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Geshe Michael Roach

ACI Course 09: The Ethical Life (1996, New York)

This course covers the Buddhist code of ethics and the relationship between an ethical way of life, meditating deeply, and experiencing ultimate reality. This Course is based upon the Sutra on Vowed Morality (Vinaya Sutra) by Master Gunaprabha (500 AD), with commentaries from The Essence of the Ocean of Vinaya (Dulwa Gyatsoy Nyingpo) by Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419), The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel (Yishin Norbu) by Choney Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748), and Day Maker (Nyin Je) by Master Ngulchu Dharma Bhadra (1772-1851).... Read More...

ACI Course 08: Death and the Realms of Existence (1996, New York)

Topics include: The three main realms of existence; the 17 levels of the form realm; the six types of beings of the desire realm; the four levels of the formless realm; ways of taking birth; all of the different realms of existence and the beings inhabiting them  an explanation of: the intermediate state (bardo), the hells, craving spirits, animals, humans, pleasure beings, and formless beings; the causes to be reborn in each realm; how you move from realm to realm; ways of taking rebirth; how and why rebirth occurs; the conditions needed for human birth; the nature of intermediate state (bardo) beings; how world systems form, evolve and are destroyed; a description of the different types of eons; the four principles of karma; the six sufferings always present; the five degenerations of our age; the problems which result from not being aware of death; the advantages of cultivating an awareness of death; how to meditate on death correctly; and how to see the purity.... Read More...

Daily Practice Series Course 02: Real Meaning of Refuge (1995, California)

We regularly go for refuge during our normal lives. We take refuge in food, money, sex, government, the police, a job, friends, family, etc. We routinely take refuge in ordinary things or people, thinking that they will be able to protect us or shield us from unhappiness and suffering. Those types of refuge can only help us temporarily, and we are eventually disappointed by their inability to bring us a lasting, permanent happiness. Spiritual refuge is very different. It is to rely upon things which are infallible and provide true happiness, without fail. This practice teaches what it really means to take ultimate refuge, and why one must pursue infallible, extraordinary objects of refuge to reach a complete, lasting happiness.... Read More...

ACI Course 07: The Bodhisattva Vows (1995, New York)

Topics include: the definition and types of bodhichitta, types of morality, types of vows, how bodhisattva vows are taken, an explanation of the eighteen root bodhisattva vows and forty-six secondary bodhisattva vows, the four factors needed to break bodhisattva root vows, how bodhisattva vows are broken, how bodhisattva vows are lost, how to keep your bodhisattva vows, how to restore your bodhisattva vows, and the benefits of keeping bodhisattva vows.... Read More...

ACI Course 06: The Diamond-Cutter Sutra (1995, New York)

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...

ACI Course 05: How Karma Works (1994, New York)

Topics include: an Abhidharma overview; the definition and nature of karma; good, bad and neutral karma; karma of body, speech, and mind; the definition of virtue and non-virtue; black and white deeds; projecting and finishing karma; karmic consequences; how karma is carried; how emptiness allows karma to function; karmic paths; the five immediate misdeeds; how to make a karmic result powerful; and the purification of karma. ... Read More...

ACI Course 04: Proof of Future Lives (1994, New York)

Topics include: the definition of valid perception, the three levels of perception, who has valid perceptions and how, evaluating things beyond our direct perception, how great compassion is developed, the nature of omniscience, the material cause of the mind, proofs of the mind's source, proofs for the existence of past and future lives, and how desire leads to rebirth - an explanation of crucial links in the chain of dependent origination. ... Read More...

ACI Course 02: Buddhist Refuge (1993, New York)

Topics include: what is the perfection of wisdom, what is refuge, the objects of refuge, the reasons for taking Buddhist refuge, the qualities of a Buddha, the different types of bodhichitta, what is nirvana, the divisions of nirvana, five different proofs that emptiness is the ultimate nature of reality, and the five paths which lead to full enlightenment. ... Read More...

The Principles of Yoga: All's Well That Ends Well, The Yoga of Dedication

The following bit of advice on how to finish our yoga practice was excerpted from The Crystal Mirror which Reveals the Machine of the Body: a book of instruction which grants—within a single year, or at least within this single lifetime—both the highest spiritual goals and the worldly goals of this life (Trulkor Selway Melong), compiled by Marpa the Translator, also known as Marpa Chukyi Lodro (1012-1097).... Read More...

ACI In-Depth Course 1: Teachings of the Future Buddha: The Uttara Tantra of Maitreya (2003, Arizona, Geshe Michael Roach)

In this first course of the ACI In-Depth Course Series, we will study the fifth of the five books of Maitreya, the coming Buddha. Centuries ago, the Coming Buddha, Lord Maitreya, taught his disciple Arya Asanga the secret of how to reach Enlightenment. He described to him in detail, the inner nature, which guarantees that each of us can, and will, become enlightened. Each of us carries within us a seed, a potential, a capacity to become a fully enlightened being: A Buddha.... Read More...

Master Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: A Compendium (1997-2004)

We thought it would be very helpful to create a collection of all the teachings and translations that Geshe Michael has done on Master Shantideva’s The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. So what you’ll fiind here are all the links to all the courses Geshe Michael has taught on this text. In addition, we’ve also made two PDF collections by combining all of the course materials and transcripts. The links to download those are at the bottom of the page.... Read More...

The Principles of Yoga: Breathing

Learning to breath properly during asana is essential in getting prana or inner wind to move through the body properly—which is the whole point of the asana. Throughout any practice of yoga asana, it’s important to maintain what’s called ujjayi breathing in Sanskrit. The throat is lightly constricted to make what’s been called a “Darth Vader” sound, or heavy breathing sound, as you practice.... 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.