Rinpoche teaches from Gampopa’s text A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path.
The first 5 sets of instructions of 28 were covered by these four sessions of talks.
Photos thanks to Jani Zweygberg and Palpung Yeshe Gatshal Finland.
A detailed synopsis by Eeva Kokko (PDF) can be found on the right.
by Maggy Jones
Gampopa taught students throughout Tibet and this text is the source for many Kagyu lineage teachings. Gampopa’s teachings were practical instructions, guidance that could be understood and practised by anyone. I shall try to inspire rather than explain. The problems of translation. Ten causes of loss or misuse of our precious human life which gives us such great capacity to help other beings. (Rinpoche develops Gampopa’s theme of sets of ten.) Brief biography of Gampopa. Our human life gives us power, USE IT POSITIVELY for the benefit of all beings. Do not waste it causing trouble otherwise when we die we will have nothing to show for our efforts. Our life is short, don’t waste time. Student/teacher relationship; listen and question until you are clear, then you must practice. Q & A
2nd Set of Training Instructions. It is necessary to be independent and judge advice. Practice with faith, diligence and joy according to your teacher. 3 types of laziness (opposite of diligence). We all have 4 Teachers: 1. The lineage teacher, 2. The books, 3. “Ultimate” teacher – our own inner wisdom 4.Everything can be your teacher. The teacher must be knowledgeable, a practitioner and have compassion. Mindfulness at all times – be aware of what is going on. Keep a clear mind. Let your faith be your “armour”. Some start well but fall away. Dedicate whatever you do. It is not what you do but how you do it and your motivation. Your efforts will not always be successful – but keep trying. Be neither despondent nor proud – remember impermanence and continue. Q & A
Most masters have found their realisation in solitude. Most of us do not have this opportunity so you create a stillness within your mind – remember that even if you are completely alone physically your mind can be anywhere. Do everything in moderation (the middle way). Practise what you understand – otherwise useless. Don’t expect too much from yourself, just do what you can. Remember “Right Livelihood” and the eightfold path. Do not cause others to lose faith. Everyone has both bad and good qualities – encourage the one and be aware of the other. Keep hope, without some hope you will despair. Q & A
Buddhism is a training of the mind to find lasting peace and happiness; when we look deeply, we find the main cause of suffering is our ignorance, our lack of understanding. Everything arises from causes and conditions, is therefore compounded and impermanent, constantly changing. This is described as “emptiness”; the quality of the mind. Clear, knowing and experience. The 5 skandhas (aggregates). Appearances are the radiance of the mind with no solid existence, the essence of dreams; the dharmakaya. We must learn how to process emotions, and channel them without aversions and attachment. Material things are neither positive nor negative – it is how you relate to them. Remember Tonglen practice, even though your own pain doesn’t go, you can help relieve someone else’s. This may also affect your pain. The more we focus on misery, it will become stronger and more important. Never abandon the idea of helping others. Q &; A Recommends “Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine”; Larry Dossey, ISBN 978-006-250-2520
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