In this series of classes, Geshe Michael dives deeper into the subject of protection using a famous book called The Necklace of Understanding (Abhisamayalankara), which was revealed by Maitreya to Arya Asanga, in which he teaches about what it means to take refuge by covering the following three topics: 1. What it means to go for refuge, 2. Where you go for refuge (The Three Jewels), and 3. The Four Bodies of a Buddha.
Around 1000 AD, 1500 years after the time of the Buddha, the Tibetans undertook a monumental task: to translate thousands of pages of Buddhist literature from Sanskrit into Tibetan. It took them 700 years to complete translations of the kangyur (the word of the Buddha) and the tengyur (the Indian commentaries). Now, as Buddhism has been making a big push westward, Geshe Michael’s aim is to complete an even larger task: to translate hundreds of thousands of pages of Buddhist literature into modern languages.
This is the second in a four-part series based on Master Kamalashila’s commentary on the Diamond Cutter Sutra led by Geshe Michael Roach. This retreat provided a unique opportunity to delve deeply into rarely taught meditations on emptiness. The retreat consisted of morning sessions led by Geshe Michael Roach followed by individual practice in the student's private retreat cabin.
Geshe Michael Roach
Friends of mine have asked me to write some details about my life, partly to clarify information which appears online or in the press about me as my teachings become more prominent around the world, and partly because one of my Tibetan lamas has asked some of my students to write a biography about myself. These friends have been pestering me for some years—but I felt hesitant to respond, since it seemed a pretty self-centered thing to do. But as it may be helpful to my students and friends, I have decided to relent.
Chakras and energy channels
The great meditation classics of India and Tibet describe a special type of prana, or inner wind, which we can learn to direct through our body in order to bring our mind out of this subtle wandering and return it to sharp, single-pointed focus. In these four days of teaching at Diamond Mountain Retreat Center, Geshe Michael Roach will take us on an exploration through the nature of these subtle meditation obstacles, and inner techniques to overcome them by moving the prana through our channels and chakras.
TThere is a very famous idea in Buddhism, and also in the yoga traditions, which means to go for refuge—to go for shelter or to seek protection. In this short talk Geshe Michael Roach discusses this idea of real, or ultimate protection, specifically in the context of the deeper goals of Yoga.
If any person does yoga on a modest, daily basis, then they will inevitably attain the extraordinary benefits of yoga. And so the question for us, as teachers, is simply getting students coming back to the studio. About sixteen centuries ago, the Indian sage Master Asanga—in his book called The Jewel of the Sutras—described four gifts that we give our students, so that they do come back for their practice.
What is death? Most of us live our entire lives in fear and with a very limited understanding of this seemingly inevitable endpoint looming somewhere on the horizon. What happens after we die? In this one-night lecture given by Geshe Michael Roach on September 7, 1999 he clarifies what death is from a Buddhist perspective. He explores the core Buddhist ideas of emptiness and karma, and how they are crucial to an understanding of death, and that most important question of what happens to us after we die.
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.
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.