Beginning the weekend teaching with a public talk, Working With Difficult Situations in Life, Lama Kathy Wesley explains the root cause of the suffering we experience when we encounter difficult situations in life. This root cause (self clinging) was identified by the Buddha in his earliest teachings. Lama Kathy goes on to explain that the practices on the Buddhist path are capable of dismantling our egocentric obsession and replacing it with loving kindness and compassion for others.
Cultivating bodhicitta or the mind of awakening through the practice of tonglen and associated lojong practices is presented in the weekend teaching as a complete practice for transforming mental afflictions. Lama Kathy Wesley begins by teaching shamatha or mindfulness meditation. She explains that by practicing mindfulness meditation we can begin to pacify our mental afflictions while at the same time cultivating the mental stability that is a necessary foundation for cultivating Bodhicitta, the mind of awakening. Shamatha alone cannot completely transform mental afflictions because shamatha does not cut the root of mental afflictions which is self clinging. Tonglen practice cultivates relative bodhicitta which transforms mental afflictions by replacing self clinging with compassion and loving kindness for others. Tonglen practice also cultivates ultimate bodhicitta which transforms mental afflictions through realizing emptiness of self. Lama Kathy Wesley’s teaching is lively and accessible. Each teaching session includes questions and answers which clarify the teaching and provide profound examples of the power of tonglen practice to cultivate loving kindness and compassion even in the most difficult circumstances.Five talks as audio download.