Author Topic: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.  (Read 5180 times)

vajrastorm

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The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« on: July 05, 2012, 05:23:36 AM »
The Lamrim, the Graduated Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, is the whole Dharma path that we need to tread, step by step, to achieve buddhahood.According to 'Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand', the Lamrim is complete because "it contains all the subject matter of sutra and tantra" (p.70).All of the    whole meaning of all the scriptures comes under the three scopes.

In more detail,the Lamrim contains all the instructions from Atisha in 'The Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment'. Atisha, who brought the second wave of Buddhism to Tibet, wrote the 'Lamp on the Path' in response to the Bodhisattva King Jangjub Oe's request for "some error-free yet easy-to-practice Dharma...one that includes the whole path and encompasses all the intent of the Victorious One's scriptures - the sutras, tantras and commentaries.."(p.47, 'Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand').Thus 'The Lamp on the Path' contains "the synthesis of the entire subject matter of the scriptures"(p.71. 'Liberation

Thus Je Tsongkapa said: "(Atisha's 'Lamp of the Path') seems to incorporate and teach within the stages of the path all the instructions of the scriptures and their commentaries".(p.70."Liberation".

Thus, when we study the Lamrim today, we're studying the transmitted teachings of the whole Path of Dharma, all of Lord Buddha's 84,000 teachings, that have come down to us in an unbroken lineage.

yontenjamyang

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 08:39:59 AM »
Thank You Vajrastorm for this post.To say the Lamrim is the whole path is really an understatement and I would like to share the following.

It is a graduated path. This means that within the Lamrim there are 3 scopes ie the Small, Medium and Great. To achieve the Great scope one needs to tread the Small and Medium. To achieve the Medium scope one needs to tread the Small scope as well. One aspire to have better rebirth on the Small scope, Liberation on the Medium scope and Buddhahood on the Great scope. It is like if we want to climb to the third floor of a building we must climb to the second floor first and similarly for the second floor one needs to climb the first  floor first. To achieve the Small scope is an achievement and the Medium is a greater achievement and the Great scope is the ultimate achievement.

The foundation the practice. These foundation practices are applicable for all 3 scopes. These foundation practices are qualities of the author, the Dharma and how to listen and teach the Dharma; how to prepare for the meditation, the meditation itself (which includes the seven limbs prayers), reliance on a spiritual guide.

Then we proceed to the Small, Medium and Great scope practice.

The Small scope practices are precious human rebirth, death and impermanence, sufferings of the lower realm and culminating in refuge and understanding karma. If we do the small scope practices well we will not be reborn in the lower 3 realms of hell, hungry ghost and animals. That is the aspiration.

The Medium scope practices are sufferings of the higher realms and samsara in general, delusions, the 4 noble truths, the 12 dependent links/Wheel of Life and the three high trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom.

The Great Scope practices are developing and practicing Boddhicitta which include the 6 perfections, mental quiescence, wisdom and superior seeing and in dependent on these practices complete the Mahayana paths of accumulations, preparation, seeing, meditation and no-more-learning (Buddhahood). It is possible to attain Buddhahood is a single lifetime (or a few lifetime) if one practice the Vajrayana path. In the Vajrayana or Tantric path one practice the action,performance, yoga and highest yoga tantra and achieve FULL PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT. Then one is a Buddha.

It must also be stressed that just by reciting, studying and mastering the Lamrim intellectually generates good seeds but is not enough to achieve any of the scopes. The practices must be internalized, practiced well for the attainments to arise.


Positive Change

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 05:54:23 PM »
There is great danger in studying the lamrim without a proper motivation!

The danger is that if the motivation is not corrected along the way, the practicioner is doomed, set for failure because the very foundations are weak and will easily crumble with the slightest emergence of doubt which could result in abandoning one's practice altogether based on wrong views. And to give up one's Dharma practice brings about the karma of not finding Dharma thereafter, one of the worse karma possible!

Yet the lamrim is very clear about that and from the very beginning! And still some people study it like students do at university, as an "outside" knowledge, without applying it to one self. What is the point then?

It is like having a life threatening disease and be given a cure but after studying and understanding the benefits, we proceed in flushing it down the toilet!!!

Big Uncle

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 06:28:06 PM »
Atisha, who composed the Bodhipradipa or Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment was a brilliant master for having conceptualized the notion of condensing all of the Buddha's teachings into a single text. Then, Lama Tsongkhapa was equally brilliant for recognizing its virtues and suitability for practice. As a response, he composed 3 texts as commentaries to this text.

