“We should let the mind become relaxed maintaining only a clear presence of its natural condition, without getting distracted, forgetting, or letting ourselves get wrapped up in our thoughts. When the mind is naturally relaxed and present, it comes to itself in its authentic State.”
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
Buddhist principles underlie the whole of Tibetan culture. This is evident in the terminology of the Tibetan language as well as in their philosophy and their arts and medical system. However, Buddhist views are also inextricably woven into the fabric of the Tibetan way of life and their way of thinking. The study of ‘Inner Knowledge’ therefore not only incorporates all aspects of the Buddha Dharma but also shows how to ingrate these principles into our daily lives.
This can be achieved via traditional methods such as the seven ‘mind trainings’ and by learning and experiencing universal practices such as ‘mindfulness’ and the simple discipline of ‘not being distracted’. The benefit of integrating presence and awareness into our daily lives is absolutely invaluable, not only in the context of spiritual development but as also an everyday goal! Many important Masters of the past have said: “Spur on the horse of awareness with the whip of presence.”
“Someone who has awareness and has stabilized its presence will be able to live untroubled by any kind of law in the world, without being conditioned by it.”
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu
Ultimately, Buddhist studies and meditation include all the various doctrines and methods that were taught by the Buddha, so that individuals can understand their own real condition and, according to their capacity, attain freedom. These derive from texts found in the great Buddhist canonical collections of Tibet belonging to all traditions.
Courses in this field, such as those dealing with the ability to maintain presence and awareness, will begin with the study of various teachings which do not require any form of transmission. Also those practices within the Three Trainings that constitute the foundation of the path: morality (shila), contemplation (samadhi) and wisdom (prajna) that belong to the Sutra teachings as found in the schools of Hinayana and Mahayana.
More advanced courses may include studies and practices which are related to the Dzogchen transmission of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu or another qualified master, as well as Vajrayana teachings. The requirements for such courses are a willingness to receive transmission and to keep the Samaya (commitment) that transmission entails. Students will of course have ample opportunity to discuss this opportunity further as they study.