Path of Transformation

Living the Middle Way


In this audio teaching, Rinpoche answers a student’s question about how to bring the view of the Middle Way into our daily life. The student posing the question had been studying the Mahāyāna classic text, Introduction to the Middle Way (Skt. Madhyamakāvatāra; Tib. Uma la Jukpa) by Candrakīrti. Rinpoche reminds us that the main thrust of Mādhyamaka philosophy is to help us avoid attachment to our own experiences. Ultimately, there is nothing in our experience that can be said to have an inherent existence that we can cling to.

Rinpoche stresses the importance of the opening verses of homage in this beautiful, profound, and challenging text. He reflects that these verses made a profound impact on him and he draws our attention to the unusual nature of the object of homage.

Śrāvakas and middle-level buddhas arise from sovereign sages. Buddhas are born from bodhisattvas. The compassionate mind and nondual cognition as well the awakening mind: these are causes of bodhisattvas.

As compassion alone is accepted to be the seed of the perfect harvest of buddhahood, the water that nourishes it, and the fruit that is long a source of enjoyment, I will praise compassion at the start of all.

Candrakīrti, Madhyamakāvatāra, Chapter 1, Verses 1 and 2

Reflection Exercise

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