Thursday, October 16, 2014

NEW COURSE - Pramana - Begins in Fall 2014

In accordance with the suggestion of H.H. Dalai Lama to our teacher, Geshe Kelsang Wangmo, in May 2014, the Advanced Buddhist Philosophy in English program of the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical studies is offering a new course on the Second Chapter of Dharmakirti's Commentary on [Dignaga's] Compendium of Valid Cognition (Skt. Pramāņavarttika; ཚད་མ་རྣམ་འགྲེལ་).

The multi-year Perfection of Wisdom course (based on Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara) that began several years ago is on temporary hiatus and will resume upon completion of this course.

Following His Holiness' advice, Geshe Wangmo is translating the Second Chapter of Dharmakirti's Pramāņavarttika and other commentarial materials that are used in Tibetan Monastic institutions to present this very important text and its deep meaning to students.

The Text [Handout for the Fall 2014 Term] prepared by Geshe Wangmo for the first term of the Pramana Course includes:
  • An INTRODUCTION to the Pramana course.
  • Gyaltsab Je's Elucidation of the Path to Liberation, a Detailed Explanation of the Verses of the Pramāņavarttika [tshad ma rnam 'grel gyi tshig le'ur byes pa rnam bshad thar lam gsal byed - ཚད་མ་རྣམ་འགྲེལ་གྱི་ཚིག་ལེའུར་བྱེས་པ་རྣམ་བཤད་ཐར་ལམ་གསལ་བྱེད།], commonly known as, Elucidation of the Path to Liberation [ཐར་ལམ་གསལ་བྱེད་].  
    • The verses of the Pramāņavarttika are embedded into Gyaltsab Je's commentary.  They are distinguished in the course text by different formatting and fonts - see, Technical Note on page 11 of the Fall 2014 Text.
  • Geshe Wangmo has translated relevant recordings and notes of oral teachings by prominent contemporary Geluk scholars and inserted those into the text to provide explanation of difficult points.  Some of those masters are:  Geshe Yeshe Thabgyal, Geshe Palden Drakpa, Geshe Wangchen, Geshe Gyatso, Geshe Tsering Norbu.
Additionally, Geshe Wangmo prepared three Handouts of Charts, Illustrations, Diagrams as study aids for topics raised in the text.

As an aid for students, Study Questions regarding most important important points raised in the text are included therein.

Because of extensive materials that required translation, etc., and prior commitments, the Fall 2014 Term will be limited to the Month of October.  The next term will be for two months in the Spring of 2015.


DOWNLOAD PDF COURSE MATERIALS

TEXT for FALL 2014 TERM

3 PDFs of CHARTS, ILLUSTRATION &  DIAGRAMS: CHARTS 1-12. CHARTS 13-15. CHARTS 16-28.

DOWNLOAD CLASS TRANSCRIPTS for this COURSE

DRAFT Transcript of Class 1 (Oct. 1, 2014) - Text PDF material appears in body of transcript when Geshe-la reads it out loud and, otherwise, in footnotes.

DOWNLOAD MP3 Recordings for Fall 2014 Course Term

See, CLASS 1 Blog Post for information about this class and links to the MP3 tracks.

BLOG POSTS for CLASSES 2-5 have not yet been added, although Class 2 should be uploaded relatively soon so it has been divided into four tracks.

NOTEBROKEN LINKS to MP3 tracks have been fixed [10/21] -- thanks to kind 'ANONYMOUS',  who left a COMMENT alert re the broken links to Classes 2-4.

CLASS 2:   Track 1    Track 2     Track 3     Track 4


Download a single track for Classes 3-5 below. These are rather large files, so please give your feedback regarding any difficulties you may encounter in downloading them. Once Blog Posts are created for a class, the single track will be replaced with edited tracks.

CLASS THREE - Friday, October 10

CLASS FOUR - Monday, October 13

CLASS FIVE - Wednesday, October 15

CLASS SIX - Friday, October 17

CLASS SEVEN - Monday, October 20

CLASS EIGHT - Wednesday, October 22

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Pramanavarttika - 1st Term - FALL 2014 Class 1

The 1st class of Fall 2014 term was held on Wednesday, the 1st day of October. This is the first class of the first term of a new Course in the IBD's program of English Classes in Advanced Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy:  Chapter 2 of Dharmakirti's Pramāņavarttika.

