Hello students of Buddha Dharma,
Would you be interested in learning to meditate in a qualified Tibetan [Vajrayana] Buddhist manner? You might find it helpful to study in a small group and follow a manual. Where can one find a class that offers such material and a conducive environment? Well one such class is forming.
In a recent meetup with Tibetan Buddhist nun Ani Chime, it was suggested that a study group be formed to study a book and meditate on its teachings. This has already been put in place by another meetup group and Sangha of the North side of the Tampa Bay area [specifically in Hudson, FL), but such a class location is too far away for us folks in Central Florida. Ani Chime lives south of Disney and has offered to make her home available for the classes on a regular basis. And she is knowledgeable in Vajrayana Buddhism and would love to guide us in meditations.
Now what would be a good book to study? The Indian Buddhist master Atisha (11th century) made it easier for everyone to grasp all essential Buddhist concepts through his text titled "A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment" or Lamrim. But Atisha's Lamrim text is a brief outline that needs elaborating. Masters since then have elaborated on Atisha's Lamrim, including Je Tsongkhapa (15th century) the scholar who established the Ganden tradition which produced the Gelugpas and the Dalai Lamas. Je Tsongkhapa's Ganden tradition is now presented to Americans [and Europeans] in the New Kadampa Tradition and you will find classes on Je Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo in the Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Center, Orlando, FL [See www.meditationinorlando.org].
A few centuries before Je Tsongkhapa, there was the disciple of Milarepa by the name of Gampopa (11th century) who elaborated on Atisha's Lamrim with his book "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Gampopa was an early Kadampa, but his disciples went on to establish the Kagyu tradition. "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation" explicitly contains Sutra teachings but implicitly reflects Mahamudra Tantra and Annutara [Highest] Yoga Tantra teachings. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation expresses the Madhyamika (Middle Way) philosophical view of the Buddha Dharma.
By studying and incorporating the meditations and practices found in this book, you may attain an organizing understanding of the Kadam Lamrim (gradual stages on path to enlightenment) meditations, and you may begin to implement the powerful Lojong meditations or the Seven Point Training of the Mind.
Here is a link to the book on Google books http://books.google.com/books?id=RRxs_xB2UB0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Jewel+Ornament+of+Liberation&source=bl&ots=LbMlDiJaYI&sig=nSS7i1GQUjY65VyoDjPIZ3oIUM8&hl=en&ei=zEsETY_7J4TGlQelosjDCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false
You will be able to browse this book's table of contents and the translator's introduction. The book has a total of 21 chapters [and some 300 pages] grouped into six parts. You can get the Kindle version or the Google eBook version.
As of this writing, the class for the Orlando area is not a fully organized, I am only trying to generate interest and to gather any students of Tibetan Buddhism who are motivated enough to practice regularly [once or twice a month] with us in a small group and read from such an excellent book. There are already a handful of students who are interested.
Stay tune for more information. Please respond and tell us if this would be a good class for you, and if you would like to participate in our book study and meditation group. The cost will only be the drive to the class, but any love [money] donations are accepted for covering any costs in promoting and organizing the class.
Thanks for your good wishes,
So if you are seriously interested, please suggest what preferences you have for which day of the week to have the class, and how often, for example, once a week, or twice a month, or once a month. If on weekdays, we will probably want to have it at 7:30 PM. And try to keep to within an hour and a half.