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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This second course of the ACI In-Depth Course Series presents the entire chapter on “the art of not getting angry,” or the chapter on patience (Chapter Six) from The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacaryvatra), by Master Shantideva (c. 700 AD). This course is meant to give much more detail on this subject than the related original ACI course, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Part Two (ACI Course XI), which covered somewhat less than half of this important chapter.
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.