21 -29 April
Retreat Leader: Ven. Geshe Graham Woodhouse
Introduction to the Literature of the Middle Way School
Even for those whose hearts are strongly drawn to the spiritual quest modern temptations are almost too numerous and too powerful to resist. The days run swiftly with the speed of racehorses. But in this warming world, one cool stream still runs clear. It has the utterly pure taste of voidness. We find ourselves born, indeed born again and again, into a world shot through with suffering. Buddha teaches that this is fundamentally because our vagrant minds are distorted and distracted by self-grasping ignorance and the toxic negative emotions that follow. Distilled from the ocean of Buddha’s sutras, the masters of the Middle Way present the antidote to ignorance and suffering – opening the mind to emptiness: an unsurpassable realisation that nourishes, heals and brings relief.
Join us for an introductory survey of the writings of the masters of the Middle Way whose reasonings lead through to the understanding of the emptiness of inherent existence of all that appears. There will be selections from the prose and verse of Nagarjuna, Buddhapalita, Chandrakirti and Tsongkhapa, using Geshe Graham’s own fresh translations. A basic knowledge of Buddhism is advisable.
The verses may look intriguing or they may look difficult! In either case, there will be plenty of explanation.
Without depending on convention
The ultimate cannot be taught.
No knowledge of the ultimate,
Nirvana will not be attained.
Not known through others, pacified.
No fabrication fabricates,
Devoid of thought or difference:
This character does suchness have.
About Geshe Graham
Born in England in 1952, Graham Woodhouse received full ordination as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1994. He studied for seventeen years at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala and received his geshe degree from Drepung Loseling Monastery in 2006.