Meditation Course - First Level


This course is designed to offer the student four classes of introductory meditation. The course, which is open to everyone, will be taught by Lama Karma Phuntsok. One does not have to be a Buddhist to attend. The classes will also prepare students who would like to further their knowledge of Buddhist wisdom.

Why Meditate?

In this class we will learn basic meditation techniques while discussing the benefits of meditation. The teachings will begin with The Four Noble Truths, which distinguish two sets of causes and effects: those that produce suffering, and those that produce happiness. By showing us how to distinguish these in our own lives, the teaching aims at nothing less than to enable us to fulfill our deepest aspiration to be happy and to overcome suffering.

Mindfulness and Awareness

In our busy day-to-day living we scurry about so quickly that we lose touch with who we are and what we are doing. We become careless, forgetful, and unaware of the beauty and texture in our lives. In this class we will mainly focus on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. These teachings remind us to be aware of our bodies, aware of our feelings, aware of our thoughts, and aware of events as they occur moment by moment.

Dealing with the Senses

In this meditation we discuss the Four Conditions of Consciousness: Primary Condition, Objective Condition, Causal Condition, and Immediate Condition. We will be using the five sensory objectives as a focus for meditation. These different aspects of consciousness and how they function are helpful in all types of meditation.

Finding Your Home

In this class we will discuss our basic nature, which is primordially pure. All we have to do is search inward and discover our own innate perfection. Everything we seek is there. Buddha told us that no matter what our background is, we all possess the ability to become a Buddha, to become enlightened. Even if we have no intention of becoming a Buddha we can still wake up from a dream of delusion and confusion, the end of suffering, awake to reality, to truth, to things just as they are.

One day Retreat - Conclusion of Course

There will be traditional one-day retreat for students at the end of the course. The retreat day will feature a summary of the four weeks of teachings, and will include practice of the different styles of meditation that were taught. There will be walking meditation, discussion, and an opportunity for private interviews with Lama Phuntsok.

 

Meditation Course - Second Level


In the Buddhist tradition there are two types of meditation, resting meditation (shamatha) and analytical meditation. If we look at these two aspects of meditation practice, we see that analytical meditation is the principle one. Shamatha is a method for us to engage in analytical meditation. Through the practice of analytical meditation, one's awareness and inner wisdom are developed. When these two methods are applied together, they strengthen and benefit each other. In this course we will discus the benefits of analytical meditation.

Precious Human Birth

This precious human birth, so favourable for the practice of the Dharma, is hard to obtain and easily lost. A human birth allows liberation to arise. Now that we find ourselves in a human life with all the right conditions to achieve realization we need to let go of non-virtuous actions and put virtuous actions into practice. We have all the right conditions. We have this rare potential and opportunity as human beings to benefit others, to create the ground of happiness rather than the ground of suffering. This class will cover the significance and preciousness of a favourable human birth.

Impermanence

The face of impermanence is the nature of all things. Whatever is arising is at the same time ceasing. Each moment continuously slips into the next. This is the characteristic of all composite form - endless, continual change. Like waves moving across the face of the ocean all things are in motion, constantly changing. It is essential to thoroughly understand the nature of impermanence. Doing so will help us understand the nature of our experiences and to better deal with the ups and downs and inevitable losses that occur in our lives. By not understanding the truth of the impermanence of all phenomena we create an endless circle of suffering for ourselves. Perpetuating the myth of permanence brings us grief. This class will deal with the nature and consequences of impermanence.

Suffering of Samsara

The Buddha described suffering as being universal and inherent in the very process of Samsara. This suffering pervades our lives. Understanding the nature of suffering gives us both the motivation and the information we need to find our way out of this situation. Liberation from suffering is possible. To discover the path to liberation we must first have a deep knowledge of where our suffering comes from and why it persists. This class will explore the nature and causes of suffering.

Karma - Cause and Result

One of the most important Buddhist beliefs is that each thing manifests because of its own specific cause. Our experiences of pain or pleasure are a direct result of our actions. Through the understanding of Karma or causality, the relationship between cause and effect in our actions, we remedy our involvement with Samsara. If we can choose our actions wisely the result will be happiness and ultimately Enlightenment for ourselves and others. This class will cover the various aspects of how Karma works.

12 Links of Interdependent Origination (first half)

12 Links of Interdependent Origination (second half)

These two classes will offer insights into the causes and conditions of the phenomena of both the outer and inner worlds. Who am I? Why am I here in this life and what will my final destination be? Where do the outer world of the four elements and inner world of body speech and mind come from? We instinctively seek to begin to understand our apparent confusion about ourselves and the phenomena of our world.

One day Retreat - Conclusion of Course


There will be traditional one-day retreat for students at the end of the course. The retreat day will feature a summary of the four weeks of teachings, and will include practice of the different styles of meditation that were taught. There will be walking meditation, discussion, and an opportunity for private interviews with Lama Phuntsok.

 

M e d i t a t i o n

C o u r s e  III


Our mental world is so much bigger than our physical world.

Mahayana Instruction: One of the most effective techniques for working with emotions, Recognizing that self and others are the same, Thinking in many ways about the faults of the Self-Cherishing Mind. Heightening awareness and clearing away obstacles, which obscure the true nature of mind are the Seven Points of Mind Training.

First point: Preliminaries: Precious Human Birth, Impermanence, Law of Karma, Shortcomings of Samsara (This content is covered in Meditation Course II)

Second point: The Main Instruction, training Bodhichitta,

Third point: The transformation of adverse conditions into the path of awakening

Fourth point: A summary of how to practice throughout your life

Fifth point: Signs of having mastered the Mind Training Instruction

Sixth point: Commitments of Mind Training

Seventh point: The Twenty-one Precepts of Mind Training


Lama Phuntsok will give the teaching on Mind Training, revealing the ultimate view of this profound practice. This will be of benefit for those who wish to deepen their spiritual understanding and gain insight into how to apply the technique in their daily lives

 

A Brief Introduction to the Three Yanas



【First Turning of Dharma Wheel - Hinayana Teaching & Meditation】
• Four Noble Truths
• Five Skandas
• Twelve Facilities
• Eighteen Elements
• Eight Noble Paths & Three Trainings
• Karma, Cause & Effect
• Twelve Links of Interdependence Origination
• Teaching on Rebirth
• Teaching on Refuge
• At this point, participants may request to take Refuge.


【Second Turning of Dharma Wheel - Mahayana Teaching & Meditation】

• Seven Instructions on Cause & Effect

(How to elevate loving kindness and

compassion to Bodhicitta)
• Relative & Ultimate Bodhicitta
• Seven Points of Mind Training
• Six Paramitas
• Four Schools of Ancient Philosophy
• A Brief Introduction to Eight Practice-Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism
• Heart Sutra
• A Brief Introduction to Theory of Buddha Nature
• At this point, participants may request for Bodhisattva Vow.


【Third Turning of Dharma Wheel - Vajrayana Teaching & Meditation】
• Oral transmission & Teaching on Four Preliminaries under Karma Kagyu.
• General teaching on Kriya Tantra, Charya Tantra, Yoga Tantra and Anutara Yoga Tantra
• Particular instruction on Creation & Completion of Vajrayana Sadhanas
• At this point, participants may request for Empowerments and to practice
Yidam sadhanas.