October 2020 Member Newsletter

As we enter into the last quarter of 2020, we hope that the Wisdom Experience community continues to provide you with moments of comfort, and that you find moments of peace, inspiration, and awakening in the Dharma. We’re excited to share our new content with you. We hope you enjoy it!

 

The following content will be available to Free members of the Wisdom Experience during August.

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 October we’re making the fourth volume in the series, Following in the Buddha’s Footsteps, available to read in the Reading Room to Free members of the Wisdom Experience.

You’ll first hear His Holiness’s explanation of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, why they are reliable guides on the path, and how to relate to them. His Holiness then describes the three essential trainings common to all Buddhist traditions: the higher trainings in ethical conduct, concentration, and wisdom. These chapters show us how to live a life free of harm to self or others and give us detailed instructions on how to develop single-pointed concentration as well as the higher states of concentration available to an earnest practitioner.

In addition, the chapters on wisdom contain in-depth teachings on the noble eightfold path and the four establishments of mindfulness for developing greater awareness and understanding of our body, feelings, mind, and other phenomena. Together, these topics form the core of Buddhist practice.

This is a book to treasure and refer to repeatedly as you begin the path, progress on it, and near the final goal of nirvāṇa.

 

This month we’re completing Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy and making Part 3: The Fields of the Senses available to all members of the Wisdom Experience. Set in the majestic mountain landscape of Ladakh, part 3 is a meditation on impermanence and the relationship between the mind, body, and environment. It follows the monks and farmers through a day, ending with an unflinching depiction of the monastery’s moving ritual response to a death in the community. As in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the departed is guided through the dreamlike intermediate state between death and birth.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can invite your friends to sign up for a Free membership to join you.

 

 

We’re excited to announce that this fall, All-Access members will have access to Introduction to Dzogchen, a one-day online retreat with Alan Wallace on Saturday, October 31, based on the text “A Lamp to Dispel Darkness” by Mipham Rinpoche. The retreat will include talks, guided meditations, and a Q&A session. If you’re an All-Access member, click here for all the information you need to join. If you want to upgrade to All-Access so you can join the retreat, log in, click here and follow the steps to upgrade, then return to this email and visit the above link to the information page.

 

We’re pleased to announce that Tibetan Yoga is now available to All-Access members of the Wisdom Experience. While yoga has been popularized in the West as a practice for physical health and well-being, the ancient practices of Tibetan yoga have often remained secretive. In this groundbreaking new Wisdom Academy course, Dr. Alejandro Chaoul illuminates the trul khor, or magical movements. Over the course of ten lessons, Dr. Chaoul guides you through a series of yogic postures and movements with exceptional detail and expertise, teaches you how to work with the anatomy of the subtle body, and shows you how to engage your breath to serve the practice of meditation and the cultivation of genuine well-being. You’ll learn about the history of Tibetan yoga, as well as how to keep your meditation practice fresh and inspired.

 

Watch the recordings of any of our September Wisdom Dharma Chats:

And be sure to join us in October on Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM EST for the live Wisdom Dharma Chats. Click below to register.

Also Available to Watch

The Bloodless Valley is a short film about the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado is home to Crestone, a town believed by prominent Tibetan llamas to be the second global home of the Tibetan people. The Bloodless Valley is a short film about the location.

“For hundreds of years, the Navajo have called this place the ‘Bloodless Valley,’ because wars have never been fought here. They believe Blanca Peak, at the end of the valley, is one of the four sacred mountains of their ancestral land. There is an ancient Hopi prophecy that in the time of the purification—when the earth is crumbling—people of spirit from all over the world will gather here.”—The Denver Post 

 

During the month of October, Bodhisattva is available for Plus members of the Wisdom Experience to watch. This movie portrays the  Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, one of the most important lamas in the world of Tibetan Buddhism, at an earlier moment in his trajectory as a teacher: his first visit to the West—specifically, the United States. In this documentary film, we meet not only the leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, but also a young man of uncommon warmth, humanity, and humor.

 

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.

New to the Reading Room

The Buddhist Analysis of Matter is an in-depth study of the Buddhist view of the nature and composition of matter as interpreted in Theravāda Buddhism. The study is based mainly on the seven treatises of the canonical Abhidhamma as well as the subsequent commentarial exegesis. However, in order to bring the subject into a wider perspective and to present it with a measure of precision, it takes into consideration the parallel doctrines of the Vaibhāṣika and Sautrāntika schools of Buddhism.

