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Lions Roar : May 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2006 103 initial presentation of dharma, Buddha did not present the complete teaching on the selflessness of persons; instead, he taught that the self had a composite na- ture, consisting of the five aggregates. These teachings were not direct state- ments of or about absolute truth; they were concerned with relative truth or relative reality. By contrast, statements with “definitive meaning” are those that pertain directly to the absolute truth and do not require interpretation. They are final and, to some extent, literal. They do not indirectly lead to the meaning but are direct statements of it. Included in this category are the teachings on two- fold selflessness, bodhicitta, the causes of final awakening, and buddhanature. Three Turnings, One Path The Buddha taught only one dharma, but people heard it in different ways. The Buddha’s teachings have been heard and repeated for many hundreds of years; different understandings have de- veloped, and with them, more and more schools. The teachings of the three ya- nas (vehicles) and turnings, however, all play a vital role on the path. The Hinay- ana is the foundation for the Mahayana; Mahayana literally cannot exist without it. Similarly, Mahayana supports Vajray- ana (Buddhist tantra) and is indispens- able to it. Hinayana also has a close and direct relationship with Vajrayana. In terms of practice, however, we need a certain amount of structure and a clear view of this path; otherwise, we will be- come confused and lost. In each of the three turnings, Buddha taught the “right view” of emptiness for each stage of the path. It is necessary to understand this at the beginning because, without having the right view, we cannot find the right path. Without discovering the right path, we will not meet with the right experiences and realizations. Without realizing the na- ture of mind correctly, we have no way to free ourselves from samsara. This is why the correct view is so important: to go be- yond conceptual understanding to the di- rect realization of the absolute, awakened state. ♦ Introduction to the Tibetan Language, Complete Level I Package. Price: $121.00 New! DVD of Level I Course (taught by David Curtis). Price: $45.00 Tibetan Vocabulary Flashcards and Dharma Flashcards. Price: $35.00 ea See our website for learning materials and free study aids. TIBETAN LANGUAGE STUDY MATERIALS TELEPHONE TUTORIALS IN CLASSICAL TIBETAN SUMMER SEMINAR 2006 July 31-Aug 18: Come one week or all three! In the Beautiful Rocky Mountains of Montana OTHER LANGUAGE SEMINARS Aspen, Berkeley, LA, Maui, Montana, Rochester E-mail: