Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path
The lamrim (stages of the path) presentation of Buddhist teachings has become a core topic of study at many Buddhist centers in the West. For busy practitioners, the lamrim gives a concise and easily graspable picture of the Buddhist path. Best-selling author Thubten Chodron has a unique ability to present these teachings. In this volume, she provides clear explanations of the stages of the path, while the audio tracks on the accompanying CD contain guided meditations on each of the topics covered in the text. The meditation teachings of lamrim, says Buddhist teacher Thubten Chodron, are like ready-made clothes that are easy to wear: they're systematized so that we can wear them right away, so we can learn and practice them in an organized fashion.
Lamrim can be translated in various ways: "stages of the path," "steps on the path," or "gradual path." "Gradual path" reminds us that the process of transforming the mind, unlike so many other things in our hurry-up society, is a slow and thoughtful one. These systematic teachings are the subject of this book and the accompanying CD. The lamrim presents a step-by-step method to tame the mind, and each person will find meaning and insight according to his or her level of understanding. As readers practice these meditations repeatedly, their comprehension and experience will transform and deepen, even though the words used to spark the meditation sessions remain the same.
The first section of Guided Meditations discusses how to establish a daily practice, how to set up an altar, and how to approach the two kinds of meditation—stabilizing and analytical. The second presents the meditations. The third supplies an overview, instructions for working with distractions, antidotes to mental afflictions, advice for newcomers, and suggestions on how to deepen Dharma practice. The accompanying CD contains over fourteen hours of guided meditations, led by Thubten Chodron. Individuals who live far from Buddhist teachers or Dharma centers will appreciate the personal guidance offered with these meditations, enabling them to begin and continue a daily meditation practice.
This a new and expanded version of Guided Meditations on the Lam Rim, and the recording was previously published in a 14-CD format under that name.
"I am very happy to learn that Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron has undertaken to record the analytical meditations on lamrim. As I often tell people, the analytical meditations on the points of the lamrim will transform our minds and enable us to become more compassionate and wise. I encourage people to do these meditations as part of their daily practice." —H.H. the Dalai Lama
"Ven. Thubten Chodron is someone whose life embodies the virtues of kindness, simplicity, and a clarity of vision which lie at the heart of the Buddha's teachings. It is these perennial qualities that shine through her writings and touch the hearts of readers all over the world." —Thupten Jinpa, translator for H.H. the Dalai Lama
"Prayer and aspiration are not enough for deep transformation; reasoning is necessary. Transformation comes from studying the lamrim, thinking about the topics, and doing analytical meditation on them. With a firm grounding in lamrim, we'll be able to work with our mind no matter what is going on in it or around us. When we do this, our Dharma practice becomes so tasty! We don't get bored practicing. It becomes very exciting and fascinating." —Ven. Chodron on the importance of lamrim
"Ven. Chodron is well known for her many clear writings. As the CD shows, she also has a clear, gentle, and calm voice, which makes the selected meditations on the Stages of the Path a delight and also very positive to listen to. . . . If the graduated path, as the lamrim approach is also called, has proven helpful to countless generations of monastics, it is even more important to modern Western lay practitioners who are dealing with a good many more challenges and distractions. I can recommend without reservation both Ven. Chodron’s book and the audiorecording which generously extends over 14 hours." —Georg Feuerstein, PhD
"Listen and learn as the lighthearted, happy, kind voice of Bikshuni Thubten Chodron guides us along the gradual path to enlightenment. Yes, this wonderful 224-page book is accompanied by a fourteen-hour MP3 CD with no less than 46 meditations! How often have we heard a teacher describe the teachings of the lam-rim and gone away wondering how to put them into practice—and here is a way to actually experience them. No more excuses: Soon the rhythm of meditating becomes as habitual and essential as the morning cuppa. Are you working with distractions? Dealing with mental afflictions? Distinctly possible under this gentle, kindly guidance." —Mandala Magazine
"I have found few guides through the sometimes-complex practices of Tibetan Buddhism that are this thorough, accessible, and practical. The questions Chodron presents throughout the book and MP3 CD are the types of questions you might want to tape to your bathroom mirror, and she provides enough of them that you could easily start your day contemplating a different question for months. This is not the sort of book that requires a sequential reading; it is superbly organized to provide quick and easy access to any of the concepts you are currently working with, and there is plenty for those at each stage of the path. Even if you are not strictly a student of Tibetan Buddhism, there are enough core spiritual and ethical concepts covered in this book as to make it a worthwhile read for anyone . . . whatever your primary spiritual practice." —The Feminist Review