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Three Principal Aspects of the Path
by Venerable Thubten Chodron©
Various Locations in USA
29 April 2002 - 27 September 2003
,
November 2005


Between 29 April 2002 and 27 September 2003, Venerable Chodron gave a series of talks on the Three Principal Aspects of the Path:
(A) The Determination to be Free (Renunciation),
(B) Bodhicitta (The Altruistic Intention), and
(C) The Wisdom Realizing Emptiness.

In the November 2005 Cloud Mountain retreat in Washington, Venerable Chodron added commentary on Renunciation and on Emptiness. (See below for the November 2005 files, added to this page on 16 October 2006).

In April 2007, at Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle, Washington, Venerable Chodron added commentary on Renunciation and Joyous Effort. (See below for the April 2007 files, added to this page on 22 June 2007).

This is a good series to listen to for people who want to learn the essentials of Buddha's teachings.

Click here for the prayer 'The Three Principal Aspects of the Path' by Lama Tzongkhapa.

1. Introduction: How to Listen to and Explain the Teachings
(29 April 2002)
[44 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

2. Praise and Verses 1 and 2 (1 May 2002)
[58 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file (edited 2013)

(A) The Determination to be Free (Renunciation)

3. Verses 3 and 4: Renunciation (6 May 2002)
[46 minutes] : Download mp3
Transcription : Download pdf file

4. Verse 4: Eight Worldly Concerns (8 May 2002)
[63 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

5a. Verse 4: Precious Human Rebirth,
Eight Freedoms and Ten Fortunes (13 May 2002)

[43 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

5b. Verse 4: Precious Human Life, Its Great Rarity - The Difficulty & Rarity of a Precious Human Rebirth (13 May 2002)
[46 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

6. Verse 4: 9-Point Death Meditation (22 May 2002)
[70 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

7. Verse 4: Imagining Your Death (27 May 2002)
[53 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

8. Verse 4: General Characteristics of Karma (29 May 2002)
[71 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

9. Verse 4: Karma (3 June 2002)
[70 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

10. Verse 4: Miseries/Sufferings of Cyclic Existence (12 June 2002)
[46 minutes] : Download (mp3)
Transcription : Download pdf file

11. Imagining Our Death and What Is Important At the Time of Dying (November 2005)
Venerable Chodron leads a meditation on imagining our own death. She also discusses how to practice to prepare for death and what to practice at the time of death.
[52 minutes] : Download mp3 file

12. Renunciation - Part 1 (November 2005)
Ven. Chodron explains the opening verses and explains the importance and advantages of renunciation. She clarifies what renunciation is and is not.
[67 minutes] : Download mp3 file

13. Renunciation - Part 2 (November 2005)
[33 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

14. The Determination to be Free [Renunciation] and Joyous Effort (13 April 2007)
Ven. Chodron talks about the determination to be free. She comments on a section of the Lamrim Chenmo by Lama Tzong Khapa. The talk includes an explanation of the three types of dukkha and the six kinds of dukkha. She also talks about the source or causes of dukkha and the importance of contemplating them.
[73 minutes] : Download mp3 file

15. The Determination to be Free [Renunciation] and Joyous Effort - Q+A (13 April 2007)
- How do you respond to people who think that Buddhism is male dominated?
- What can you do when you are with someone who is suffering or ill?
- How many monastics are living at Sravasti Abbey?

[73 minutes] : Download mp3 file

16. The Determination to be Free [Renunciation] and Joyous Effort (14 April 2007)
Ven. Chodron talks about the importance of nourishing a strong determination to be free and the importance of armor-like joyous perseverance. She also talks about the Bodhisattva's view of cyclic existence.
[87 minutes] : Download mp3 file

17. The Determination to be Free [Renunciation] and Joyous Effort - Q+A (14 April 2007)
- How do we know that liberation is possible?
- The importance of practicing together as a group.

[11 minutes] : Download mp3 file

(B) Bodhicitta (The Altruistic Intention)

Venerable Chodron gave the talks on Bodhicitta in Boise, Idaho, between 3 May and 27 September 2003. The talks describe the Two Techniques for Generating Bodhicitta: The Seven-Point Cause and Effect Method and Equalizing and Exchanging Self and Others.
The Bodhicitta talks are listed on a separate page:
Click here.

(C) The Wisdom Realizing Emptiness (also known as Correct View)

1. Emptiness (11 February 2003)
[first half of talk: 43 minutes] : Download | Listen
[second half of talk: 37 minutes: includes Chandrakirti's Seven-Point Method and a discussion of Ultimate Existence versus Conventional Existence] : Download | Listen

2.Emptiness (12 February 2003)
[first half of talk: 44 minutes: includes a discussion of Nihilism and Absolutism; the Middle Way of Prasangika; and Negated Object/Inherent Existence] : Download | Listen
[second half of talk: 40 minutes] : Download | Listen

3. Disintegratedness: What Goes from this Life to the Next
Venerable Chodron talks about how karma seeds and the disintegratedness of actions go from one life to the next within the view of emptiness. (This talk was given on 2 September 2003 at Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle.)
[first half of talk: 39 minutes] : Download | Listen
[second half of talk: Q&A: 40 minutes] : Download | Listen

4. Basis, Path, and Result
Venerable Chodron talks about basis, path and result in terms of both the conventional and ultimate level. (This talk was given in Boise, Idaho, on 6 October and 7 October 2004.)
[first part of talk, 6 October: 43 minutes] : Download | Listen
[second part of talk, 6 October: Q&A: 46 minutes] : Download | Listen
[additional questions, 7 October: 64 minutes] : Download | Listen

5. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 1)
Venerable Chodron talks about the importance of meditating on emptiness and the lineage of the teachings on emptiness. She also explains how to know when your analysis of the correct view is incomplete.
[71 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

6. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 2)
Explanation of the three levels of looking at the self. Venerable Chodron also talks about Buddha nature and emptiness.
[76 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

7. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 3)
Explanation of the stages of going from the wrong conception to the correct view and the different levels of understanding emptiness.
[54 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

8. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 3 Q&A)
- Can you explain emptiness is form and form is emptiness?
- Can you explain “viewing all phenomena as illusory”?
- What do you do when your mind leans toward nihilism?
- What does permanent phenomena mean?
- What is merely labeled?
- What appears when you directly perceive emptiness?

[26 minutes] : Download mp3 file

9. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 4 )
Different ways of apprehending phenomenon. Dependent arising and how it is used to prove emptiness. How things are merely labeled. The difference between basis and label.
[72 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

10. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 5)
Differing views of dependent arising. What goes from life to life, what carries the karma from life to life.
[75 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

11. Emptiness (November 2005 - Part 6)
Emptiness and compassion. How to practice mindfulness of emptiness in your daily life.
[69 minutes] : Download mp3 file
Transcription : Download pdf file

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