Lam Rim Classes
Where: Augustine Centre, 2 Minona Street Hawthorn. Main Hall.
When: 8.00-9.00pm, Tuesday evenings
In 2019 we will continue to study the meditations of the path to enlightenment. Thus the meditation classes will continue in the usual format.
They are for those who have been studying with Venerable Toby over the last year or two. They would also be suitable for those with some related background.
Lam Rim is a systematic approach to meditation practice. It is unique to Tibetan Buddhism. The method condenses the essence of Buddhist practice of the path to enlightenment, putting it into progressive stages of understanding. Most of all lam rim gives meditation techniques to gain the benefit of these views.
Lam means path. Rim means graded stages. Hence Lam Rim is sometimes translated as Graduated Path. Another translation is Stages of the Path. Also when put into context it may be rendered Path to Enlightenment. Sometimes it is called the Graduated Path to Enlightenment.
The approach has been recommended as the foundation of spiritual development. It gives increased understanding and realisation of the Tibetan Buddhist wisdom tradition. Lam Rim is the foundation for engaging with the tantric (vajrayana) teachings.
How we approach Buddhist meditation classes
The Buddhist meditation classes take our meditation and mindfulness to the next level. When we combine a study of Buddhist philosophy with meditation practice we can make real progress toward enlightenment. As a result there is no problem which we cannot resolve, and no attainment that is not possible. If we get serious and committed, progress comes quickly.
Life gives so many options. So there are a trillion paths that we can take. Where we go depends on which of the zillions of impulses we follow. We can categorize paths into good ones and bad ones. A good path takes us toward greater and greater happiness. By contrast a bad path in life takes us ever deeper into suffering.
Of course we choose the good path.
We learn that everything good in life comes as a result of good karma – good actions. Thus all happiness, peace and joy, as well as all good circumstances and comforts, are a result of positive karma. So we want to create good karma. And we learn that this depends on good states of mind, or virtues.
Virtuous states are a genuine source of happiness to both oneself and others. They stimulate the impulses of good karma and favour the experiences of happiness. Also they bring about the circumstances congruent with happiness.
Most importantly, good karma will always take us along a good, sound and beneficial path.
All good then. Virtue creates good karma, and that creates happiness and benefit. Too easy.
Class is on again this Tuesday March 26.
Path to Enlightenment
Well, not that easy actually. There remains the limiting influence of previous bad karma. And also the impulses toward negative states. El Grumpo lives. Le desiree chases after the attractive. Finally I was feeling nice and Buddhisty. ‘And I was getting into all this meditation, virtue, love, compassion, patience and peace.’ Then somebody gives me grief and I am ready to sacrifice all sense of peace in pursuit of revenge.
What to do then?
The negative habits are strong. But our impulse to virtue still weak. So there is inner work to do.
Hence we need meditation practices designed to purify negative karma. We need to elimate all the negative impulses along with their habit energy.
At the same time we need meditation practices designed to strengthen virtue. And meditation to increase positive karma. These meditation practices become our spiritual sadhana, our way of approaching enlightenment.
The Buddhist meditation classes provide the knowledge to be able to go about this. Also they give us the opportunity to study further and refine our practice of meditation. The classes lay out the steps to enlightenment. They reveal the means of awakening.
Where: Augustine Centre: 2 Minona Street Hawthorn. Main Hall.
When: 10.30am-5.00pm, Sundays.
The following dates have been booked for retreat days during 2019:
A retreat day is an opportunity to deepen your meditation experience. The day gives the added confidence of guided sessions, explanations and discussion. Retreat days are best for those who are familiar with the basics. The topics for each day will be posted closer to the date.
Setting aside a day for spiritual development and relaxation can help sort through obstacles. It will open the mind to new insights and great clarity. It allows an uninterrupted go at your spiritual practice. So meditations build on each other. This gives a stronger and deeper experience of where meditation can take you.
It rare to be able to make time for spiritual development. The pressing nature of life pull us into being ever more busy. So a precious time is the days we are able to give to a greater purpose. It is time we spend in a protected environment. We aim at developing our meditation practice. We discover more of our personal journey to enlightenment.
Consistent daily meditation brings constant improvement. Retreat days deepen the effect of this. We try to cover a different approach each retreat so our skillset becomes broader.
The constant is a lift in mood, more peace and a smile at the end of the day.