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Geshe Michael Roach

The Wheel of Knives (1998, New York, Geshe Michael Roach)

The text of the Wheel of Knives describes how bodhisattvas in the vicious circle of life are like peacocks who actually find poisonous plants more nutritious than medicinal ones. The idea is that the bodhisattvas can transform inner afflictions and outer difficult situations into precious opportunities for personal practice and helping others. According to the text, each unpleasant thing or event that ever happens to us is a result of “what goes around comes around”: the things we have done to others are returning back to us like a wheel of knives. ... Read More...

Why Your Children May Be Buddhas (1998, Mongolia)

A teaching that Geshe Michael gave back in 1998 during a teaching trip to Mongolia. It was a class about what an Enlightened Being, or Buddha, is like. Geshe Michael goes into detail explaining the four parts, or what’s sometimes described as the four bodies of a Buddha. This teaching places special emphasis on the Emanation Body, or the part of a Buddha which has the ability to take countless forms to help all living beings in exactly the way that would help us the most.... Read More...

The Difference Between Nirvana and Samsara: Guidelines for a Meaningful Life (1998, Brisbane)

A one-night lecture in which Geshe Michael discusses the difference between two very important words in Buddhism: Nirvana and Samsara. These two words reflect the goals of all Buddhist practice—Nirvana is where you’re trying to go and Samsara is what you’re trying to get away from. However, before you have a long lecture about how to get to Nirvana and escape from Samsara, it’s important to clarify what they are. This lecture does exactly that. We find this one really helpful because the format also included a lot more interaction with the audience than usual, giving people a chance to share their ideas about what they think the qualities of Nirvana and Samsara are. This really flushed out many of the misunderstandings which new Buddhists in particular may have about the goals of Buddhist practice and clarified the path to reach those goals.... Read More...

Mahamudra: Two Worlds Side by Side (1998, San Francisco)

A one-night course by Geshe Michael Roach in San Francisco on August 28, 1999. This teaching is about a special style of meditation called Mahamudra. This course will be based on a teaching about Mahamudra by The First Panchen Lama and will give an introduction to Mahamudra, a discussion about the advantages of studying the emptiness of the mind, as opposed to the emptiness of objects in general, and a description of beginning Mahamudra meditation for you to incorporate into your daily meditation practice.... Read More...

ACI Course 15: What the Buddha Really Meant (1998, New York)

Topics include: The importance of evaluating spiritual teachings, how to interpret when spiritual teachings are literal or figurative, how to evaluate apparently conflicting teachings, a summary of the teachings Lord Buddha gave in each of the three Turnings of the Wheel of the Dharma, the goal of each of the three Turnings of the Wheel, an explanation of the ideas held by each of the main schools of Buddhism, ultimate reality (emptiness) according to each of the schools, the three progressively higher understandings of emptiness, the three attributes of reality, a comparison of the Mind- Only School and the Middle- Way School explanations of emptiness and dependent origination, how to use an understanding of emptiness to stop all your suffering, and how to stop your aging and death by stopping your ignorance.... Read More...

ACI Course 14: Lojong, Developing the Good Heart (1998, New York)

Topics include: How to develop a good heart, how to practice throughout the day, how to develop the wish for enlightenment, the eight verses of mind training, 18 pledges for developing a good heart, the six keys to successful practice, the five powers, the five mental poisons, seven steps to developing a good heart, the three virtues, how to respond to the eight worldly thoughts, the real meaning of freedom from attachment, how to behave in difficult situations, the difference between how things happen and why things happen, how to send your mind into death (powa), and seeing angels.... Read More...

ACI Course 13: The Art of Reasoning (1998, New York)

Topics include: the correct motivation for debate; debating tactics and the flow of a debate; the subject, quality, and reason of the debate; why logic is more valuable than faith; how studying logic leads to perceiving emptiness; what makes a reason correct; contradictions and relationships; relationships of identity, and relationships of cause and effect; proving the absence of something; material causes and contributing factors; valid perception; changing and unchanging things; an outline of all existing things; the concept of time according to each of the four schools of thought; and the reason why suffering has an end. ... Read More...

Daily Practice Series Course 10: Je Tsongkapa's Mantra (Ganden Hlagyama) (1998, Redding)

This meditation is an excellent method to improve your spiritual capacity and to dramatically enhance your ability to practice. Learn to receive great spiritual blessings with this meditation practice that focuses on the Thousand Angels of the Heaven of Bliss, A Prayer of Lama Devotion. The visualizations associated with meditating upon the prayer are emphasized, with special attention given to the mantra recitation. This is an excellent preparation for advanced tantric meditation. It lays the foundation for tantric retreat by properly guiding you through mantra meditation and teaching you how to do mantra recitation and retreat.... Read More...

Daily Practice Series Course 08: The Heart Sutra, A Meditation on Emptiness (1998, Redding)

The Heart Sutra is one of the most popular prayers in Buddhism. It contains seemingly mystical, impenetrable verses that describe how reality does exist, and the way in which it does not exist. This meditation penetrates into the real meaning of the sutra, which describes how our very nature, including our bodies, minds and identities are not what they appear to be. We meditate on the very nature of ultimate reality (emptiness) to discover where things come from and how they really exist. This is an excellent introductory overview meditation on emptiness. ... Read More...

