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Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment, Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat, Expounded Simply and Directly in their Direct Nakedness, by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. Discussion by Losang Rinpoche. (Nov. 30, 2014, part 1)

The first hour of Lama Losang's third teaching, in his series of discussions on the text by His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, or Dudjom Rinpoche, "Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat".  We'll post a summary soon.

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Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment, Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat, Expounded Simply and Directly in their Direct Nakedness, by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. Discussion by Losang Rinpoche. (Nov. 30, 2014, part 2)

The second part of Lama Losang's third teaching in his series of discussions on the text by His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, or Dudjom Rinpoche, "Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat".  We'll post a summary soon, but in the meanwhile here is the recording itself.

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Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment, Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat, Expounded Simply and Directly in their Direct Nakedness, by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. Introduction, continued, by Losang Rinpoche. (Nov. 23, 2014)

Continuing with his introduction to the text from Nov. 16th, Losang la begins with a short talk on Gelug and Nyingma traditions, then a longer discussion of Buddha Nature and what it means, the Wheel of Life, the Six Realms, the three general types of 'suffering' in Buddhist philosophy, varieties of consciousness, and other subjects.

Written by His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, or Dudjom Rinpoche, "Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat" is a famous and justly revered  guide to Dzogchen style spiritual practice - a training manual in essence - in the Nyingma tradition.  Please see our description from our Nov. 16th (2014) entry for more information, or you can simply click on the link above, to read or download a pdf of the text itself.

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Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment, Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat, Expounded Simply and Directly in their Direct Nakedness, by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. An Introduction by Losang Rinpoche. (Nov. 16, 2014)

Written by His Holiness Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, or Dudjom Rinpoche, "Extracting the Quintessence of Accomplishment Oral Instructions for the Practice of Mountain Retreat" is a famous and justly revered  guide to Dzogchen style spiritual practice - a training manual in essence - in the Nyingma tradition.  

Dzogchen has gained great popularity and recognition in the West, perhaps because of its direct method and straightforward style of practice.  At the same time, it is also an austere and demanding approach to meditation - simple and direct. There are no elaborate liturgies or complex visualizations such are found in tantric Vajrayana practice, and seemingly no emphasis on monastic rules and regulations.  Rather, Dzogchen practice points to a direct encounter with the nature of your own mind, which is enlightenment itself. Unobscured by overlays of conceptual misunderstanding, emotional attachments and endless cycles of thoughts, this nature is what we truly are.  How to cut through this delusion and experience directly and vividly our own true Self?  That is what this manual offers.  

Dudjom Rinpoche (1904 - 1987) is recognized as one of the greatest modern masters of Vajrayana Buddhism.  A poet, a scholar and a great example of an enlightened master, he continues to have a profound effect on the flowering of Buddhism in the West. Dudjom Rinpoche was head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.  The Nyingma incorporate many diverse lineages and practices, often varying from one geographical locale to another, but they all trace their lineage sources to the Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche, who is credited with first bringing Buddhism to Tibet in the seventh century. 

In this first of Losang Rinpoche's series of teachings on this profound text, Losang-la offers some introductory thoughts about the text, about its esteemed author, and about the significance of Dzogchen in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition (all accompanied by our annual winter steam pipe orchestra).  To read or download a copy of the translation that we will be using for this series, please click the link above, or this one.  (They're the same link.)  Thank you.

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Guest Teacher, Lama Lena (Yeshe Kaytup), Sunday Morning Sangha, Aug. 12, 2012 | On Meditation, Posture, Breathing, Purification Practices and other subjects.

Sunday Morning Sangha dharma talk by dear friend and guest teacher Lama Lena (Yeshe Kaytup), following her two day teaching* earlier in the week. Today a lively and deeply informed discussion about meditation practice, posture, breathing, purification practices and other subjects.  Lama Lena will be back at our center later this year, Oct. 10 - 12, 2014.

*Tsig Sum Ne Deb, "Three Words that Strike to the Heart of the Matter," by Garab Dorje with Commentary by Patrul Rinpoche. 

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Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha, Silent Meditation, and Monlam Chenmo, March 15, 2014, Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche

Most spiritual traditions have special days of celebration and in Buddhism, many of the special days honour significant events in the life of the Buddha, such as Buddha's birth, enlightenment, teaching, and death (parinirvana).  "Miracle Month" on the Tibetan Lunar calendar honors the miracles performed by the Buddha to demonstrate the Truth of the qualities of enlightened beings. This Sunday (3.15.14) was the First Full Moon after Tibetan New Year and the most important day of the month of miracles, honoring the Buddha's realization of filling the sky with manifestations of enlightened beings.

In Tibet the month is called Monlam Chenmo - the Great Prayer Festival. In the 14th Century the Great Master Lama Tsong-Khapa founded Monlam Chenmo in Lhasa City at Jokhang Temple, now called the Old City in Lhasa. Many advanced meditators and philosophers would gather for this festival in Lhasa, which was the largest gathering for a spiritual celebration each year.

The recording begins with chanting the Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha, and his mantra, followed by silent sitting meditation, and a discussion by Lama Losang on Monlam Chenmo.  **Please note that this recording includes the sound of loud bells periodically.  Thank you.

