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What is the Path of Liberation?

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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 The Path of Liberation is an experiential path of meditation for those who wish to practice the Buddhist teachings under the guidance of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Encompassing the most important practices of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, and building on the foundational teachings of the Joy of Living, the Path of Liberation presents a series of meditation techniques designed to strip away the causes of suffering and uncover the radiant awareness that underlies all experience.

The Path of Liberation contains five levels:

    Laying a Foundation for the Buddhist Path – The Nature of Mind and Preliminary Practices (part I)
    Purifying Negativity and Accumulating Merit – Advanced Teachings on the Nature of Mind and the Preliminary Practices (part II)
    Manifesting Buddha NatureGuru Yoga and the Art of Visualization
    Transforming Perception – The Sadhana of White Tara
   

 
 Laying a Foundation for the Buddhist Path

In the first level of the Path of Liberation, Mingyur Rinpoche teaches the foundational practices of the Buddhist path: the four thoughts, the practice of taking refuge, and bodhichitta. The four thoughts are contemplative exercises that guide one to a recognition of the preciousness of the human life, impermanence, the principle of karma, and the suffering of samsara. Taking refuge and offering prostrations leads to an appreciation of the potential of the spiritual path and a corresponding commitment to the process of awakening. Bodhichitta practice involves a series of contemplations that involve forming the resolve to help bring all beings to the state of full awakening. Along with these practices, Mingyur Rinpoche offers experiential “pointing-out” instructions that allow one to experience the mind’s pure and luminous nature. The process of recognizing and familiarizing oneself with the mind’s true nature lies at the core of the Path of Liberation.
 
 Purifying Negativity and Accumulating Merit

The second level of the Path of Liberation presents advanced teachings on the nature of mind, along with instructions on the second and third unique preliminary practices: the meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva and mandala offering. The meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva is a profound practice designed to purify negativity, obscurations, and illness, while mandala offering sets the stage for spiritual practice by creating a sense of inner wealth and openness. The advanced teachings on the nature of mind given at this stage of practice allow for a deeper experience of the mind’s innate radiance.

 Manifesting Buddha Nature

The third level of the Path of Liberation builds upon the previous two levels, offering deepening instructions on the nature of mind and teachings on the practice of guru yoga, the fourth and final unique preliminary practice, which can bring about a profound shift in consciousness. Also included in this level is a systematic training in the art of visualization, which prepares the meditator for the advanced practices taught in the subsequent levels of the Path of Liberation.

Pure Perception – The Sadhana of White Tara

In the fourth level of the Path of Liberation, one is introduced to the sadhana of White Tara, in which one uses visualization and mantra recitation to disrupt the processes of ordinary perception and connect with the innate qualities of one’s buddha nature. In this level, Mingyur Rinpoche also presents advanced teachings on the nature of mind.
 
For those who have completed the Path of Liberation, there are two tracks of advanced practice available. Students may choose to focus on either track, depending on their personal preference.

Enlightened Form and the Subtle Body

The first track is designed for those who are drawn to visualization and activity. This approach entails:

    Full ngondro: Completing the traditional preliminary practices, which involves a fourfold accumulation of 110,000 repetitions
    Vajrayogini: Completion of the full-length Vajrayogini Sadhana
    The Six Yogas: Practicing the Six Yogas of Naropa: yogic heat, illusory body, luminosity, dream yoga, intermediate state practice, and transference

Exploring the Nature of Mind

Designed for those who are drawn to a simpler form of meditation, this track focuses on the profound paths of Mahamudra and the Great Perfection. This approach includes:

    Full ngondro: Completing the traditional preliminary practices, which involves a fourfold accumulation of 110,000 repetitions
    Mahamudra immersion: A multi-year course of training in the practices of awareness and insight (shamatha and vipashyana), with a special emphasis on exploring the nature of mind, based on the writings of the ninth Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje
    Dzogchen immersion: Advanced teachings based on Garap Dorje’s Three Statements that Strike the Vital Point and Jigme Lingpa’s Supreme Wisdom

Source

tergar.org