Once the essential foundation of the hinayana teachings has been laid, the next step begins with opening the focus of practice to include the world beyond oneself. This personal paradigm shift is the gate to the mahayana teachings, which will be presented systematically in Part Two of the Profound Treasury course. The mahayana begins with the perception of shunyata, the essential emptiness of all phenomena, and with the compassion that naturally arises from that understanding. Judith L. Lief is your guide through the teachings and practices of the Great Vehicle as they were taught by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
In this course, you will:
- Review the hinayana teachings—including the four noble truths and the three precious jewels—giving them context as a foundation for the mahayana path.
- Define bodhichitta—including relative and absolute bodhichitta—and learn how to evoke it in your everyday life.
- Cultivate the four limitless qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
- Explore the concept of twofold egolessness, which reveals the emptiness of reality.
- Deepen your practice of the six paramitas: patience, generosity, discipline, exertion, meditation, and prajna, the means by which the bodhisattva learns to dive directly into difficult experiences.
- Study lojong with The Root Text of the Seven Points of Mind Training and learn to work with the slogans as part of your daily practice.
- Learn the practice of tonglen, or sending and taking, for transforming difficulties into opportunities to open the heart.
- Explore the map of the practitioner’s journey through the lens of the ten bhumis and of the five paths of accumulation, unification, seeing, meditation, and no more learning.
This course includes:
Seven video talks by Judith Lief—ranging from an hour to an hour-and-a-half in length—including Q&A, with transcripts and audio-only versions available
Meditation instruction on practicing shamatha/vipashyana (calm abiding/insight), tonglen (sending and taking), and more
A 50% discount on The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma by Chögyam Trungpa
A list of recommended readings from the book The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion: The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume 2
Contemplations to help you integrate the material into your daily life
Self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson to test your own understanding of the material
Unlimited access to the course
A version of this course will be made available this spring for dharma centers and study groups to explore these teachings in a group setting. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
An Overview of What You’ll Learn:
The Hinayana Foundation
In the first lesson we’ll review the basics of hinayana path—including the four noble truths and the notion of taking refuge. We’ll also learn how the concepts of shila (discipline), samadhi (practice), and prajna (view/insight) apply to this path.
Lightning Flashing in the Sky:
The Discovery of Bodhichitta
In this lesson, we’ll define bodhichitta—both relative and absolute, or ultimate. What inspires bodhichitta in our daily lives? How do we experience glimpses of openness? We’ll start to grapple with the concept of basic goodness. We’ll also contemplate how joy plays a part in the path of the bodhisattva, even though we are relating directly with suffering all the time.
Opening the Heart:
Working with the Four Limitless Ones
In this week’s lesson, we’ll describe the four limitless ones and contemplate offering them to the six realms. We’ll aspire to offer the four limitless ones in everyday life, and gently notice our limitations in doing so. We’ll also explore the difference between the four brahmaviharas and the four limitless ones.
The Mother of All the Buddhas
What is emptiness, and what keeps us from experiencing it in our everyday lives? What is Madhyamika, or the Middle Way? This week we’ll explore these questions as we also learn about twofold egolessness, the differences between relative and ultimate truth, and how we trap ourselves in relative reality.
Engaging with the World:
In this lesson we’ll define the paramitas—or “techniques of nongrasping”—and learn to practice deliberate compassion by working with aspiration and intention. You’ll learn the difference between idiot compassion and genuine compassion. Together, we’ll explore the ideal of the bodhisattva as one who dives directly into challenging situations.
Fifty-nine Reminders to Wake Up:
Mind Training and the Practice of Lojong
In this week’s lesson, we’ll practice tonglen—or sending and taking. We’ll use the lojong slogans of Atisha as reminders of how to train the mind. We’ll also consider some benchmarks for whether or not our practice is working.
A Map of the Journey:
Paths and Bhumis
In this final lesson, we’ll reflect on the direction the mahayana path is taking us. We’ll also define the five paths of accumulation, unification, seeing, meditation, and no more learning.
Judith L. Lief is a Buddhist teacher, writer, and editor. She was a close student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who empowered her as a teacher, and she has edited many of his books including The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma volumes and Milarepa. She was given the title of Acharya, or senior teacher, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. Lief is also active in the field of death and dying, and is the author of Making Friends with Death.
Important Note on Browser Requirements
We are partnering with Instructure.com’s online learning platform Canvas to offer this course. Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release.
Canvas supports the following versions of Flash and popular web browsers:
- Internet Explorer 11 and Edge
- Chrome 56 and 57
- Safari 9 and 10 (Macintosh only)
- Firefox 51 and 52 (Extended Releases are not supported)
- Flash 23 and 24 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plugin. If you cannot update your browser to one of the above versions, you will not be able to access this course. Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but still see the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.