Books with a * are available here and can be ordered online.
Künzig Shamar Rinpoche*
„Lojong – Der buddhistische Weg zu Mitgefühl und Weisheit”
„Grenzenloses Erwachen“ „Der König der Wunschgebete“
„Erklärungen zur Chenresig-Praxis“
„Buddhistische Sichtweisen und die Praxis der Meditation“
Gyalwa Karmapa Thaye Dorje*
„Botschafter für den Frieden“
„Wie ein Vogel im weiten Himmel“
„Herzensunterweisungen eines Mahamudra Meisters“
„Pfad der Weisheit“
„Unsere Gefühle – Schlüssel zu Freude und Glück“
„Der Tibetische Buddhismus – Schlüsselwörter von A-Z“
Transkripte von Belehrungen: „Architekt des eigenen Lebens“
„Karma – die Wahrheit von Ursache und Wirkung“
„Bedingungen auf dem Weg zur Erleuchtung“, Band 1-5
Khenpo Chödrag Rinpoche*
“Vollendetes Wirken: Taranathas Kommentar zum ‘König unter den Wegen des Strebens nach dem Vollendeten Wirken der Edlen’”
Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche
„Das Herzjuwel eines Erleuchteten“
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
„Erziehung des Herzens“
„Die drei Juwelen“
Thich Nath Hanh
„Die drei Juwelen“
„Wie Siddharta zum Buddha wurde“
„Die Jünger Buddhas“
„Tonglen – der tibetische Weg, mit sich und anderen Freundschaft zu schließen“
Texte und Kommentare die zum Studium gedacht sind, und zu denen mündliche Erklärungen empfohlen werden:
9. Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje*
„The Ocean of True Meaning“
„Der kostbare Schmuck der Befreiung“
„Die kostbare Girlande für den höchsten Weg“
„Anleitungen auf dem Weg zur Glückseligkeit“
Asanga/Maitreya Mipham Rinpoches Kommentar zu Maitreya via Asangas (Jenseits von Mitte und Rand)
„Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary”
Introduction by Shamar Rinpoche at the opening of the first Bodhi Path Center in Europe.
Two years later, the company moved to Renchen-Ulm. The Buddhist Bodhi Path Center in Remetschwiel has now opened.
The main function of the center is to give teachings on the many general subjects of Buddhism as well as the teachings of the Kagyupa lineage of Buddhism. Within the Kagyupa lineage there are two main branches of Buddhist practice. There is the lineage transmitted from Tilopa to Naropa – the practice of the six yogas. The other lineage, called Mahamudra, was received from Saraha.
Saraha has given them to Maitripa, the Guru of Marpa. From Maitripa through Marpa the transmission was then passed on to Milarepa and to Gampopa. Gampopa has combined Mahamudra with Atisha’s Lojong practice and taught it extensively.
This combination, called the combined lineage of Kadampa and Mahamudra, became such a very special lineage of Gampopa. Since then it has been maintained as one of the main streams of Kagyupa teachings. Unfortunately, the rest of the text is only available in English at the moment.
Please click here to continue reading on the website or to download the entire text as a PDF. We are sorry that the text is not fully translated yet – we are working on it.
Four ways to find an authentic Buddhist teacher
Many students at the Bodhi Path centers have asked me to explain how to find a good meditation teacher. Since this is an important question that interests many people, I’ll give a brief explanation here.
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Good meditation teachers are usually people who lead very simple lives. “Simple life” here means someone who has given up everything and lives free from many things that make life difficult for most people. He or she may live in a quiet, secluded place, such as B. a cave or a small hut in the mountains. Great meditators are not usually people who are widely known as high-level spiritual teachers. Rather they spend many years of their lives in seclusion, even when not in retreat they are perfectly stable in their daily meditation practice. Figuring out where to look for such a great meditator is not easy. You can start by inquiring with other Buddhists who know such masters. Then you should examine how they live. If one is not fully realized in meditation, he will not be able to live in such conditions for long.
