Book cover of Lamrim ebook vol 2

Lamrim Teachings: Volume II

Initial Scope

The path in common with the initial scope practitioner. This freely distributed ebook contains lightly edited transcripts of lamrim teachings given by Venerable Chodron.


© Thubten Chodron. For free distribution and not to be sold (see below for additional use information).

About the book

In this volume, Venerable Chodron teaches the initial scope – the path in common with a practitioner of initial motivation.  Such a person seeks to die peacefully and to have a good rebirth, an aspiration developed by studying precious human life (covered in Volume I), impermanence and death, and the unfortunate realms of rebirth. Refuge, the laws of karma and its effects are the practices that support the goals of the initial scope practitioner.

These ebooks contain lightly-edited transcripts of teachings given by Venerable Thubten Chodron at Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle, from 1991-1994.


  • Remembering Death
  • The Actual Way to Become Mindful of Death
  • The Lower Realms
  • Taking Refuge
  • The Objects of Refuge
  • How to Take Refuge
  • The Benefits of Having Taken Refuge
  • Guidelines for the Practice of Refuge
  • Karma
  • 10 Destructive Actions and Their Results
  • Constructive Actions and Their Results
  • The Intensity of Karma
  • Other Ways of Differentiating Actions
  • Specific Aspects of Actions and Their Results
  • General Advice on Engaging in Positive Actions and Avoiding Destructive Ones


The Dharma way of thinking about death is to face it honestly. Instead of letting the fear of death fester in the closet, we’re going take it out and look at it. It probably won’t be as bad as you think it’s going to be, once you take it out and look at it. The purpose of doing this is to get us in touch with reality. By doing that, it gives us more energy to do our Dharma practice. Understanding death gives us a framework with which to look at our life and appreciate it and take full advantage of the opportunities that we have in this life.

I’ll give you a simple example from my own experience. I was once studying a text in India. It had eight chapters in it, a good number of which are about impermanence. Every afternoon Geshela taught us about death and impermanence and we spent a long time on this text. Geshela would talk about death for two hours. I’d listen to death for two hours, go back to my room and meditate on it. I tell you, those months when we were doing that, my mind was so peaceful and calm. It was just amazing. Why? Because when we remember our own mortality, it helps us figure out what is important in our life and what is not important.

Copyright © 2015-2016 by Venerable Thubten Chodron. For free distribution. All rights reserved. For personal, noncommercial use only. This book may be printed or downloaded electronically, in whole or in part, for personal use by individuals or Buddhist groups. Permission is required to publish and distribute this book on any information storage and retrieval system, such as, but not limited to, a blog or website. To request permission to use this book in ways that are not expressly granted here, please contact communication(dot)sravasti(at)gmail(dot)com.