Meditation followed by a Dharma Teaching

On the 16 Guidelines to Happiness Of Dharma King Songstan Gampo

edited by Madelyn Miller

If you think you can’t meditate, you just need a different approach.  Discover the approach to meditation that is right for you.

Join Tashi Nyima every Sunday at 2:30 PM to explore 84,000 GATES TO MEDITATION.

There is no ‘one right way’ to meditate.  All meditation practices, regardless of differences in technique, seek to establish harmonization of vishesha-spanda (individual pulsation) and samanya-spanda (universal pulsation) through the principle of resonance. There is an approach that works for you!

Prana Meditation
Mantra Meditation
Mudra Meditation
Insight Meditation
Quiescence Meditation
Loving Kindness Meditation
Vajra-Body Meditation
Great Emptiness Meditation

During the first hour of Sunday Sangha at Tsada we will discuss and practice various approaches to meditation in a supportive, relaxed environment. Sit on a chair, the floor, a cushion, a blanket, many cushions and blankets, or just lie down.  Meditation is your natural state.  Find out how YOU can relax into perfection.

16 Guidelines to Happiness of Dharma King Songstan Gampo

The 16 Guidelines are a set of practical and straightforward tools for developing happiness and meaning in everyday life. Inspired by a seventh-century Tibetan text, the 16 Guidelines are used by people worldwide to transform problems and create happiness and wellbeing. Since then, they have been adopted and introduced in schools, colleges, hospices, rehabilitation centers, prisons, and workplaces across five continents.

Songtsän Gampo (Tibetan: Srong-btsan sGam-po, 569-650 or 617-650) was the founder of the Tibetan Empire, by tradition held to be the thirty-third ruler in his dynasty. The dates of his birth and when he took the throne are not certain. In Tibetan accounts, it is generally accepted that he was born in 617 CE (one year before the founding of the Tang Dynasty, when Gaozu of Tang became emperor of China). As he is thought to have ascended the throne at age thirteen (twelve by Western reckoning), in 629 CE.

Songtsän Gampo is regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He married the princesses Bhrikuti of Nepal and Wen Cheng of China, who each brought a sacred statue of Buddha Shakyamuni to Lhasa. He built the first Buddhist temples in Tibet, established a code of laws based on Dharma principles, and had his minister Thonmi Sambhota develop the Tibetan script.

King Songtsän Gampo built Rasa Trulnang Tsuglag Kbang and Ramoche Tsuglag Khang, two temples in Lhasa. He invited Acharya Kumara and Brahmin Shankara from India and the Nepalese Acharya Shilmanju, who began the propagation and translation of the Buddha's teachings. The translation of Buddhist texts into Tibetan began during his reign.

The 16 Guidelines are based on the inspirational values and principles that King Songtsän Gampo introduced to the Tibetan people. They played a crucial part in changing Tibet from a warlike nation into a civilization renowned for its peace and serenity.

The '16 human dharmas' of King Songtsän Gampo have a complex history. ('Dharma' is a Sanskrit term whose literal meaning is 'that which upholds or supports.') Different versions have been developed over the past thirteen centuries, including a rare set of verses called The Necklace of Precious Advice by Gelong Wangchuk Chösang. The 16 Dharmas continue to be recited by young monks in the great monastic schools of Tibet, India, and Nepal and have functioned as elementary ethical instructions.

The Tsada Yoga 16 Guidelines Study Group

The two foundations for happiness are wisdom and compassion. Compassion is the primary attitude leading to personal and collective happiness. Wisdom, defined as an understanding of our mind and of the world in which we live, is a key factor in developing compassion. The aim of this Study Group is to facilitate changes in the minds of participants in the direction of happiness, through wisdom and compassion.

From the ancient masters to the contemporary learning theorists, one idea is constant: learning cannot be forced, merely facilitated. To facilitate learning requires an understanding of the mind. For change and learning to take place, four basic factors need to be present:

1. Readiness ~ A full mind is like a full cup; it cannot contain anything new. To make ‘space’ for learning, we need to empty the mind through a brief meditation before starting. It is also important to consciously set up a positive motivation.

2. Understanding ~ The change needs a direction. This can be achieved through hearing and discussion.

3. Reflection ~ Simply consuming facts does not change patterns of thinking. This can be achieved through concentrated analysis of the content.

4. Practice ~ This can be done by consciously practicing the content in daily life.

The Tsada Yoga 16 Guidelines Study Group, facilitated by Tashi Nyima, will meet on Sunday afternoons (2:30-4:30 pm) to meditate and then study and discuss one of the 16 Guidelines. Students will have the opportunity to further explore that Guideline during the following week through Reflection and Practice. At the beginning of the next week’s meeting, we will share our realizations of the previous days, and then proceed to discuss the next Guideline.

The 16 Guidelines

Humility
Patience
Contentment
Delight
Respect
Forgiveness
Gratitude
Loyalty
Kindness
Honesty
Generosity
Right Speech
Aspiration
Discipline
Service
Courage

Tashi Nyima (Nimai) is the Dean of the Dharma Institute of Yoga & Ayurveda and a Preceptor in the New Jonang Dharma Community (SDS). He provides traditional tutorial education and Dharma mentoring for a growing number of students.

A Yoga and Ayurveda practitioner for over 30 years, Nimai received Refuge from Lama Tsering Ngodup and Bodhisattva Vows from HH the 14th Dalai Lama. He is authorized by his Root Teacher, Kyabje Tashi Norbu Rinpoche, to transmit the non-sectarian Dharma of the Great Middle Way (dbu ma chen po).

Every Sunday 2:30 to 4:30 PM ~ Donations gratefully accepted.

Tsada Yoga, 1409 South Lamar
Loft #745 (South Side on Lamar Lofts)
Dallas, Texas 75215

Contact Tsada @ (214) 616 - 2450
Contact Chinook @ (972) 795 - 2034

Madelyn Miller is a travel and food writer who relaxes by doing Yoga. Read her stories on www.travellady.com, www.carladynews.com, www.yogayaya.com, www.chocolateatlas.com, www.cocktailatlas.com, www.teaAtlas.com and www.coffeeatlas.com