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Buddhadharma : Summer 2005
buddhadharma| 21 |summer 2005 Geshe TenZin wanGYal rinPoChe: It is essen- tial to have a good balance between study and practice, and the relationship between what you study and the meditation prac- tice you do is important to consider. In the Buddhist monastic traditions of the East, there are clear and established programs of study and practice. The Western student, however, faces a vast sea of information from a variety of Buddhist schools. I will suggest some guidelines. First, notice what you are drawn to reading and reflecting upon. Find the source of those teachings and see if it is a legitimate tradition, an unbroken lineage where the teachings have been transmitted from teacher to student up to the present day. look for a complete path with a rich body of literature. In order to dedicate yourself to a path and take it seriously as a life’s pursuit, you need to look deeply and then commit fully. Perhaps this is not always emphasized in the West, where so much information is available. To study and not meditate is merely an intellectual pursuit. That is unbalanced. Then again, sometimes people don’t study enough. Whatever meditation practice you commit to, your study should support that, so that in your practice you know what you are doing and you have a reference for your experiences. Your study guides your practice, and your practice validates your study. If you are practicing and don’t know where to refer your experiences, you can create unnecessary doubt. And studying without taking your reflections to your meditation cushion and allowing them to ripen as direct experience also sows seeds of doubt. There is a Tibetan saying, “listen (thos), reflect (bsam), meditate (bsgom), and expe- rience (nyams).” Sometimes, in reference to the experience, it is said, “Experience, and then let the experience go.” listen in a way that allows you to develop the abil- ity to be less influenced by your projec- tions and speculations. Reflect upon what you read or hear until you understand it, and then meditate until you experience it directly. Often people elaborate upon their experiences and end up in their fantasies. Be careful to avoid this trap. The process of meditation and direct observation can help you to clean and clear the condi- tioned mind that distorts what you read and learn. Meditate until you experience, and then do not hold on to your experi- ence; let it go. Gain confidence from your DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST dzogchen the natural great perfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by many to be "the teaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate, essentialized, adaptable, and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural Great Perfection, directly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is our true nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats are held across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS Garrison, NY Summer July 16 – 31, 2005 Santa Rosa, CA Fall October 8–16, 2005 Garrison, NY Winter December 30, 2005 – January 8, 2006 Joshua Tr ee,CA Spring March 25 – April 2, 2006 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY • NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS • PRIVATE, SEMI-PRIVAT E, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail email@example.com, or call 617-628 -1702. Lama Surya is a Lineage Holder of Tibetan Buddhism in the Rimé (non-sectarian) tradition. For over thirty years, including more than eight years in secluded retreat, he has studied with the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism. With his open and lively style, he is particularly effective in the transmission of Buddhism in viable Western forms by presenting Buddhist ethics and insight, as well as methods of practice, in a manner accessible to all. retreat with Gehlek Rimpoche Founder of Jewel Heart TARA Meditation and Teaching Retreat June 19-25, 2005 Albion, MI www.jewelheart.org For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org 734.994.3387 ext.2 Ta ra, the goddess of com- passion, has the ability to protect from fear and awaken love. The Retreat will include guided visualiza- tion and meditation to heal and balance both mind and body. choose love be fearless JEWEL HEART