For several years, the ongoing course, in Spring and Fall terms, has been on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras as illuminated in Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations [Abhisamayalamkara]. 

In accordance with the suggestion of H.H. Dalai Lama to our teacher, Geshe Kelsang Wangmo, several months ago, that course is in a temporary hiatus and will resume upon completion of this course.

Following His Holiness' advice, Geshe Wangmo is translating the Second Chapter of Dharmakirti's Commentary on [Dignaga's] Compendium of Valid Cognition along with the other commentarial materials that are used in Tibetan Monastic institutions to present this very important text and its deep meaning to students.

DOWNLOAD PDF files for this CLASS

INTRODUCTION to Pramanavarttika course.

CHARTS & ILLUSTRATIONS. 

DRAFT Transcript of Class 1 (Oct. 1, 2014) - Text PDF material appears in body of transcript when Geshe-la reads it out loud and, otherwise, in footnotes.

DOWNLOAD Recorded MP3 Tracks of Class 1:

Track 1 - Introduction to Text materials compiled and translated by Geshe Wangmo for the Course

At the beginning of this class, students were given a copy of an Introduction to the Pramanavarttika, along with a document containing Charts and Illustrations  depicting concepts to addressed in the first term of this multi-term course.

Two Major Texts will be studied in this course: 
  • Second Chapter of Dharmakirti's Commentary on [Dignaga's] Compendium of Valid Cognition [Skt. - Pramāņavarttika; tshad ma ram 'gel - ཚད་མ་རྣམ་འགྲེལ་].
  • Gyaltsab Je's Elucidation of the Path to Liberation, a Detailed Explanation of the Verses of the Pramāņavarttika [tshad ma rnam 'grel gyi tshig le'ur byes pa rnam bshad thar lam gsal byed - ཚད་མ་རྣམ་འགྲེལ་གྱི་ཚིག་ལེའུར་བྱེས་པ་རྣམ་བཤད་ཐར་ལམ་གསལ་བྱེད།], commonly known as, Elucidation of the Path to Liberation [ཐར་ལམ་གསལ་བྱེད་].  The verses of the Pramāņavarttika are embedded into Gyaltsab Je's commentary.  They are distinguished in the course text by different formatting and fonts.
  • Geshe-la has translated relevant recordings and notes of oral teachings by prominent contemporary Geluk scholars and inserted those into the text to provide explanation of difficult points.  Some of those masters are:  Geshe Yeshe Thabgyal, Geshe Palden Drakpa, Geshe Wangchen, Geshe Gyatso, Geshe Tsering Norbu.
The translation of these materials that serves as the Fall 2014 course text will be distributed to students attending class on Friday, October 10, and posted here afterwards. 

Study Questions:  At the end of the Introduction (p. 10) and at the end of each section of the main course text, Study Questions are given.  Students are encouraged to read the text and the Questions before class.

Introduction to the Pramāņavarttika 

What is Pramana:    
  • Pramana is one of the Five Fields of Tibetan Monastic Study.
  • Pramana is often translated  as logic or epistemology, but its literal meaning is valid cognition or valid cognizer, i.e., an awareness that understands/realizes its object.
  • We "know" many things that later turn out not to be true.  You can only "realize" -- actually "know" -- something that actually exists.
  • A Valid Cognizer "incontrovertibly knows" its object.  So how does it do that?  These are some questions raised in the study of pramana.
Track 2 - Life Story of Dignaga

Track 3 - Life Story of Dharmakirti

The interesting stories of these great scholars' lives are presented.  Academic controversy began with regard to Dharmakirti and the Pramāņavarttika in his own time, and his verses of response may be misinterpreted by scholars today.  These controversies and interpretations are presented extensively in the class.

Some of Dharmakirti's colleagues tied this text to the tail of a dog and sent it forth to the villages.  He reputedly responded, ‘Oh, this is great.  The dog runs through the different villages and spreads my teachings.’

