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 3rd, 2009
Episode 57 of 409 episodes
We all have the capacity to achieve complete perfect enlightenment; it requires clearing away the two obstructions, afflictive and cognitive, and the way to do this is by countering all wrong conceptions. For this, we need to proceed through all the levels of the path: a bodhisattva first generates the aspiration to enlightenment and then trains in the view of emptiness by hearing, thinking and meditating, progressing through higher and higher levels of the path. This teaching on Shantideva’s Guide is an occasion of hearing the profound teachings on emptiness; the ninth chapter continues with expositions of the the establishment in mindfulness on the body, on feelings, on mind, on dependent origination and dependent designation. After concluding the 9th chapter, His Holiness has everyone in the audience read together through the 2nd chapter of Shantideva’s text, and then kneel to take again the bodhisattva vows that were also given on the previous day as a part of the Avalokiteshvara empowerment. His Holiness then concludes the text by reading through the chapter on dedication, which concludes with the verse that he has taken as his personal defining aspiration: “As long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, so long may I remain, to clear away the sufferings of the world.” His Holiness then offers advice to all the audience to please contemplate the subject matter of the Guide, and especially to reflect on the 6th and 8th chapters, those on patience and meditation. The 9th chapter, that on wisdom, also very important, should be studied in conjunction with Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom and Chandrakirti’s Supplement to the Middle Way as well as texts on Buddhist tenets. His Holiness comments that although many people think that merely reciting mantras and prayers is sufficient Buddhist practice, in fact, one needs to study the principles of Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist practice, improve and develop ones understanding, and then implement this in one’s life—and this is true not just for monastics but for all who consider themselves Buddhist practitioners. Lastly, His Holiness explains the Three Essential Moments a pithy text by the Indian adept Mitra Yogi according to Gendun Gyatso, the 2nd Dalai Lamaï¿s commentary.