The Kadampa Way of Life
THE ESSENTIAL PRACTICE OF KADAM LAMRIM
This extract is from the booklet,which can be found in Appendix III of How to Transform Your Life contains two texts: Advice from Atisha’s Heart and Je Tsongkhapa’s The Three Principal Aspects of the Path. The first encapsulates the way of life of the early Kadampa practitioners, whose example of purity and sincerity we should all try to emulate. The second is a profound guide to meditation on the stages of the path, Lamrim, which Je Tsongkhapa composed based on the instructions he received directly from the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. If we try our best to put Atisha’s advice into practice, and to meditate on Lamrim according to Je Tsongkhapa’s instructions, we shall develop a pure and happy mind and gradually progress towards the ultimate peace of full enlightenment. As Bodhisattva Shantideva says:
By depending upon this boat-like human form
We can cross the great ocean of suffering.
Since such a vessel will be hard to find again,
This is no time to sleep, you fool!
Practising in this way is the very essence of the Kadampa way of life.
Advice from Atisha’s Heart
When Venerable Atisha came to Tibet he first went to Ngari, where he remained for two years giving many
teachings to the disciples of Jangchub Ö. After two years had passed he decided to return to India, and
Jangchub Ö requested him to give one last teaching before he left. Atisha replied that he had already given
them all the advice they needed, but Jangchub Ö persisted in his request and so Atisha accepted and gave
the following advice.
Friends, since you already have great knowledge and clear understanding, whereas I am of no importance and have little wisdom, it is not suitable for you to request advice from me. However because you dear friends, whom I cherish from my heart, have requested me, I shall give you this essential advice from my
inferior and childish mind.
Friends, until you attain enlightenment the Spiritual Teacher is indispensable, therefore rely upon the holy Spiritual Guide.
Until you realize ultimate truth, listening is indispensable, therefore listen to the instructions of the Spiritual Guide.
Over the coming weeks the program at KMC Florida will include Tuesday evening classes on Advice from Atisha’s Heart. You’ll notice that the first two snippets of advice from this holy being (in bold) include relying on a Spiritual Guide and realizing ultimate truth. Well as it happens, Gen Chonden will be
teaching about the Migtsema prayer and how we can use one of its variants in our training in Guru Yoga on Sunday 11th June 4pm~5.30pm, and then the weekend of June 16~18 along with Gen Norbu and a group from Fort Lauderdale we will be silently mixing our mind with emptiness. Everyone is welcome to join any of these classes and sessions, as well as the various other activities currently running on the Center’s weekly program – too numerous to mention here – but details are findable 🙂 on the website.