Teachers who travel regularly may not be the best meditation teachers. While one cannot generalize, someone who travels regularly is likely to have a lot of things on their mind. This happens because of the things one sees and experiences in everyday life, even ordinary things like big supermarkets or shopping malls. There are also many extraordinary experiences, e.g. B. Pupils who invite you to many events. It is not difficult to understand that such a mind is likely already distracted. While this is not always 100% true, it is often the case. And a person with a distracted mind will not be a good meditation teacher. Finding someone who lives in a remote place and is fully devoted to meditation puts you on the path to finding a proper meditation teacher. The following guides will make this clearer.
When you start looking for a teacher you will see that there are four types of teachers. These four types can be classified based on two things: their learned understanding of the Dharma and their mastery of essential teachings. Essential teachings are the key to opening the heart of the teachings. Every practice has a key that is not publicly explained, these key teachings are preserved by a few sincere practitioners who have received them through a long line of highly accomplished masters.
(The following translation is partly from Shamar Rinpoche’s book: ‘Lojong – The Buddhist Path to Compassion and Wisdom’, p. 19):
There are scholars who have not received key teachings. Then there are teachers who have key teachings but no training or ability in scholarship. Then again there are teachers who are both key holders and scholars. The fourth type of teachers are those who are neither key holders nor scholars. Of these four species, only the last should be avoided altogether.
Of course, each type of teacher can be helpful in specific ways. If you only follow the Dharma as the scholars explain it, that is good. Just following the key instructions without training in scholarship is very good. To combine both, d. H. training in scholarship as well as applying the key instructions is the very best. It goes without saying that if one does not have a scholarly approach to the Dharma and key teachings, it is of no use at all. In order to reach the goal, you definitely need the key.
For a general audience that needs a basic introduction, a teacher who only has the training as a scholar is very good. For very advanced practitioners engaged in intensive practice, a teacher who only gives the key teachings is excellent. A teacher who has the key teachings as well as being a scholar is best suited to all types of students. The fourth kind of teacher, someone who is neither a scholar nor has received the key teachings, is good for nobody. Ironically, however, many seem to want to follow just such teachers. (End translations from Lojong book)
You will wonder how to judge if someone is really learned or if someone is a great master giving key teachings. To find out if someone is learned, you can start by looking at their personal background – checking their training and ability in scholarship. Do some research in the community where this person was trained or teaches to make sure they have the training and qualifications they claim to have. A thorough background check is the best way to determine if a person qualifies or not.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell if someone is a great meditator. Looking for a meditation teacher is a completely different matter. You can gather information about that person, whether or not he or she has spent many years in retreat, whether he or she lives life in a way that expresses renunciation. One thing is for sure, if someone pretends to be a great meditation teacher or pretends to be enlightened, that person is by no means credible. Anyone who repeatedly claims greatness, someone who tries to control their disciples heavily by claiming that this is the nature of samaya, someone who tries to tell you that if you don’t follow his instructions, in the hell reborn, someone who is obviously trying to raise money is not trustworthy. In order to learn the Dharma perfectly from a real teacher, you must break away from your usual concepts and learn to see with new eyes. You cannot search for a meditation teacher in the same way as e.g. B. for a good brand of toothpaste. Following the best advertising campaign will not find the right teacher. If you are judging by things like status, wealth, number of followers, you will not find the right meditation teacher.
Just like a good meditation teacher, one who wants to be a good meditator must give up attachment to worldly life. A meditator should live simply, without too much responsibility, and without ambition. In order to really focus, you have to be willing to give up.
Teaching given at Bodhi Path Washington, DC Metro Area in Spring 2004.
Today, I will give you instructions about mind nature that will be helpful for your meditation. And, I will give you reasons for doing the shamatha or calm-abiding meditation practice. To meditate, you first need some understanding of your mind. Our normal concepts about the mind, which really are not accurate, can disturb your meditation. Therefore, it is very important to have a correct understanding of the nature of mind.
Generally, people, today view mind from a scientific perspective. Perhaps they equate mind, which is a process, with the brain, which is a bodily organ. In this case, it is easy to see the mind as no more than a collection of nerves transmitting and processing electronic signals, like a computer made of flesh. I should tell you that if mind functioned in this way, then there would be no need to meditate. In fact, you could not meditate at all with such a mind. However, for Buddhists, the mind is not like this. In Buddhist terms, we say that mind is clear. Clarity here means mind can understand itself. We can understand things because the mind’s true nature is self-understanding. Otherwise, we could not learn anything. To learn in the Buddhist sense means to gain self-understanding.
