The Vajra Essence by Dudjom Lingpa is a classic, 19th century meditation manual in the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Covering all stages of meditative practice up to the achievement of spiritual awakening, it begins with an extraordinary presentation of the shamatha practice of “settling the mind in its natural state.”
In this week long retreat, B. Alan Wallace offers an oral commentary the shamatha section of The Vajra Essence, which he received from his teacher, the Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche, who authorized him to teach this portion of the text to general audiences. The retreat will also consist of meditation sessions and periods of discussion. Although this practice is presented in the context of Tibetan Buddhism, it is strongly resonant with Zen and Vipassana meditations, so it may be inviting and enriching to Buddhists of all traditions, as well anyone else who is interested to explore the depths of their own mind, and consciousness.
All seven days of this retreat are reproduced here in full, conveniently divided into teachings, meditations, and discussions. PDF files include explanatory notes on the audio files, retreat handouts, and other pertinent information.
B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., noted Buddhist scholar and teacher, is the author of numerous books including Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism and Christianity; The Attention Revolution; and Genuine Happiness: Meditation as the Path to Fulfillment. He is the founder of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies.
This audio stream and download chronicles the seven-day retreat held at Santa Barbara’s historical Old Mission. Recorded June 21 – 28, 2009.