Curriculum for Practice and Study
Bodhi Path offers a curriculum for meditation practice and study that is rooted in authentic dharma teachings and is suited to the needs and conditions of modern-day dharma practitioners.
The Bodhi Path curriculum is based on the teachings of Mind Training, a profound system of contemplative practices that helps bring mindfulness, awareness and insight to our experiences, both on and off the meditation cushion. These teachings have been preserved by an unbroken lineage of masters since the time of the Buddha, and are presented at all Bodhi Path centers, along with supporting practices and study topics, according to an approach compiled by the present Shamarpa, Mipham Chokyi Lodrö.
The primary text for the Bodhi Path curriculum is Shamar Rinpoche's The Path to Awakening: A Commentary on Ja Chekawa Yeshé Dorjé's Seven Points of Mind Training, which serves as a guidebook to the stages of Mind Training. These Lojong teachings follow in the tradition of Gampopa (1079-1153) who joined the Kadampa instructions of Atisha with Mahamudra teachings from the tradition of the great Indian Mahasiddha Saraha. This oral transmission is known as the "Two Rivers Joined" (bka' phyag chu bo gnyis 'dres) tradition of Mind Training.
The curriculum is taught at Bodhi Path Centers and should be undertaken with the guidance of a qualified teacher.
The system of practice for Bodhi Path centers is the Seven Points of Mind Training (Tibetan: Lojong). The foundation of Mind Training is calm-abiding meditation (Tibetan: shiné, Sanskrit: shamatha) which helps develop mental peace, stability, and focus. With a calm mind comes the ability to practice insight meditation (Tibetan: lhaktong, Sanskrit: vipasyana), which involves analysis of mind's true nature. Through these practices of calm-abiding and insight we can remove the veils of ignorance and confusion which prevent us from experiencing the peace and clarity that is already present within our minds.
In addition to the core practices of calm abiding and insight meditation, Bodhi Path centers centers teach additional contemplative practices that help support our path of training the mind. These practices help us purify negative actions, habitual veils and karmic obscurations; accumulate merit; develop compassion; and dedicate the merits of our positive actions for the benefit of all beings.