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.
- Accepting reality will be our security in this unpredictable world
- The difference between the correct view and the wisdom realizing emptiness
- The meaning of emptiness and dependent arising come to the same point
- Proof of the triple gem by beginning with the truth of dependent arising
- Progression in our depth of understanding of emptiness
131 Gomchen Lamrim: The Correct View (download)
- Consider the story that Venerable Chodron shared at the beginning of the teaching:
- We are constantly striving for predictability, stability and permanence. We need this as children. In fact studies show that children who do not receive these don’t do well later in life. Think about your childhood. Did your parents provide these? If you are a parent, do you strive to provide these for your children?
- As adults, we never grow out of that need for predictability, stability, and permanence. Take some time to think about how this is true in your own life, how you strive for permanence, stability and predictability in your life. How much energy do you put into attaining these? In what kinds of things are you searching for these qualities and are these expectations realistic?
- Consider that life in samsara is by its very nature impermanent, insecure, and unstable, and yet we continue to strive for these. What kinds of problems has striving for something unattainable brought you?
- Finally, consider that the Dharma (truth, knowledge and wisdom) can be our security and reliability. Although sometimes the Dharma truths we study can make us uncomfortable, when we familiarize our minds with the Dharma (which is the way things truly exist), we can attain the very reliability and stability that we seek.
- What is the difference between having the “correct view” and having the wisdom realizing emptiness? What is the order in which they are attained and why?
- Venerable Chodron taught that on the basis of an object, it is both empty and a dependent arising. These two facts about a single object are not contradictory. In fact, the intent of the Buddha is for us to see these two as inseparable. Spend some time considering this, and why emptiness and dependent arising are complimentary.
- What is the meaning of “when the analysis of the profound view is complete?” Of what two parts does the profound view consist that makes it complete?
- Usually, we are taught that understanding appearances prevents nihilism and understanding emptiness prevents absolutism. In the Three Principal Aspects of the Path, however, the opposite is presented (dependent arising prevents absolutism and emptiness prevents nihilism). Why? What is Tsong Khapa helping us to understand?