(13:45) Lesson 1
(16:24) Lesson 2
The goal of this teaching is achieving buddhahood—perfect knowledge, behavior, and everything—for all living beings.
We are all struggling, despite being more sophisticated than people in Buddha’s day 2600 years ago. But Delam, the meditative “Smooth Path,” can be suitably applied to today’s problems, changing our attitude toward dealing with our difficulties. Many of these difficulties are self-made to boost our own egos.
(19:02) Lesson 3
Rimpoche urges the right mindset so that the lamrim can help us understand and correct our faults: a mind that is positive, receptive, and retentive. In other words, “Don’t take it personally on the one hand, but on the other hand, take it personally.” Before setting out to practice, find the right place and set your body in the right posture.
(21:18) Lesson 4
Controlling your mind requires gentle discipline. Rimpoche discusses positive, neutral, and negative thoughts during meditation.
(20:31) Lesson 5
Rimpoche describes how to compose your mind and body before starting practice. Every morning starts with appreciating the objects of refuge, appreciating the preciousness of our human life, and generating bodhimind.
(25:02) Lesson 6
The object of refuge is Buddha. Rimpoche describes the appearance and symbolism of Buddha, his throne and cushions, his posture, and his begging bowl full of nectars.
(22:32) Lesson 7
Rimpoche describes the visualized appearance of the three jewels—Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha—as well as their true meanings. He discusses the difference between intelligent faith and blind faith.
(13:52) Lesson 8
Begin to engage in the practice of lamrim and lama-guru-yoga, based on the desire to end suffering and the preciousness of human life. Use intelligent faith to ask questions, find answers to your satisfaction, and avoid doubts later.
(16:41) Lesson 9
Words and thoughts must be connected for the four immeasurables: wishing all beings free of suffering. Rimpoche also reviews all the prerequisites covered in the previous sections so far: the seven limbed prayer, proper motivation, the field of merit, taking refuge, and generating bodhimind.
(18:10) Lesson 10
Rimpoche reviews the previous day’s teaching, beginning with the prerequisites of guru devotional practice. The proper appearance of the Buddha varies, depending on the practitioner’s culture and background. Rimpoche emphasizes the power and full reality of the refuge field.
(21:58) Lesson 11
Even in the modern day, in the best conditions, the refuge field becomes real and engages / interacts with / guides you. The threat of my own lower rebirth motivates refuge, and the threat of my friends’ lower rebirth motivates the four immeasurables and total enlightenment (bodhimind).
(21:18) Lesson 12
The lamrim field of merit is introduced. This visualized group of enlightened beins includes the wisdom lineage, compassion lineage, root master, and all the direct teachers. Each being is marked by five colorful symbols. Each one of them is a complete object of refuge: everyone is everything.
(16:11) Lesson 13
Rimpoche reviews the end of the full lineage prayer (Tsongkapa through to Rimpoche), the seven limb prayer, mandala offerings, and supplications to the objects of refuge.
(21:18) Lesson 14
Rimpoche focuses on having a relationship with enlightened beings that really “clicks:” by developing a strong connection to guru devotional practice, by developing profound faith and remembering kindness.
(15:10) Lesson 15
Spiritual development is rooted in guru devotional practice, and guru devotional practice starts with intelligent faith and profound respect toward your spiritual masters. Not focusing on any faults you choose to see your masters as the true living appearances of Buddha.
(19:07) Lesson 16
Rimpoche recounts the difficulties faced by Asanga and others, whose own obstacles prevented themselves from truly seeing their spiritual masters as human beings, let alone enlightened beings.
(18:43) Lesson 17
The issue of perception of wrong activities of spiritual masters is so tricky, that Rimpoche avoided teaching guru devotional practice for his first 20 years in the west. Faults seen in our masters can create obstacles to our development, if they prevent us from seeing our masters’ qualities.
(14:30) Lesson 18
We must appreciate the tremendous kindness of our masters and Buddha’s unbroken lineage, who show us how to be free of suffering.
(22:50) Lesson 19
Guru devotional practice requires action, mainly: following our masters’ instructions through spiritual practice. This includes avoiding too much entertainment, sleeping properly, waking properly. Rimpoche tells of his first Vajrayogini initiation, in which he learned through unusual events that following his master’s instructions is most important.
(23:21) Lesson 20
The power of mantras depends on one’s belief. Rimpoche explains the mantra “Om Muni Muni Maha Muni Ye Soha,” which means “Victory, victory, greater victory.”
(11:23) Lesson 21
After guru devotional practice comes the awareness of the preciousness, importance, and rarity of human life. To motivate this awareness, consider that “I and all sentient beings have struggled so much, even in this one lifetime.”
(11:23) Lesson 22
(21:38) Lesson 22
The Tibetan word dal jor describes this preciousness as “leisure and richness.” Our richness is our opportunity to accumulate merit, by practicing generosity and morality.
(21:26) Lesson 23
We can achieve enlightenment with the minds we have. According to Buddha, this life time is precious because we have total control of our own lives and destinies.
(24:58) Lesson 24
The actual practice starts with generating the lama’s field of merit. Rimpoche discusses why we turn to spiritual practice, rather than activities leading to material gain, including education, in order to find the ultimate satisfaction.
(19:05) Lesson 25
Rimpoche discusses aging, illness and all the major and minor sufferings we all face, the bigger problems of rebirth in the hell realms, and their ultimate causes: our own previous actions. It is important to also contemplate karma and reincarnation, impermanence, and death, which often comes without warning.