The Rigpa Australia Bush Telegraph follows the Rigpa International curriculum. This Study and Practice Program enables students all over the world to follow a graduated path of study and practice, based on teachings from Sogyal Rinpoche and other masters, so that students can come to understand, integrate and embody the truth of the Buddhist teachings in their everyday lives. Various practices are introduced at appropriate stages of these courses.
Bush Telegraph courses run online via Skype (free program for conference calls via the net) and/or written forums on the Rigpa Distance Learning website where you post your responses to study guides, find support documents and get links to the teaching snips. Weekly sessions need around 2 hrs to complete fully including the Skype session.
The Rigpa Curriculum is constantly developing in order to incorporate new teachings by Rinpoche, so programs can and do change at any time.
Bush Telegraph Study Program 2012 / 13
(Update June 11th 2012)
In 2012 the Bush Telegraph will continue to offer ‘What Meditation Really is,’ a six week introductory course on Meditation with an option for further study for students wishing to continue. Starting dates will be available on the subscription form.
In addition we will offer the following programs:
1. Basic Program
2. What Meditation Really Is (modules 1 and 2 - available without subscription to BT)
3. First Year Introductory Course (WMRI modules 3 to 6 - only studied through BT subscription)
4. The Way to Inner Peace and Contentment
5. Turning Our Mind Towards the Dharma
6. Refuge and an introduction to Bodhicitta
7. Bodhicitta - the heart of enlightened mind
8. Parallel Program, Vajrasattva to Guru Yoga
9. Intensive Home Retreat Option
1- Basic Program
· No formal study program
· Library access and Sangha Day teachings for eligible students
· Access to an instructor for study & practice support
“The Aim of the Sangha Gatherings is to bring all of us together into one Mandala. There are those who are more fortunate, and who are able to come to retreats and teachings on a regular basis, but there are others who, because of the circumstances in their lives, cannot. Sometimes they find less and less opportunity, and sometimes circumstances can even become an excuse to let their connection with the teachings wither. They drift further and further away, get more and more caught up in samsara, and lose their connection.
2- What Meditation Really Is
· This program begins with two, six week introductory courses, modules 1 and 2. Module 1 coveres basic maditation whilst in module 2, Loving Kindness meditation is introduced as part of this program.
· No prerequisites
This course offers an introduction to methods of meditation practice that are simple, yet powerful and profound. These methods can be practiced by anyone and are extremely effective for bringing inner strength, peace, compassion and understanding into your life. The course offers a complete introduction to meditation and shows how it can unlock our natural confidence, compassion and creativity. Students will gain a genuine experience of meditation and all the tools they need to take the benefits into every aspect of their life.
3- First Year Introductory Course
· The First Year Introductory Program is an continuation of the What Meditation Really Is course, modules 3 to 6.
· Prerequisite –Students start with modules 1, 2 or 3 of 'What Meditation Really Is'
This course deepens a students understanding meditation and introduces students to various, progressive methods to promote mindfulness of the body, speech and mind.
4- The way to Inner Peace and Contentment
· Year 2 - foundation program
· Prerequisite –Module 4 and 2 other modules of ‘What Meditation really is’, or one other module plus one 10 day retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche following the program for new students
Regardless of who we are, the main purpose of our life—you could call it the heart of being human—is to be happy. If we look closely, we can see that there are two kinds of happiness. One is based more on physical comfort; the other is founded on a deeper, mental contentment. If we have this deeper, inner peace and contentment, then, even when we go through physical suffering, our minds can still be happy.
If we apply them to ourselves, we could well discover that Buddhist practices, such as meditation; Buddhist wisdom, such as the view of interdependence; and Buddhist ethics, such as altruism, can revolutionize the way we work and act in the world.
Then, even though life may be complex on the outside, we will possess an inner simplicity and carefree dignity. This will enable us to meet difficulties, crises, and troubles with a deeper acceptance and insight. This understanding will also help you transform and overcome problems, and lead you to the inner peace, stability of mind and contentment needed to face the challenges of the world today
· The Way to Inner Peace and Contentment - 11 sessions
· Simple Formula – 12 sessions
· Ground & Path – 10 sessions
· Shamata meditation, essential points – 3 sessions
5- Turning Our Mind Towards the Dharma
· Year 3 – The 4 contemplations and an introduction to the Vajrayana preliminaries (Ngondro).
· Prerequisite – completion of year 2 or equivalent.
The four contemplations which turn the mind consist of reflections on the the preciousness of a human birth, death and impermanence, the karmic principles of cause and effect and the sufferings of samsara. It is through appreciating fully this incredible opportunity of a human birth, and through making certain that we have all the right conditions for practising the Dharma, that we can direct our spiritual path to the best end. Contemplating death and impermanence will help you realize how urgent it is to make spiritual practice a priority. Studying the workings of karma gives us the wisdom of discernment. An appreciation of the suffering nature of samsara helps us develop a deeper sense of renunciation and strengthens our attitude of compassion.
· An introduction to Ngondro – 6 sessions
· Introduction to dharma study – 3 sessions
· How to Listen to Spiritual teachings – 3 sessions
· Invoking the Lama & Precious Human Birth – 9 sessions
· Four Thoughts - Impermanence (part 1) - 2 sessions
· Four Thoughts - Impermanence and integration (part 2) – 3 sessions
· