Wouldn’t It Be Better to Practice the Dharma?

THE HEART TEACHINGS OF ATISA AND HIS DISCIPLES

The precept of the Lama is more important than scriptures and commentaries. 
Atiśa

Atisa was known for his ability to distil the general principles of the Dharma into ‘precepts’ – specific teachings for his personal disciples. In this retreat we’ll see how Bhante follows the masterclass of Atisa, and his immediate disciple, Drom, in the art of giving and receiving precepts; showing in the process how to combine profound wisdom, an immediate down-to-earth quality, and gentle humour.

This retreat is based on Sangharakshita’s seminar called The Door of Liberation, which consisted of seven Tibetan texts, translated under the auspices of Geshe Wangyal.

… you can’t really say what life is. This is the sort of thing that the teaching of Sunyata is getting at. Life is bigger than your ideas about life. Life cannot be reduced to your ideas or to any system of your ideas. This is what sunyata really means, about higher and higher levels of the experience of life. That life is unique and indefinable, unconceptualizable.

Please note that the audio of the puja on the first two days was sadly inaudible due to technical difficulties.

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Day 1

OPENING SESSION

In this Opening session Saddhaloka introduces us to the retreat followed by a dedication and threefold puja led by Prajnaketu

Day 2

The Refuge Guru

Saddhaloka introduces us to Atisha and shares some of his own history around encountering the Dharma.

Bodhicitta practice

A led Bodhicitta Practice by Saddhaloka.

Day 3

Second precept

In this session Pranjaketu talks to us on the second Kadampa precept linking personal experience to the teachings.

bodhichitta practice

A led Bodhicitta Practice by Saddhaloka.

Day 4

fourth precept

Shubhavyuha unpacks Atisha’s final pieces of advice given to his disciples upon his departure from Tibet.

bodhicitta practice

A led Bodhicitta Practice by Saddhaloka.

Puja

This session follows the evening routine of a short sit followed by sevenfold puja.

Day 5

fifth precept

Saddhaloka explores the sincerity and good humour of the fifth precept and some additional material.

bodhicitta practice

A led Bodhicitta Practice by Saddhaloka.

puja

Just Sitting followed by a Sevenfold Puja.

Day 6

third and eighth precepts

Prajnaketu connects Atisha and Drom’s precepts three and eight to Bhante’s words in seminar.

bodhicitta practice

A led Bodhicitta Practice by Saddhaloka.

puja

Just Sitting followed by a Sevenfold Puja.

Day 7

precepts 12 and 13

Saddhaloka and Prajnaketu guide us through study of the final two precepts of the retreat.

bodhicitta practice

A led Bodhicitta Practice by Saddhaloka.

puja

A final Sevenfold Puja to close the retreat.

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