I’ve challenged myself to post on this blog everyday for a week. To that end…
We began shedra classes last Monday. I’m in sixth year now. We’ve started the year with Paltrul Rinpoche‘s general commentary on the Ornament of Realization (Abhisamayalankara). The root text itself is a commentary on the Perfection of Wisdom. This is a famously difficult subject. So far we are just on the third page, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes. I have yet to meet a Tibetan text that wasn’t difficult to understand.
Khenchen Pema Sherab and Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso were both quite enthusiastic about this text, as though they were excited I was getting the chance to study it. People often say that if you do well on Abhidharmakosa (in fourth year) you will do well on Abhisamayalankara. I had a great teacher for Abhidharma, Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche. He really put in a lot of energy and joy. He helped keep us keen on day after day of enumerations and definitions. All the same, I was glad to say goodbye to dear old Abhidharma.
Sixth year is the last year we focus primarily on sutra traditions. For the final three years of our program we mainly study tantra. So I am aspiring to be diligent and give the Perfection of Wisdom the attention it deserves and to go for a more complete understanding of the Mahayana than I currently possess.