The Berzin Archives

The Buddhist Archives of Dr. Alexander Berzin

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Course: A Letter of Practical Advice on Sutra and Tantra

by Tsongkhapa (Tsong-kha-pa Blo-bzang grags-pa)

taught by Alexander Berzin
Berlin, Germany, November 20, 2007 – June 16, 2009

Course Information

A Letter of Practical Advice on Sutra and Tantra – or, more literally, A Brief Indication of the Graded Pathway Minds (Lam-gyi rim-pa mdo-tsam-du bstan-pa) – is an overview of the most important points for sutra and tantra meditation. It was written in Tibet by Tsongkhapa, the late fourteenth century C.E. founder of the Gelug tradition. The text is in the form of a letter sent in response to a request for further instruction by his friend, the renunciate meditator Konchog-tsultrim (dKon-mchog tshul-khrims), with whom Tsongkhapa exchanged many teachings. In this letter, Tsongkhapa explains with great clarity how to meditate on the various points of both the graded sutra path (lam-rim) and tantra. In particular, he explains how to visualize oneself as a Buddha-figure and how to meditate on voidness (emptiness).

Here, we present the unedited recordings of the weekly classes on the text, taught by Dr. Alexander Berzin in Berlin, Germany. Skipped weeks indicate classes were canceled.

The course ended on 16 June 2009. We ask the listener’s patience with the varying quality of the recordings.