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Asian Classics Institute (ACI)

The Asian Classics Institute is dedicated to the serious study and personal practice of the original teachings of the Buddha. The Institute was established by Geshe Michael Roach under the spiritual direction of Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, a distinguished scholar and master of Buddhism from Tibet. The purpose of the Institute is to provide a thorough, accurate education to anyone interested.

Daily Practice Series Course 01: Mandala of the Steps to Enlightenment (1999, Redding)

Each step along the spiritual path should be taken in its proper sequence to bring one to the end of the path. This meditation reviews the steps of the path and the order in which to move through those steps. We visualize the mandala of the Lam Rim, contemplating each and every step of the path, as we travel through the rooms of the mandala in the same order that one should progress through their spiritual practice. By visualizing the spiritual path as a mandala, and seeing ourselves journeying through the rooms of the mandala, we deeply internalize the stages of the path.

A Gift of Liberation 01: The Deepest Meditation (2010, Phoenix)

Ultimate truth lies all around us, like an invisible wall of diamond that can only be seen by a mind which is perfectly still and quiet. The moon’s reflection can only be seen on the crystal surface of the lake of our mind if that surface is absolutely still. Really bringing our mind to silence is like learning to play a piano: it requires careful training under a qualified teacher—and lots of practice! In this 10-part training

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.

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.

A Gift of Liberation 02: Breaking Through to Highest Reality (2011, Prescott)

The ancient books of Tibet say that if a person can see ultimate truth only once, for just 20 minutes in their entire life, then they will soon be able to reach enlightenment, and help stop the pain of countless living beings in this world. They say that ultimate truth lies all around us, like an invisible wall of diamond that can only be seen by a mind which is perfectly still and quiet. The moon’s reflection can only be seen on the crystal surface of the lake of our mind if that surface is absolutely still.

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.

A Gift of Liberation 03: Why Are We Alive? The Quest to Create a Perfect World (2011, Phoenix)

Why did we come into this world, and what are we meant to do here? We have a deep hunger to know why we are here, why we were born, and what we need to do with our life. Deep down we all want to save the world, and in the process we want to reach our own happiness as well. We will be following, word by word, one of the greatest books ever written: A Gift of Liberation, Thrust into Our Hands.

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. 

Daily Practice Series Course 04: The Seven-Point Practice for Developing a Good Heart (1999, Gallway)

This Seven-Point Lojong is based upon the Advices for Training Oneself in the Greater Way by Geshe Chekawa (1101-1175), and contains many powerful advices on how to practice thinking and acting like a bodhisattva. These teachings and practices were kept secret for centuries because masters of the past did not want their seemingly mystical verses to be misunderstood. This topic was covered twice, each time with a different emphasis, and both versions have been provided.

Daily Practice Series Course 04: The Seven-Point Practice for Developing a Good Heart (1999, Goa)

Developing a good heart (Lojong) is the cornerstone of spiritual practice. These teachings and meditations provide concise, efficient methods to develop heartfelt love and compassion for all those around us. Lojong is an inspiring practice that trains you to make the most of life by caring about others, and to integrate that attitude into your daily life.

A Gift of Liberation 04: The Energy Retreat (2011, Prescott)

This is a special retreat focused on getting more energy in your life, work and relationships, through meditation & yoga, new ideas about food and special ancient ceremonies from the Tibetan tradition for increasing energy and overcoming fatique, along with the continuation of Pabongka Rinpoche’s famous teaching on the steps to enlightenment or lam-rim.

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.

Daily Practice Series Course 05: Meditation on Death and the End of Death (1999, Raleigh)

By meditating on death in the proper way, we can make every moment of life precious and meaningful. A good death meditation results in a happy, clear mind, free of anxiety and fear. One learns to live each day of life as if it were the last, thereby avoiding meaningless activity and spending each moment in the most fulfilling way possible.

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.

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.

ACI Course 06: The Diamond Cutter Sutra (2000, Bodhgaya)

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.

Daily Practice Series Course 06: The Four Powers to Remove Negative Karma (1999, California)

Karmically, every instance of negativity we generate towards others will definitely come back to us as a similar unpleasant, painful experience in our lives. The good news is that it’s possible to purify and remove the past negative karma we collected, before it can ripen upon us as our own personal suffering and pain. This practice teaches how to clean up and purify our past negativity to prevent that old bad karma from ripening upon us as difficulties, problems, pain, or suffering in our life.