What has always engaged me is working with practitioners who are deepening their commitment to the Dharma and then seeing them take a quantum leap in their understanding. My contribution to this commitment is working towards conveying a Theravadan practice with a Mahayana spirit.
The Theravadan practice of vipassana provides simple, direct instructions that can be immediately understood and applied in daily life as well as retreat practice. The Mahayana spirit has the beautiful attitude that we practice not for ourselves alone, but for all sentient beings. Between the two, the unfolding of liberation for ourselves and others becomes a simple, down-to-earth practice that anyone can do.
It is fun for me to take the most difficult concepts and put them into accessible language, to unwrap the mystery. So I try to find ways to explore the breadth of concepts like "emptiness" -- to see how the entire path can be explained in terms of this synonym for nibbana. One of my aims is to bring the goal of freedom into the here and now. This way practitioners get a taste of freedom, so they know what they are heading toward on their journey to liberation.
The tools of mindfulness and lovingkindness can be picked up by anyone. They are easy to understand and they bring immediate benefit to our lives. The essence of vipassana is ideally suited to western society, especially to the resonance between our psychological turn of mind and our quest for spiritual understanding.
The talk explores different methods for the technique of looking in dzogchen practice as taught by Tsoknyi Rinpoche. It also describes some meditation states that might be mistaken for rigpa (near relatives).
This talk discusses the development of Buddhism in India beginning with the origins of the Mahayana school around 100 BC and continuing through Nagarjuna, the Yogacara school, Vajrayana, and the beginnings of Dzogchen. As in part 1, the philosophical differences are highlighted.
This talk recaps some key elements in the development of Buddhism in India from the death of the Buddha through the splits that occurred in the early schools of what could be called classical or Nikaya Buddhism. It highlights some of the philosophical issues that caused the divisions.