SC1 | Our Heart Lamas
From time to time we will use the published words of our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, as the basis for teachings.
Mahamudra: How to Discover Our True Nature
Taught by Ven. Robina Courtin
August 30, September 6, 13, & 19
This event is being organized by our FPMT friends at Mahamudra Center in New Zealand.
Lama Yeshe’s famous teaching style is fully present in this book, according to the book’s editor, Ven. Robina Courtin: “His words are not only experiential but also direct, funny, deceptively simple, and incredibly encouraging—enlightenment seems possible.”
Lama Yeshe tells us that mahamudra is “the universal reality of emptiness, of nonduality” and its unique characteristic is its emphasis on meditation: “With mahamudra meditation there is no doctrine, no theology, no philosophy, no God, no Buddha. Mahamudra is only experience.”
Ven. Robina continues to pass on Lama Yeshe’s inspiration and encouragement for us to go beyond ego’s addiction to a limited sense of self and to taste the lightness and expansiveness of our own true nature.
Ego, Attachment, and Liberation
Taught by Karuna Cayton
September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21 & 28
In this course we will use teachings of Lama Yeshe, the founder with Lama Zopa Rinpoche of FPMT, which were given as a five-day meditation retreat and have been published in the book, Ego, Attachment, and Liberation.
We will explore Lama’s instructions for working skillfully to subdue the uncontrolled states of mind such as attachment, anger and low self-esteem that cause us to suffer and motivate harmful actions. We will come to see how a constricted sense of ego-identity is at the root of our problems and learn how to give our ego the “wisdom-eye” and connect with our innate potential for joy and wellbeing.
Introduction to Tantra
Taught by Elaine Jackson
Lama Thubten Yeshe referred to the practice of tantra as “scientific.” It’s not a dogma to be taken on faith or authority, but rather a step-by-step exploration of the human condition leading to self-discovery, and its results are verifiable through our own observation and experience. Furthermore, it’s a path of joy and affirmation.
Lama Yeshe had a unique ability to inspire in his students a confidence that each one of us has an unlimited potential waiting to be tapped and that we each possess within ourselves not only the answer to our own problems but the potential to live our lives on a much higher level than we currently imagine possible.
“I had the unbelievably good fortune to study with Lama Yeshe,” says Elaine. “In this weekend retreat we’ll explore Lama’s teachings, so brilliantly codified by my long-time friend, Jon Landaw, in the book Introduction to Tantra: A Vision of Totality.”
SC2 | Dharma Toolkit
These informal 90-minute modules provide practical information on how to perform certain recommended practices fundamental in our tradition.
Dharma Toolkit: Part 2
Taught by Miffi Maxmillion
October 5, 12, 19 & 26
A workshop on everything you ever wanted to know about Tibetan Buddhist ritual but were afraid to ask!
How to offer the long mandala, how to set up your own altar and offer water bowls, do prostrations, and the profound meaning behind these rituals.
Get comfortable with gompa etiquette, and discover how to relate to the sangha respectfully.
SC3 | Vows and Commitments
In these modules we learn the intricacies of the three levels of vows that are crucial for the development of buddhahood: those of individual liberation, the bodhisattva, and tantra.
Tantric vows and commitments
Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion
Six-Session Guru Yoga Practice
SC4 | Lamrim: The Sutra Path
The modules here, which will change from time to time, will expand on in particular the topics covered in HC3 Discovering Buddhism.
Sundays with Geshe la: Stages of the Path to Liberation
Every Sunday Until December 19
The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, the lamrim, is a textual tradition that organizes all of the teachings of the Buddha into a practical step by step guide that shows us how to cultivate the insights that are necessary to achieve enlightenment. By relying on this body of knowledge we can follow in the footsteps of the Buddha and fully awaken our potential for boundless wisdom and compassion in order to be of the greatest benefit to all beings.
In this course, our resident teacher, Geshe Thubten Sherab, will use the verses in the Guru Puja that pertain to the lamrim to teach us the methods that we can put into practice to gain all of the realizations taught by the Buddha.
How to Develop the Unparalleled Levels of Love and Compassion of the Bodhisattva
Taught by Ven. Robina
September 1, 8 & 15
This event is organized by our FPMT friends at White Mahakala and Compassion Wisdom Flower Study Groups in Romania
All sentient beings are caught in the trap of suffering in the realms of existence. Bodhicitta is a mind that wishes to free beings from suffering and bring them to the state of enlightenment. A bodhisattva is a person who has that bodhicitta mind, is a practitioner of the enlightenment thought which is the aspiration to achieve complete enlightenment as a perfect Buddha for the benefit of oneself and all other sentient beings.
Love and compassion are the forces that motivated all activities of Bodhisattvas. Love is a strong wish that aspires to attain happiness for all sentient beings and compassion is the state of mind that wishes each being to be freed from all sufferings or sorrows, great compassion is the root wisdom.
Buddha Nature and Bodhichitta
Taught by Ven. Lozang Yönten
September 25 and 26
This weekend course will invite students to look at “the self” and ” the mind” from a Buddhist perspective —both what they are and what they are not, in order to gain more control and energy for our positive aspirations and long-term goals.
From a Mahayana Buddhist perspective, by understanding our potential we eventually realize that the mind can be so thoroughly trained out of suffering and negative emotions and into deep contentment and altruism that we actually can become buddhas ourselves. Our spiritual practice then becomes an enriching experience, benefitting oneself as well as society and the environment.
The course will include guided meditations and time for questions and discussion.
SC5 | The Tantric Path
From time to time we will have commentaries on the various deity practices, such as Yamantaka, Vajra Yogini, and Heruka Chakrasamvara, as well as on practcies such as Guru Puja, tsog offerings, etc. We will also hold empowerments into various deities.
Taught by Paula Chichester
August 11, 18, — September 1, 8, 15
This event is organized by our FPMT friends at Lhagsam Meditation in Zurich.
Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism has been kept secret for centuries and even today most of the tantric teachings are only available to students with an initiation. This sometimes leads to misconceptions and open questions. What is tantra and what is it not? What are tantric deities? What are the results of practicing tantra?
In this course Paula Chichester will answer these and many more questions. But more importantly, she will lead us through meditations and practices which are available also to practitioners without an initiation. This will give us a taste of the tremendous resources and energies at our disposal that can transform our lives and even help us to achieve the highest goal of the Buddhist path, which is nothing less than the full Enlightenment of buddhahood itself.
If tantra is the jet to enlightenment, the Graduated Path, the lam rim, is the fuel… We can’t fly without understanding the graduated path to enlightenment.
The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra
Taught by Dr. David Komito
September 11, 18 & 25
“The nine mixings” is a core Gelug teaching on the correlation of deep sleep, dream and waking with the three bodies of a buddha and the three conditions of death, intermediate state and rebirth. Using the nine mixings as a framework this series of talks will outline the basic underlying psychology of tantric (Vajrayana, Mantrayana) practice in the Geluk tradition, both from a Buddhist perspective and from a modern western psychological perspective.
To the extent possible, I will share personal experience to illuminate the elements of practice I will be discussing.