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How to listen to and explain the Dharma teachings

Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.

  • When we wish others happiness, we need to know what happiness means and what its causes are
  • The benefits of hearing the Dharma teachings
  • Having an attitude of respect for the Dharma and the teachers
  • Listening to the teachings by relying on the six recognitions
  • The three faulty pots: avoiding the faults that interfere with listening and understanding the teachings
  • The benefits of explaining the teachings
  • How to explain the Dharma teachings
  • Generating the proper attitude and motivation when teaching, leading meditation, or leading discussions
  • How to prepare and conduct the teaching session

Gomchen Lamrim 02: How to listen to and explain the teaching (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Consider the many benefits of hearing teachings (mind filled with faith, delight in spiritual practice, wisdom will grow and ignorance dispelled). Why is it important to know the benefits?
  2. Venerable Chodron said that the Dharma is more important than even our own body. Consider this in light of some of the decisions you make.
  3. Why does veneration for the teacher, even seeing the teacher as the Buddha, benefit the mind?
  4. Describe the three faulty pots and why we want to avoid listening in this manner.
  5. How does reflecting on the six recognitions prepare our mind to hear the Dharma (you as the sick person, the teacher as the doctor, the teaching as medicine, steady application as the cure, tathagatas as superior beings, dedication)?
  6. What are the benefits of teaching and what qualities should we cultivate in order to teach?
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.

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