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. Since the blossoming of Buddhism in Tibet, no less than 200,000 pages of brilliant commentary have been composed by masters and scholars in the Tibetan language. In this ongoing series of courses, Geshe Michael’s goal is to create and guide a team of young translators to translate these great classics.
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 word “nirvana” brings up many different ideas. Is it some kind of space into which we disappear? Is it some strange place where we are happy all the time, without a care for the problems of the rest of the world? In this series of talks, we will explore what nirvana really is, and practical ways of getting there, learning both the theory of nirvana, through the study of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and practical meditation practices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nirvana is a kind of peace free of this cycle of misunderstanding, and is a stepping stone to full enlightenment. This immersion is designed to help all of us on a spiritual path, in an immediate practical way, get to the root of our own worst qualities, and see directly how a pattern of ignorance within our mind is perpetuating our experience of pain, and how to end that experience for good.
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.