These were two of the leading non-Mahāyāna schools with which the Theravādins had much in common. Both subscribed to a realistic view of existence: while the former had a tendency to extreme realism, the latter had a predilection, but not a commitment, to subjectivism.

Acclaimed scholar Y. Karunadasa’s Buddhist Analysis of Matter provides a much-needed micro view of the topic with a detailed examination of the Theravādins’ list of rūpa-dhammas—the ultimate irreducible factors into which material existence is analyzed. It exposes the nature of the basic material elements and explains their interconnection and interdependence on the basis of conditional relations. It concludes with an attempt to understand the nature and relevance of the Buddhist analysis of matter in the context of Buddhism as a religion.

 

Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word meaning “the mind of enlightenment” or “the awakening mind”—the mind that wishes to achieve enlightenment in order to lead all other beings into that same state. It is the attitude of the bodhisattva, of the person who makes the compassionate vow to save others from suffering. In this book, the renowned teacher Lama Zopa Rinpoche shows us how to achieve it.

 First, Lama Zopa gives a clear and comprehensive explanation of bodhichitta, its benefits, and its importance to the path. Then, he walks us through the two main methods for achieving bodhichitta: the seven points of cause and effect, and equalizing and exchanging self and others. Finally, the book closes with meditation instructions to guide and strengthen our practice.

Also in Your Reading Room

New Releases

The following books were released in July or are available early on our website.

 

For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Roger Jackson, renowned scholar of both Indian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions and author of several books, including his most recent, Mind Seeing Mind: Mahāmudrā and the Geluk Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We’re also delighted to share that Mind Seeing Mind recently won the prestigious Toshihide Numata Book Award in Buddhist Studies, given by the Numata Foundation.

In this conversation, you’ll hear Roger tackle the enormous subject of mahāmudrā and its extremely complex origins within Tibetan Buddhist history. Mahāmudrā is considered especially prominent in the Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism; however, Roger’s primary interest is in the history, texts, and doctrines of Geluk mahāmudrā. You’ll hear Roger compare and contrast the essence of classic mahāmudrā texts as interpreted by both Kagyüpas and Gelukpas. Within this context, Roger and Daniel dive into central questions: What exactly is emptiness of mind within these two schools of thought? What is conventional versus ultimate reality? How do these differing views translate to the practice itself?

 

John Dunne’s first Wisdom Lecture Series,  Buddhist Perspectives of the Mind and How We Experience the World, ended last month, but Plus and All-Access members have ongoing access. If you haven’t already, be sure to join him as he takes you on a fascinating journey into Buddhism’s extensive analysis of the mysteries of human consciousness and perception.

Focusing primarily on the Indo-Tibetan tradition of Mahayana philosophy, John explores how Buddhist philosophy describes the cognitive processes that give rise to our daily experience of life, and in the process uncovers the distortions and tendencies within them that keep us from seeing reality clearly. With his extensive knowledge and clear, engaging teaching style, John renders these ancient and sophisticated ideas into immediately useful wisdom, helping you to see consciousness for what it really is.

Lecture 1: The Intellectual Origins of Suffering

Lecture 2: Seeing Through Concepts and Categories

Lecture 3: Pramanas, or How We Know That We Know

Lecture 4: The Five Mental Functions

Lecture 5: Particulars and Universals

Lecture 6: Dissolving Subject and Object

 

Join Thupten Jinpa for episodes 12 through 14 of the Wisdom Masterclass, The Art of Translating Tibetan with Thupten Jinpa, as he hosts a workshop of professional translators. Over the course of these four lessons

  • Jinpa teaches you about his and the individual professional’s technique and personal approaches to translating poetic literature and Tibetan prose
  • Jinpa opens a unique window into his process as he responds to questions presented by workshop participants
  • and much more!

Watch the lessons now:

11. Group Workshop, Part 1

12. Group Workshop, Part 2

13. Group Workshop, Part 3

14. Group Workshop, Part 4

This Masterclass was made possible by the support of our friends at Tsadra Foundation.

 

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