THE MARTSANG LAM RIM
What is the Martsang Lam Rim?
"The word ‘Mart’ in ‘Martsang’ means ‘profound essence’, and ‘sang’ means ‘a treasure chest’, together they translate to mean ‘a treasure chest containing the profound essence" ‘Lam Rim’ means the ‘great stages of the path to enlightenment,’ and is a collection of teachings that explain how we can liberate ourselves from samsara.
In short, the Martsang Lam Rim is a collection of precious and profound teachings that will ‘illuminate the mind’ of the practitioner on the complete path to enlightenment. The Martsang Lam Rim teachings, theory and practice cover the complete teachings of Buddhist original theory instructed in the Buddha’s Mahayana Buddhism and the main parts of Theravada Buddhism.
The teachings of the Martsang Lam Rim are instructedin three main parts:
1. The Basis; ground/reality how things are.
2. The Path; the three paths to obtaining liberation and four philosophies.
3. The Fruit; freedom from cyclic existence.
Part 1. ‘The Basis’,covers Buddhist epistemology and investigative methods, Buddhist psychology-science of mind, nature of consciousness, mind body relationship, nature of the person, Buddhist theories of matter, nature of time, subtle bodies and energy among other subjects, as foundation to understanding the way to engage on the path.
Part 2. ‘The Path’,
The Path details the 3 paths to liberation and four Buddhist philosophies. The 4 Nobel Truths, and the 12 links of dependent arising and instructions on ways to engage with conventional and ultimate Bodhicitta, from both Nagarjuna’s and Maitreya’s authentic lineage, provide the motivation to attain enlightenment.
Part 3. ‘The Fruit’- explains the results that can be achieved in this and future lifetimes.
Where did the Martsang Lam Rim come from?
The Martsang Lam Rim originated from Buddha, Mahasiddhas and the practice experiences of masters of Martsang Kagyu tradition including the founder Choje Marpa Sherab Yeshe. His Holiness Gangri Karma Rinpoche synthesized the vast sutras and their commentaries into a methodical summary that explains the philosophy and practices in an accessible and gradual manner.
Who is the teacher?
The lessons are taught by His Holiness Gangri Karma Rinpochewho is the thirty-eighth-generationlineage holderof Martsang Kagyu tradition, an 853-year-old, unbroken order of traditional Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness is an accomplished Master, Mahasiddha, author and professor of the Dharma.
How is it taught, what can I expect on the course?
The course is taught in small groups, which meet twice a month, for about 4 hours per lesson includes a break time. The course will run for approximately three years and covers the complete teachings of Buddhism originaltheory and practice specific to the Martsang Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is split into 4 sections with each section being a pre-requisite for the next. It is during the second year, that all main type of teachings on meditation is introduced to students.
Lessons are well structured and written materials are provided, but they are also highly interactive, and questions are encouraged. Furthermore, it includes His Holiness’s own unique view to understanding essential aspects of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy such as ‘emptiness’. While ‘emptiness’ is not always easy to grasp, under the guidance of His Holiness, a clear and quick understanding will be achieved due to his extraordinary knowledge and skill in delivering these precious teachings. The way to engage with the content is through hearing, thinking and contemplating.
Following the traditional path, the course ends with an exam and a friendly debate with fellow students to test the students’ knowledge and improve their skills.
Although it takes about three years complete, if you are unable to commit to this schedule, it will be possible for each section to be taken separately as and when you are available. However, certification will only be given to those who complete the entire course and pass the exam.
Once you have completed and passed the exam you will receive a certificate according to your result. The 3 achievable marks are pass, merit and distinction.
Who are the teachings meant for?
Anyone with a strong interest in Buddhism and a commitment to study. There are no pre-requisites and the gradual but wide-ranging nature of the teachings make them applicable both to beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
Why should I study?
If one has the wish to break the cycle of samsara and achieve bliss by way of enlightenment, it is necessary to follow a path that offers ‘step by step’ instructions from beginner to advanced level with an experienced guide. Studying the Martsang Lam Rim with His Holiness provides this opportunity, and can be of great benefit to your daily life in the following ways:
Teachings that help you make sense of yourself, and your experiences.
Receive detailed instruction and guidance on meditation practices set out in the gradual path of meditation system, directly from an accomplished Master.
Practices for calming the mind, reducing stress and improving your health and faculties.
· Tools to increase happiness and joy, while reducing pain and suffering.
Ways to develop true compassion, wisdom and improve relationships with others.
Acquire a thorough understanding and knowledge of Buddhist theory, philosophy and logic.
Meet like-minded people and learning in a supportive, friendly and interactive environment.
Experience a deeply satisfying learning experience.
What other opportunities for Dharma study are there after Martsang Lam Rim?
Following the successful completion of the Martsang Lam Rim it is then possible to study with His Holiness in the Dechen Nyur Lam Rim, the Preliminary Mahamudra, and Mahamudra of Martsang Kagyu.
It is also possible to take a ‘Meditation Teacher’ training class and a ‘Buddhist Philosophy’ teacher training class. This is only available to those who obtained the required level of certification in Martsang Lam Rim.
The complete teachings and methods of Martsang Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism can possibility carry the student from the foundations of Buddhism to enlightenment.
How can I find out more?