All conceptual knowledge comes to us as pictures in our minds. The physical objects that we comprehend are not themselves of the same material as our minds. Physical objects have atoms, while minds do not. This makes physical objects different than mind.
Mind itself is not made of atoms. Thus, the mind has its own, separate nature from physical objects. If we reason this out, it means that in reality, there is no contact between mind and matter. When you understand that objects are just reflections in the mind, then you realize that what your mind comprehends are not objects themselves, but merely images or pictures. Through this concept of mind, you can then approach the more difficult idea that mind-nature is defined by self-understanding and self-realization. Every moment mind is working, it is moving. The mind is not a fixed thing with some permanence, but a process; a true mind-stream. So, as thoughts pass through the mind, they themselves ensure mind’s continuance. If the mind were to remain always on one thought, then it would get stuck. It would be frozen. But because the mind is always moving, because it is dynamic, then you can perceive the outside world through ever-changing sense data. You can see, hear and feel. For example, we might compare the mind-stream to reading a series of words quickly. Each word is connected to thought. The only way you can comprehend a series of thoughts is because your mind is not a fixed, unchanging entity. If your mind was not dynamic, then it would get stuck on „A,“ and never able to get to „B.“ So, in every moment, the mind is moving; it is passing by its former position. When we are fully awake, the mind is free of the object with which it connects to through thoughts, perceptions, and feelings. The mind is unobstructed. You neither have a single thought nor many thoughts. The mind does not exist substantially. The mind is no longer ignorant or stupid in the deepest sense. But we should understand that self-realization is not like being in a coma. Instead, there is clarity and power. The self-realized mind is free from the influence of phenomena. It is mind free from all need to occupy itself; it is now an independent mind.
This, we might say, is good mind, non-dualistic mind. Of course, this kind of mind is not easy to obtain. Our habits are strong, and the unrealized mind is easily carried away by the flow of thoughts. If you examine your own mind, you will understand this. The mind does not exist in a tangible substance; it is not a physically existing thing. The mind is not limited by any size, any shape, or any color. It is boundless and spacious. When you can realize an open state of mind—and keep it stable—then you can develop this state without limit. You can call this state enlightened mind, but enlightenment is difficult to realize. You may be able to realize this state of mind through examination or analysis. But your mind won’t stay in this state for long. It quickly disappears because of your mental habits. I’m talking primarily about the mental habit of confusion and agitation. This habit of agitation is very, very strong. Our minds and those of all living beings are nothing if not restless. While the basic nature of our mind is clear and limitless, our present mind is restless because agitation is a mental habit. Therefore, meditation is the natural antidote. Systematically organized meditation techniques are available to solve this problem of mental agitation. In other words, we have to train our minds. Right now, our minds are wild and agitated, like a confused hurricane. To realize our full potential, we must tame our minds. And the good news is that we can use the mind to tame itself. We need to develop new mental habits. Among the many varieties of methods used to tame the mind, one of the most powerful is taught at Bodhi Path Centers—the practice of shamatha meditation. You should concentrate on practicing shamatha a great deal.
Shamatha is the best tool to pacify your mind. It will help you develop the habit of mental concentration, and help you keep your mind from wandering. And, if you can remind yourself from time to time about the concept of mind that we explained earlier, you will be able to meditate better. If you forget the true nature of your mind is calm, peaceful and radiant, then you may create unnecessary stress in your meditation. You may try to force your mind to stay focused. This will make you tense and will impede your progress. Relax, and you will do better. As I explained earlier, the mind is very spacious. As you concentrate, you need to be relaxed. It’s much easier to concentrate if you aren’t tense. In anything you do, like swimming, for example, you will not do well if you’re too tense. You should be relaxed as you meditate. You will be successful if you have a proper concept of the mind and then apply the method of shamatha.
Initially, shamatha meditation is very useful. But don’t push yourself too hard—you will need the patience to get used to this practice. Just remember, meditation is something that you can do right now to achieve peace of mind. Everybody is looking for peace of mind, and meditation is the way to achieve it. Why do you need patience? If you’re not patient, then you won’t continue to practice once you’ve started, and then you won’t get anywhere. You get as much as you put into it. If you don’t meditate, you won’t gain anything. So, please be patient.
