Living in the Path OnlineTaking the Essence: The Eight Mahayana Precepts
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 The Eight Mahayana Precepts, Lama Zopa Rinpoche shows us the importance of taking and keeping these special vows based on the Mahayana motivation of bodhichitta. These eight precepts, which are taken for the period of a single day (from dawn to dawn), are to abandon: (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) sexual activity, (4) to abandon lying, (5) intoxicating substances, (6) sitting on large or high seat or beds, (7) eating at the wrong time (after noon), and (8) perfumes, garlands, and ornaments, and singing, dancing, and playing music.
Taking the eight Mahayana precepts is another way to make life meaningful, to take its essence all day and night, by taking vows. It is so simple. It is just for one day. Just for one day. It makes it so easy. It’s not for a lifetime. (Lama Zopa Rinpoche)
The course materials consist of 35 pages of lightly edited transcripts accompanied by four video excerpts of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings drawn from the Light of the Path Retreat 2009 held in North Carolina, USA. The transcript also includes a description of the specific benefits of the individual precepts extracted from Teachings from the Vajrasattva Retreat. The module is introduced in a video featuring Ven. Paloma Alba (Tenzin Chokyi).
IMPORTANT: If you have not previously received the lineage of the eight Mahayana precepts from a teacher/master, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has given special permission to take the lineage from him via the video Actual Ceremony for Taking the Precepts found in the Course Materials.
Ceremony for Taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts (revised 2016)
1. Making Life Meaningful with Vows2. Specific Benefits of the Individual Precepts3. His Holiness’ Motivation for Taking the Precepts4. Actual Ceremony for Taking the Precepts
Video 1: “The Merit of Keeping Just One Vow”Video 2: “The Real I”Video 3: “Abbreviated Motivation for Taking the Precepts”Video 4: “Actual Ceremony for Taking the Precepts”
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.