Here’s an outline of the main topics that His Holiness presented during the first two days of the preliminary teachings:
Saturday, July 9
Kamalashila’s Stages of Meditation – general introduction; explanation of the three ways in which Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, quick overview of the 16 aspects of the Four Noble Truths; four mindfulnesses.
Sunday, July 10
People who live in accordance with ethical principles will be happier than those who do not; whether one is religious or not is not as important as whether one is ethical. There is a moral crisis in society today.
Kamalashila’s Stages of Meditation – importance of understanding the law of causality, leading a sound ethical life creates the conditions for a precious human rebirth, based on understanding interdependent origination, we can attain Buddhahood.
Two types of ignorance, Two Truths – conventional and ultimate as understood by the Vaibashikas, Sautantrika Madyamikas, and Prasangika Madkyamikas.
text page 39 – three types of phenomenon – evident, hidden, extremely hidden. Three conditions for omniscience – compassion, awakening the mind of bodhicitta, skillful means. Three kinds of suffering. Development of equanimity.
After the mind has developed equanimity toward all sentient beings, meditate on loving kindness. Moisten the mental continuum with the water of loving kindness and prepare it as you would a piece of fertile ground. When the seed of compassion is planted in such a mind, germination will be swift, proper, and complete. Once you have irrigated the mindstream with loving kindness, meditate on compassion.
Practitioners of three capacities; (verse 3) listening, contemplation, meditation; Four Principles of Nature; elements and derivative elements.
Society today places too much emphasis on sensorial pleasures – over reliance on listening to music, etc. thus decreasing our capacity for inner joy.
Four forms of distortion (mistaken understanding); different levels of consciousness ranging from gross sensations to sleep to the subtle and finally most subtle level.
Ended on verse 7