The beings @ CAS of Thousand-Arm Chenrezig will be PARROTING the Lam-Rim teachings...
A) Beings are too busy ( who isn't in Singapore ??!! )
B) Beings are too tired ( Frightful Work !! )
C) Beings are too bored ( think TCS ?? SCV ?? )
..........FOR LAM-RIM ??!!
Hence, so as to allow perpetually samsara-fallen beings like ourselves some glimpse of hope and light, born is this LAM-RIM ONLINE, a clever and easy way to learn all the teachings of the Buddha, in the convenience of your home, at your own time and leisure ( remember, we actually don't have much of either !! ) --
Beings who faithfully internalized these topics could -- if all conditions hold constant -- be the fully-qualified spiritual vessel for the coveted and prized TANTRIC PROGRAMMES dispensed here and then and there throughout the Pig's Year, the Donkey's and other Years......!
DON'T BE A "DHARMA DUMB DUMB" !!
LAM-RIM ONLINE'S THE ONE FOR YOU !!
(ONE) sTUDY (TWO) cONTEMPLATE & (THREE) pRACTICE:
( ignore the advice above and below at your own peril )
THE ROOT TEXT
The Three Principles of the Path
by Je Tzong Khapa
bow down to the venerable Spiritual Masters.
1: Renunciation (part 1)
when we begin the teaching with the prayer of going for refuge
and then the aspiration to the highest enlightenment, that is
to say, buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings, then
we recite the four-line prayer as we have just done. So within
that, as you know, we should recite, 'through the merit I receive
by engaging in listening to this teaching, may I achieve buddhahood
for the sake of all sentient beings'. The lama who is giving
the discourse recites 'through the merit I achieve through explaining
the Dharma'. So as we, the disciples, are not explaining the
Dharma, then we needn't recite this, so we should recite 'through
the merit I receive through listening to this teaching, may
I achieve buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings'.
one of the most important things before receiving a Dharma teaching
is one's motivation for receiving the teaching. So our motivation
should be one that is in accordance with the Dharma, that is
to say, in accordance with the Three Jewels. So what should
our motivation be? Most of us already know, but it's good to
go over that. One should listen to the teaching with the thought
'I must achieve the highest unsurpassable enlightenment for
the benefit of all sentient beings in order to lead them out
of the state of dissatisfaction into one of everlasting satisfaction'
Benefits of Listening to the Dharma
with regard to this attitude or motivation for receiving the
teaching - initially if we understand the benefits of listening
to the teaching, of receiving the Dharma discourses, then we
will willingly engage in the practice of hearing the teaching,
or delight in hearing the teaching. So then we should understand
this through an example: If we are engaging in some kind of
worldly work, for example a business, if we understand the benefits
of engaging in a certain business deal, then we will put a lot
of effort into that business deal, we won't have a two-pointed
mind, that is to say, we won't have doubt with regard to that
deal because we will have firstly seen the benefits, understood
the actual deal itself and then engaged in that action. So in
the same way when engaging in the practice of Buddhism, then
initially one should understand the benefits of engaging in
the Dharma practice. So this is understood through understanding
a quotation from a book which talks about the benefits of hearing
the Dharma. So within this text then it first instructs that
we should delight in the practice of hearing the Dharma because
through this all qualities arise. So what is meant by this is
that through engaging in the three higher trainings, we achieve
the state of liberation; whether we are engaging in a lesser
vehicle practice or in a greater vehicle practice, we achieve
the result which is the state of liberation. Of those three
higher trainings, the most important is the one of wisdom. So
with regard to this wisdom which is crucial at the base and
path and resultant level of the path, then how does this come
about, how do we generate this wisdom within our mind, or within
our being? We generate this through initially hearing a teaching
about wisdom and then engaging in that particular practice.
So initially then, the benefits that come about through engaging
in the three higher trainings - the state of liberation and
so forth - al! l come a bout through initially hearing the Dharma
the second line from that text goes on to say that through listening,
negativity, or non-virtue, is reversed. So what this means is
that through hearing the teaching, we understand what is virtuous
to take up and what is non-virtuous and thus what are the objects
to be abandoned. So this is principally talking about the higher
training of morality. So here then if we talk about restraint
- what is meant by 'restraint' here is the subduing of negative
actions or negative states of mind. So this again is something
that is learned through hearing the teaching. So through hearing
the teaching we understand what is meant by a negative action
and how to refrain from that particular action - we understand
what is the base, what is the motivating factor, what is the
intention with regard to the particular action or the particular
karmic deed which we are going to perform and then what is meant
by the rejoicing in that action afterwards. So then if we don't
understand this fourfold mode of action, then we can easily
engage in negative actions, and then the ripening result of
those, or the negative result of those, which will inevitably
come will just be something that causes us displeasure later
on. For example, if we have not heard the Dharma teaching about
the necessity of abandoning the negative action of stealing,
we might engage in the practice of stealing, through borrowing
something and not returning it, or we might engage in the practice
of killing through being pestered by an insect, and through
this we will inevitably receive the result of such actions.
If we don't want to have such unpleasant karmic results, we
need to know what actions to abandon, and the only way we are
going to understand what actions are to be abandoned is through
hearing the Dharma teachings. So again here then, the praise
of listening to the Dharma teaching is that one will know exactly
what negative actions to reverse and this is only understo!
od throu gh initially engaging in the practice of hearing a
teaching upon that.
So then the third line talks about the higher training of concentration. So if we talk about the mind of calm abiding, or shamatha, then this mind is one which spontaneously and effortlessly remains single-pointedly upon its object of observation. So let's talk about the achieving of that state of mind - what does one need to initially engage in? One needs to initially understand what is meant by the object of observation, the object upon which we are going to generate this single-pointed mind, this single-pointed concentration. Then we need to understand what are the beneficial mental factors which we need to take up, for example faith in the practice, introspection and so forth. Then we also need to know the objects of abandonment which are abandoned by these positive attitudes, for example mental sinking, laxity and so forth. So when we understand what is to be taken up and what is to be abandoned on this path of achieving this single-pointed mind of concentration, we will be able to engage in this particular practice of achieving a mind of calm-abiding. So again, we only know what objects are to be taken up and what objects are to be abandoned (in this case, mind-states) through engaging in the practice of hearing the teaching about this particular mind-state, or the mind of calm abiding. Then the last line says that in essence one achieves the state of liberation through hearing the teaching. So here when we talk about having engaged in the practice of the three higher trainings, the natural result of that is to achieve the state of liberation. If we look for the root cause of achieving the state of liberation, we will find that it is hearing the teaching. So initially when one engages in the practice of hearing the teaching, then generating the various wisdoms which arise form hearing, and then contemplating the teaching, and then meditating single-pointedly on the teaching, then through having done that one generates! the yog ic direct perception of suchness, and then through single-pointed placement on that, one goes through the various stages and paths and achieves then the state of omniscience. So all good qualities arise through initially engaging in the practice of hearing the teaching, thus hearing the teaching is incredibly important.
( Helpful notes by bb @ CAS: So ends lAM-rIM ONLINE lESSON oNE -- THE PRELIMINARIES )