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Refuge and Bodhicitta. A dharma talk by Senior Teaching Student, Ken Klein. From our Sunday Morning Sangha (7.15.12)

Refuge and Bodhicitta.  Technically, one becomes a Buddhist when one takes refuge in the three jewels - the Buddha, the Dharma (the Buddha's teachings), and the Sangha (his community of practitioners). Bodhicitta can be understood in various ways; as compassion, or a good heart, or the altruistic motivation to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.  The idea of helping others lies at the heart of both refuge and bodhicitta.  The practice of generating bodhicitta entails committing oneself to activities that are primarily aimed at helping others, while the practice of taking refuge lies at the foundation for the practitioner to lead his or her life in the ethically disciplined way. (Paraphrased from HH The XIV Dalai Lama).  Based upon a teaching received from Geshe Tashi Namgyal, complemented with his observations from his 20 years in our sangha, Ken Klein offers a reverent and valuable talk on these two essential, and often overlooked, parts of our practice.  Excerpted from our Sunday Morning practice on this date.

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Commit not one Harmful Action; Cultivate a Wealth of Virtues; Train the Mind, This is the Teaching of all the Buddhas. A teaching by William Stauffer (2012.07.08)

Commit not one harmful action.  Cultivate a wealth of virtues.
Train the mind.  This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

When our center was founded in 1992, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave to us a thangka of Shakyamuni Buddha, with these verses inscribed, which His Holiness also signed.  One of a number of sutras from the Dhammapada which aim to distill all of the Buddha's teachings into a small form, the breadth of these three (or four) lines simply cannot be overstated.  They are immeasurably profound.  Even dedicating one's self to any one of the three, for an hour, for a day, offers profound benefits to one's self and to others.  In a talk comprising the second hour of our Sunday Morning Sangha on this date, Senior Teaching Student William Stauffer looks at the meaning of these lines, paying special attention to the role of kindness and compassion which are at the heartcenter of these elegant teachings for a lifetime.

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Prayer of Kuntuzangpo. Teaching and Practice, Barbara Montgomery. Sunday Morning Sangha (6.17.2012)

The Prayer of Kuntuzangpo - the prayer of our own primordial, or Buddha nature, in the Nyingma tradition - Kuntuzangpo - is both prayer and practice, of both aspiration, and realization.   Written and recited from this first person point of view ("I am the Primordial Buddha ... "!) it is a powerful and joyous roadmap to not only the obscurations which cloud our understanding of reality, but to the methods by which we can overcome these obscurations, to see and apprehend things as they are, and our own true nature.  Drawing from teachings received from Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche & Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, and Ven. Losang Samten, Senior Teaching Student and TBC past president Barbara Montgomery offers verse by verse insights into the fabric and meanings of this most powerful and elegant prayer from the Nyingma tradition.  This recording was edited from a longer practice which included recitation of the prayer.  The prayer itself may be downloaded as a pdf doc, below.

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The Prayer of Kuntuzangpo (.pdf)

The Prayer of Kuntuzangpo - the prayer of our own primordial, or Buddha nature, in the Nyingma tradition - Kuntuzangpo - is both prayer and practice, of both aspiration, and realization.   Written and recited from this first person point of view ("I am the Primordial Buddha ..." !) it is a joyous roadmap of not only the obscurations which cloud our understanding of reality, but also the methods by which we can overcome these obscurations, to see and apprehend things as they are, and our own true nature.  Part of a longer Dzogchen tantra, "the Tantra Which Clearly Shows the Unimpeded Realisation of the Buddha Kuntuzangpo in the Great Perfection," it is one of the most commonly recited practices in the Nyingma tradition, as well as by individuals in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.  It is often practiced, and felt to be especially powerful, during solstices, full moons, and certain other times of natural occurrence.

Impermanence, Interdependence, Emptiness and The Heart Sutra. Jeffrey Carr (2012.06.10)

Sunday Morning Sangha. "... Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form. Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness. ... " | The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge, The Profound Prajnaparamita Sutra, or Heart Sutra, is best known in condensed form distilled from a vastly longer text. The most subtle and profound of all of the sutras, it is nothing less (and nothing more) than the articulation of the essence of the nature of the world and all objects of our perception; of the nature of the activity that is our perceiving, and of the nature of the we, the mind, doing the perceiving. Impermanent and empty of their own inherent nature, they are, we are, interdependent. | "Therefore, the great mantra of prajnaparamita, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequalled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering, should be known as truth, since there is no deception." | A line by line reading and consideration, offered by TBC Senior Teaching Student, Jeffrey Carr.

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Lama Losang Samten, Saka Dawa & Sunday Morning Sangha Medley. June 3rd & 4th, 2012

A remarkable two days at our center, Saka Dawa, Monday, June 4th, filling our center with our TBC community and so many friends from our local Tibetan community, and our Sunday Morning Sangha with Ven. Losang, just before his summer retreat.  This recording: Saka Dawa: The Heart Sutra, in Tibetan; This Land is Pureland (thanks and apologies both to Woody Guthrie). Sunday Morning: Lama Losang: a beautiful dharma talk and practice on Vajrasattva, to purify body, speech and mind. Saka Dawa: Amazing Grace, to the syllables of the Green Tara Dedication; Words of Truth (in Tibetan), and a few closing words by Lama Losang, on the Buddha's Twelve Activities.  May these be the cause of enlightenment for all.  (Marian Droba, Tony Boris, music)

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Mother's Day at the TBC 2012. Sunday Morning Sangha, Lama Losang and Guest Teacher Barry Kerzin (Tenzin Choerab) May 13, 2012 (part 1)

Sunday, Mother's Day at the TBC, with long time friend and guest teacher, Ven. Barry Kerzin (Tenzin Choerab).  The second part of our morning, which followed our traditional Mother's Day, Green Tara practice. Part 1:  A short talk and introduction by Losang, questions and answers for Ven. Barry.  Part 2: Questions and answers, cnt'd, followed by some thoughts for the day from Losang la, and, some singing and music to end the morning.  To all of our mother sentient beings, limitless as space, may all beings have happiness.

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Je Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, Foundation of All Perfections (4.29.12)

Sunday morning sangha, the last week of our "Je Tsongkhapa Month," also known as April 2012.  about 11 minutes from the beginning of our practice on this date: mantra of Chenrezig, OM MANI PEME HUNG,  followed by silent meditation, then mantra.  Then, a talk by Ven. Losang Samten, on Je Tsongkapa Guru Yoga, Prayer (Miktsema), and The Foundation of All Perfections.

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Sunday Morning Sangha, Je Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, a Talk: on meditation, the life of Je Tsongkhapa, and others (4.22.12).

A talk from the fourth week of "Lama Tsongkhapa Month" at our center, by Ven. Losang Samten.  On ... meditation, and the three parts of any meditation practice: finding your motivation, then the practice itself, and then, dedicating what you did.   Maintaining a clean, simple meditation space.  Some different types of meditation.  Also, (the) four different motivations, or aims, for practice.   An explanation of the three sections of Je Tsongkhapa's Foundation of All Perfections, Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.  Stories from and about the life of Lama Tsongkhapa.  And, finally: some upcoming practices and events at our center.

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Ven. Losang Samten, Sunday Morning Sangha (04.15.2011) (part 1)

From our practice on this date.  Ven. Losang Samten, Rinpoche.  The Four Immeasurable Thoughts, prayer and action, and the Mahayana tradition.   Cultivating more positive qualities.  What is enlightenment? Meditations for training and purifying the mind.  Shamatha, "no thoughts" meditation, Vajrayana visualization meditation, followed by a silent practice.

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