The Meditator’s Nest Vol. 1

Building a Spiritual Practice: Oral Teachings on the Essentials of the Buddhist Path

Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin

Meditators Nest vol 1 cover - Copy

Drawing from his scholastic and contemplative training, as well as his personal understanding of modern life, Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin offers excellent guidance to both beginners and experienced practitioners on the Buddha’s way. Based on the pith instructions transmitted in the Sakya tradition, such as the teachings on Parting from the Four Attachments, as well as the Indian classics of Buddhist philosophy like Chandrakirti’s Introduction to the Middle Way, the teachings offered in this book show us how to integrate both elements—theory and practice—in a most meaningful way on our path.

Together with The Meditator’s Nest, Vol. 2: A Mahayana Meditation Manual, this book forms a set, a precious companion for those travelling the path to awakening.

Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin is the abbot of Tsechen Dongag Choeling, a Sakya monastery in Mundgod, South India. He studied under the late Khenchen Appey Rinpoche at Sakya College, where he also taught for several years, and completed a three-year retreat under the guidance of H.E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche. Since 2001 Khenpo Jamyang Tenzin has been teaching philosophy and meditation at the International Buddhist Academy.

Contents

Preface

How to use this commentary

The Commentary

Introduction

Stage One. Taking a safe direction in life

  1. Confidence and trust: going for refuge
    1. The causes of taking refuge
    2. The objects of refuge: the Three Precious Jewels
    3. The manner of taking refuge in the three objects
    4. The benefits of taking refuge
    5. The precepts

Stage Two. Setting priorities: turning towards the Dharma

  1. Appreciating what we have: the value of a precious human life
  2. Cultivating a sense of urgency: contemplating impermanence and death
    1. Building up the realization of impermanence and death
    2. The benefits of realizing impermanence
  3. Taking responsibility: reflections on karma—actions and their results
    1. The causes of unwholesome actions
    2. Types of unwholesome actions
    3. The effects of unwholesome deeds
    4. What drives us matters: minding our intentions
    5. Cultivating what is wholesome
    6. Transforming the neutral
  4. Longing for true freedom: contemplating the faults of samsara
    1. The Noble Truth of suffering
    2. The Noble Truth of the origin of suffering
    3. The Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering
    4. The Noble Truth of the path leading to the cessation
    5. Integrating the Four Noble Truths

Stage Three. A change of heart: for the benefit of all

  1. Opening the heart: cultivating loving-kindness
    1. Understanding loving-kindness
    2. The three types of loving-kindness
    3. The sequence of training
    4. Loving-kindness as a divine abode
    5. The objects of loving-kindness
    6. The benefits of cultivating loving-kindness
  2. Cultivating compassion
    1. In praise of compassion
    2. Training the mind: the power of habituation
    3. Cultivating loving-kindness and compassion
    4. The objects of our compassion
  3. Bodhicitta: generating the resolve to become a buddha
    1. Compassion, the root of bodhicitta
    2. The relation between compassion and bodhicitta
    3. The identifying characteristic of bodhicitta
    4. The divisions of bodhicitta
    5. Relative and ultimate bodhicitta
  4. Applied bodhicitta in meditation: cultivating equality and exchanging oneself for others
  5. Applied bodhicitta in daily life: the practice of the paramitas
    1. The paramita of generosity
    2. The paramita of ethical discipline, or morality
    3. The paramita of tolerance
    4. The paramita of enthusiastic joy

Stage Four. Learning to see

  1. Bringing the mind home: the practice of shamatha, calm abiding
    1. The need for concentration
    2. The five hindrances and the eight antidotes
    3. The nine methods of placing the mind
  2. Seeing reality as it is: the practice of vipashyana, superior insight
    1. Dealing wisely with our perceptions
    2. Individuals and phenomena
    3. Inherent existence: perception vs. reality
    4. The practice of vipashyana
    5. Establishing the lack of true existence by means of logical reasoning
    6. Clinging to true existence
    7. Approaching the practice of vipashyana

 Appendix: The seven-limb practice from The Aspiration of Samantabhadra

Glossary

Bibliography

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