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The text for the course is Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness, by Chogyam Trungpa. It’s available in hardcover, digital, and audio editions. It is also included in The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa, Volume 2, available in both print and digital editions.

This course is the first in a two-part series that explores the lojong or mind training practice of Mahayana Buddhism, as presented in the Indo-Tibetan tradition. It is a path of putting others before oneself. Bodhichitta, awakened heart, is a quality we all possess innately. It has two aspects:

  • absolute bodhichitta, the fundamental principle of awakened heart/mind as it exists in us, regardless of immediate circumstances; and
  • relative bodhichitta, the quality of our mental state and actions that arises in the moment.

The first we come to understand through contemplative practice; the second we cultivate in our interactions in the world. This course covers the slogans associated with absolute bodhichitta, 2-6. After we lay the groundwork in class 1, each of the following classes will involve silent contemplation of the meaning of the absolute bodhicitta slogans, which are organized in a progression. After class 1, there is little reading. The emphasis is on practical first-hand experience rather than scholarship. Without deep appreciation of the view inherent in the absolute slogans, the relative slogans—such as “Drive all blames into one”—are needlessly confusing and misleading at best and dangerous at worst.

Class 1 The tradition of the noble heart November 1, 2020, 11:30 am EST

  • First train in the preliminaries.

TTM Reading: Editor’s Foreword, Introduction, Point One, Point Two up to Absolute Bodhichitta Slogans

Class 2 Soft and dreamlike mental creations November 8, 2020, 11:30 am EST

  • Regard all dharma as dreams.

TTM Reading: Commentary on slogan #2

Class 3 Colorless, shapeless, rootless root November 15, 2020, 11:30 am EST

  • Contemplate the nature of unborn awareness.

TTM Reading: Commentary on slogan #3

Class 4 Beyond so-what-ness to resting in simple, November 22, 2020, 11:30 am EST

clear, non-discriminating mind

  • Self-liberate even the antidote.
  • Rest in the nature of Alaya, the essence.

TTM Reading: Commentary on slogans #4 & 5

Class 5 Child’s play November 29, 2020, 11:30 am EST

  • In postmeditation, be a child of illusion.

TTM Reading: Commentary on slogan #6

 

About the Instructors

Tillie Perks was raised in a Buddhist community in Canada and has been a practitioner for over twenty years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in Buddhist studies, with a focus on the English poetry of Chögyam Trungpa. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist traditions at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. Her research is focused on Buddhism in the modern era. She works for the Chögyam Trungpa Transcription Project, which aims to transcribe all of Chögyam Trungpa's recorded audio and video materials and she is presently serving on the board of the Nalanda Foundation.

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