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Meditation is not meditating "on" anything, it is instead a process of becoming familiar with the nature of our minds, with our thoughts and emotions. Through meditation, we can train our minds to be calm and free ourselves from negative thoughts and emotions. We can experience inner peace of mind and panoramic awareness in our everyday lives.
The Nalandabodhi practice path provides a wealth of techniques to guide our meditation. These methods of meditation are presented in written instructions, and explained and conveyed experientially through the oral instructions of a teacher or a practice instructor (PI)
Practice Instructors (PIs) are Nalandabodhi practitioners who have been students of Buddhism for some time, have completed their ngondro practices and the Study Path curriculum, and have made a strong aspiration to benefit the Nalandabodhi sangha by working with others as a guide to their practice. They have also been trained and approved by The Dzgochen Ponlop Rinpoche (NBI) to do this work.
At Nalandabodhi it is customary for each person to have either a PI, or a Practice "buddy," depending on the situation and level of practice. We encourage one another to practice and to discuss practice with each other. Although PIs are intended for Nalandabodhi members only, non-members can request to have a PI for six months in order to help them determine if they would like to become a member of Nalandabodhi.
If you would like a Practice Instructor, contact Tim Lyons.
Shamatha Meditation Practice
The Nalandabodhi practice path begins with a basic resting meditation practice called calm-abiding or shamatha. While shamatha meditation is common to several spiritual traditions and has many techniques, all forms of shamatha are designed to help calm the mind and bring forth its natural qualities of spaciousness, clarity and attentiveness. Practice Instructors (PI) work with newer students to determine which technique is most beneficial and at what point to introduce another shamatha practice. For basic instructions on how to meditate, see "How to Meditate" (NBI) on the Nalandabodhi International website.
Shamatha meditation practice is open to everyone and occurs every Sunday from 9-11 am at Nalandabodhi Boulder. ( Every 1st Sunday of the month meditation practice is from 9-10:30am) Approximatley 45 minutes of sitting is followed by a 15 minute walking meditation. If you would like meditation instruction, or if this is your first time practicing with us, please contact Michael Miller.
Refer to the Boulder Calendar page to see when the next Shamatha Meditation Practice session occurs.
This practice relates to both Green and White Tara and includes beautiful songs and verses composed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.
"Not only is supplicating Arya Tara beneficial for clearing away immediate obstacles for individuals who have entered the paths to liberation and omniscience; supplicating Arya Tara helps to clear away all hinderances and obstacles related to achieving the ultimate goals. If you are a person who has entered and is practicing the path, then supplicating Arya Tara helps dispel all obstacles you are facing that get in the way of making your practice fruitional. Arya Tara also clears away obstacles of all those with whom we have connections, our friends, our relatives, our partners and so on, anyone for whom we wish that they be free of illness, negative spirits, and other obstacles. When you supplicate Arya Tara you will receive her blessing." - The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
This Practice occurs on the 1st Sunday of the month. Participants must have received the lung in order to attend, however, the lung can be administered by request before the practice starts. Contact Michael Miller if you would like to receive the lung. Open to anyone!
Why do we do analytical meditation?
In our study and listening to the teachings, it is important for us to understand that we are not just trying to increase the power of our intelligence regarding those topics, but it's also very crucial for us to reflect on the meaning behind these teachings, and the content of those teachings, and meditate on that.
For this reason, people who engage in hearing and contemplation will benefit very much by analytical meditation. Analytical meditation becomes a very important part of the path.
The practice of analytical mediation is when we take the meaning of what we have studied and bring that into contemplation and then analyze that, and join the analysis with meditation.
Therefore, we don't leave what we study just at the level of study - we apply it to our mind stream. We apply it first by analyzing, reasoning and logic, and then bringing it to a state where we can rest in equipoise and meditation on meaning. So in this way, the experience of the topic we study arises in our mind as an experience that goes beyond mere study or hearing.
This practice occurs on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 11:00 to 12:00. Open to everyone.
Songs of Realization
Singing the key instructions
It's the lineage tradition.
(a verse from a song by Milarepa)
Join us on the 2nd Sunday of the month (11:00 to 12:00) for singing Songs of Realization by Milarepa, Khenpo Rinopoche and others. Singing is a great way to memorize profound verses and prayers. It's good meditation practice in overcoming dullness or even agitation by focusing our mind on the melody and the words. It's a great group practice. There are many profound songs we can sing, new ones as well as old favorites. Come learn some new songs. Sing old favorites and perfect the melody. Or, learn the meaning in songs through discussion. Enjoy!
From Stars of Wisdom by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, translated by Ari Goldfield and Rose Taylor.
Khenpo Rinpoche has explained that there are different ways you can meditate while singing.
You can let our mind rest one-pointedly on the sound of the melody while you sing. Doing just that is a way to practice shamatha meditation. And if, while doing that, you let your mind rest right within the sound's true nature, sound-emptiness, that is vipashyana meditation. If you let your mind rest in the recoginition that the nature of the sound and your mind perceiving it are undifferentiable, that is Mahamudra meditation called "meditating with appearances".
You can focus on the meaning of the words, and in that way practice is called the "meditation with focus on learned ones", because you are learning the profound words of the Dhama and reflecting on their meaning, and so while you meditate your wisdom is increasing.
Finally you can do the Mahamudra practice called "meditating with moving mind" by looking directly at the nature of the thoughts that arise while you sing, and relaxing in their essential nature -- clarity-emptiness, luminosity, great bliss.
from p.75-76 in an overview by Ari Goldfield.
Copyright 2010 Marpa Foundation.
Konchok Chidu Sadhana and Feast Practice
Konchok Chidu, meaning "Embodiment of the Three Jewels", is a sadhana of Guru Rinpoche, with a commentary by Jamgon Kontrol Lodro Thaye. It includes an outer, inner, secret and long-life practice as well as an amending fire offering and feast practice.
This practice and feast is restricted to tantrikas on at least a ngondro course of study and practice.
Refer to the Boulder Calendar page to see when the next Konchok Chidu will occur.
Vajrasattva Sadhana and Feast Practice
The meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva is renowned as supreme among all forms of purification practice employed in Tibetan Buddhism. This practice will help to engender more compassion for others, as well as more insight into the true nature of all beings and all things, and this compassion and insight will naturally and spontaneously lead to the accomplishment of our own and others relative and ultimate benefit.
This practice and feast is restricted to authorized students who have received abhisheka (empowerment) for the Vajrasattva sadhana from The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.
Refer to the Boulder Calendar page to see when the next Vajrasattva Feast will occur.
Sadhana - A key form of tantric meditation through which a practitioner aims to acheieve union or identity with a particular divine being through a process of visulization and subsequent dissolution of subject and object into emptiness.
Lung - (tibetan: rlung): A subtle flow of energy that is most closely connected with air. (Out of the five elements air, water, fire, earth and space.) The function of lung is to help growth, movement of the body, exhalation and inhalation to aid the function of mind, speech and body.
Abhisheka(skt.) - (tibetan:wang) A characteristic feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the requisite ritual for participating in the worship, service and practice (Skt.: sadhana) of a deity or bodhisattva. A qualified lama with experience in the particular practice confers on others the description, explanation, visualization and order of the practice, along with appropriate offerings and specific mantras. It is a lineage transmission of blessing and energy. The empowerment or initiation grants permission, bestows help with, and gives access to, the benefits of a tantric practice.