During this five-day retreat, we shall focus on some of the core teachings of Atiśa Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna (982-1055), one of the greatest masters of Indian Buddhism. These have become the source of spiritual practice within all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. They provide ‘pith’ instructions that go straight to the heart of our modern concerns - how to face suffering, develop satisfaction and serenity, have compassion for others and reduce the self centred concerns that are the cause of so many of our problems.
The retreat is structured with a balance of meditation instruction, meditation practice, lectures and discussion sessions. Alan Wallace will draw on two short texts (newly translated by him) that take the form of dialogues between Atiśa and his principal disciple Drom Tönpa, entitled, “Cutting the Root of Suffering and Equalizing Excitation and Laxity” and “Blaming Everything on a Single Culprit.” These two exchanges go right to the heart of meditation, while at the same time representing a lively guru-disciple exchange that is both reverent and critical at the same time. We will then turn to Atiśa’s quintessential meditative guidance in his root text The Mahāmudrā Granted by the Noble Lord to Gönpawa. Atiśa’s approach provides us today with a bridge between understanding the natural of reality according to the Prāsaṅgika-Madhyamaka view, Mahāmudrā, and Dzogchen.
This retreat provides an excellent grounding in meditation practice and buddhist philosophy for new students and includes new material and further guidance for those who have previously attended Alan Wallace’s meditation retreats.
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