With the start of July, we’ve reached the halfway point in the year. For many in the world, the first six months of 2020 were challenging, and many of us have been isolated when we needed our communities most. We hope the rich world of Dharma and the sangha that you have access to as a member of the Wisdom Experience provides you with courage, compassion, and moments of connection and peace as 2020 continues.
The following newsletter features new and exciting content available to you. We hope you enjoy it!
The following content will be available to Free members of the Wisdom Experience during July.
The Library of Wisdom and Compassion is a special multivolume series in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama shares the Buddha’s teachings on the complete path to full awakening that he himself has practiced his entire life. The topics are arranged especially for people seeking practical spiritual advice, and are peppered with the Dalai Lama’s own unique outlook. Assisted by his long-term disciple, the American nun Thubten Chodron, the Dalai Lama sets the context for practicing the Buddha’s teachings in modern times, and then unveils the path of wisdom and compassion that leads to a meaningful life and sense of personal fulfillment.
This series is an important bridge from introductory to profound topics for those seeking an in-depth explanation from a contemporary perspective, and during July we’re making the first volume in the series, Approaching the Buddhist Path, available to read in the Reading Room to Free members of the Wisdom Experience.
The Buddha wanted his students to investigate, to see for themselves whether what he said were true. As a student of the Buddha, the Dalai Lama promotes the same spirit of investigation, and as the rich tradition of the Buddha makes its way into new lands and cultures, His Holiness has recognized that new approaches are needed to allow seekers in the West to experience the relevance of the liberating message in their own lives. Such an approach cannot assume listeners are free from doubt and already have faith in Buddhism’s basic tenets.
The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series, therefore, starts from the universal human wish for happiness and presents the dynamic nature of the mind. This first volume also provides a wealth of reflections on Buddhist history and fundamentals, contemporary issues, and the Dalai Lama’s own personal experiences. It stands alone as an introduction to Buddhism, but it also provides a foundation for the systematic illumination of the path in the volumes to come.
Additionally, we’re pleased to announce that Approaching the Buddhist Path will be released in paperback in October.
Over the next three months we’ll be making Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy available to Free members. One part will be released each month. In July Part 1: The Dalai Lama, the Monasteries, and the People is available to all members of the Wisdom Experience.
Filmed in the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, North India, and in the rebuilt Sera Monastery, the second largest monastery of the old Tibet, this opening part of the trilogy observes the Dalai Lama in his dual role as political leader and spiritual teacher. In an elegant cinematic style, at one with its subject, the film interweaves this personal portrait with an intimately observed exploration of the ways in which the inner knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist culture is developed in the monasteries, through vigorous debate and solitary meditation, and communicated in the lay community.
Don’t forget, you can invite your friends to sign up for a Free membership to join you.
Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, from Tibetan caves to Japanese temples to redwood retreats. All these traditions trace their beginnings to the teachings of one man in India 2,500 years ago. These teachings spread worldwide in all directions and into numerous languages, making Buddhism one of the today’s most influential religions.
In Buddhism: One Teacher Many Traditions, Part 1, you’ll be expertly guided by Venerable Thubten Chodron through Buddhism’s core practices and tenets, such as the Four Noble Truths and the practice of meditation, and you will learn how the traditions sometimes agree and sometimes differ in their interpretations. Ven. Chodron’s approach illuminates the many ways that all forms of Buddhism, amid their rich diversity, share a common heritage and common goals.
This ten-lesson course is based on Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions, a book that Ven. Chodron cowrote with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This book is an expression of His Holiness’s strong belief in the merit of different Buddhist traditions learning more about one another. If you’re a Plus or All-Access member, you can read it now here.
Join Thupten Jinpa in episodes 3 and 4 of the Wisdom Masterclass, The Art of Translating Tibetan with Thupten Jinpa, as he explores the term reality. Over the course of these two lessons he discusses
- key terms used in the Buddhist sources for describing the nature of reality
- how different translations of these key words have significantly different connotations
- how do the words we use—and the way we translate them—affect our understanding of reality
- and much more!
Watch the lessons now:
This Masterclass was made possible by the support of our friends at Tsadra Foundation.
We’re excited to announce that if you’re unable to join us for a live Wisdom Dharma Chat, you can now watch a recording during the next week. Venerable Thubten Chodron’s and Michael Imperioli’s Wisdom Dharma Chats are now both available, and Malcolm Smith’s will become available on July 9.
While the video recordings of our Wisdom Dharma Chats are only available for members of the Wisdom Experience, everyone—members and nonmembers—are invited to join us Wednesdays at 7:00 PM EST for the live Wisdom Dharma Chats. Click below to register for our July Dharma Chats.
- July 8 – Malcolm Smith continues his previous Wisdom Dharma Chat discussion about his latest translation work
- July 15 – Leo Babauta discusses the influence of Zen on his personal journey
- July 22 – Ven. Sangye Khadro discusses meditation
- July 29 – Sarah Harding discusses her current work on Four Tibetan Lineages, a new book in the Library of Tibetan Classics
Also Available to Watch
Filmed in the winter of 2003, Under the Bodhi Tree features His Holiness the XVII Gyalwa Karmapa as he leads a nine-day prayer ceremony called the Kagyu Monlam. From his seat under the historic Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, the place of Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, the Karmapa performs ceremonies and ritual empowerments, accompanied by high lamas of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. A vivid and intimate portrait of Tibetan Buddhism at this holiest of sites includes commentary by the Karmapa.
