The graded stage teachings, also known as the lam-rim, provide a structure into which we can fit all of Buddha’s sutra teachings, from start to finish. The lam-rim clearly shows how all the teachings fit together and is intended as a personal instruction for our own spiritual development.
Lamrim: the graduated path to enlightenment course is for those who have studied Discovering Buddhism or other study programs within Tibetan Buddhism and would like to do a review of lam-rim and focus on meditation and reflection.
There will be teachings during the first hour, followed by some time for discussion, and at least half an hour for doing meditation practice together on the specific lam-rim topic.
The course structure will be based on the booklet “Kopan Monastery lam-rim outline” compiled by Venerable Karin Valham. They are available in our book shop.
The text is divided into preliminary practices and the training of the small, medium and great scopes of the lam-rim. The specific training of each scope is further divided into various topics which are to be studied and meditated on. As an in-depth understanding on each of the topics of the three scopes is essential for one’s spiritual progress, Venerable Michael will also be using other sources of lam-rim teachings to compliment the simple outline and meditations of this booklet.
It will probably take a year and a half or two years to go through the whole text. During spring 2021 we will have time for two 7 week courses, covering the following topics:
Small scope Module 1: 7 weeks (starting on March 9, 2021)
- Preliminary practices
- Visualization of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha
- Beginningless mind
- Guru devotion
- Perfect human rebirth
- The eight worldly concerns
Small scope Module 2: 7 weeks (starting on May 4, 2021)
- Impermanence and death
- The death process
- Suffering in the lower realms of existence
The remaining topics will be studied in autumn 2021 and in 2022:
Small scope Module 3: 6 weeks (autumn 2021)
- Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
- Karma, the law of cause and effect
- The four noble truths
- True suffering
- True cause of suffering
- Twelve branches of dependent arising
- Generating Bodhicitta; the totally open heart
- The six perfections
- Samatha: Calm abiding meditation