ACI Course 10: Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Part 1 (1997, New York)

This Course is the first in a three part series based upon A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharya Avatara) by Master Shantideva (700 AD), and the commentary Entry Point for Children of the Victorious Buddhas (Gyalse Juk-ngok) by Gyaltsab Je (1364-1432). Master Shantideva’s work is considered the best book ever written to learn how to live as a bodhisattva, and this is one of the most famous commentaries ever written; it has been translated into English for the first time for this course.... Read More...

ACI Course 12: Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Part 3 (1997, New York)

Topics include: An explanation of the perfection of wisdom; the purpose and benefit of realizing emptiness; how to perceive emptiness directly; proofs of emptiness; the two types of emptiness; the emptiness of the body; the emptiness of the mind; the emptiness of feelings; the emptiness of functioning things; the emptiness of the three elements; wrong ideas about emptiness; the meaning of illusion; dependent origination; the two truths; the nature of ultimate reality; wrong ideas we have about existence; kinds of mental afflictions; the six steps which produce all the pain in the world; the five heaps; the three types of compassion; the importance of requesting blessings; the importance of dedicating good deeds; and how to reach nirvana and enlightenment. It is recommended that you study Parts I & II prior to studying Part III.... Read More...

ACI Course 12: Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Part 3 (1997, New York)

Topics include: An explanation of the perfection of wisdom; the purpose and benefit of realizing emptiness; how to perceive emptiness directly; proofs of emptiness; the two types of emptiness; the emptiness of the body; the emptiness of the mind; the emptiness of feelings; the emptiness of functioning things; the emptiness of the three elements; wrong ideas about emptiness; the meaning of illusion; dependent origination; the two truths; the nature of ultimate reality; wrong ideas we have about existence; kinds of mental afflictions; the six steps which produce all the pain in the world; the five heaps; the three types of compassion; the importance of requesting blessings; the importance of dedicating good deeds; and how to reach nirvana and enlightenment. It is recommended that you study Parts I & II prior to studying Part III.... Read More...

ACI Course 11: Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Part 2 (1997, New York)

Topics include: an explanation of the perfection of patience, the perfection of joyful effort, and the perfection of meditative concentration; the results of anger; how to make a habit of not getting angry; how joyous effort supports the other five perfections; obstacles to joyous effort; obstacles to meditation; how selfishness produces pain; reasons to treat others as well as yourself; the source of all the world's pain; compassion as a prerequisite for successful meditative concentration; meditation as a prerequisite for wisdom; where you, your world, and all of your experiences come from; and Buddha nature. It is recommended that you study Part I prior to studying Part II.... Read More...

Daily Practice Series Course 07: Marriage of Karma and Emptiness (1997, Indiana)

This presentation provides a good overview of how karma and emptiness (ultimate reality) interact to form you, your world, and all of its experiences. Ultimate reality is described along with the principles of karma, and how those two come together to form all things and experiences. The union of karma and emptiness is the basis of all reality, and this practice explores what you can do to affect and change your reality. It is a wonderful practice to transform the world around you by understanding the laws of karma, and the idea of ultimate reality, in your everyday life.... Read More...

Daily Practice Series Course 03: Contemplation on the Practice of Giving and Taking (1997, Connecticut, Geshe Michael Roach)

This is an excellent meditation practice to develop a caring attitude in our hearts toward everyone in our lives, especially those that we have difficulty with. And it’s a wonderful meditation to do when one has an illness, to cultivate empathy, or to generate happiness. Tong Len practice cultivates love and compassion for ourselves, those we are indifferent toward, and those who harm us. It’s a great way to learn to be kind to yourself and others.... Read More...

ACI Course 06: The Diamond Cutter Sutra (1996, California)

This Course is based upon the Diamond Cutter Sutra (Vajrachedika) by Shakyamuni Buddha, along with the only known native Tibetan commentary, by Chone Lama Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748). Topics include: how the direct perception of emptiness is accomplished, what happens after the direct perception of emptiness, how understanding emptiness leads to the destruction of mental afflictions, how the direct perception of emptiness leads to full enlightenment and paradise, emptiness and the two extremes, how empty things function, emptiness and purification, the relationship between emptiness and karma, emptiness and the bodies of a Buddha, what is non-duality, how a bodhisattva should live, the future of Buddha’s teachings, and the perfection of wisdom. ... Read More...
Geshe Michael Roach

Geshe Michael Roach

Geshe Michael Roach (born December 17, 1952) is the first American to have been awarded the degree of Geshe, or Master of Buddhism, after more than 20 years of study in Tibetan monasteries. He has used this training to become a prominent international teacher, businessman, philanthropist, author, educator, public speaker, textual scholar, and musician. Geshe Michael graduated with honors from Princeton University and has received the Presidential Scholar Medal from the President of the United States at the White House. In 1981 he helped found Andin International Diamond Corporation and bring it to annual sales of over $100 million, donating his profits to international aid projects. His book about achieving business and personal success through generosity, The Diamond Cutter, has become a global bestseller in 20 languages. He is the founder of the Asian Classics Institute, Diamond Mountain University, the Asian Classics Input Project, Worldview, the Yoga Studies Institute, Star in the East, Global Family Refugee Aid, Three Jewels Community Outreach Centers, and the Diamond Cutter Institute.