H.H. the Dalai Lama, the most prominent contemporary figure in Tibetan Buddhism, teaches regularly on a variety of topics ranging from entry level lectures to profound oral commentaries on seminal texts covering subjects such as Wisdom, Compassion, Ethics, Nature of the Mind, Buddhism and Science, and Meditation and Psychotherapy. His office does a great job making the teachings available through its official webcast. Now they are available in a podcast here as MP3 audio files encoded at 64Kbps mono. If you rather see video, check out the “Dalai Lama Video Teachings” podcasts (available in Standard Quality and High Quality).
April 30th, 2009
Episode 12 of 409 episodes
His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins the morning by bestowing the Bodhisattva vows. Once we have determined to cultivate Bodhichitta and do the Bodhisattva deeds it is appropriate to take at least the vows of aspiring Bodhichitta but today His Holiness bestows the vows of engaging Bodhichitta as well. The method is to recite three times verses 23 and 24 from Chapter 3. The assembly recites Shantideva’s seven-limb prayer, the whole of Chapters 2 and 3 as an accompaniment to the ceremony. Next His Holiness returns to the method of actually developing Bodhichitta. Mantra and recitations are not enough. We must study Shantideva’s ingenious and varied arguments and take to heart his rousing appeals and completely reverse our ordinary attitude of putting ourselves before others. His Holiness gives an intriguing glimpse of his own lifelong endeavor to understand emptiness and generate Bodhichitta and the sequence in which they struck home in him. With manifest deep feeling he definitively sets forth the key paradox, that cherishing ourselves is the gateway to everything undesired. Cherishing others instead not only works for other’s welfare but quickly fulfils our own purposes too. We achieve Buddhahood in no other way. The Bodhichitta His Holiness has so far concentrated on is conventional Bodhichitta. The Mahabodhisattvas who directly engage in clearing the obstructions to liberation and to omniscience away from their minds forever do so by applying the direct antidote of ultimate Bodhichitta, which is the non-dual wisdom of emptiness enhanced by the conventional Bodhichitta wish for enlightenment for the sake of all. His Holiness distills the essence of the ninth wisdom chapter in a succinct and effortlessly authoritative presentation of how all phenomena are dependently arisen, empty of inherent existence, mere dependently imputed. His Holiness brings the week’s uncommon glimpse into the radiant heart of conventional and ultimate Bodhichitta to a close by reciting the last Dedication chapter of Shantideva’s Guide.