The verse that, in response to such negative reception, Dharmakirti inserted before the homage reads:
Most living beings are attached to the mundane and not endowed with the dexterity of wisdom.
Not only are they not interested in excellent teachings, they are hateful owing to the defilement of envy. 
This is why I do not think that this
[treatise] will be beneficial to others.
However, since I have generated great effort familiarizing
[my] mind with excellent teachings, I am happy [to compose the treatise].
The verse added after composition, when he realized that his disciple did not understand the implicit meanings of his text is:
Just as a river into the ocean, [the meaning of this treatise] will dissolve into my body and disappear.
Dignaga & Dharmakirti had a great impact on the course of Buddhist philosophy and Indian philosophy. "Their expositions on language, negation, direct perception, etc., were highly influential among both Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophers, but their greatest impact derived from their analysis of inferential reasoning.

The debate format that is still very popular among Tibetan Buddhists is based largely on Dignaga and Dharmakirti’s works.  Dharmakirti’s Pramāņavarttika, in particular, provides Tibetan Buddhist philosophers with a standard vocabulary that is used as a framework for analysis of the various Buddhist scriptures.  It also represents the epistemological foundation of the curriculum in many Tibetan monastic institutions.

Study Questions (p. 10 of Introduction) related to Class 1:
  • Who composed the Compendium of Pramana and how many chapters does it have?
  • Who composed the Pramāņavarttika and how many chapters does it have?
  • Who composed the Elucidation of the Path of Liberation?
  • Which of these three commentaries are written in verse and which are written in prose?
  • On which text does the Pramāņavarttika primarily comment?
  • On which text does the Elucidation of the Path of Liberation primarily comment?
  • Which philosophical tenet school does Dignaga follow?
  • Which philosophical tenet school does Dharmakirti follow?
  • Which philosophical tenet school does Gyaltsab Je follow?
If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail.


This is the 1st class of the Fall 2014 term of
the Pramanavarttika course - which examines the
Second Chapter of Dharmakirti's Commentary's on 
[Dignaga's] Compendium of Valid Cognition



 






Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring 2014 Term - INFO & TEXT/Transcript DOWNLOADS

  The Spring 2014 term of IBD's [Institute for Buddhist Dialectical studies] Advanced (English language) Philosophy course taught by Geshe Kelsang Wangmo began Monday - 7 APRIL 2014.  The Term will end on 11 JUNE 2014.

The subject matter continues the Perfection of Wisdom studies based upon Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations [Abhisamayalamkara] with the next two topics of Chapter 1:  the Mahayana Path of Preparation & Buddha Nature.

Reference Materials for Spring 2014 Term 

Class Prayers for setting motivation & dedication

Chapter 1 of Root Text -- the Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara) by Maitreya with interpolated Outline, published by Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Italy (1998).

CHART - Sixteen Aspects of the Four Noble Truths.  

Mahayana Path of Preparation  
 Classes 1-16 - April 7 - May 12, 2014

DOWNLOADS
  
Text Handout includes a 25-page Review of subjects covered in prior Terms of this multi-year Perfection of Wisdom course followed by a 31-page text on the Mahayana Path of Preparation.

CLASS NOTES:

Class 16 - The final/pentultimate class on the Mahayana Path of Preparation.

BUDDHA NATURE
Began:  May 14, 2014

DOWNLOADS

Text Handout - Buddha Nature - COMPLETE.
As we go through the text in class some typographical errors are being noted so a final revision will be posted later.  However, this version contains the complete text on Buddha Nature.

CLASS NOTES:

Class 17 - 1st Class-Buddha Nature - general introduction per Mādhyamika (Middle Way - 'our system').
Class 18 -  Buddha Nature per Vaibhāṣika (Great Exposition) & Sautrāntika (Sutra school) and Cittamātra (Mind Only).
Class 19 -  Buddha Nature per Cittamātra, cont.
Class 20 -  Buddha Nature per Cittamātra, cont.
Class 21 -  Conclude General Meaning presentation of Cittamātra (Mind Only) assertions re Buddha Nature; & Arya Vimuktisena's critique.
Class 22General Meaning presentation of Buddha Nature per Mādhyamika.

