Feb 14

Kalu Rinpoche | Illusory Body and Mind Online Course 2024 – Trailer

The Illusory Body and Mind

An online course with H. E. Kalu Rinpoche

Enter the tantric teachings of the six yogas of Niguma, guided by the lineage master H. E. Kalu Rinpoche. The Wisdom Academy is pleased to announce that early bird enrollment is open for The Illusory Body and Mind, the new course with H. E. Kalu Rinpoche.

The course features the teachings of the 11th-century dakini Niguma, one of the founders of the Shangpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. In this course, you’ll be guided through an introduction to the completion stage practices of Niguma’s six yogas.

Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: Overcoming Fixation: Introduction to Vajrayana Practice

Rinpoche begins the course by sharing his personal experiences of retreat and discussing how a Vajrayana practitioner should overcome samsaric fixation and awaken a subtler level of awareness through reliance on a range of daily practices. You’ll learn about how to engage in tong-len (giving-and-taking), deity yoga, and the preliminary practices in the context of purifying negativity and accumulating virtue.

Lesson 2: Proper Reliance on the Vajra Master

Rinpoche embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of faith in the context of Vajrayana practice, giving particular attention to the relationship with the vajra master. He explains how such a relationship can—in conjunction with continual awareness—ensure that the teachings leave a profound impact on your character. You’ll gain a more thorough understanding of the proper motivation, view, devotion, conduct, and approach with respect to one’s guru.

Lesson 3: The Path to Recognizing the Nature of Mind

Rinpoche outlines how to strive toward realizing the nature of mind, from the stage of renunciation of samsaric fixation to that of dwelling naturally in the mind’s clarity and purity. You’ll gain an understanding of the three-stage process of recognizing the nature of mind, maintaining that recognition, and completing one’s realization.

Lesson 4: Physical Postures, Mudras, and Subtle Channels

Rinpoche gives line-by-line commentary on three key meditation manuals attributed to Shangpa Kagyü lineage lamas Niguma, Rahulagupta, and Sukhasiddhi. You’ll learn how to adopt the proper meditation posture, visualize the merit field and subtle bodily channels, form correct hand mudras, and rest in the space-like nature of mind.

Lesson 5: Blending the Spiritual and Mundane: Song of a Mahāsiddha

Rinpoche reads through and provides thoughtful reflections on a “vajra song” of the famed mahāsiddha Rahulagupta. You’ll receive practical and impactful guidance on retreat and everyday practice as well as greater insight into meditating on the nature of mind.

Lesson 6: First Category of Preliminaries in the Illusory Body and Mind Practice

Rinpoche situates the six yogas of Niguma within the broader Five Jewels system, providing line-by-line commentary on the first category of preliminary practices (refuge, bodhicitta, and purification). You’ll learn about the deeper meaning of the four empowerments and the finer details of the visualization associated with this stage of the practice.

Lesson 7: Niguma’s Heart Advice: Second Category of Preliminaries

Rinpoche covers the second category of preliminaries—comprising the visualization, purification, and ascertainment of signs relating to the “empty AH” practice. He goes on to describe the initial stages of the actual illusory body and mind meditation. You’ll receive clear and essential advice on how to maintain the appropriate view and approach to the practice.

Lesson 8: The Actual Illusory Body and Mind Practice Session

Rinpoche follows a short text originating from Niguma on how to practically conduct an entire meditation session on the illusory body and mind, giving particular attention to key foundational topics such as gratitude, diligence, and karma. You’ll refine your understanding of the visualizations and how to pursue these meditations in the context of your daily practice.

Lesson 9: Eight Visualizations in Illusory Body and Mind Practice

Rinpoche focuses on root stanzas on the five jewels of Niguma that describe how practitioners of each of the three levels of faculties—higher, middling, and lesser—should pursue the preliminary practices and actual session of illusory body and mind training. You’ll learn how to faultlessly engage in the eight categories of visualization presented.

Lesson 10: Essential Instructions on the Bardo Practice

Rinpoche returns to Thangthong Gyalpo’s text, providing thorough instructions on how to engage in the bardo, or intermediate state, practice. He also shares personal experiences with retreat as well as his teacher entering the state of thuk-dam. You’ll discover the importance of dream yoga and learn how to prepare for one of three scenarios awaiting us in the bardo.