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Gomchen Lamrim review: The six preparatory practices

Gomchen Lamrim review: The six preparatory practices

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.

  • Structuring the meditation session—know what you will meditate on and how long
  • The activities and internal attitudes of the six preparatory practices
    • Clean the room and arrange the altar
    • Making offerings
    • Take meditation position and set motivation
    • Visualize the merit field
    • The seven limb prayer and mandala offering
    • Requesting prayers
  • Deciding what to do in a meditation session

Gomchen Lamrim 19 Review: The six preparatory practices (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Venerable Tarpa said that the depth of our wisdom depends on how much we study and reflect. Spend some time thinking about why this is true and what you can do to give yourself time to engage in these activities.
  2. Venerable Tarpa focused the review on the mental aspect of the six preparatory practices. As you are doing these practices each morning (cleaning and setting up the altar, making offerings, preparing the body and mind, imagining the merit field, reciting the 7-limb prayer, and the mandala offering/requests) take the time to really cultivate the corresponding mental states that these practices are designed to generate. How does this change your practice and by extension how you go about your day?
Venerable Thubten Tarpa

Venerable Thubten Tarpa is an American practicing in the Tibetan tradition since 2000 when she took formal refuge. She has lived at Sravasti Abbey under the guidance of Venerable Thubten Chodron since May of 2005. She was the first person to ordain at Sravasti Abbey, taking her sramanerika and sikasamana ordinations with Venerable Chodron as her preceptor in 2006. See pictures of her ordination. Her other main teachers are H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and H.E. Dagmo Kusho. She has had the good fortune to receive teachings from some of Venerable Chodron's teachers as well. Before moving to Sravasti Abbey, Venerable Tarpa (then Jan Howell) worked as a Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer for 30 years in colleges, hospital clinics, and private practice settings. In this career she had the opportunity to help patients and teach students and colleagues, which was very rewarding. She has B.S. degrees from Michigan State and University of Washington and an M.S. degree from the University of Oregon. She coordinates the Abbey's building projects. On December 20, 2008 Ven. Tarpa traveled to Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights California receiving bhikhshuni ordination. The temple is affiliated with Taiwan's Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order.

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