General Course Information 

Texts.  Geshe Kelsang Wangmo has prepared a Handout for each subject.  These Handouts serve as the text for every class and include translations from the Tibetan & Indian commentaries that have not been previously translated into English.

DOWNLOAD The first Handout includes a 25-page Review of the subjects covered in prior Terms of this multi-year Perfection of Wisdom course followed by a 31-page text on the Mahayana Path of Preparation.  The Handout on Buddha Nature will be posted later.

Course Methodology:  The classes are based on the great Tibetan monastic universities’ curricula.  Students will have opportunities to discuss and debate the subject matter in class. 

Course Background:  This blog contains posts that provide general Background information to this Perfection of Wisdom course, suggested Reading List, outline notes of posted classes and MP3 recordings.  

Students:  The challenging course material is aimed at earnest students of Buddhist philosophy.  If you wish to check out the classes, you are welcome to visit before you enroll.

Weekly Class Schedule:


MONDAY, WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY
4:00 - 6:00 pm - MONDAY & FRIDAY
  4:00 - 5:30 pm - WEDNESDAY


Location:                   IBD's Prayer Hall - Main Temple complex
IBD's Prayer Hall is Up (to your right) the first set of Stairs 
of the first Building inside the main Temple Gate.
 **Fee:  300 Rupees per month
(All proceeds sponsor IBD students’ living expenses)

For Course Information details in India, you may call  Ven. Nordron (94592-01948) or Gilah (89881-56535).  You can also email Ven. Nordron at chogslags-ibd@yahoo.com.

If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Class 5 - Generating the Mahayana Path of Preparation

The 5th class of Spring 2014 term was held on Wednesday, the 16th day of April. The Mahayana Path of Preparation is the topic of the first half of the term.

Download the Spring 2014 Course Text-PDF, prepared by Geshe Kelsang Wangmo.

Please NOTE: Geshe Wangmo presented an overview of the Mahayana Path of Preparation in the 7th Class of the Spring 2013 Term. You can download the Recorded MP3 tracks of that class, together with a transcript of NOTES from the class, and the Handouts Geshe Wangmo prepared as the text for that class at this blog's April 24, 2013 POST.


DOWNLOAD Recorded MP3 Tracks of Class 5:

Track 1 - 4. Mode of Generating (the Mahayana Path of Preparation).

[Handout pp. 32 - continuing Six Topics that introduce this Path [Handout p. 27] in Panchen Sonam Drakpa's General Meaning (phar phyin spyi don - ཕར་ཕྱིན་སྤྱི་དོན་).

Discussion / Q & A  re:  Mental Support Required to Generate the First Moment of the Mahayana Path of Preparation:
  • Concentrations, 
  • Union Calm Abiding & Special Insight, 
  • Mind & Mental Factors 

Track 2 - Mental Function:  Main Minds & Mental Factors
  • Illustration
    • A person (Adele) & her various functions (Adele the Student, Adele the Woman, Adele the cook, Adele the Buddhist) - a Main Mind & its Mental Factors - different isolates of one entity.

  • Three Types of Awareness [see Class 2 & 3] - [Handout p. 32]
    •  Awareness arisen from Hearing (thos byung gi blo - ཐོས་བྱུང་གི་བློ་) - a correctly assuming consciousness
    •  Awareness arisen from Contemplation (bsam byung gi blo - བསམ་བྱུང་གི་བློ་) - inferential cognizer
    • Awareness arisen from Meditation (bsgoms byung gi blo - བསྒོམས་བྱུང་གི་བློ་) - mental factor of calm abiding or an awareness that is concomitant with the mental factor of calm abiding

  • Three Types of Wisdom *
    • Wisdom arisen from Hearing (thos byung gi shes rab - ཐོས་བྱུང་གི་ཤེས་རབ་) - mental factor of wisdom that is a correctly assuming consciousness
    • Wisdom arisen from Contemplation (bsam byung gi shes rab - བསམ་བྱུང་གི་ཤེས་རབ་) - mental factor of wisdom that is an inferential cognizer
    • Wisdom arisen from  Meditation (bsgoms byung gi shes rab - བསྒོམས་བྱུང་གི་ཤེས་རབ་) - mental factor of wisdom that is concomitant with the mental factor of calm abiding.
    * Note: Any mental consciousness that realizes its object is a wisdom.

