Author Archives: Yeshe Chödrön

OPL 12.1: Refuge, vows, and renunciation

We tackled a tricky topic head on in the chapter 8 refuge class, and based on feedback from a few participants, I wanted to clarify why I included it and what value it may have for modern-day lay practitioners once … Continue reading

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Bringing procrastination to the path

In 2013, Lama Jamdron gave a seminar at KTC called “Bringing Distraction and Procrastination to the Path.” It was a great topic, and I was reminded of it this week when the New York Times ran an article on why … Continue reading

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OPL9: Chapter 5: the suffering of samsara

The title may tempt you to skip this chapter — who wants to hear more about suffering! Indeed, Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation includes vivid descriptions of the six realms of samsaric existence as places we could be reborn into, … Continue reading

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37 practices: the six paramitas (verses 25-30)

The six paramitas, aka perfections, aka transcending actions, consist of five activities or methods that actually propel the boat of our precious human existence to the other shore of fully realized wisdom and compassion, aka buddhahood, when imbued with the … Continue reading

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OPL8: chapter 4: impermanence of the composite

With chapter 4, we arrive at the heart of Gamopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation. Here, in the instructions of the dharma master, which comprise the next 16 chapters of the book, the actual path begins, and our first stop is … Continue reading

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OPL7: three prerequisites and four obstacles

Before we step onto the path to buddhahood, or set out in our boat to the other shore, let’s take a moment to make sure we’ve packed everything we need for the trip, and consult our map for a brief … Continue reading

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OPL6: The condition: relying on an authentic teacher

Waking up in this life is the most difficult and most consequential thing we could possibly imagine. Why would we think that we could do it ourselves? Why would we not want to take advantage of others who have been … Continue reading

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OPL5: Chapter 2: The support: a precious human existence

So now we have a compelling reason to want to wake up, AND our first prerequisite is checked off! The first prerequisite, buddha nature, is pretty much all good news: this simple and powerful potential to purify all our obscurations … Continue reading

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OPL4: Chapter 1: The cause: buddha nature

In truth, anyone who practices with great effort cannot fail to reach enlightenment. Why? Because all forms of conscious life, including ourselves, possess its prime cause. Within us is buddha nature.” ~ Gampopa OPL, translated by Ken Holmes. We got … Continue reading

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OPL3: The case for awakening

Gampopa Sonam Rinchen, the 12th-century physician from Dakpo who entered monastic life after his wife and two children died in an epidemic, and who went on to “unite the two streams” of practice and establish the Kagyu Lineage that continues … Continue reading

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