Special Lectures: Combining Compassion and Emptiness-Seven Point Mind Training

Lecturer: Ken Hockett
Wednesdays, March 1st and 8th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Recommended Text: The Great Path of Awakening by Jamgön Kongtrul (translated by Ken McLeod)

Purpose: The purpose of this class is to provide a structure for in-depth practice and analysis of this method of Mind Training using both the Eight Verses and the Seven Points. Hopefully, we all will learn something about ourselves and where we are going on this Path, which combines Compassion and Emptiness. Another purpose of this class is to provide a framework for continuity and positive reinforcement in your practice. It will be helpful to attend each of the sessions, but not absolutely necessary.

1st Session: We start with a short introduction to the history of Mind Training and the scriptural roots with an introduction to the texts we will use for the class. We will discuss the purposes of Mind Training with emphasis on the motivation for this practice. Then, we will discuss Point One (“The Preliminaries”), what the preliminaries are and various approaches to practice. We will discuss Point Two, ("The Actual Practice"), which contains the heart of the practice and explains Bodhicitta in its myriad aspects. We will also be introduced to both the formal practice of Mind Training that you do on your cushion (as described by Jamgon Kongtrul) and the informal part that you practice in your daily life.

2nd Session: This session will begin with a short practice session and progresses to Points Three (Bringing Adversity on to the Path) and Four (Practices for Your Whole Life) and how we can integrate the attitude of Mind Training into our daily life. We will also discuss Points Five (Evaluating Your Mind Training), Six (The Disciplines of Mind Training) and Seven (The Guidelines). These sections contain many slogans to use as supports to Mind Training practice. Some of these are self-evident and some are subtle. We will discuss as many aspects of each one as possible.

Ken Hockett is one of the senior Dharma students at Sakya. After much reading and study, he took refuge before H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang in 1977. His principal interest is in the Mind Training methods and has been teaching these at Sakya Monastery for over 10 years. Having received teachings and initiations from Lamas of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, his main teachers are of the Sakya and Nyingma traditions. He has also produced many of the practice texts used at Sakya Monastery.