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Meditation session outline

Meditation session outline

The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path of advanced level practitioners. 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.

  • How to conduct yourself outside of meditation sessions
  • The three phases of a typical session
  • A review of the six preparatory practices
  • Explanation of refuge and the seven-limb prayer
  • The actual practice and the conclusion

Gomchen Lamrim 114: Meditation Session Outline (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Venerable Tarpa said that our day can be divided into 2: our time on and off the cushion. Consider how what you do in between meditation sessions (as you go about your daily life) influences your meditation as well as how your meditation session influences how you go about your daily life.
  2. The meditation session itself can be divided into three categories: setting your motivation, doing the meditation, and dedication. Why is your motivation so important? Consider times you were clean-clear in your motivation for something you did vs. living on automatic. Were the outcomes different? How did you feel doing the actions?
  3. Consider the six preparatory practices: cleaning the room and arranging the altar, making offerings, sitting in the proper position, calming the mind and setting your motivation, visualizing the merit field, reciting the seven limb prayer, and offering the mandala and requesting inspiration. Why are each of these so important to a complete meditation practice? What does each offer that prepares the mind to contemplate the teachings?
  4. Venerable Tarpa said that we sustain our meditation using mindfulness and vigilance. What does that mean both in and out of your meditation sessions? What can you do to increase mindfulness and vigilance in your life, sustaining your awareness of and focus on virtue in all you do?
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.