This collection of classes is for the purpose of having a regular daily practice. It’s different than many of the other courses here on The Knowledge Base which are meant to teach the philosophy, or intellectual background, of Buddhism. Geshe Michael taught this class series at the same time as he was teaching the ACI formal study courses in New York from 1997-1999. These classes were on monday nights and were taught in a completely different style, focusing on all the most practical and essential elements that should be done each day to really get the most out of all the other intellectual study.
Spiritual study is considered only the first step, and traditionally for a complete spiritual practice to be successful, there is also the additional steps of contemplating and then obviously actually practicing what you’ve studied.
A lot of this practice is done in meditation, so even if you’ve studied a lot of Buddhism for years, if you haven’t done a lot of meditation and your other daily practices then it probably won’t have much effect on you. It’s essential that you have a daily diet of spiritual practice. That’s exactly what this series of classes delivers, all in a sweet combination of traditional instruction, practical advice, guided meditations, and Q&A.
November 23, 1998 – Full Class: Life or Death Meditation
Topics include: the goal of meditation: seeing emptiness directly and creating your own enlightenment; the importance of preparing for meditation; preparing your meditation place; cleaning the room; finding a meditation seat; and setting up an altar; prostration: acknowledging the prescence of holy beings; offerings; proper meditation posture; what good meditation feels like; the purpose of watching your breath in meditation; how to watch your breath in meditation; examining the reason to meditate; meditating to stop your death; dedicating good karma; silent meditation on watching your breath and thinking about why to meditate; guided meditation on watching your breath