Path of Meditation
The Path of Meditation journey consists of three stages:
1. Shamatha-Vipashyana, which includes “calm abiding” meditation, or shamatha, and vipashyana or “clear insight,” also called analytical meditation.
2. Mind Training (lojong in Tibetan), at which stage Nalandabodhi students rely on traditional Indian and Tibetan Buddhist instructions to train in the qualities of loving kindness, compassion, and bodhichitta, the heart of awakening. If you decide to become a Nalandabodhi member, more detailed information on these practices will be given to you by your Practice Instructor and by the teachers of Nalandabodhi.
3. Further Journeys: Following the mind trainings, and in consultation with your Practice Instructor, a Nalandabodhi student may request to begin ngondro, the series of preliminary practices unique to the Vajrayana tradition. These practices prepare the student to enter into the profound practice paths of Vajrayana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen, under the guidance of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, who presents these traditions based upon authentic transmissions that have been passed down from master to student for centuries in India, Tibet, and, now, the Western hemisphere.
The practice of meditation is basically a process of getting to know yourself by becoming familiar with your mind. The Buddhist view of the mind is that it’s always awake. Its nature is awareness and compassion.
Whatever meditation practices we may do, they are all intended to increase our mindfulness and awareness, strengthen our sense of inner peace, and improve our ability to deal with our emotions as well.
— Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche has carefully designed a complete Buddhist practice path that members of Nalandabodhi follow as their main journey of meditation. Under Rinpoche’s direction, senior students are trained as Practice Instructors (PIs) who work with newer students, serving as guides and friends, both in local Nalandabodhi centers and with the larger worldwide membership.
Meditation instruction is available at all Nalandabodhi Centers, and anyone seeking basic meditation instruction is welcome. The five-session Beginning Meditation class introduces those new to the practice of meditation to basic techniques for developing a calm body and a steady mind. A donation of $15.00 per class is suggested. This class is also an opportunity to meet some of the Nalandabodhi Practice Instructors and become familiar with a local center.