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Structuring a meditation session

28 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an on going series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 28: Structuring a Meditation Session (download)

Contemplation points

  1. How do our efforts, both on and off the cushion, contribute to the conditions for virtuous and non-virtuous karma to ripen? Why is it important to be aware of this?
  2. Why is it important to have an object of meditation and not just empty the mind of all thought during meditation?
  3. How do analytical and stabilizing meditation work together to integrate the teachings with our mind?
  4. Why does His Holiness recommend working through each of the lamrim topics, reading books texts about the topic, and also discussing them with friends? How do each of these help us integrate the teachings into our lives?
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.