An Evening of Tibetan Buddhism ~ The Faith of the Dalai Lama
November 1, 2007
Do you want happiness and to avoid suffering? Most of us would resoundingly answer, “Yes.” The Buddhist religion is a profound psychology with powerful methods for transforming ordinary mundane life into an experience of genuine lasting peace and joy – which is what we all want. Buddhist mindscience and methods have been tested and proven effective for over 2500 years; Buddhism’s approach to a happy and successful life seems exactly the opposite of the pedestrian mentality of mainstream America.
Our speaker, Dr. Don Brown, will touch on the basic teachings of the Buddha as presented in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Tibetan Buddhism has preserved, in an unbroken lineage, the entirety of Buddha’s teachings—his discourses, the bodhisattva (compassionate and wise beyond belief) path, and all four levels of tantra.
Within Buddhism there are many meditation techniques to suit the dispositions of various students, and a qualified spiritual mentor is needed for guidance through the maze of teachings and methods. With commitment and effort we can transform our confused, garbage collecting mentalities into unconditional love, compassion, power, and skillful means. This requires the sometimes-difficult work of facing our own delusions and developing our enlightened potentials. But what could be more rewarding for our families, our communities, and ourselves?
Tantra, the speedy path to enlightenment—but not the easiest—is the crown jewel of the Buddhist methods for transformation. Motivated by a realization of wisdom and compassion, and utilizing creative imagination, we see ourselves being Buddhas immediately. We learn skillful yogic methods to harness ordinary blissful physical and psychic energies to penetrate more deeply and quickly the meaning of reality.
Don will describe the prerequisites of a qualified tantric practitioner.
Dr. Brown is a family physician practicing in Cary for the past twenty years. He has studied Tibetan Buddhism for almost three decades and has extensive experience teaching and leading meditation retreats. He was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism in 1978 at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he received teachings from Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Since then, he has been taught by many qualified Buddhist masters including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. At various times he has lived, for a total of about two years, in India, Nepal, Tibet, Japan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, studying and practicing Buddhism.
In 1987 he began teaching introductory courses in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation in the Triangle. The students from those classes formed the nucleus of what is now the Kadampa Center for the Practice of Tibetan Buddhism in Raleigh. The center has a robust teaching schedule; a fully qualified resident Tibetan Lama, Geshe Gelek; and approximately 200 members. Don served as the founding director of the center and is still actively involved in teaching introductory courses. He particularly enjoys attempting to translate sometimes confusing or esoteric Buddhist subjects into everyday, put-it-into-practice-right-now language. The best way to benefit from Buddhist teachings, he says, is to listen with an open, discerning, and uncluttered mind. Buddhism is presented as an invitation. Reportedly, the Buddha invited people to “come and see for yourself…test the teachings like you would assay gold.” In other words, we are asked to check out the Buddhist approach carefully to see if it fits our experience and if it is helpful; personal experience is the key, and critical thinking is encouraged. What a breath of fresh air!
For more information, contact www.kadampa-center.org