|The METHOD path|
|The nature of all of our problems is caused by confusion. The way to remove confusion is using preventative measures, called Dharma in Buddhist teachings. It takes a very long time to break old habits, the nature of the teachings is creating new habits and patterns in our thinking, thus removing the tendancy to be confused. Training our minds with meditation exercises is as important to our happiness and success in this life as training our bodies to be healthy or on the job training for financial success. Feeling inspired, taking responsibility, and practicality are integral parts to this practice in choosing happiness for ourselves.
Preliminaries are always abundant in the teachings. They are necessary logically for progress. With gratitude to Thubten Chodron, Alexander Berzin, and the Berzin Archives. Preliminary discussion on Detachment, Nonviolence, and Compassion
Step 1 is as you may have yourself discovered, awareness of learning to exist in the moment. Mindfulness. Before we can ponder the lessons, we need to stabilize our minds, prepare them to "realize" the lesson. Learn to meditate.
Other traditions use the same sutras (discourses by Siddartha) and you may find other Gurus who appeal to you in this process. I am exposing you all to different teachers and traditions in this course. The beauty of Buddha's teachings is that they are always open for debate, deliberation, and ultimately make sense after analyzing them in a logical sequence. Thus, many different traditions arise in 'Buddhism', which respect each other's insight and reasoning.
Start reciting/chanting daily before going to bed or while waiting in traffic:
May all beings with whom we are inseparably interconnected be fulfilled, awakened and free
May there be peace in the world and throughout the entire universe
May we all together complete the spiritual journey
|Every step of practicing Dharma or the Turning of the Wheel is preceeded by preliminaries. They are preparations for the next Turning of the Wheel. Each Turning of the Wheel teaches the same lessons but with a new depth of understanding.
The study guide will prepare you for Lam-Rim, for beginning the Four Contemplations or Four Thoughts that Redirect the Mind.
|The Purpose and Benefits of Debate|
|Discerning and Stabilizing Meditations|
|The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation|
|Avoiding Confusion in Spiritual Student/Teacher Relationship|