  • Classifications of Mind & Mental Factors & Seven Types of Minds (Lo-rig)

  • Distinguishing:  
    • a Mental Factor (Wisdom arisen from Hearing) from 
    • a Main Mind (an Awareness arisen from Hearing)  
  • Possibilities of Relationship (Analytical Tool of Philosophy/Debate):
    • Contradictory
    • Equivalent
    • Three Possibilities
    • Four Possibilities
  • Relationship between Wisdom and Awareness here :
    • Whatever is a Wisdom is necessarily is an Awareness.  
    • Whatever is an Awareness is not necessarily a Wisdom.  
    • There’s something that is both, a Wisdom Awareness
  • Relationship between a Wisdom arisen from Hearing and an Awareness arisen from Hearing here :
    • Whatever is a Wisdom arisen from Hearing is necessarily is an Awareness arisen from Hearing.  
    • Whatever is an Awareness arisen from Hearing is not necessarily a Wisdom arisen from Hearing (e.g., a feeling, aspiration).  
4th Type of Awareness & Wisdom [Handout p. 32-3]:
  • Awareness Mainly arisen from Meditation - awareness that is a union of calm abiding & special insight
  • Wisdom Mainly arisen from Meditation - the mental factor of wisdom that is a union of calm abiding & special insight
Q & A

Track 3 - Wisdom Focusing on Emptiness [Handout 34-5]
  • Developing Calm Abiding
  •  Developing the Union of Calm Abiding & Special Insight 
    • Analysis of Mental Factors that are Different but of One Entity.  
    • Concomitant Mental Factors - Mental Factors that Work Together.

If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail.


This is the 5th class of the Spring 2014 term of
the Perfection of Wisdom course
which addresses 3rd Topic - Mahayana Path of Preparation
of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's
Ornament for Clear Realizations - Abhisamayalamkara.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Class 4 - Nature & Categories of Mahayana Path of Preparation

The 4th class of Spring 2014 term was held on Monday, the 14th day of April. The Mahayana Path of Preparation is the topic of the first half of the term.

Download the Spring 2014 Course Text-PDF, prepared by Geshe Kelsang Wangmo.

Please NOTE: Geshe Wangmo presented an overview of the Mahayana Path of Preparation in the 7th Class of the Spring 2013 Term. You can download the Recorded MP3 tracks of that class, together with a transcript of NOTES from the class, and the Handouts Geshe Wangmo prepared as the text for that class at this blog's April 24, 2013 POST.


DOWNLOAD Recorded MP3 Tracks of Class 3:

Track 1 - Review (Mental Support required to move from one level to the next on the Path of Preparation, i.e., a Concentration).

Q&A Discussion, e.g.,
  • Concentrations: Human beings can generate/have Concentrations. 
    • Concentrations are required to move from one level of the Path of Preparation to the next level; 
    • Not all moments on the Path of Preparation (or the Path of Seeing) are Concentrations as practitioners are not always in meditation and, even in meditation, when focused on the Method aspects of the path, may not be on a Concentration.
Track 2 - 2. Nature (of the Mahayana Path of Preparation).

[Handout pp. 30-1 - continuing Six Topics that introduce this Path [Handout p. 27] in Panchen Sonam Drakpa's General Meaning (phar phyin spyi don - ཕར་ཕྱིན་སྤྱི་དོན་).

Terminology:
  • Path of Concordance with Liberation (ཐར་པ་ཆ་མཐུན་) - synonym of Path of Accumulation.   
  • Clear Realization of the Truth - synonym of Path of Seeing.
Introduction to aspects of the Nature of this Path:
  • Path of Preparation:  
    • is mundane Mahayana path; 
    • arises subsequent to the completion of its cause, the Path of Concordance with Liberation
    • is a similitude of the Clear Realization of the Truth


Explanation of Relevent Passages from Three Commentaries [Handout p. 31]:

Arya Asanga, Summary of Manifest Knowledge (Skt. Abhidharmasamuccaya; Tib. mngon pa kun btus - མངོན་པ་ཀུན་བཏུས་):
Whatever exists on the [path of] accumulation also exists on the [path of] preparation