One is the Great Exposition on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (extended text), the 3 Principle Paths (shorter text) and Foundation of All Perfections (shortest text). This is the amazing brilliance of Lama Tsongkhapa because he realized that practitioners of the future are so distracted that shorter texts are necessary for modern practitioners with shorter attention span. Here's the shortest text as composed by Lama Tsongkhapa:-


Following a kind master, foundation of all perfections,

Is the very root and basis of the path.

Inspire me to see this clearly

And to make every effort to follow well.



Precious human life, gained but once,

Has great potential but is easily lost.

Inspire me to remember this constantly

And to think day and night of taking its essence.



I must remember that death is quick to strike,

For spirit quivers in flesh like a bubble in water,

And after death one’s good and evil deeds

Trail after one like the shadow trails the body.



Understanding that this most certainly is true,

May I discard every level of wrong,

And generate an infinite mass of goodness;

Inspire me to be thus continually aware.



Sensual gluttony is a gate to suffering

And is not worthy of a lucid mind.

Inspire me to realize the shortcomings of samsara

And to give birth to the great wish for blissful freedom.



And inspire me that with mindfulness and alertness

Born from thoughts ultimately pure,

I may live in accord with the holy dharma,

The ways leading to personal liberation.



Just as I myself have fallen into samsara’s waters,

So have all other sentient beings.

Inspire me to see this and really to practice

Bodhi-mind, that carries the weight of freeing them.



Yet without habituation in the three types of morality,

Thought-training accomplishes no enlightenment.

Inspire me to know this deeply, and to train intensely

In the various ways of the great bodhisattvas.



And inspire me to pacify distorted mental wanderings

And to decipher the ultimate meaning of life,

That I may give birth within my mindstream

To the path combining concentration and wisdom.



One who trains in these common Mahayana practices

Becomes a vessel worthy of the supreme vehicle, Vajrayana.

Inspire me that I may quickly and easily

Arrive at that portal of fortunate beings.



The foundation of what then produces the two powers

Is the guarding of the pledges and commitments

      of tantric initiation.

Inspire me so that I may have uncontrived knowledge of this

And guard my discipline as I do my very life.



And inspire me so that I may gain realization of the main

      practices

Of the two stages of Vajrayana, essence of the tantric path;

And, by sitting relentlessly in four daily sessions of yoga,

Actualize just what the sages have taught.



Inspire me that the masters who have unfolded

      the sublime path within me

And the spiritual friends who have inspired me may live long;

And that the myriad inner and outer interferences

Be completely and utterly calmed forever.



In all future lives may I never be parted

From the perfect lamas or the pure ways of dharma.

May I gain every experience of the paths and stages

And quickly attain the stage of Vajradhara.

 

Request

 

Glorious, kind, precious root lama,

Please take your seat on the lotus and moon in my heart.

Please take care of me with your great kindness

And grant me the attainments of your body, speech,

      and mind.

 

Yonten Zhirgyurma

 

