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Learning from Tibetan Buddhism - a Personal Account

by Vessantara

This is a personal account by Vessantara of his many years of engagement with Tibetan Buddhist approaches to meditation and general Buddhist practice. He carefully weighs up the different aspects of exploring a tradition outside of your own, and evokes Tibetan Buddhism itself through the story of his initiation into the Vajrayogini sadhana. A lovely, thoughtful talk that pays tribute to the effect of one ancient form of Dharma in a modern practitioner's own life. There is also a thorough discussion of visualization meditation, and a moving celebration of the teachers who have helped him on the path.

Given at the Western Buddhist Order Convention 2005.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. First Buddhist contact - Samye Ling; Akong Rinpoche; meditation intensive; meeting the FWBO and Sangharakshita; advanced practice (5:50) 
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2. Building the London Buddhist Centre; the red dakini dances in New York; Vajrayogini; writing to Dhardo Rimpoche (4:55) 
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3. Two Lamas; Dagyab Rinpoche; Vajrayogini initiation; Dhardo Rimpoche's stroke; Dagyab again - an unusual situation in the Order (5:17) 
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4. Two teachers, two approaches to the Dharma - some difficulties; principial Dharma; challenge and ideas of lineage (6:35) 
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5. Setting up conditions to explore; recommendations; consulting; checking the details; learning and appreciation; something to offer; value of experience (6:17) 
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6. The huge spectrum of Tibetan Buddhism; not starry-eyed - over-loaded with practice; loss of depth through generations (4:07) 
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7. What Vessantara has gained; the 4 Reminders; deeper appreciation of law of karma; developing Bodhichitta - Lo Jong; devotion to Dharma and faith - Dagyab and Trijang Rinpoches; a rounded tradition (6:56) 
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8. Visualization & sadhana; 4 conditions for yidam practice; reflection on views; scientific materialism - effect on sadhana; confidence-giving - proper initiation (7:43) 
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9. Lineage - context for sadhana practice; sense of connection; ongoing support - witnessing Going for Refuge in meditation (5:08) 
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10. Being moved by depth of faith in the Dharma; integrity and open-heartedness; true advanced practice (4:18) 


Total running time: 57:06

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