Vasubhandu, Commentary on Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata (Skt., Dharma Dharmata Vibhanga; Tib.: chos nyid rnam 'byed kyi 'brel ba - ཆོས་ཉིད་རྣམ་འབྱེད་ཀྱི་འབྲེལ་བ་):
All are thoroughly distinguished by [awarenesses arisen from] hearing, contemplation, and meditation

Gyaltsab Je, Ornament of the Essence (རྣམ་བཞད་སྙིང་པོ་རྒྱན་):
[The nature of the Mahayana Path of Preparation is] a mundane Mahayana path [that arises] subsequent to the completion of a concordance with liberation, and that is a similitude of the 'clear realization of the truth'. [The Mahayana Path of Preparation] is not solely limited to being wisdoms arisen from meditation, because there are many cases of [Mahayana Paths of Preparation that are] wisdoms arisen from hearing or contemplation.

Q & A

Track 3 - 3. Categories (of the Mahayana Path of Preparation) [Handout 31-2]

 
Each of the four levels - Heat, Peak, Forbearance & Supreme Dharma have three sub-divisions:  Small, Middling, Great.  12 levels of the Mahayana Path of Preparation.

Differing interpretations regarding the meaning of the three subdivisions:

Gyaltsab Je follows a sutra quote ('categories from the point of view of temporary states'):

The categories [from the point of view of] temporary states are the three: small, middling, and great. The categories [from the point of view] of nature are the four: heat, and so forth.
Panchen Sonam Drakpa agrees with this interpretation that the three subdivisions correspond to the beginning, middle and end of each level.



If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail.


This is the 4th class of the Spring 2014 term of
the Perfection of Wisdom course
which addresses 3rd Topic - Mahayana Path of Preparation
of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's
Ornament for Clear Realizations - Abhisamayalamkara.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Class 3 - Introduction - 1. Support of Mahayana Path of Preparation

The 3rd class of Spring 2014 term was held on Friday, the 11th day of April. The Mahayana Path of Preparation is the topic of the first half of the term.

Download the Spring 2014 Course Text-PDF, prepared by Geshe Kelsang Wangmo.

Please NOTE: Geshe Wangmo presented an overview of the Mahayana Path of Preparation in the 7th Class of the Spring 2013 Term. You can download the Recorded MP3 tracks of that class, together with a transcript of NOTES from the class, and the Handouts Geshe Wangmo prepared as the text for that class at this blog's April 24, 2013 POST.


DOWNLOAD Recorded MP3 Tracks of Class 3:

Track 1 - Review:
Five Steps to Realize Emptiness:  
  1. Correctly Assuming Awareness of Emptiness arisen from Hearing.  
  2. Inferential Cognition (Incontrovertible) of Emptiness arisen from Contemplation.
  3. Awareness of Emptiness on Basis of Meditation arisen from (Calm Abiding) Meditation
  4. Awareness of Emptiness Mainly on Basis of Meditation (Union of Calm Abiding & Special Insight).
  5. Directly Perceiving Realization of Emptiness.
Q&A - DIfferentiating Prasangika presentation of cognizers from other Tenet systems.

Track 2 - Initial Presentation of Path of Preparation per Panchen Sonam Drakpa's Six Topics to Elucidate this Path [Handout p. 27]: 
  1. Support (of the Mahayana Path of Preparation)
[Handout pp. 28-30 - sources:  Vasubhandu's Treasury of Knowledge (Skt., Abhidharma-kosha; Tib., མངོན་པ་མཛོད་); Gyaltsab Je's Ornament of the Essence ( རྣམ་བཞད་སྙིང་པོ་རྒྱན་]

  • Introduction to Four Levels of Path of Preparation (Heat, Peak, Forbearance & Supreme Dharma), e.g.:  the 1st is named Heat because having attained this Path, one is approaching the Fire (that actually begins burning away obstacles preventing Enlightenment) of the Path of Seeing.  The name of the 3rd level (Forbearance) refers to losing one's residual fear of Emptiness.  Having attained that level, one  cannot be reborn (uncontrollably) in the lower realms again. 
  • Who is a person who can attain this path, at what level of existence, physical basis:
    • 3 of the 4 types of humans (living on different continents, i.e., planets or realms) & celestial beings of the Desire Realm can generate Path of Preparation. 
    • Physical basis to generate the Path of Seeing on the Supreme Dharma Level of the Path of Preparation.

