We wish for happiness, yet frequently we fail to identify its source. We wish to be free of suffering, frustration and grief but we do not correctly identify the sources of our unhappiness. So, although we wish to be free of misery we hasten after it, all the while destroying the causes of the happiness we could have. So say the Buddhist teachings. And they outlined a path which they say leads away from problems and to a magnificent and genuine happiness.
The Buddha and the great teachers who followed him gave clear instructions on how to proceed from a state of suffering to a state of peace and happiness. Following such teachings of the great masters of the past, Lama Atisha summarised them in his famous text, ‘The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment’, which is regarded as the basis for all the Lam Rim, or Gradual Path teachings. The primary goal of these teachings is to discipline and transform the mind. They have their source in the teachings of the Buddha himself, but their special virtue is that they convey the thought of the Buddha in a format that is easy to apply in practice. In other words, they are to be integrated into our lives right here and now, and we can enjoy the benefits immediately.
Join us as we explore the presentation of this path, step by step, through a combination of presentations, discussion and meditation. We recommend you download a short ‘Overview of the Entire Path’ by Robina Courtin, as a study guide, and also the Discovering Buddhism Outline – see below, and for a few suggested books.
“In the realm of the external material world. We are aware of what is good for us and what harms us. Then, on the basis of this careful analysis and clear knowledge, we try to create a joyful life, a successful life, the happy life that we all know is our birthright.
Similarly, in the vast realm of our thoughts and emotions, we need careful analysis to develop clear awareness of what is harmful and what is helpful. So we must work to increase the positive elements of our minds and weaken the force of our negative elements. The positive elements enhance our happiness; the negative elements undermine it. Thus, a clear understanding of our inner world is of the utmost importance.”
HH Dalai Lama
This course is the third module of the widely respected Discovering Buddhism programme. By engaging in this course, participants will gain an experiential taste of the Buddha’s teachings, some retreat experience, and the skills they need to make their lives most meaningful. Included are presentations of ideas, discussion, meditations and suggestions for further reading.