Eight Verses of Training the Mind & Bodhichitta Introduction

(10 sessions)

Prerequisites: Completion of Foundation series or What Meditation Really Is series
Tuition $160

 

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The Eight Verses of Training the Mind, by Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054 - 1123), is one of the most important of the many teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition which offer the means for transforming our self-centered attitudes into genuine altruism. The Eight Verses give the basis for a systematic training in both the methods for cultivating compassion and bodhichitta, the heart of the enlightened mind, and also for cultivating the wisdom that enables us to see the true nature of reality.

This course will offer students the opportunity to study the commentary Sogyal Rinpoche first gave on the Eight Verses as part of his teaching cycle on bodhichitta in 2001. He gave a very succinct teaching on 16 January 2005 in Montpellier (Rigpalink June 2005) and gave a more recent elaborate teaching cycle in January 2006 in Kirchheim and London, which forms the main body of the teachings for this module. Rinpoche’s commentary includes substantial references to the teachings on the Eight Verses given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The principle practice arising from the Eight Verses is tonglen. The course will give a progressive training in tonglen as presented in Chapter 12 of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. There will also be the opportunity for guided reflection and online discussion on the meaning of the verses to help us take them to heart.

This course is especially intended for students who have completed the Loving Kindness course in the previous term, but it is also open to students who have attended a retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche or have completed introductory courses of the What Meditation Really Is series, or equivalent.

The compilation 'The Eight Verses of Training the Mind' also contains teachings that could serve as an introduction to bodhichitta and provide an overview of the whole path of Lojong. Each session combines studying video selections of teachings by Sogyal Rinpoche with practice, and personal reflection. Participants will receive advice on how to study these teachings as well as suggestions for daily practice, and are invited to participate in an online discussion forum.