YON TEN KUN GYI ZHIR GYUR DRIN CHEN JE

TSUL ZHIN TEN PA LAM GYI TSA WA RU

LEK PAR THONG NE BE PA DU MA YI

GU PA CHEN PO TEN PAR CHIN GYI LOB



LEN CHIK NYE PAY DEL WAY TEN ZANG DI

SHIN TU NYE KA DON CHEN SHE GYUR NE

NYIN TSEN KUN TU NYING PO LEN PAY LO

GYUN CHE ME PAR KYE WAR CHIN GYI LOB



LU SOK YO WA CHU YI CHU BUR ZHIN

NYUR DU JIK PAY CHI WA DREN PA DANG

SHI WAY JE SU LU DANG DRIP MA ZHIN

KAR NAK LE DRE CHI ZHIN DRANG WA LA



NGE PA TEN PO NYE NE NYE PAY TSOK

TRA ZHING TRA WA NAM KYANG PONG WA DANG

GE TSOK THA DAK DRUP PAR CHE PA LA

TAK TU BAK DANG DEN PAR CHIN GYI LOB



CHE PE MI NGOM DUK NGEL KUN GYI GO

YI TEN MI RUNG SI PAY PHUN TSOK KYI

NYE MIK RIK NE THAR PAY DE WA LA

DON NYER CHEN POR KYE WAR CHIN GYI LOB



NAM DAK SAM PA DE YI DRANG PA YI

DREN DANG SHE ZHIN BAK YO CHEN PA YI

TEN PAY TSA WA SO SOR THAR PA LA

DRUP PA NYING POR CHE PAR CHIN GYI LOB



RANG NYI SI TSOR LHUNG WA JI ZHIN DU

MAR GYUR DRO WA KUN KYANG DE DRA WAR

THONG NE DRO WA DROL WAY KHUR CHER WAY

JANG CHUB SEM CHOK JONG PAR CHIN GYI LOB



SEM TSOM KYE KYANG TSUL TRIM NAM SUM LA

GOM PA ME NA JANG CHUB MI DRUP PAR

LEK PAR THONG NE GYEL SE DOM PA LA

TSOM PA DRAK PO LOP PAR CHIN GYI LOB



LOK PAY YUL LA YEND WA ZHI CHE CHING

YANG DAK DON LA TSUL ZHIN CHO PA YI

ZHI NE LAK THONG ZUNG DU DREL WAY LAM

NYUR DU GYU LA KYE WAR CHIN GYI LOB



THUN MONG LAM JANG NO DU GYUR WA NA

THEK PA KUN GYI CHOK GYUR DORJE THEK

KEL ZANG KYE WO JUK NGOK DAM PA DER

DE LAK NYI DU JUK PAR CHIN GYI LOB



DE TSE NGO DRUP NAM NYI DRUP PAY ZHI

NAM DAK DAM TSIK DOM PAR SUNG PA LA

CHO MA MIN PAY NGE WA NYE GYUR NE

SOK DANG DO TE SUNG WAR CHIN GYI LOB



DE NE GYU DEY NYING PO RIM NYI KI

NE NAM JI ZHIN TOK NE TSO PA YI

THUN ZHI NAM JOR CHO LE MI YEL WAR

DAM PAY SUNG ZHIN DRUP PAR CHIN GYI LOB



DE TAR LAM ZANG TON PAY SHE NYEN DANG

TSUL ZHIN DRUP PAY DROK NAM ZHAB TEN CHING

CHI DANG NANG GI PHAR DU CHO PAY TSOK

NYE WAR ZHI WAR CHIN GYI LAB TU SOL



KYE WA KUN TU YANG DAK LA MA DANG

DREL ME CHO KYI PEL LA LONG CHO CHING

SA DANG LAM GYI YON TEN RAB DZOK NE

DORJE CHANG GI GO PHANG NYUR THOP SHOK

 

vajrastorm

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 07:56:45 AM »
The Lamrim is the whole transmitted Path to Enlightenment. This whole path can only be realized step by step , stage by stage, by properly relying on one's Spiritual Guide. This fact is born out by the words of the First Stanza of Je  Tsongkapa's Lamrim Lineage Prayer - "The Foundation of All Good Qualities":

"Well realizing that the root of the path,
The foundation for every realization,
Is to properly rely on my kind Guru,
Bless me to do so with great effort and devotion."

Guru Devotion is the root and foundation of the Path. Without Guru Devotion and proper reliance on one's Guru, one will not realize any aspect of the Lamrim.Without realization, how can one claim to be making any progress on one's Dharma Path?