Generally, people today spend a lot of time working and cannot just sit down and meditate whenever the mood strikes them. So, at least in the early stages, it usually helps to schedule a time in your day for meditation practice, either in the early morning, the evening, or after work, when you can be alone in a quiet, peaceful place.
However, once you learn to meditate well, you can meditate anywhere. You can schedule a specific time to meditate, but if you meditate whenever you have free time, you will get used to it quickly. While you’re in the office, if there’s spare time to do a little bit of meditation, maybe at the end of your lunch hour, why not try a little meditation? Wherever you are, do some meditation.
Often meditation teachers advise their students to be like a cow eating grass; just as the cow is always chewing on her cud without thinking about it, so we should develop the habit of continuously, almost automatically, meditating. Whenever you can, meditate in this way. Then it will really become part of your everyday life.
When you start to meditate, you may want to focus the mind by using some kind of external object of concentration. It need not be a physical object—the most common meditation „object“ is the breath—but it should be something simple and still. If moving, then it should be something repetitive, like the breath. A good practice is to count to 21 breaths in and out, and then rest your mind by letting your attention wander for a bit. Then, gently bring your attention back to your breath, counting to 21 again. Rest again, and then repeat this cycle for the duration of your meditation session. You will develop quickly if you focus on counting your breaths in this way. After a while, once you are accustomed to concentrating, you can stop using an external object of focus. Instead, you can then start to focus on mind itself. At this point, you can also focus on the passing moments of mind. Before starting this more advanced practice, you should first go through the concentration training of shamatha. Later, once your concentration is stable, then you can begin to meditate on mind itself.
What else is there to consider in shamatha? Most of you have heard your sitting position is important. You want to be comfortable, but alert; either on a cushion on the floor or in a chair. Also, look at your diet. Eating a lot of rich food can create drowsiness, making you feel sleepy during meditation. However, becoming too weak from not eating isn’t good either. If your body is weak, then you won’t have the energy to focus your attention and remain alert. In meditation, as in all things, seek the middle way.
By Shamar Rinpoche
Shamar Rinpoche’s Statement on the September 11 Attacks:
During the past two weeks as I have traveled to several Bodhi Path centers in the United States, many members have asked me to explain the horrible acts of the terrorists on September 11and to suggest a course of action from the Buddhist perspective. I offer the following thoughts for my disciples‘ guidance.
The terrorists who brought about this senseless tragedy are afflicted by ignorance and consequently can be deceived by blind faith in a belief system that distorts the true spirit of Islam. They do not have the wisdom and proper sense of judgment to determine what is right and wrong. Because of their ignorance and blind faith, people with evil intentions manipulated and misused them. Therefore, just as we should show compassion on the victims, we should also have compassion on the terrorists due to their ignorance.
When governments and individuals set a future course of action, their motivation or aim is the critical determinant to what is appropriate and morally correct. The seeking of revenge clearly is not acceptable in Buddhist terms. However, if a government or individual must take an action that has harmful effects but that is done for the purpose of preventing evil and benefiting the majority, this is acceptable.
According to Buddha’s teachings on ethics, I believe there are four different combinations of aim/intention and action. Listed from the evilest to the most compassionate, they are:
Bad or evil aim-negative or hurtful action
Bad aim-benign or positive action
Good, realistic aim-destructive or harmful action
Good or pure aim-benevolent action
In order to counter terrorism, governments of the world and their leaders must pursue this goal only with the aim of benefiting everyone, including the ignorant terrorists themselves. If purely benevolent acts are inadequate to achieve this goal, then there is no choice but to engage in narrowly targeted acts designed to root out the evil of the terrorists while inflicting the least amount of harm to the innocent. This can be accomplished through the use of our wisdom and compassion which we find through logical analysis that is a part of human wisdom. It is important not to make decisions based on our obscured emotions.
On a personal level, we should not dwell in our sadness or fear over this tragedy. Instead, we should use it as an inspiration to develop our own compassion. We should make wishing prayers for the victims but also expand our wishes to include all beings who have suffered throughout the world. This tragedy must inspire us to achieve vast compassion for all beings.