If you really understand the emptiness of your primary practices, they become much, much more powerful. This is our third course covering the most famous of all works by Nagarjuna (c. 200AD) which he named simply “Wisdom”. For 2000 years, hundreds of commentaries were written about these 27 chapters in poetry. And it is really all the emptiness teachings that you've ever heard. All the emptiness teachings in Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan are based on Nagarjuna's "Wisdom".
Geshe Michael Roach gave three days of special teachings on meditation and the nature of the mind in Sedona. These teachings are taken directly from The Angel Debates The Devil, a dialogue between the good and evil that happens in our mind, by Lobsang Chukyi Gyeltsen. The text is at the same time extremely funny and extremely deep, as it reveals the tricky ways that our mind deceives us into believing we are thinking and acting in a way that actually helps us. This teaching will help us to unravel these seductive arguments of the Devil in our own mind to order to be successful in this life, and to learn how to develop the skills necessary to confront any obstacle.
These teachings are taken directly from The Angel Debates The Devil, an ancient Tibetan teaching on emptiness by His Holiness the First Panchen Lama, who lived 1565-1662. The text is at the same time, extremely funny and extremely deep. It will help us be successful in this life, and in the next as well. This is the 11th ACI program dedicated to this ancient classic. We’ll be focusing on how “me” relates to body & mind, and how to change body & mind into an enlightened being with a rainbow body and a clear-light mind. As the Lama says, we’ll be trying to hit emptiness with the arrow of our mind, even as we wear a blindfold.
Here's how disagreements go: Somebody else says they want to do something one way, and we gently suggest that we might want to do it another way. Then their opinion begins to harden, like cement—and our disagreement with them gets more concrete too. In the end, we reach a point where it feels like we’re completely, solidly stuck. It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a certain kind of meditation that we can do, for a few minutes, which literally melts disagreements away.
Our whole life, we've had thoughts going through our mind. They tell us if we're happy or angry, if we love somebody or we don't. The chatter is almost constant, year after year, for a whole lifetime. The ancient Tibetans said that we could learn how to watch these thoughts. And then we could learn how to make them more clear, more peaceful. And then we could improve our job, our relationships, and our happiness, day to day.
Life is like this. You are driving you car down the street at dusk. Suddenly you see a kitten scurrying across the road. You slam on the brakes—it almost sends everybody through the windshield. You look out to see if you hit the kitten or not, and suddenly you realize that it wasn’t a kitten at all, just a tree leaf being blown across the street.​
The ancient wisdom of Asia says that the world is an illusion—which isn’t hard to believe sometimes, when our life gets turned upside down. But maybe there’s a way to see through this illusion and make our life go the way we always wanted it to: a perfect relationship, financial security, strong health, and a world without hunger or war. One of the greatest teachers of Tibet was the First Panchen Lama, who lived over 400 years ago. He said that if we really understand the illusion we can make it work for us, to create a life full of happiness and success.
Four centuries ago there was a Tibetan master named the First Panchen Lama. He was one of the greatest meditators who ever lived. He learned the traps that can ruin our meditation, and he learned how to beat these traps. He described all this in a book called The Devil Debates an Angel, a very funny and profound argument between the Devil and an Angel, inside of one’s person’s head.
What’s amazing is that—as we listen to the Devil and the Angel debating—we unexpectedly begin to get some new ideas about how the world around us works: why things happen to us the way they do, why we meet the people we do. By the end of the fight (we won’t tell you how it ends!), we have a lot of what we need to know to change our own life—to be happier, and make those around us happy.