Stillness, Insight, and Emptiness: Buddhist Meditation from the Ground Up

Stillness, Insight, and Emptiness: Buddhist Meditation from the Ground Up

by Lama Dudjom Dorjee


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Meditation is the key to meaningful Buddhist practice, but establishing a solid foundation requires skill and sustained effort. In simple and inviting language, this book shows how to develop a successful meditation practice.

In Tibetan Buddhism, developing a consistent and sustained meditation practice is the first step toward discerning the true nature of reality as taught by the Buddha. Lama Dudjom Dorjee encapsulates the Buddha's teaching in terms that are accessible and encouraging for beginning meditators, covering topics from establishing a proper meditation posture to realizing the luminous and spacious qualities of the mind.

Chapters discuss
•The life of the Buddha
•The first turning of the wheel of dharma
•The four noble truths and the eightfold path
•Proper meditation posture
•The nine stages of shamatha, or resting the mind
•Common obstacles to shamatha and their antidotes
•Benefits of developing shamatha
•The subsequent stages of practice, including insight/vipashyana meditation and mahamudra

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781559394208
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 12/03/2013
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 9.02(w) x 5.96(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Born to a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, LAMA DUDJOM DORJEE grew up in India and received a distinguished Acharya degree from Sanskrit University in Varanasi. In 1981, at the request of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, he came to the United States as a representative of the Karma Kagyu lineage. He is presently Resident Lama of Karma Thegsum Choling in Dallas, Texas.

Table of Contents

Foreword: A Letter from His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche ix

My Prayer and Aspiration xi

Introduction 1

1 The Twelve Deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha 7

The Buddha's Birth 7

The Buddha's Parents 7

The Buddha's Birthplace 7

The Buddha's Childhood 8

The Buddha's Worldly Skills 8

The Buddha Renounces Worldly Life 8

The Buddha Becomes an Ascetic 9

The Buddha Attains Enlightenment 9

The Buddha Turns the Wheel of Dharma 10

The Buddha Conquers the Maras 10

The Buddha Performs Miracles 11

The Buddha's Death 11

2 The Four Noble Truths 15

The Truth of Suffering 16

The Truth of the Cause of Suffering 19

The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering 21

The Truth of the Path 23

3 The Noble Eightfold Path 25

Right View 25

Right Thought 26

Right Speech 27

Right Action 28

Right Livelihood 30

Right Effort 30

Right Mindfulness 31

Right Concentration 34

4 The Seven Vairochana Dharma Gestures 37

Physical Posture 38

Preliminary Breathing Exercises 45

5 The Nine Stages of Shamatha Meditation 47

Stage 1 Placing the Mind 49

Stage 2 Placing the Mind Again and Again 49

Stage 3 Continuously Placing the Mind 50

Stage 4 Thoroughly Settling the Mind 51

Stage 5 Placing and Taming the Mind 52

Stage 6 Pacifying the Mind 52

Moving Deeper into Shamatha 53

Stage 7 More Deeply Pacifying the Subtler Mind 53

Stage 8 Focusing the Mind One-Pointedly 54

Stage 9 Settling the Mind in Equipoise 55

Subtleties in the Differences between the Nine Stages 56

Three Groups of the Nine Stages 56

6 Benefits and Advantages of Meditation 59

Seclusion and Meditation 60

Longevity and Meditation 60

Inner Strength and Meditation 61

Negativities and Meditation 62

Reputation and Meditation 63

Contentment and Meditation 64

Fear, Confidence, and Meditation 64

Laziness and Meditation 65

The Three Poisons and Meditation 67

Pride and Meditation 68

Distraction and Meditation 70

The Ice Mind and Meditation 71

Nirvana and Meditation 71

Venerability and Meditation 72

Joy and Meditation 73

Emptiness and Meditation 74

Enlightenment and Meditation 75

The Victorious Ones and the Benefits of Meditation 76

7 Obstacles to Shamatha and Their Antidotes 77

The Scattered Mind 77

The Dark, Dull, or Hazy Mind 79

The Skeptical Mind 80

The Afflicted Mind 81

The Referential Mind 82

Discipline and Meditation 84

Basic Goodness and Meditation 84

8 Vipashyana and Mahamudra 87

Vipashyana and the Characteristics of Mind 88

Luminous Clarity 89

Unobstructed Spaciousness 90

Emptiness and Limitless Possibility 92

Nature of Mind and Vipashyana 94

Emotions and Vipashyana 95

Duality and Vipashyana 96

Perspective and Vipashyana 97

Highest Practices and Vipashyana 97

9 Obstacles to Vipashyana and Their Antidotes 99

Infinite Thoughts and Vipashyana 99

Hypersensitivity and Vipashyana 100

Adversity and Vipashyana 101

Self-Esteem and Vipashyana 101

Complication and Vipashyana 103

Uncreated Mind and Vipashyana 104

Hopes, Fears, and Vipashyana 104

Skepticism and Vipashyana 105

Preoccupations and Vipashyana 106

Entertainment and Vipashyana 107

Chasing Thoughts and Vipashyana 108

Dedication of Merit 109

Autobiographical Afterword 111

The Story of Yolmo Kangra 113

Acknowledgments 119

Glossary 131

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