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How to Free Your Mind – Tara the Liberator
Workshop conducted by Ven. Thubten Chodron©
Tai Pei Buddhist Centre, Singapore.
28 and 29 Oct 2006


| Teachings and Guided Meditation   |  Discussion Sessions  
|  Question-and-Answer | Advice and Dedication |

Teachings and Guided Meditation

Part 1. [29 min] : Download mp3 file

“Just by the way Tara is sitting, she is telling us about how we need to practice to become enlightened like her. She is telling us something about living a balanced life and being a whole person. She is also telling us something about self-confidence.” 

Who is Tara? 3 ways in which we can see Tara.
Significance of Tara’s posture.
Why do we do the Tara practice?
Preventing ‘compassion fatigue’
.

 

Part 2. [19 min] : Download mp3 file

Tara looks very happy – where is the happiness coming from?
Who is White Tara? Includes a discussion about peaceful and wrathful appearances of deities/our teachers.
Is Tara a Buddha?

 

Part 3. [6 min] : Download mp3 file

Brief instructions on the Tara practice.

 

Part 4. [30 min] : Download mp3 file

Guided Tara meditation practice including purifying with the 4 opponent powers.

 

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Discussion Sessions

Tara Workshop Oct 2006

Day 1, Part 1. [3 min] : Download mp3 file

Discussion Questions:

  • Looking back at your life, what are patterns of anger that you see? Are there particular people or kind of people that you get angry at? Are there similar situations that you get angry in? What kind of patterns and habits do you find among the various times when you get angry?

  • What is it that your mind is thinking in those particular habitual situations when you are angry? What is it that you are really wanting? What are you saying to yourself?

  • Is what you are saying to yourself or what you are wanting realistic or is the story you are telling yourself something very self-centered with a lot of expectations and demands on other people? Evaluate the kind of thought that you are having that feeds into your anger.

  • How else could you think in those situations? How else could you look at it so that you do not get angry? In other words, if you see that your way of thinking in those situations is askew or in correct, then how else could you look at the situation so that your mind would be more tolerant, more accepting?

An example relating to the above questions.

 

Day 1, Part 2. [14 min] : Download mp3 file

Discussion Debrief.

 


 

Day 2, Part 1. [1 min] : Download mp3 file

Discussion Questions:

Apologizing

  • What does it mean to apologize?
  • Who do you need to apologize to?
  • What is preventing you from apologizing?
  • What obstacles do you need to overcome so that you will be able to apologize? How can you change your mind so that your mind finds it easy and happy to apologize?

Forgiving

  • What does it mean to forgive?
  • Who do you need to forgive?
  • What is preventing you from forgiving that person?
  •  What changes can you make in your mind so that forgiving feels good and is something that you want to do?

Why it is important to forgive and to apologize.

 

Day 2, Part 2. [28 min] : Download mp3 file

"We don’t have to wait for someone to apologize before we forgive them. Forgiving isn’t something we do in response to an apology; forgiving is something we do because we are tired of hurting."

Debrief:

  • If somebody gives a fake apology, do we forgive them?
  • Is there a difference between forgiving and reconciliation?
  • What is the difference between Emotional Healing Therapies and Dharma practice? It’s important for us to get in touch with our emotions because we can’t heal from our emotions if we can’t acknowledge having them. Question is, does just recognizing what we feel necessarily heal us?
  • When we join a religion, we feel we have to be good and try to suppress our negative emotions. How do we overcome this?



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Question-and-Answer Sessions

Part 1 [16 min] : Download mp3 file

  • What do we do when we have a Dharma question?; Not having a consumer attitude when it comes to attending Dharma teachings.
  • What do the syllables ‘AH’ and ‘TAM’ and the moon disc look like?
  • What can we do when the legs hurt during meditation? One of the reasons that it is hard to sit is not so much the pain, but that we have a lot of restless energy. Exercises will also help.

 

Part 2 [23 min] : Download mp3 file

  • What is an initiation? Is an initiation required to do the Tara practice?
  • I’m not able to convince myself to follow the bodhisattva path. Could you please help me understand why I should do that rather than to be an arhat?

 

Part 3 [26 min] : Download mp3 file

  • Cont'd from above: One of the reasons why we have so many problems in this life is because we are looking at things from the narrow view of just this lifetime. Remember to see things from the perspective of more than 1 life – past and future lives.
  • How to transform a negative relationship.

 

Part 4 [21 min] : Download mp3 file

  • Question about blind faith.
  • Why do we need to do prayers and make requests to Tara?



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Advice & Dedication

What to do after completing the workshop?
[5 min] : Download mp3 file

More Advice [1 min] : Download mp3 file

Dedication of positive potential created during the weekend workshop, including recitation of the King of Prayers.
[16 min] : Download mp3 file

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