During the months of June and July we’re making the entire Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy available to Plus members of the Wisdom Experience. Stunning cinematography, unprecedented access, and informed direction take us on an intimate journey deep into the heart of the ancient Buddhist culture of Tibet. This is a classic work filmed in 16mm on location in India, Nepal, and Ladakh during 1977. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a spellbinding exploration of Tibetan Buddhism. The film features an intimate portrait of the Dalai Lama, a rare look at an ancient tantric ritual associated with the female deity Tara, commentary based on the teachings of the great twentieth-century Tibetan master Dudjom Rinpoche, and the moving response of a monastery to a death in the community.
Discover all the books in our Reading Room under the “Explore” menu on our website. Books in our Reading Room are available exclusively for Plus and All-Access Members.
Mastering Meditation gives you the experience of studying with one of the greatest meditation masters of the modern age. His Eminence Chöden Rinpoché was not only a celebrated scholar, honored by selection as a debate partner to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but he was also an accomplished yogi who spent nineteen years in solitary meditation retreat. In this thorough and thoroughly clear book, Rinpoché offers meticulous explanations and profound practical instructions on two essential practices in Tibetan Buddhism: calm abiding and mahāmudrā.
Zen and Psychotherapy is an intimate dialogue that examines the interplay of emotional and spiritual development through the lens of Zen Buddhism and psychotherapy. It artfully illuminates the intrinsic connections between the two practices, and demonstrates how the traditions can be complementary in helping to live a truly fulfilled and contented life.
Also in Your Reading Room
- The Attention Revolution by B. Alan Wallace
- Becoming the Compassion Buddha by Lama Yeshe
- Hidden Lamp edited by Zenshin Florence Caplow and Reigetsu Susan Moon
- How to Be Sick: Your Pocket Companion by Toni Bernhard
- Kindfulness by Ajahn Brahm
- The Tibetan Book of Everyday Wisdom translated by Beth Newman
- and many more!
The following books were released in June or are available early on our website.
- Extremely Secret Dakini of Naropa by Pabongkha Rinpoche, translated by David Gonsalez
- Zen and Psychotherapy by Joseph Bobrow
- How to Face Death without Fear by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
- Mastering Meditation by His Eminence Chöden Rinpoché
- Peaceful Piggy Bedtime by Sophie Maclaren, illustrated by Kerry Lee MacLean
- In Praise of Great Compassion by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Ven. Thubten Chodron
- How to Be Sick: Your Pocket Companion by Toni Bernhard
For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Venerable Robina Courtin, Australian-born Buddhist nun. Venerable Robina has led an extremely active and inspiring life—from her dynamic work as an editor of a wide variety of Buddhist books to her Buddhist teaching activities that traverse the globe.
In this lively episode, you’ll hear Venerable Robina share riveting stories from her early years as a young activist, when she was trying to figure out her own spiritual and political paths. You’ll also hear Venerable Robina discuss how to deal with anger, how to practice mindfulness, and how to understand karma, among many other topics.
This episode was recorded as part of our new series, Wisdom Dharma Chats, where you can attend live video versions of the Wisdom Podcast from the comfort of your own home. Wisdom Dharma Chats also include a Q&A where you can ask questions directly to Buddhist teachers, practitioners, and scholars.
David Nichtern’s lecture series, Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck, ended in June; however, if you haven’t seen it, you still can! Plus members of the Wisdom Experience will have access to the entirety of this lecture series until August 1. Join beloved musician, composer, producer, and Buddhist teacher David Nichtern in his new six-part lecture series, Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck, based on his recent book by the same name. Ranging from humorous anecdotes to profound insights, David uses his unique lived experience as both a student of Buddhism in the Shambhala lineage and a successful musical entrepreneur to offer invaluable advice on how to harmonize your creative ambitions with your spiritual needs—and pay the bills too.
Don’t miss out on our Wisdom Academy online course Buddhist Philosophy in Depth, Part 3 with Professor Jay Garfield, which is now available to All-Access members of the Wisdom Experience. Over the course of ten lessons, Professor Garfield takes us on an exciting in-depth journey throughout these Buddhist worlds, their texts, and the essential thinkers that have shaped Buddhist philosophy from the time of the historical Buddha.
In this third installment of a three part course series on the history of Buddhist philosophy, we discover how the profound legacy of Indian Buddhist philosophy helped shape the Buddhist world, and we follow the transmission of the Buddhadharma to China, Japan, and ultimately the West. Jay Garfield guides us through an array of influential texts across traditions, including the Avatamsaka, or Flower Garland, Sutra, the Genjōkōan by Eihei Dōgen, the Lam Rim synthesis of Tsongkhapa, and Tibet’s Rime tradition as evidenced in Patrul Rinpoche’s The Words of My Perfect Teacher and The Essential Jewel of Holy Practice.