    Track 3 - Discussion / Q&A regarding material introduced in this class.

    If any of the LINKS don't work, please leave a COMMENT or notify us by E-Mail.

    This is the 3rd class of the Spring 2014 term of
    the Perfection of Wisdom course
    which addresses 3rd Topic - Mahayana Path of Preparation
    of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's
    Ornament for Clear Realizations - Abhisamayalamkara.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Class 2 - Mahayana Path of Preparation - introduction

The 2nd class of Spring 2014 term was held on Monday, the 9th day of April. The Mahayana Path of Preparation is the topic of the first half of the term.

Download the Spring 2014 Course Text-PDF, prepared by Geshe Kelsang Wangmo.

Please NOTE: Geshe Wangmo presented an overview of the Mahayana Path of Preparation in the 7th Class of the Spring 2013 Term. You can download the Recorded MP3 tracks of that class, together with a transcript of NOTES from the class, and the Handouts Geshe Wangmo prepared as the text for that class at this blog's April 24, 2013 POST.


DOWNLOAD Recorded MP3 Tracks of Class 1:

Track 1 - Continue explanation re Types of Awarenesses Required to Progress to the Mahayana Path of Preparation:
  1. Awareness arisen from Hearing (Correctly Assuming Consciousness - not the same as "Incontrovertibly Knowing").
  2. Awareness Arisen from Contemplation (Inferential Cognizer).  
  3. Awareness Arisen from Meditation (Calm Abiding Single Focus).  
  4. Awareness Mainly Arisen from Meditation (Union of Calm Abiding & Special Insight).  
Most of what we think we know is only Arisen from Hearing.

Four Steps to Realize Emptiness:  
  1. Correctly Assume Emptiness - Awareness arisen from Hearing.  
  2. Inferentially Cognize (Incontrovertibly) Emptiness - Awareness arisen from Contemplation - a conceptual & easily distracted mind.
  3. Calm Abiding (Single Pointed) Meditation on Emptiness - Awareness Arisen from Meditation
  4. Calm Abiding in Union with Special Insight [analysis] on Emptiness - Awareness Mainly Arisen from Meditation.
Track 2 - Realizing Emptiness by Awareness Mainly Arisen from Meditation is entry to the Path of Preparation.  
  • The first moment of the Union of Calm Abiding & Special Insight meditating on Emptiness is the first moment of the Path of Preparation.
One can generate the first 3 Awarenesses before generating Bodhicitta.  If not generated before entering the Path of Accumulation, they must be generated on that Path before advancing to the Path of Preparation.
Why the Path of Preparation is presented after the 10 Mahayana Practice Instructions. 
[Text PDF - p. 24].  A Debate.

  • Path of Accumulation - enter by generating Bodhicitta. Either before or after entry, generate the first Three Awarenesses. And work to develop the Fourth type.

  • Path of Preparation - enter immediately upon generating the Fourth type Awareness at the end of the Path of Accumulation. Then continue to develop and deepen that Union of Calm Abiding and Special Insight focused on Emptiness until you generate a Direct Experience of Emptiness and at immediately enter the Path of Seeing.
Track 3 - Presentation of a Sutra debate in the Perfection of Wisdom re what to do when you get stuck on the Path of Preparation.
  • The phrase that appears, "Not having the fault of a Bodhisattva", means being able to Realize Emptiness Directly. 

  • On the Path of Preparation, a Bodhisattva is stuck with a conceptual realization of Emptiness even in the special meditative concentration of the Union of Calm Abiding & Special Insight Meditation.  This is the Fault of the Peak Training on the Path of Preparation.

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This is the 2nd class of the Spring 2014 term of
the Perfection of Wisdom course
which addresses 3rd Topic - Mahayana Path of Preparation
of Chapter 1 of Maitreya's
Ornament for Clear Realizations - Abhisamayalamkara.