                                      OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNI YE SOHA


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Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche, Lama Tsongkapa Guru Yoga and commentary. Feb. 2, 2014

Sunday Morning Sangha, Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche.  A teaching on Guru Yoga, on Tsongkapa Guru Yoga, different reasons in our lives we might practice meditation, and different types of meditation depending on our reasons, on faith vs. blind faith, on the Nyingma and Gelug schools of Tibetan Buddhism, on tantra and visualization, and related topics.  As with most of our recordings, edited for continuity and clarity.  Thank you.

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Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche, Shantideva's "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life," Chapter Eight, "Meditation" (Concentration) Verses 144 - 187 Feb. 2, 2014

Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche, discusses the final section of Shantideva's truly transformative verses on Concentration.  What does it really mean to cherish others, and to care for their well being and happiness the same or more than we care for ourselves?  And why is this beneficial both to others, but also ourselves, in the first place?  The hour concludes with a dharma talk and chanting on Om Mani Peme Hung.

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Padmasambhava Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge. Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche. Jan. 26, 2014. Part 1 of 2.

Especially in the Nyingma tradition, the refuge prayer to Guru Padmasambhava is of the greatest importance, including within it so many other refuge prayers as well.  Lama Losang Rinpoche offers a careful and far-reaching, line by line translation and explanation of both the meaning of this profound practice, and how to make it most meaningful for ourselves and others.  (Our chattering steampipes can also be heard in the background, making their annual winter appearance.)  Approx. 1 hr, part 1 of 2.

Padmasambhava Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge

Myself and all sentient beings, boundless as space, take refuge in the
precious lama, inseparable from the Buddha.
In all the buddhas, dharma, and sangha we take refuge.
In the gatherings of the lamas, yidams, and dakinis we take refuge.
In the clear light of shunyata and dharmakaya, inseparable from my
mind, I take refuge.

MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PE SEM CHEN TAM CHE LA MA
SAN GYE RIN PO CHE LA KYAP SO CHE WO
SAN GYE CHO DANG GEN DUN NAM LA KYAP SO CHE WO
LA MA YI DAM KHAN DROI TSOG LA KYAP SO CHE WO
RANG SEM TONG SEL CHO KYI GU LA KYAP SO CHE WO

 

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Padmasambhava Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge. Lama Losang Samten, Rinpoche. Jan. 26, 2014. 2 of 2.

Losang Rinpoche continues his teaching on Padmasambhava's Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge.  The second hour begins with a discussion on conventional reality and ultimate reality (also known as the Two Truths), emptiness, cultivating compassion toward all beings, the kinds of meditation we need to engage in, in order to truly establish a deeper level of practice, and other subjects.

Padmasambhava Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge

Myself and all sentient beings, boundless as space, take refuge in the
precious lama, inseparable from the Buddha.
In all the buddhas, dharma, and sangha we take refuge.
In the gatherings of the lamas, yidams, and dakinis we take refuge.
In the clear light of shunyata and dharmakaya, inseparable from my
mind, I take refuge.

MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PE SEM CHEN TAM CHE LA MA
SAN GYE RIN PO CHE LA KYAP SO CHE WO
SAN GYE CHO DANG GEN DUN NAM LA KYAP SO CHE WO
LA MA YI DAM KHAN DROI TSOG LA KYAP SO CHE WO
RANG SEM TONG SEL CHO KYI GU LA KYAP SO CHE WO

Buddhism teaches that the source of our suffering can on one level be said to reside in our fundamental ignorance in believing that phenomena, and the self, possess an independent existence, or an inherent or fixed nature.  Because of our misapprehension in this way, unhappiness inevitably results when we attempt to grasp at these illusory ends.  At the conventional level, both objects, and ourselves, certainly can be said to exist independently; indeed our minds, grounded in our five senses, are habituated to both see and label them as such.  A singing bowl is a singing bowl.  Slightly less concrete: a rainbow is a rainbow.  Upon deeper investigation however, neither phenomena, nor the self, can be found to independently exist, or possess such an inherent or absolute nature.  Rather, all phenomena, all beings, are truly interdependent; empty of inherent nature or existence. Things do exist - Buddhism is not nihilism - but they don't exist in the way that we conventionally understand them to exist.

So how to cultivate a deeper compassion toward ourselves and others?  Our deluded minds, relying on conceptual thoughts, obscure the unity of subject - the perceiver - and object - the thing perceived.  How then can we apprehend our interdependence, when our minds themselves continue to delude us into believing in our independence and difference from each other?

To answer this, Losang la looks at two of the most important meditative traditions in Buddhism, Dzogchen meditation, and analytical meditation.  Analytical meditation, grounded in the Gelug tradition of Lama Tsong Kapa, follows naturally from the way that many of our minds already work.  So for example, we may meditate on the happiness of all sentient beings, or seeing all beings as our mothers.  Who can find fault with such beautiful and essential meditations?

As even this still may be said to be grounded in our conceptual mind, and therefore deluded, the Dzogchen tradition might direct the meditator to free him or herself from such conceptual thought, and block thoughts altogether.  In doing so, a direct understanding of the unity of all phenomenon, and the interdependence of all beings, true emptiness, our compassionate regard for all beings, naturally arises.

The morning concludes with the Medicine Buddha mantra,

TAYATA OM BHEKANDZE BHEKANDZE MAHA
BHEKANDZE RANDZA SAMUNGATE SOHA

... and a brief teaching at the very end on meditation technique.

 

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