Dear Sangha Members,
We hope that everyone is well and send our warmest wishes to all. Despite all of the difficulties and not being able to gather in-person as a sangha, through the kindness of our most precious teacher, Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, the Mindrolling International sangha has had a wonderful opportunity to continue to practice the three wisdoms of hearing, contemplating, and meditating during this time. Under the guidance of Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche and Minling Jetsün Dechen Paldrön, several hundred students have been able to continue their studies in the path of Buddhadharma through the Great Chariot Online Review program.
This program has been an in-depth study and practice program for students to turn our minds to the Dharma by reflecting deeply on the preciousness of this human existence, impermanence, the sufferings of samsara and cause and effect (karma). Comprising three parts, this program covered these first four topics of the Omniscient Longchen Rabjam’s treatise “The Great Chariot: a Commentary on Resting in the Nature of Mind of the Great Perfection.” This classical text, by one of the most renowned masters in the entire history of Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, is a commentary on his own root text “Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind of the Great Perfection.” It provides a thorough explanation of the view, meditation and conduct of the entire Buddhist path from the very foundational teachings up to the final fruition of complete freedom from suffering.
Through the extensive, penetrating, and timely explanations of Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, students have spent 7 weeks in total hearing, contemplating, and meditating on these profound teachings. These first four topics of the text form the four thoughts that turn the mind to the dharma and are the very foundation of any Buddhist practitioner’s path of practice. Rinpoche’s teachings bring the text to life through clear, penetrating, and precise commentary on this incredible text. The clarity and insight of these teachings provokes students to re-examine and re-strengthen one’s understanding and approach to the Buddhadharma.
Through this process of hearing the teachings, reflecting upon them, and bringing this understanding to meditation, a student makes these four thoughts into the pillars that protect one’s own sanity from the distractions, negativities and challenges we all face in this modern world. It has been a wonderful opportunity for students new and old alike to take a fresh approach to the path of Buddhadharma and to find joy and happiness in the profound simplicity of genuinely practicing the Buddha’s teachings.
Because the program is sequential and each part builds upon the previous, the online program has only been available to those who have started it from the beginning. However, there has been much interest from students who missed the earlier parts of the program. In response, Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche has said that another self-study program should be made available for students who wish to join this cycle of teachings but were not able to participate previously. This program is open to all students. It will begin on March 28, 2021 and will conclude May 14, 2021. For students who may have completed only some parts of the program, you will be able to register for the parts that you missed so that you may continue with the cycle.
This self-study program will not have the live review or practice sessions, but students will have access to all the recordings and materials. Having completed this Great Chariot Self-Study program, students will be fully prepared and authorized to continue the cycle with the rest of the sangha when the next part is offered.
Each section of the self-study program includes the following:
- Recordings of teachings by Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche bestowed and Mindrolling Lotus Garden in Virginia, USA between 2017 and 2019. These teachings cover the topics of
- Preciousness of this Human Existence
- The Sufferings of Samsara
- New teachings from Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche in 2020 and 2021 to guide students in their studies and to respond to questions from students.
- Program Guidelines explaining how to approach the teachings and maintain proper discipline as a student.
- Review Sessions led by the team of Dharma Instructors reviewing and answering questions from each of Rinpoche’s teachings.
- Translation of chapters one through four of the text of “The Great Chariot: A Commentary on Resting in the Nature of Mind of the Great Perfection” by Longchen Rabjam
- Contemplations from Longchen Rabjam’s practice manual that is a companion volume to “The Great Chariot”.
- Translations of all teachings and review sessions in:
- Daily recitations and practices to support students’ in-depth study and contemplation on these profound teachings.
Following the example of the great Longchen Rabjam and Minling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, it falls to each student to not simply approach these teachings intellectually but to fully engage in the methods of contemplation and meditation to transform one’s small self-centered mind, wild with negative emotions, into the vast, joyful, compassionate mind of a practitioner of the Buddhadharma. By following their great examples and their teachings and instructions, a practitioner will surely find rest from the continuously turning wheel of samsara.
Registration for the program opens soon and another email will be sent out with the details. If you have any questions, please send us a message at email@example.com.
With Sincere Regards,
The Dharmashri Online Portal Team