Lamrim: the Gradual Path to Enlightenment

About this section:
The Buddha gave teachings in order to share with us the path to enlightenment that he had actualized himself. These teachings are practical, give us the tools to deal with difficulties, and show us how to live a meaningful life.

The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-fold Path are one way of formulating these teachings. The Gradual Path to Enlightenment is another. These two are compatible, and knowing both enables us to look at the same thing from different perspectives. In the early eleventh century, the Indian Buddhist master, Atisha condensed essential points from the sutras and ordered them into the text, Lamp of the Path. These were then expanded upon in the fourteenth century by the Tibetan Buddhist master, Lama Tzong Khapa into the text The Great Exposition on the Gradual Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chemmo). Venerable Chodron comments on this text and relates these practical teachings to our daily lives.


Lamrim Outline in:
- html format
- PDF format
- Microsoft Word format

Help with listening to audio recordings

Tapes of teachings given at DFF in Seattle can be ordered from DFF. Pls refer to:


4.B.2.A.1.a. Remembering Death

Note: parts of the teachings were lost due to change of tape during recording.

*These are from a series of Lamrim teachings that Ven. Chodron gave at Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle, fr 1991 to 1994. The audio files were previously available on this website in realplayer format. These have been converted to mp3 format. The contents remain the same. The audio files and transcripts have also been renamed to run in sequence and to match the transcripts with their corresponding audio files. Another round of light editing has been done to most transcripts (revised on 5 Jan 2006).

*Disadvantages of Not Thinking About Death (including the 8 Worldly Concerns). Dharma Friendship Foundation, Seattle. 1991/92. [Transcript in PDF format]

Disadvantages of Not Remembering Death
[25 min]: Download

8 Worldly Concerns [14 min]: Download

1st 2 pairs of Worldly Concerns
[23 min]: Download

Last 2 pairs of Worldly Concerns
[15 min]: Download

Question-and-Answer session
[25 min]: Download
Topics discussed:
- Acquiring a good reputation to serve others; Using meditation to check on our motivation
- Importance of continually reflecting on death
- Dealing with criticisms
- Non-attachment to money

*Elaboration of the 3rd Disadv of Not Remembering Death:
1. Detaching Ourselves from the 8 Worldly Concerns
2. Relying on the 10 Innermost Jewels of the Kadam Tradition

DFF, Seattle. 1991/92. [Transcript in PDF format]

Questions & Answers on last teaching
[6 min]: Download
Topics discussed:
- Freeing ourselves of anxiety
- Handling Criticism

Detaching Ourselves from the 8 Worldly Concerns
[24 min]: Download

The 10 Innermost Jewels of the Kadam Tradition:
a) The 4 Trusting Acceptances
[18 min]: Download
b) The 3 Vajra-like Convictions
c) The 3 Mature Attitudes
[16 min]: Download

*9-Point Meditation on Death. DFF, Seattle. 1991/92.
[Transcript in PDF format]

Death is definite
Time of death is indefinite

[18 min]: Download

Nothing else can help at the time of death except the Dharma [19 min]: Download

How to Meditate on the above

[6 min]: Download

Question-and-Answer session
[18 min]: Download

Topics discussed:
- Antidote to regret
- Accepting the death of a person who's likely to have a lower rebirth
- Being calm is not the same as being passive
- How to help a very anxious dying person?
- Reading materials on death
- Purpose of prolonging life
- Preparation for death
- Violent deaths
- Dharma friends vs ordinary friends
- Do we need help when we are dying?
- What would dharma friends do to help their dying friend?

*Meditations on Death & Impermanence (including imagining our own death). DFF, Seattle. 1991/92. [Transcript in PDF format]

Gross Impermanence and Subtle Impermanence

[16 min]: Download

Benefits and Ways to Meditate on Death
[11 min]: Download

Different Dying Experience of Two Students; Mind Frame of a Third Student [20 min]: Download

Question-and-Answer session

[9 min]: Download
Topics discussed:
- Eternal and Permanent
- Bodies of the Buddha - Permanent / Impermanent / Eternal / Not Eternal
- Types of Buddha Nature - Permanent / Impermanent
- Understanding Impermanence Leads to Understanding Emptiness

The Eight Wordly Concerns. Maitripa Institute , Portland, OR: 08 June 2007.

Part 1
Introduction and outline of the Eight Worldly Concerns: Activities that keep our mind "spinning" in the world
[32 min]: Download

Part 2
Eight Worldly Concerns in depth: Is the Buddha trying to make us miserable?
[32 min]: Download

Part 3 Q&A
- Praise, Blame and Co-workers
- Afflictive Thoughts
- Eight Worldly Concerns and looking for a job
- First Thoughts in the Morning
- Boredom
- Offering Sense Pleasures to the Buddhas
- Second Guessing Motivation

[26 min]: Download

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