Tenzin K

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 08:49:28 AM »
Although lamrim texts cover much the same subject areas, subjects within them may be arranged in different ways. The lamrim of Ati?a starts with bodhicitta, the altruistic mind of enlightenment, followed by taking the bodhisattva vows. Gampopa's lamrim, however, starts with the Buddha nature, followed by the preciousness of human rebirth. Tsongkhapa's texts start with reliance on a guru, followed by the preciousness of human rebirth, and continue with the paths of the modest, medium and high scopes.
Gampopa and Tsongkhapa expanded the short root-text of Ati?a into an extensive system to understand the entire Buddhist philosophy. In this way, subjects like karma, rebirth, Buddhist cosmology and the practice of meditation are gradually explained in logical order.
A commonly used outline for lamrim teachings today in English translation from Tibetan is that of Liberation in the Palm of your Hand by Pabongka Rinpoche. An abbreviated and annotated outline follows to show the structure of this lamrim.
•   the greatness of the author of the lamrim, to establish the authenticity of the teaching
•   the greatness of the lamrim itself, to gain respect for it
•   the way the instructions are to be received and given
•   the way the students are to be guided through the subjects
this fourth subject has two divisions:
•   the way to rely on a spiritual guide
•   the way to train your mind on the basis of the correct way to rely on the spiritual guide
This last heading contains the rest of the instructions under the headings:
•   the way to encourage yourself to take the essence of this precious human rebirth
•   the way to take the essence of this precious human rebirth (that is: training your mind in the paths of the three scopes included within the lamrim)
The path shared with persons who have the modest scope motivation (striving for a rebirth in the upper realms)
•   the reality that this life will end and that you will die
•   the suffering in a rebirth in the lower realms (a rebirth as hell being, hungry ghost or animal, which you want to avoid)
•   (so you) take refuge in the three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
•   (and adjust your behaviour of body, speech and mind according to the) law of cause and effect/ karma
which will lead you to a favourable rebirth within cyclic existence in the human-, demigod-, or god realm.
The path shared with persons who have the medium scope motivation (striving for liberation of cyclic existence)
The truth of suffering (in cyclic existence in general, including the favourable rebirths)
•   The truth of the causes of suffering (the afflictive emotions, especially ignorance)
•   The truth of cessation (there is a state that is free of suffering and its origins)
•   The truth of paths (the way to attain this state free of suffering and its causes by practising ethics, concentration and wisdom)
Another presentation of the middle scope subjects is the presentation of the 12 links of dependent arising
The training in the medium scope path will lead to the development of the wish to be liberated from all un-free rebirths in cyclic existence through the power of afflictive emotions
The path of persons who have the high scope motivation (striving for complete buddhahood)
•   the advantages of the mind of enlightenment (the wish to become a buddha for the welfare of all sentient beings)
•   the way to develop the mind of enlightenment
•   the 7-point instruction in seeing all sentient beings as your mothers (from previous lives and contemplating their kindness towards you)
•   the instruction on how to exchange your self-interest for others' interest (by looking at the drawbacks of self-cherishing and the advantages of cherishing others)
•   the way to train your mind after developing the mind of enlightenment
•   training in the perfection of generosity
•   training in the perfection of ethics
•   training in the perfection of patience
•   training in the perfection of joyful effort
•   training in the perfection of concentration
•   training in the perfection of wisdom
for a more detailed outline, see the external link "Lam Rim: The gradual Path to Enlightenment, Thubten Chodron's online Lamrim Outline"

Midakpa

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 09:44:58 AM »
It is important, in order to fully understand the content of the Lamrim, to meditate on the topics. After his studies, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche visited his guru, Dagpo Lama Rinpoche in his cave and was sent into a lamrim retreat. Pabongka Rinpoche would meditate on a lamrim topic and return to explain what he had understood. He did this for ten years and became a great lamrim master. Without meditation and practice during the meditation breaks, our knowledge of the lamrim will only be at the intellectual level and not experiential.

For those who are interested in meditating on lamrim topics, there is a step-by-step manual called "The Meditation Handbook" by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. In this practical guide, there are twenty-one meditation topics ranging from "Relying upon a Spiritual Guide" to "Superior Seeing". Personally I've found this manual very useful and have benefited from it.

dondrup

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 02:59:36 PM »
It is the greatest gift that one will ever get if one has the good fortune to study Lamrim. A concise and yet profound compilation of all 84000 teachings of Lord Buddha. A practitioner who has studied Lamrim before will be able to assimilate and consolidate teachings from the various schools and vehicles of Buddhism. It is an essential road map or framework for all  Buddhist practitioners who need to know how to traverse the path to liberation and enlightenment systematically.  Without Lamrim, new practitioners of Dharma will be lost in the ocean of Dharma teachings available in the current World now. 

We may study Lamrim on our own but when we encounter teachings which are interpretative, we need to rely on a qualified spiritual guide who holds the lineage and knows the actual meaning.  Transmission of Lamrim must be done by a qualified lineage holder in order for the blessing of the lineage to be passed on to the practitioners so that they can realise the definitive meaning of the teachings as intended by Lord Buddha.


ratanasutra

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2012, 03:59:07 PM »
I came across the teaching of the Value of the lam rim by Lama Zopa which i would like to share with everyone here. Basically we need to have a guru devotion, renunciation of samsara and a bodhichitta mind when we fully develop these three qualities, we will be in the right path in spiritual journey which will lead us to attainment.

