behavior
c. Discouragement, feelings of incapability
e. Meditative stabilization
1. Two types of MS according to their nature
a. Mundane b. Transcendental
2. Three types of MS according to their strength
a. Calm abiding meditation
b. Special insight meditation
c. MS which harmoniously combines the two
3. Three types of MS according to their function
a. MS which cultivates mental & physical bliss
b. MS which brings all other advantages
c. MS enabling one to work for the benefit of others
1. Wisdom understanding emptiness, ultimate truths
2. Wisdom understanding phenomena, conventional truths
3. Wisdom understanding how to benefit others
2. Training in the 4 factors ripening the minds of others
a. Being generous
b. Speaking kindly & wisely, teaching the Dharma
c. Giving encouragement
d. Acting according to what one teaches, setting a good example
b. How to practice the last two far-reaching attitudes in particular
1. Training in calm abiding to perfect meditative stabilization
a. Arranging proper circumstances for calm abiding meditation
1. Live in a proper and conducive place
2. Have few desires and attachments
3. Be content
4. Avoid distractions and extraneous activities
5. Maintain pure ethical conduct
6. Abandon preconceptions about sense objects
b. Actual way to practice calm abiding
1. Five deterrents to calm abiding a. Laziness
b. Forgetting the object of meditation
c. Laxity and agitation
d. Not applying antidotes to the deterrents
e. Applying antidotes when they are not needed
2. Eight antidotes
a. Confidence or faith in the benefits of calm abiding
b. Aspiration c. Joyous effort
d. Pliancy, serviceability of body and mind
f. Introspective alertness
g. Application of appropriate antidotes
3. Nine stages in practicing calm abiding
a. Setting (placing) the mind
b. Continuous setting
d. Close setting
g. Thorough pacification
i. Setting in equipoise
4. Six mental powers to attain these stages
d. Introspective alertness
e. Effort f. Familiarity
5. Four engagements to employ to do this
a. Painstaking (forceful)
b. Repeated (interrupted)
d. Effortless (spontaneous)
6. Way to develop actual calm abiding from this
2. Training in special insight to perfect the wisdom of emptiness
a. Establishing the selflessness of persons
1. Meditating on emptiness which is like space in sessions
a. Recognizing the object to be negated (refuted)
b. Argument conclusively refutes what is to be refuted
c. The I cannot exist singly or be the same as its parts
d. The I cannot exist as many or separate from its parts
2. In break times, contemplate things being like an illusion
b. Establishing the selflessness of all phenomena
1. Being convinced that no functional phenomena truly exists
a. Form doesn't truly (inherently) exist
b. Consciousness doesn't truly exist
c. Non-associated compounded phenomena don't truly exist
2. Being convinced that no permanent phenomena truly exists
c. The way to develop actual special insight (The eight-fold noble path is often taught at this point)
C. How to practice the uncommon path of tantra