For ease of reference I have created this post which can be used for the opening and closing of each of the lamrim contemplations in this series. This is the suggested order for each session:
- Seven-Branch Prayer (3 x’s)
- Lineage Supplication
- Lamrim Contemplation
- Dedication of Merit
[This is part of an ongoing Lamrim series. All related posts can be found here.]
The next section of Taranatha’s Essence of Ambrosia is titled,
The Freedom and Endowments of a Precious Human Life
This section consists of Contemplations 2 through 4 which are, Contemplation 2 – The Difficulty of Obtaining a Precious Human Life with its Freedoms and Endowments, Contemplation 3 – The Probability of Being Reborn Human and Contemplation 4 – Why This Human Life is Important. Before getting into what is meant by the various freedoms and endowments I feel it might be helpful to offer a very general overview of Buddhist cosmology coming from the Indo-Tibetan tradition, though also noting that most of this roots back to the Abhidharma (one of the Three Baskets of the Pali Canon) so is somewhat consistent here with the Theravada school as well.
This background is assumed in the text but may not be as familiar to all of the readers who visit this blog. Also note I am neither a scholar nor a monk. I am a student and lay-practitioner with only about 10 years of Dharma study and practice under my belt. For a more in-depth understanding I recommend contacting a qualified lama, monk and/or scholar. That said, I do make effort to stay informed and to share what I have learned with as much care and accuracy as is possible. Like any of the material here on Vajra Vehicle, all errors and/or omissions are mine alone. As mentioned elsewhere, please know I always welcome questions, feedback, critiques, corrections and/or suggestions. I invite you to comment if you are reading this and you have something you would like to share. In fact, this offer stands for all of the posts on this blog. Now, on to some cosmology…
HH Penam Rinpoche
Today, 10 March 2013, is the 5th anniversary of the parinirvana of His Holiness Penam Rinpoche (full name Ngagwang Pedma Namgyal Palzangpo). As I write this note I reflect on the kindness this great lama has shown to me. In a very literal sense it was Penam Rinpoche that led me to the Buddhadharma. I have wrote a bit about this in a previous entry so I will not repeat all the details here except to say that without his influence I may never have come to embrace the Dharma in this life.
I was recently reading materials about meditation and came across a reference to a concept that in some of the Vedic traditions is called ‘Brahmamuhurta’ (Time of Brahma) and in Sikhism is called ‘Amrit Vela’ (Ambrosial Hours). And while this specific idea comes from outside of my own tradition per se (though I know there are rough equivalents, minus some of the details), I found it rather intriguing, saw no conflict with my path and thought there might even be some potential benefits involved. I decided to give it a try.