Gradual Path to Enlightenment

Review Step 1 - Realizations of confusion, sources of confusion, learning to apply "preventative measures", learning to meditate, reading the Maha-satipatthana Sutta, learning & practicing mindfulness, amounts to establishing

"And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view. (from Maha-satipatthana Sutta)

Step 2 - Applying vipassana meditation to various ideas in a logical order, whereas one idea supports the next. This step is based on the exploring the Four Noble Truths, and the Eight-Fold Path introduced in Maha-satipatthana Sutta. This Step is called
Lam-Rim or Gradual path to Enlightenment. In all investigations, it is prudent to investigate the sources of information one uses. In the case of investigating Lam-Rim the sources are Spiritual Masters. Always, always question authority, even the authority of Masters.

Explore the teachings of the Spiritual Masters below.

4 benefits from studying the gradual path to Enlightenment:

"(1) You will understand that there is no contradiction in any of Buddha's teachings.

(2) You will be made aware that all the scriptural texts are to be taken as sound advice (as there is no contradiction between the texts and their practice and there is gradual and the most effective progress -through Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana- to Enlightenment in correct order which according to level of understanding leads to Fortune Rebirths, Liberation or Buddhahood)

(3) You will then easily discover the significance of the threefold theme of Buddha's teachings (renunciation from the sufferings of Samsara, Bodhicitta, and a true understanding of Emptiness.)

(4) Moreover, you will be protected from the abyss of the great mistake (e.g. abandoning or disrespect some of Buddha's teachings)"

                                             -- Je Tsongkhapa: "Lam-Rim Bsdus-Don"
Relying on Spiritual Masters

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta - Buddha's first teaching
Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth

H.H. the 14th Dali Lama
recommended books:
How to Practice a Meaningful Life
Stages of Meditation
The Art of Happiness
Ethics for a New Millinium

Lama Yeshe

Lama Surya Das
recommended book:
Awakening the Buddha Within

Thich Nhat Hanh

Robert Thurman
recommended book:
Essentials of Tibetan Buddhism 
(recitation practice on the three educations:
renunciation of Samasa,
and the Wisdom of Emptiness)

Alexander Berzin
Berzin Archives

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