In preparation for the upcoming Stages of Meditation course, I would like to introduce the text that we will be using as a basis for study and contemplation. While the weekly meditation sessions will focus on practical experience and techniques of meditation, each week there will be blog posts that further clarify the meditation sessions and serve as a platform for discussion and inquiry.
The text we will be using is the Ocean of Definitive Meaning, written by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in the late 1500's. This text is one of the most detailed and direct instruction manuals within the Mahamudra tradition.
We can broadly distinguish the Mahamudra tradition into two categories: the path of liberation and the path of method. The path of method is characterized by the practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa. The path of liberation is exemplified in this present text by the Ninth Karmapa. The true nature of the path is to tame this mind of ours, whether it be according to the Mahayana Sutra, Mahamudra or Dzogchen vehicles. This present text serves as a step-by-step guide by which we can accomplish this primary aim- to gain our own experience and to realize the ultimate meaning, our own self-arising primordial wisdom.
The text is divided into three main sections- the preliminaries, shamatha or calm abiding, and vipassana or insight. Each week we will address the main topics in a rather brief way, though it will provide a firm support for your own study and investigation.
I am really looking forward to this upcoming class, as always feel free to ask questions and look forward to starting class soon!