26th August 2022
18.00 - 19.30 Teaching on Four Noble Truths
27th August 2022
9.00 - 10.15 Teaching on Four Immeasurables
10.45 - 12.00 Teaching on Six Paramitas
14.00 - 15.15 Teaching on Refuge
15.45 - 17.00 Teaching on Bodhichitta
17.00 - 17.30 Bestowing Refuge and Bodhisattva vows (optional, please see below);
17.30 - 18.00 Vajrakilaya Blessing
His Holiness Sakya Trizin will teach in English,
ven. Bhante Dhammadipa will translate into Czech.
Four Noble Truths
Four noble truths were taught by Buddha Shakyamuni as the central theme of the so-called first turning of the wheel of the Dharma (the first, essential cycle of his teaching) after his attainment of Awakening.
· the truth of suffering which is to be understood,
· the truth of the origin of the suffering which is to be abandoned,
· the truth of cessation (of causes of suffering) which is to be actualized
· and the truth of the path which is to be relied upon, to practice it.
Taking refuge is the foundation of, and entrance to all buddhist practice. It is the basis of all vows. The essence of taking refuge is the acceptance of the Three Jewels - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as one's own refuge. The reasons for taking refuge are fear of one's own suffering in samsara, compassion for the suffering of others, and faith in the Three Jewels. We consider the Buddha as our guide and teacher, the Dharma as our path, and the Sangha as our companions on the path. By taking refuge, we formally become Buddhists.
The Four Immeasurables are the basis for the creation of bodhichitta.
The first is loving kindness, which is the wish that living beings may have happiness and its causes.
The second is compassion, which is the wish that living beings may be free from suffering and its causes.
The third is joy, which is the wish that living beings may remain happy and their happiness may increase further.
And the fourth is equanimity, when we consider not only all beings, but also all phenomena (eg. pleasant and unpleasant) as equal.
There are two kinds of bodhicitta - relative and absolute.
Relative bodhicitta is the desire to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings, that is, to free them from the sufferings of existence and bring them to the incomparable bliss of omniscience, and to practice methods to achieve this goal.
Absolute bodhicitta is a direct insight into the absolute nature of phenomena, primordial wisdom.
The six paramitas or 'transcendent perfections' are the main practice of Mahayana Buddhism, they comprise the training of a bodhisattva.
· generosity: the attitude that we need to give others what we have to help them,
· moral discipline: refraining from negative actions, performing positive actions and helping others,
· patience: abandoning anger, the ability to endure wrongs, hardships and profound truth,
· joyful diligence: to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome,
· meditative concentration: ability to rest in virtue, without distraction and with ease,
· wisdom: wisdom of perfect discrimination of all phenomena and primordial, transcendent wisdom.
The first five paramitas correspond to the accumulation of merit, and the sixth to the accumulation of wisdom.
Bestowing Refuge and Bodhisattva vows
His Holiness Sakya Trizin will bestow the vows to all who are interested. Others can be present, there is no obligation to take vows.
The refuge is the foundation of all Buddhist practices. You need to take refuge vows if you want to become a Buddhist. You promise to regard the Buddha as your teacher, the Dharma as the path you will follow, and the Sangha as your companions along the way. Once you take refuge, you should not harm sentient beings. Taking refuge is a prerequisite for taking the vows of the bodhisattva.
Bodhisattva vow is a commitment to become a bodhisattva, that is, one who wants to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings. We basically promise not to be selfish, ie to consider others more important than ourselves and to practice this.
According to the great Indian scholar Shantideva, it is very important and beneficial to take the Bodhisattva vows, because unlike other virtues, the virtues associated with the Bodhisattva vows are never exhausted, and thanks to these vows we accumulate virtues even when we sleep.
Vajrakilaya is a significant Vajrayana deity who transmutes and transcends obstacles and obscurations. It is a wrathful form of the Buddha Vajrasattva, sometimes it s perceived as the wrathful form of Vajrapani. Vajrakilaya Blessing is very effective for removing obstacles in Dharma practice.