You can talk with us or visit MKLBC website url: www.martsangkagyu.co.ukfor more information. If you would like to book a place, please contact Dolma Sherab by Email: email@example.com
Next coming autumn there will be a new opportunity to start on the Great Stages of the Path to Enlightenment to study the Martsang Lam Rim with His Holiness the Twelfth Gangri Karma Rinpoche. The course is available in English and Mandarin. The English class will commence on Saturday 7th September and the Mandarin class on Sunday 8th September. In the event that you are unable to attend the class due to our location in London, it is possible to do the teachings via Skype.
Venue: Martsang Kagyu London Buddhist Centre,
85 Kingate Road, London, NW6 4JY
Start Date: Saturday 7th September 2019, then on alternate Saturday unless otherwise advised.The whole year timetable of the Martsang Lam Rim will provide to students when they book the place.
Time: 1.30pm to 5.30pm
Consultant Fees: course fee applies, please contact us by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Start Date: Sunday 8th September 2019, then on alternate Sunday unless otherwise advised. The whole year timetable of the Martsang Lam Rim will provide to students.
Time: 10.00am to 13.00pm
Consultant Fees: course fee applies, please contact us by Email: email@example.com for more information.
Refund and cancellation policy
Full refunds are available for cancellations, providing notice is given at least 14 days prior to course commencement. Unfortunately cancellations requested after this time are not refundable.
Through these teachings, His Holiness have not only shown piercing insight and great wisdom, but he have demonstrated vast kindness and patience. I can see that His Holiness nurture each of his students with great care, carefully checking that they understand the meaning and adapting his explanations through anecdotes and stories to suit the students capabilities. These words are also backed by action. His Holiness behaviour is ethically stainless and you are the very embodiment of the teachings.
By Julian McIntyre
The benefits I gain during Lamrim course are claryfining my mind from gross ideology and definitions, sharpen my rational mind and sense of causing no harm.
By Jolanta Koltun
Deciding to study the Lam Rim with His Holiness this year was a very good decision! It is a real blessing to study the dharma in such a thorough manner in London - even possible alongside working full-time. In the UK in my experience, it is so much more common to hear the dharma in piecemeal amounts, a teaching in a Buddhist center here – a meditation course there. With the Lam Rim study group, there is an incredible opportunity to develop an understanding of the Buddhist teachings cumulatively and regularly and try to apply them in one’s life.
Lam Rim study has had a big impact on me in terms of valuing the preciousness of the dharma. I feel very grateful that even living in smoggy 21st century London, the Lam Rim has journeyed here, and we can learn from centuries of Buddhist logic and wisdom. So, there has been an urgency and hunger for the dharma that has grown in me this year since studying Lam Rim. And there’s also been the beginning of a simplification process in the way I am living through reasserting to myself what really matters to meWe have studied many inter-related topics so far including the nature of the mind, and virtuous and non-virtuous mental factors, and the arguments for the existence of past and future lives. It is invaluable to be able to ask questions about the Lam Rim to H.H, who is a true scholar as well as a master practitioner, to clarify my misunderstandings, so that I can try my best to practice the path with a clearer comprehension of what the Buddhist teachings say. I also learn a lot because of the group, from the questions other students have too. H.H is so patient with all our questions and our misunderstandings, and he is so precise with his explanations and answers to our questions. The classes are really enjoyable and being in H.H‘s presence is very calming and inspiring.
The Lam Rim is a foundational course and with that right foundation, I really pray that all of us who choose to commit to studying it can grow and change and be of real benefit of others at this time on Earth when there's so much visible distress in our societies in London and beyond. I’d encourage anyone who feels drawn to Buddhism to study the Lam Rim with H.H.
By Manisha Pandey
In 2007 I met His Holiness Gangri Karma Rinpoche at a Buddhist meditation centre in Macclesfield in Cheshire. I’d been attending meditation classes at the centre and His Holiness had been invited to give a teaching. I was immediately taken with how skilfully the meditation was delivered and the ease and clarity at which His Holiness answered questions from the audience. In particular, one question put to His Holiness was ‘considering you started life in Tibet, why do think you’ve found yourself living in the middle of Manchester’. His Holiness said two things; that he had unfinished karma and he’d also come to help people who would benefit from the teachings. As simple and obvious as it may sound, His Holiness’s answer had a powerful impact on me. I’d become interested in Buddhism after starting meditation classes but with so many books on the subject, I’d also become a little overwhelmed with all the literature available. I longed for something with more structure that would give me a deeper understanding of the core teachings. On meeting His Holiness it was as if my prayers had been answered. I knew instinctively that I would continue to follow his teachings, so much so, that when His Holiness moved to London a while later I uprooted
too to enable me to study the lamrim. The lamrim or graduated path, is a presentation of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings that details the stages in the complete path to enlightenment. For anyone questioning the world and their place in it this course will satisfy all your curiosity and most importantly you will reap huge benefits. For anyone embarking on this journey it will bring immense satisfaction and increase your chances of successfully navigating your path/way in an increasingly difficult and complex world. Out of the
myriad of ways I could have explored my interest and knowledge in Buddhism, the lamrim teachings presented me with the way forward and as anticipated the course has fulfilled all my expectations. These teachings are a gift and I suggest anyone with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism grabs the opportunity with both hands to learn from such a highly realised master.
By Tracey Bryson