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.
"Any person who doesn't knowThe secret of the mind, the supreme principal of Dharma,Even if desiring to achieve happiness and destroy suffering,They will wander [in samsara], meaninglessly." - Bodhisattva Shantideva
Lama Zopa Rinpoche begins this teaching saying that the philosophy that “Phenomena are created by the mind” is unique to Buddhism, and goes on to explain that it is also "the secret of the mind." What this means, in brief, is that every suffering or happiness we experience is the result of our own actions or karma, which in turn come from our mind. Because of this we have total freedom to choose whether to experience happiness or suffering. Therefore, the best thing we can do in life is to put effort into stopping suffering from our own mind, and to put effort into achieving happiness from our own mind.
In short, in The Secret of the Mind, Lama Zopa Rinpoche shows us that mind and karma – rather than external conditions – are the source of all our happiness and suffering. The teachings include a detailed explanation of the various types of karmic results that come from engaging in and refraining from the ten non-virtuous actions.
This module of Living in the Path consists of 54 pages of lightly edited transcripts accompanied by four short video extracts (10-20 minutes) drawn from teachings given at the Light of the Path Retreat 2010 held in North Carolina, USA. The module is introduced in a video featuring Ven. Robina Courtin.
1. Suffering Comes From Negative Karma2. The Karmic Chain of Endless Harm3. What to Think When You Are Harmed4. Phenomena are Created by the Mind5. The Karmic Results of Virtue and Nonvirtue6. Actions Done With Attachment Become Negative Karma7. The Three Realms in Which We Suffer8. The Three Kinds of Suffering Experienced in Samsara9. The Secret of the Mind10. The Importance of Protecting the Mind
Video 1: “The Karmic Chain of Endless Harm”Video 2: “Phenomena are Created by the Mind”Video 3: “The Three Kinds of Suffering”Video 4: “The Secret of the Mind”
To help deepen your personal understanding and experience of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings, they are supplemented with:
A “Certificate of Achievement” is granted upon the successful completion of all the course requirements regarding study, meditation, and practice.