Year One Fall Class Description
Lam Rim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) Part 1: Entering the Path (Small Scope)
The Lam Rim is a fundamental text in Tibetan Buddhism that details all the teachings and practices of the complete path for the attainment of enlightenment. Part One covers the initial stage of the path when one first seeks relief from one’s own suffering and gain a higher rebirth (better life circumstances). Topics include: relying on a teacher, the meditation session, contemplating this precious human life, reflecting on impermanence, going for refuge, karma and purifying negative karma. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain an understanding of many of the fundamental concepts, teachings and practices in Tibetan Buddhism.
Text: Lama Tsongkhapa’s the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.
Language of Tibetan Buddhist Practice: Prayers for Meditation Practice
Palden Oshoe, the translator for Namgyal Monastery will lead a class in teaching the translation and vocabulary for prayers recited at the beginning and end of meditation practice sessions at Namgyal. These prayers are recited to help set one’s motivation during meditation at the beginning and sharing the benefits of the meditation with other beings at the end. He will provide the Tibetan to English translation of words as well as discuss their meaning and significance Tibetan Buddhism. The class will also provide basic understanding of classical Tibetan grammar. Students will have the opportunity to practice their pronunciation and recitation of these prayers. This is an excellent opportunity for students who regularly come for meditation at Namgyal to learn the basic vocabulary and understand the meaning of the prayers. No previous knowledge of Tibetan or Buddhism is required.
Philosophical Tenets: Non-Buddhist and Buddhist Philosophy, and Buddhist Philosophy of The Great Exposition and Sutra Schools
In Buddhism, the cultivation of limitless wisdom is inextricably linked to the concept of selflessness. The Buddhist philosophical tenets represent different views and interpretations of the meaning of selflessness. Progression through the tenets takes one to more and more subtle understandings of selflessness. Thus, for one to fully realize wisdom, one must develop an understanding of selflessness through listening to, contemplating and meditating on each of the tenet views. This class examines differences in Non-Buddhist and Buddhist views of self and on the tenets of the early Buddhist philosophical schools of the Great Exposition School and Sutra School. Text: Cutting Through Appearances by Great Jangya Rolbay Dorjay
Book Study: Healing Anger, the Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective by His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama
Skillfully relating to and working with one’s anger in a way that does not lead to harming others or our self is a great challenge for everyone. In this book, the Dalai Lama explores how the practice of patience can help one meet this challenge and enable one to effectively overcome the obstacles of anger and hatred. His discussion is based on the classic Buddhist text, The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. In this class, student will have an opportunity to read about and discuss this topic as well as receive further teaching and clarification on text by Venerable Choesang. This is an excellent class for persons new to Buddhism as well as students with more familiarity to these teachings.