Living in the Path OnlineRealizing the Lamrim, All Topics: Atisha’s Light of the Path to Enlightenment
Living in the Path is an online program taught exclusively by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual director of the FPMT. Many of the modules are extracted from Rinpoche’s explanations of the topics of the lamrim – the teachings on the stages of the path to enlightenment according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa (Gelug). Other modules cover specific practices intended to help us purify our negative karma and create the merit necessary to actualize the lamrim topics.
Living in the Path is ideal for anyone who wishes to deepen their personal practice and develop the realizations of the path to enlightenment by relying on Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s heart advice and teachings. However, as Rinpoche’s teachings often assume familiarity with the topics of the lamrim, it is advisable to have done some prior study of the lamrim, such as by having completed some or all of the modules of Discovering Buddhism.
In this module of Living in the Path, Lama Zopa Rinpoche's begins a commentary to Lama Atisha’s highly influential text, Light of the Path to Enlightenment. This 11th century text is considered to be the first of a genre of texts known as lamrim in Tibetan, or the stages of the path to enlightenment in English, and subsequently many Tibetan scholars, including Lama Tsongkhapa, wrote commentaries to it. To this day, the lamrim remains a cornerstone of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
The inspiration to give this commentary came to Lama Zopa Rinpoche in a dream and the ongoing Light of the Path retreats held in North Carolina, USA will continue until the commentary is complete. Currently there have been four Light of the Path retreats (2009, 2010, 2014, and 2016). Thus far Rinpoche has given an introduction to the text which is available here. Additional teachings will be added to this module as the commentary progresses.
Lama Atisha made it very clear how the Hinayana, the Mahayana Paramitayana, the Mahayana Secret Mantra Vajrayana are a graduated practice for one person to achieve enlightenment. There is nothing contradictory for that person; everything is advice and everything is practice. (Lama Zopa Rinpoche)
In the first installment of the commentary, “Introduction to the Text,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche briefly recounts the life story of Atisha and the circumstances under which Atisha composed Light of the Path to Enlightenment, and then explains who the three capable beings are and how to ensure that all our actions become Dharma.
The course materials consist of 25 pages of lightly edited transcripts accompanied by four short video excerpts (4-17 minutes each) drawn from Lama Zopa Rinpoche teachings given at the Light of the Path Retreat 2009 held in North Carolina, USA.
Includes the prayer “In Praise of Atisha” composed by Lama Atisha’s heart disciple, Gyalwa Dromtonpa.
Important information about your order of online materials: Following your order, you will receive an email with a link to a webpage to download a PDF document which will contain the enrollment key for the course and instructions on how to access the course on the FPMT Online Learning Center.