Meditation: Advice to Beginners – Mahamudra in Five Easy Steps: The Practice of Chenrezig

Talk Eleven: Mahamudra in Five Easy Steps: The Practice of Chenrezig

Mahamudra meditation is said to be a means of attaining buddhahood in one lifetime. But how can we, as mere beginners, understand it? Meditation on the form and mantra of the bodhisattva Chenrezig give us a method for approaching the truth of the nature of mind.

(Page 133-139, “Mahamudra in Five Points.”)

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – A Story about the Mahamudra Lineage

Talk Ten: A Story about the Mahamudra Lineage

How did Mahamudra meditation become the main practice of our Kagyu tradition? This talk briefly covers the history of the Mahamudra lineage through reviewing the Mahamudra Lineage prayer.

(Page 125-132, “The Legs, Head and Body of Meditation”)

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – What Are Thoughts, Really?

Talk Nine: What Are Thoughts, Really?

When we are new to meditation, we experience thoughts as coaches, cheerleaders, critics and judges. Then we learn how to let go of them through the practice of Shinay. Through Insight, we see what they really are and can experience a sort of freedom through seeing thoughts for what they are.

(Pages 113-123, “Further Information on the Superior Vision”)

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – What Is Insight?

Calm abiding can help us pacify mental suffering, but the ego-fixation at the root of our attachment, aversion and bewilderment will continue to disturb us until they are dealt with once and for all. Insight (called “vipassana” in Sanskrit and “lhaktong” in Tibetan) is an outgrowth of Shinay that allows us to see into our mind’s greatest delusion: self-fixation.

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – Meditation’s Defects – And Antidotes

Sleepiness and agitation can be problems in meditation, but the Tibetan tradition has antidotes for them both. Learning how to apply them correctly, we gain confidence in our ability to practice mindfully. In this talk we also learn about the three basic meditation experiences and how to work with them.

(Pages 73-87,”Further Information on Mental Calming”)

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – Mental Calming – “Shinay” Part 2b

Meditation can be described as placing “body at ease” and “mind at ease.” The talk describes the role of physical posture in meditation and reviews basic techniques for placing the mind at ease on different objects: solid ordinary objects; an image of Buddha; and subtle objects.

(Pages 65-72)

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – Mental Calming – “Shinay” Part 2a

Meditation can be described as placing “body at ease” and “mind at ease.” The talk describes the role of physical posture in meditation and reviews basic techniques for placing the mind at ease on different objects: solid ordinary objects; an image of Buddha; and subtle objects.

(Pages 65-72)

Meditation Advice for Beginners – Mental Calming – “Shinay” Part 1

How do we prepare for a session of Calm Abiding Meditation (called “shamatha” in Sanskrit, or “shinay” in Tibetan)? To help us stay on our meditation seats, we first must contemplate the defects of worldly attachments and delusions and understand the need for freedom. The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind Toward Liberation and the Four Conditions for Meditation are discussed as a way of preparing ourselves for a session of formal meditation.

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – Meditation Uncovers Three Hindrances to Freedom

It’s great that meditation helps us better understand our minds, but it also shows us the delusion and confusion that has kept us trapped in a world of suffering that the Buddha called “samsara.” What are the Three Hindrances, and how can meditation help us overcome them?

(Pages 43-55, “The Three Hindrances”)

Meditation: Advice to Beginners – The Meditating Mind Is Fertile Ground Part 3

Once we learn to tame the mind with meditation, we begin to gain insight into how our minds work and how they create perception, emotion, and our experience of life. As we learn more, we see possibilities in our lives we had not seen before – possibilities for change, and spiritual liberation.
(Pages 27-41, “Fertile Ground”)