The following PDF files will be especially helpful for those who wish to further explore the richness of the Lamrim.
This book consists of commentaries by Geshe Tenzin Zopa. It features Lama Tsongkhapa’s “Foundation of All Good Qualities” and the “Lam Rim Chenmo”.
At the end of the book is a concluding message from Geshe Tenzin Zopa. He states:
“The motivation for doing the Outline in this way [as it is presented in this book] is not only to let the reader have a full overview of the Buddha’s teachings but also to feel encouraged; that it is possible to practice the Path in a systematic and complete manner.
However, you may find that despite the outline and the short commentary, many things may still seem unclear to you.
Therefore, for a deeper understanding of the teachings, I urge the reader to read and study the actual Lam Rim Chenmo – it will inspire you to treasure, to practice, and to uphold the Lam Rim.
Whilst studying the Lam Rim Chenmo, it is always good to integrate it with the lojong (mind training) teachings and to apply them into one’s daily life. Only then will you be able to taste and truly enjoy the Dharma.
Right now, one may not enjoy it as much because the teachings are not yet experiential and that is due to one not applying them in everything one does.
Regard the Lam Rim and Lojong as one’s right and left hand respectively and there will be no doubt of success in your spiritual cultivation”. [Lightly edited for the purpose of this website.]
A commonly used outline for Lamrim teachings today is that of Liberation in the Palm of your Hand by Pabongka Rinpoche (an English translation from Tibetan). In this one-page handout, an abbreviated and annotated outline is given to show the structure of this Lamrim.
A compilation of notes (eight pages) based on Yangsi Rinpoche’s book, Practicing the Path: A Commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo.
In this two-page handout, Lamrim meditations are listed based on Ven. Thubten Chodron’s book Guided Buddhist Meditations: Essential Practices on the Stages of the Path. The listing appears in three categories: (1) The Path in Common with the Initial Level Practitioner; (2) The Path in Common with the Middle Level Practitioner; and (3)The Path of the Advanced Practitioner.
In this one-page handout, 21 Lamrim meditations are listed which may be practiced in a three-week cycle as a daily meditation practice. This listing is based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’sbook, The New Meditation Handbook: Meditations to Make our Life Happy and Meaningful (Tharpa Publications, 2003).
This abbreviated and annotated Lamrim outline, in the form of a table, is again based on the English translation from Tibetan of Liberation in the Palm of your Hand by Pabongka Rinpoche.
The Preface states the following:
“This meditation manual is an introduction to meditations on the Graduated Path to Full Awakening, and is compiled from different sources.
It covers the Three Scopes in brief, starting with the Small Scope of taking an active interest in avoiding a lower, suffering rebirth in the future, and gaining a happy rebirth as a human or a god.
This is achieved by recognizing that a precious human life has the full potential for this and even much more. Yet, the present life will not last forever and one must die.
Contemplating the possibility of falling into a lower realm of rebirth motivates one to seek a definite solution to this problem.
Then, taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha (who provide the infallible inner method for overcoming suffering forever) gives life and death a safe and sound direction. The first advice is to live one’s life in harmony with the law of cause and effect, that is, to avoid non-virtue and practice virtue as much as one can.
The Medium Scope is the next step and focuses on generating the state of mind in which one takes an active interest in becoming free from the whole of cyclic existence – uncontrolled rebirth due to the force of delusion and karma.
This is achieved by contemplating in general, all the sufferings in cyclic existence, and especially the sufferings of the higher rebirths of celestial beings and humans.
Then, familiarizing oneself with the path that leads to liberation, one contemplates the causes of cyclic existence – the delusions, and how delusions arise – and then how to diligently apply their antidotes.
With mindfulness and awareness of one’s mental attitudes, one learns to become skillful in reducing negative actions of body, speech and mind, and eventually to overcome them altogether.
The Great Scope is the wish and the will to attain the state of full enlightenment in order to free all living beings from suffering and to lead them to the fulfillment of their highest potential, enlightenment.
To accomplish this extraordinary and most beautiful thought, first of all one needs a levelled mind, an even attitude towards others, in other words, equanimity.
Then, on top of that, like building a magnificent house, one trains one’s mind in the seven-fold cause and effect instructions and in exchanging oneself for others.
As Lama Yeshe used to say: Bodhicitta is the intoxicant that numbs us against pain and fills us with bliss. Bodhicitta is the alchemy that transforms every action into benefit for others. Bodhicitta is the cloud that carries the rain of positive energy to nourish growing things. A pure bodhicitta motivation, even if it is created with effort, will make one’s practices of calm-abiding and analytical meditation on emptiness a cause for enlightenment especially when dedicated single-pointedly, solely for this purpose.” [Lightly edited for the purpose of this website.]