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Deepening into Dharma Practice

with David Midgley

This is a practice based, intermediate level course and is especially suitable for those who have been practising the Buddhist path for some time but want to develop their actual practice of this path to a deeper level.  We will focus in turn on one of the three main aspects of Buddhist practice –  developing mindful awareness and concentration, compassion and renunciation, and meditative insight.  The emphasis throughout will be on meditation practice rather than just intellectual understanding.

We will study three core texts, beginning the second text in January 2021:

  • Nyanaponika Thera (2014, 2nd edition) The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: The Buddha’s Way of Mindfulness, Weiser Books (Sept – Dec 2020)
  • The First Dalai Lama (1993) Training the Mind in the Great Way (translated by Glenn Mullin), Snow Lion Publications (from January 2021)
  • HH Dalai Lama & Alexander Berzin (1997) The Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra, Snow Lion Publications

Training the Mind in the Great Way

Thursdays 6:30-8:30 pm, 7 January – 25 February 2021 and 22 April – 24 June 2021

This course offers an opportunity to study and practice, in depth, the core teachings on Bodhicitta, or the Awakening Mind.  Bodhicitta is defined as the pure, compassionate wish to attain perfect enlightenment, solely in order to be able to free all beings from suffering, and is considered in all Tibetan Buddhist traditions to be the most important spiritual quality to be developed on the Mahayana Buddhist path.

Teachings will be based on the text ‘Training the Mind in the Great Way’, by the First Dalai Lama; this text combines the two main forms of non-tantric practice in the Gelugpa tradition: Lam Rim, or the Stages of the Path, and Lo-Jong, or Mind Training.  Though the main emphasis is on the development of Bodhicitta, many other aspects of the practice, such as Guru Devotion, Refuge, the Four Preliminary Practices and Transforming Negative Circumstances into the Path, are also covered.

The emphasis throughout will be on how to work with the meditation practice itself, and how to integrate the results of this into one’s everyday life. This course comprises Part Two of the three part programme ‘Deepening Into Dharma Practice’; each part can be taken independently, there is no need to have attended Part One in order to take part.  (Part Three on Mahamudra will be taught over one year from September 2021 – July 2022.)

Practical Details

Students are encouraged to make a commitment to attend the full programme of two terms, do the recommended reading each week, and engage in the recommended daily meditation practices.  This will not be a heavy commitment but regular study and practice will bring greater benefit.  However, if not able to attend regularly or do all of the recommended study and practice, attendance on a drop-in basis is also possible.

Teachings will be two hours per week, on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will run from 7 January to 25 February and from 22 April to 24 June.  All teachings and meditations will be streamed live on Zoom and recorded for the benefit of those not able to attend in person; whenever COVID-19 restrictions permit, classes will be taught in person at Jamyang Leeds.

Note: The text for this course, Training the Mind in the Great Way by the 1st Dalai Lama, translated by Glenn Mullin, published by Snow Lion Press, is no longer in print, however second hand copies are readily available on Amazon and it seems that Vajra Publications (www.vajrabooks.net) still has new stock.  If you are unable to obtain the book, Advice from a Spiritual Friend by Geshe Rabten and Geshe Dhargye will be a suitable alternative.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/106422728

Meeting ID: 106 422 728

The class will be offered via Zoom. It is anticipated that in future (circumstances permitting) there will be both in-person teaching at Jamyang Leeds and Zoom access.

Suggested donation £6 per session

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