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Buddha Mandala Monastery Practice System – Practice Section

Buddha Mandala Monastery Practice System – Practice Section

Practice Objective

The goal is to become a Buddha.

It is to be realised through the diligent practice of Ethical Discipline, Concentration and Sublime Wisdom; Bodhicitta Practice and the accumulation of two resources, namely meritorious virtues and wisdom.

Practice System that is based on the Dual Practice of Chan and Tantra

The core of Buddha Mandala Monastery’s practice system is the Vajrayana Practice Booklets Advancement Series 1-8.

For the Path to Rainbow Light, the Supreme Master will review a student’s level, supplement with the direct method of Chan and guide him or her personally.

Theory System – Insight Section

The Vajrayana theory system comprises the true views from Buddha’s three turns of dharma wheel, the series of courses launched gradually by Maitreya Pancavidya Buddhist Institute for students to build a solid theoretical foundation are based on this core system.  

The sastras to be read, explained by Supreme Master personally or tutored by the Venerables include:

Maitreya’s Five Sastras: The Ornament of the Mahayana Sutra, Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes, 

Discerning Dharma and Dharmata, The Ornament of Clear Realisation, Sublime Continuum of the Mahayana

Abhidharma Kosa

Madhyamakavatara

Practices and Vows of Samantabhadra

A Guide to the Preliminary Practices of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) by Longchen Nyingthig

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim Chenmo), Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand

Explanation on Lamp to the Path of Enlightenment

Nyingmapa’s Stages of the Nine Yanas

Madhyamakalamkara

The Four Schools of Buddhist Philosophy

Yogacarabhumi Sastra

Multi-Angled Immersion Training (conducted based on the actual practice situation)

  • Participate in short term meditational activities organised by Buddha Mandala Monastery, approximately eight days
  • Attend dharma debates of the Progressive Class
  • Attend group discussions of the Progressive Class
  • Share takeaways from reading
  • Share thoughts based on course thinking questions
Practice System

A. Practice Section

Buddha Mandala Monastery Practice System: Vajrayana Practice Booklets Advancement Series 1-8

  • There are eight booklets in total, the unique feature of these booklets is the use of theory combined with actual practice to guide practice progressively.
  • Students have to participate in the Vajrayana group practice on a regular basis.
  • Students who apply for the Practice Booklets will have to write down their realisations, feelings and views that were developed in the practice process in the Practice Booklets and have regular mini conferences with the Venerable.
  • Students begin the progressive practice by attending the Basic Meditation Class.  Its core teachings are knowing suffering, impermanence, and cause and condition; at the beginning, visualisation of the ‘Nam’ syllable is used to bring back the body and mind, and to know the immovable mind.  
  • The core of the Sravaka-yana teachings is generation of renunciation while the core of the Bodhisattva-yana teachings is generation of bodhicitta, in addition, the true view of emptiness of self and phenomena must be realised (the Three Principal Aspects of the Path).  These three important aspects are the root of Buddhist learning, they are also the essence of the whole Buddha’s teachings.  As Buddha Mandala Monastery’s Vajrayana Practice Booklets are based on these Three Principal Aspects of the Path, the Sravaka-yana’s practice of Samatha and Vipassana, and the Bodhisattva-yana’s recitation of Receiving Bodhicitta Precepts Ritual are supplementary practices to this Vajrayana practice.

 

Vajrayana Practice Booklets guide practice in a progressive manner, from the very first step at the beginning, to the gradual stages at the end, one step leads to the next, clearly and orderly.

Foundation of the Practice Booklets:  Basic Meditation Class

  • Students who wish to apply for the Practice Booklets begin by attending the Basic Meditation Class. 

    This is where students start the progressive learning process.

Supplementary Practices to the Practice Booklets

  • Sravaka-yana Practice of Samatha and Vipassana
    • Students who have completed the Basic Meditation Class and any course in the Sravaka-yana True View Class can apply for the Sravaka Samatha and Vipassana Practice Class.
    • After completing the Sravaka Samatha and Vipassana Practice Class, students can participate in the Sravaka Samatha and Vipassana Group Practice.

  • Bodhisattva-yana’s Receiving Bodhicitta Precept
    • From Practice Booklet 2 onwards, with Venerable’s tutoring, students can include the above in their personal practice.
B. Discipline Section

The three trainings, namely Ethical Discipline, Concentration and Sublime Wisdom outline the learning and practicing of Buddhism in general.  Ethical Discipline is the foundation for all actions, and the fundamentals of the Vajrayana Practice Booklets.

  • Students who have taken the five precepts gather bi-monthly to recite the Sutra of the Five Precepts.
  • Students who have taken the Bodhisattva precepts gather bi-monthly to recite the Yoga Bodhisattva Precepts.
  • Students can also take the eight precepts during the Maitreya’s Three Sutras Group Practice.

“Let the discipline that I have taught you be your teacher,” these were last words of the Buddha.  

After taking the precepts, students must learn about the precepts, the books students must read in the discipline section include:

Five Precepts for Buddhist Lay Disciples

Sutra on Upasaka Precepts

Sutra on Ten Wholesome Conduct

A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Treatise on Bodhisattva’s Precepts for the Path to Enlightenment

Shantideva’s Full Collection

Samaya Precepts

The criteria for applying the Practice Booklets:

Insight Section

Maitreya’s Five Sastras:
The Ornament of the Mahayana Sutra, Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes, Discerning Dharma and Dharmata, The Ornament of Clear Realisation, Sublime Continuum of the Mahayana

Abhidharma Kosa

Madhyamakavatara

Practices and Vows of Samantabhadra

The Teachings of Master Xu Yun

Guo An Chan Master’s Ten Ox Pictures

Quotations of Pu Zhao Chan Master

Diamond Sutra

Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

Lankavatara Sutra

Practice Section
  1. First contemplate on a given word or a phrase single-mindedly, that is chant the name of a Buddha or mantra continuously, then contemplate on who is chanting. 

  2. As the mind becomes subtler and calmer, use silent observation method and diligently refine it.

Discipline Section

Must-Read Books include:

Five Precepts for Buddhist Lay Disciples

Sutra on Upasaka Precepts

Sutra on Ten Wholesome Conduct

A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Treatise on Bodhisattva’s Precepts for the Path to Enlightenment

Brahmajala Sutra

Shantideva’s Full Collection