Gaden Lha Gyama

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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby JKhedrup » Wed May 30, 2012 9:05 am

Ganden Lhagyama is essentially a guru yoga practice that is structured according to the seven limbs.
The seven limbs are a universal Mahayana practice, and featured heavily in the great texts of India
such as the Bodhisattvacaryavatara. The visualization and mantra recitation aspect is uniquely Gelug
(as these centre around Tzongkhapa), but there are many other prayers structured according to the
seven limbs if one prefers something not strongly connected with a particular lineage.
But this practice is indeed important and though strongly non-sectarian, one of the great Rimeypas of
our time, HH Dalai Lama, often gives this practice as a commitment at initiations.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby Sheila » Thu May 31, 2012 5:48 am

Tewi wrote:Dharma centers, I've noticed, find it tempting to grab newcomers and give them a sectarian identity, tying them to their lineage, when they really ought to be focusing on Sakyamuni Buddha or Chenrezig.


Hmm, I definitely have not noticed this. My Dharma center, established by Geshe Lhundup Sopa is, in fact, clearly Gelug, but no one has ever mentioned to me the concept of belonging to this or that school, and our library has books from teachers of many schools. In fact, it's not uncommon for great teachers to have received initiations and transmissions from masters belonging to different traditions. My experience is that it's not the teachers so much as the new, Western students who grasp a bit for a sectarian identity. Most do so without any negative impulse, I feel, but more the urge to "belong" to something more quickly.
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby zerwe » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:49 pm

:good:
This is what my experience has been as well.

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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby Spirituality » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:28 pm

The Seeker wrote:I have began reading the book I have again, from the beginning. Had to take a break as between work and the remodeling of the house I didn't have much time for studying.
I am able to understand the terms used in the book, from reading so many posts here from the different members who help so many of us.

But I am really having a hard time "grasping" much of the teaching in the context, as at times, a talk by HHDL is mentioned and then the subject covered in this teaching isn't explained.

I think I need to find a teacher and gain a greater understanding of a few things before I'll be able to practice this with the proper/correct intentions.

I once again thank all of you for you input and help as I try to understand things in the proper context.

Kindest wishes, Dave


I do think your own earlier thought that this may be stuff you're not ready for is to the point. Do trust your own instincts. You could simply get the FPMT prayer book and do the basic prayers there (refuge, Bodhicitta, short seven limb prayer) and you're also set. My teacher in fact simply advised to start out by at least doing refuge and three prostrations daily. Once a pattern is set it becomes easier to expand it. Of course if you're doing an hour, that's plenty.

If this sadana's works for you, that's great. I do the Dalai Lama guru puja daily, a text that's classed as Kriya tantra apparently, and I love it. No empowerment required either, apparently. Though I'll be asking for one anyhow. I've been given to understand that sadana's in the guru yoga category don't require an empowerment, so you're safe on that score.

The way I understand it the thing to be avoided without empowerment is visualizing yourself as a Buddha.
Of course the FPMT Discovering Buddhism course is a good introduction to tantra, though a bit light on terminology I think.

When it comes to serious study it really doesn't make sense to try and get tantra when you're not yet at least reasonably familiar with 'sutra', aka the Lam Rim, the Mahayana path. That doesn't have to stop you doing the practice: guru yoga is taught at the sutra level as a preperation for tantra anyhow.

As for dogmatism: as long as the practice isn't a commitment, the OP can switch practices if he finds he wants to study or meditate in another tradition.
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:30 am

Thank you all for the input.
I am studying the FPMT discovering Buddhism course, so I thinl I'll just take things step by step.

Thanks Spirituality for your comments on this as another student of FPMT, and you as well Zerwe.


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby Lobsang Damchoi » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:43 am

Good luck, Dave.

Some excellent guidance has been given. But please do be circumspect about other guru yogas that you may come across---some of these are indeed advanced restricted practices. :stirthepot: Guru yoga is a practice that exists at all levels of Tibetan Buddhism. For example, you'll find out as you progress along the path that certain high-level tantras contain Guru Yogas with special liturgies and visualizations.

And there are many different versions of the Gaden Lha Gyama, some more extended that they are almost like mini-sadhanas. Some include more tantric elements than others. There's a wonderful basic commentary by the late Khensur Lobsang Tharchin btw.
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby waimengwan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:09 pm

I dont have the empowerment for the Guru Yoga but it is a really beautiful practice for us to train in doing visualisations. I also read what Dilgo Khyentse said about guru yoga that book was simply awesome. And I believe the practice of Guru Yoga helps us to aspire and be closer to our guru. The guru is so pivotal for our progress and as we mix our mind with our guru may we quickly be one with him in terms of our minds.

Also Gaden Lhagyama done well it is a powa practice to get to Gaden Heaven !

This is a commentary on the Guru Yoga
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd1jQnEwNv4
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:43 pm

I have noticed that at Sera Ganden Lhagyama is pretty much recited at the beginning of all the major pujas. I asked one teacher why and he said that of course their is the blessing of Lama Tsongkhapa, but the main reason was that is was a way to recite and meditate on the seven limbs in a convenient and abbreviated way. The seven limbs are an essential Mahayana practice, you find them outlined in great texts like the Bodhisattvacaryavatara by Shantideva and they are also discussed extensively in the Lam Rim presentations.
My feeling is that to understand the practice fully it would be good to study the seven limbs in detail, using a book like Bodhisattvacaryavatara. If you are comfortable with those and want to orient yourself to a Gelug style of practice, you can do that later on. You can ask a geshe to give you a bried explanations of the various visualizations that can be done during the recitation of the Migtsema mantra, for example. There is a very nice commentary by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on the subject. Also some wonderful teachings by His Holiness, but only in audio.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:06 pm

Once again thank you for all the great input.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Gaden Lha Gyama

Postby Steveyboy » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:07 am

I do the Guru Yoga every single day to tap into the blessings of my Lama and Je Tsongkhapa combined. Here's a wonderfully brief explanation on Lama Tsongkhapa's Guru Yoga / Gaden Lhagyalma :buddha1:

I hope the explanation will settle your quereis rand doubts...

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