There are five stages or paths in the spiritual evolution of a human being. The second of those five paths is called The Path of Preparation, preparation here specifically refers to gaining an increasingly deeper intellectual understanding of emptiness which gives us the necessary spiritual power to have the direct perception of emptiness on path number three. This increasingly deeper understanding of emptiness progresses through four distinct stages while traversing the second path.
Meditations for the rest of your life? Yes, meditation can change your relationships, your career, and your life! How does this happen? Geshe Michael Roach taught this series of short, powerful meditations from Master Kamalashila at the Lincoln Center in February, 2016.
Geshe Michael teaching from his new translation of Je Tsongkapa’s Illumination of the True Thought — one of the greatest books ever written on emptiness. The subject of these two classes is the presentation of the perfection of giving as it's found in the explanation of the first bodhisattva level, known as “Perfect Happiness”. Je Tsongkapa's Illumination of the True Thought is one of the greatest presentations of emptiness in history. This work in turn is an explanation of Entering the Middle Way, by Master Chandrakirti, who lived during the seventh century and was commenting himself upon the 3rd‐century author Arya Nagarjuna, whose Root Text on the Wisdom of the Middle Way is considered the greatest commentary of all time upon the emptiness teachings of the Buddha himself.
The presentations of emptiness found in these textbooks are some of the most thorough and usable ever written. Students of Buddhism who avail themselves of these texts gain incredible insight into the every detail of this most profound and important teaching.
This third course of the ACI In-Depth Course Series presents the entire section on the practice of exchanging ourselves and others, which is a large part of the chapter on meditation (Chapter Eight) from The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.
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.
In this fourth course of the ACI In-Depth Course Series, we will dive deeply into the study of emptiness and learn the art of interpreting what the Buddha really meant. This is one of the most beautiful subjects, and incidentally the most difficult, of the entire Geshe study program. This teaching was given by Geshe Thubten Rinchen, who Geshe Michael considers to be the greatest living scripture teacher in India. He agreed in 1998 to give a few lectures on it to Geshe Michael and 15 of his ACI students which turned out to be these 26 classes.
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.
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.
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.