Special Class: Combining Compassion and Emptiness- A Course in Mind Training

Fridays: 6/3, 6/10, 6/17 and 6/24 at 7:00 pm
Instructor: Ken Hockett
Location: Shrine Room
Duration: Four two-hour class sessions which will begin with 30 minutes of meditation practice
Text: The Great Path of Awakening by Jamgön Kongtrul (translated by Ken McLeod)
Suggested Contribution Per Class: $15 Public, $12 Members

In order to fulfill the Mahayana intention to benefit beings, we must train our minds so that we can develop our inherent compassion. The purpose of Mind Training is to develop the two aspects of Bodhicitta - Ultimate Bodhicitta and Relative Bodhicitta. The method of Mind Training is through meditation which combines calm abiding and insight meditation to experience emptiness. It will be helpful to attend each of the sessions, but not absolutely necessary.

1st Session: The purposes of Mind Training with emphasis on the motivation for this practice will be discussed. Additionally, Point 1 (The Preliminaries) will be explained.

2nd Session: This session will examine Point 2 ("The Actual Practice"), which contains the heart of the practice. Students will be introduced to both the formal practice of Mind Training (as described by Jamgon Kongtrul) and the informal practice that one could use in daily life. There will be homework. [A practice text will be distributed.]

3rd Session: In this session, Point 3 (Bringing Adversity on to the Path) and Point 4 (Practices for Your Whole Life) will be discussed. We will investigate how we can integrate the attitude of Mind Training into our daily life. Homework experience will be discussed.

4th Session: This class will address Point 5 (Evaluating Your Mind Training), Point 6 (The Disciplines of Mind Training) and Point 7 (The Guidelines). These sections contain many proverbs, some of which are self-evident and some of which are subtle. We will discuss as many aspects of each one as time permits.

Ken Hockett: Having studied Buddhist precepts for several years and convinced of the truth and relevance of the Buddha Dharma in my own life I sought out an entrance to the path and took refuge with H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Rinpoche in 1977. While principally my study and practice has been within the Sakya and Nyingma traditions, I have received teachings and initiations from Lamas and teachers of the Four Schools.