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).
June 22nd, 2009
Episode 80 of 409 episodes
The wisdom that understands emptiness through inferential cognition is gained without employing shamatha (calm abiding, single-pointed) meditation at the Bodhisattva path of preparation. Advancement to the first arya ground of the path of seeing requires a direct, non-conceptual, transcendental experience of emptiness that is obtained through the union of shamatha and vipashyana (special insight) meditation. His Holiness explains Kamalashilaï¿s manual for developing this union: why the union of shamatha and vipashyana is necessary, why shamatha is developed first, and why objects other than emptiness can never uproot the grasping at true existence that imprisons us in samsara. He explains how to: develop shamatha based on various objects (breath, Buddha image, conventional nature of the mind, tantric deity, etc.); begin the session (refuge, bodhicitta and the seven limb prayer); employ the correct physical posture; and identify and remedy excitement and laxity, the obstacles to fully qualified shamatha. His Holiness explains the graduated presentation of the two selflessnesses (of persons and phenomena) by Shakyamuni Buddha to students able to understand the Vaibashika (Great Exposition), Sautrantrika (Sutra school) and Cittamatrin (Mind Only) views even though those presentations do not completely counteract grasping to true existence. Then His Holiness turns to Nagarjunaï¿s text and demonstrates how the second verse encapsulates the purport of the Buddhaï¿s wisdom teaching in the Madhyamika (Middle Way) view that all existents in the universe (e.g., aggregates, sense powers, samsara, nirvana) are empty of inherent or true existence yet they do exist dependently through mere nominal designation. In conclusion His Holiness emphasizes that the most important meditative practice is remembering the illusion-like nature of all phenomena and activities during the post-meditation periods. Without this view of the illusion-like nature of all, our efforts to practice the Bodhisattva path are ï¿afflictedï¿ — by grasping at truly existent sentient beings, we may even developed ï¿afflictedï¿ Bodhicitta.