Read a Book!
Khenpo Drimed Dawa’s book on the complete path of Tibetan Buddhism for householders. Paperback and eBook versions are available.
Khenpo Dean is known for his concise, clear explanations of the dharma. Innate Happiness provides background and a series of concise, incremental steps toward compassion-emptiness – enlightenment – for Western householders in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It is largely adapted from the teachings of Padmasambhava, the second Buddha. The book guides the reader through a brief history of Buddhism in India and Tibet, as well as its major principles. This is followed by 52 concise daily practices on the Path of Individual Liberation, the Path of Altruism, the Path of Tantra, and the Path of Great Perfection. Each path takes the reader through the Three Teachings: ethics, meditation, and wisdom. These are then summarized into an explanation of the innate happiness we know as enlightenment, the realization of compassion-emptiness. Thus, it covers a complete cycle for study, contemplation, meditation and realization. Each practice is highly suitable for the busy lives of Westerners with little time for formal meditation. This is also the core text for our Essentials of Buddhism classes.
The eBook is available from Amazon.com and other outlets. Free readers are available for most computers and other devices. The paperback version is also available. May ALL beings be happy!
The ngondro or preliminary practices of Vajrayana Buddhism help you set your intention and commitment to fully follow these teachings. There are several approaches that have been taught. The primary approach involves 500,000 repetitions with at least 100,000 prostrations and other supporting actions. This can be viewed as a massive undertaking by Western practitioners with jobs, families, etc. It can take several years to complete these, and we tend to be impatient! Some masters have given alternative instructions on how to complete these requirements, while still showing to the Lama your commitment and dedication in preparing for the more advanced practices. Among these instructions is doing a 100-day contemplative retreat. This is the practice described in this book, based on the Longchen Nyingtik. It is also a supporting commentary (“son” text) to the widely respected text, The Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche, which is cross referenced throughout the book. Here, specific contemplations are assigned each day, some being repeated for up to three days for a total of 100 days. It need not be done for full days, such as the traditional four sessions during each day format. But twice each day “as much as you can” is recommended. Repetition with frequent changes provides a strong psychological method of reinforcement, as well as sustaining interest over the complete 100 days. May this be of benefit to you and your practice.
May all beings be happy!