The Value of the Lam-rim

Dedicating Oneself to the Lam-rim   
Rinpoche made the following comment on achieving realizations of the lam-rim.
I regard as the most important thing in the world anybody who dedicates his or her life to achieving lam-rim realizations, with the goal to liberate numberless beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment.

Lam-rim   
Rinpoche made the following comments on the value of the lam-rim.
Lam-rim is what you should focus on your whole life, even while you are doing your job. You should keep your mind in this. It is the most meaningful, most profound practice, doing each action with the mind in bodhicitta. This should be your practice; this is what you should try to accomplish in life.

***

Keep the mind in the lam-rim—guru devotion, renunciation of samsara, and bodhicitta. These things help you to not commit negative karma again. Every day, meditate on the lam-rim and keep it in your mind, even during break times from sitting meditation.

***

Please make your life most beneficial with the thought of bodhicitta.

***

The root of the problems in your life becomes non-existent when you start to cherish others.

***

There are so many practices, but the whole thing comes down to living your daily life with a bodhicitta motivation, putting all your effort in that, whatever you do. This way, your life isn’t wasted and becomes very full of joy and happiness, with no regrets later, especially when you die. Then, you can die with a smile outside and a smile in your heart.

***

The root of the path to enlightenment is guru devotion. Through meditation, you develop true devotion, and also from your personal experience of the guru. By looking at Buddha you see the guru and your mind is transformed. After that transformation, the Buddha and the guru are inseparable. All the Buddhas and all the gurus (like milk mixed with tea) become total oneness. You have a definite understanding from your heart that remains not just for a few hours or a few days but is stable and does not change.

***

The very bottom line is to do all your actions with bodhicitta. That is the best, most meaningful way to think during your break time. This makes your life most beneficial. As much as possible, with awareness, keep your attitude and thoughts in bodhicitta, the thought of benefiting others. Try to do all activities with that mind, including your job and throughout the day. This way, even in your break time, whatever you do becomes the cause of happiness.

Otherwise, your most precious life is used to create the cause of suffering. One’s whole life becomes like that, so sad, the most sad thing. While there were all the opportunities to achieve enlightenment, the highest success, the most beneficial thing for all sentient beings, instead it is just wasted.

***

Of all the practices, the main thing is meditation on the lam-rim, to have lam-rim realizations, tantric practice is secondary.

***

There is no harm that comes to oneself that doesn't come from one's own mind, one's past negative karma.

***

The essence is to collect the most extensive merit in your daily life with the attitude of always keeping your motivation in bodhicitta, the thought to benefit all sentient beings. The more sentient beings you think about, the more merit you create. Try to think, whatever you do, 24 hours a day, of sentient beings: when you chant mantras, when you eat, go to sleep, when you go to work, and when you are talking; if you can, keep your mind in that thought. Then, with every action, you collect numberless merits. Not only is this how to have a happy, satisfying, fulfilling life every day, every moment, but especially it is best for the future, and not only for liberation from samsara, but for enlightenment.

***

What makes your whole life most beneficial is bodhicitta. The root of the path to enlightenment is correctly devoting oneself to the virtuous friend, in thought and action.

***

Obtaining and following the guru’s word, for us, is really wish-fulfilling, because by following advice then you achieve everything, including enlightenment. The more you do that, the quicker and easier it is to achieve enlightenment. Each word of your guru that you follow is more precious than wish-granting jewels filling the whole sky. Remember this always, how precious and how important it is.
 ***

RedLantern

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2012, 04:22:36 PM »
There is completely unbroken lineage of these lamrim instructions from Buddha Sakyamuni down to our present Spiritual guides.The instructions of  lamrim is easy to understand  and practice ,and can readily be applied to solving the problems of daily life.We must understand the benefits that Lamrim offers.
Then by joyfully and patiently doing these meditations,we shall gradually experience the fruits of Lamrim
Eventually,we shall attain from all suffering from all sufferings and the unchanging peace and happiness of enlightenment.
Lamrim instructions were compiled by the great Buddhist master Atisha,an Indian scholar and meditator who was united to Tibet by King Jangchub O in AD 1042 and became on of the main figures in bringing Buddhism to Tibet.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: The Lamrim is the whole Dharma path.
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2015, 03:51:50 PM »
While we study the Lamrin, we must have the right motivation and experience the essence of this wonderful book.

This article gives clear and interesting aspects to the Lamrim and the motivation we need to set in our study for our own spiritual journey.  Very interesting article for all Varjayana Buddhists.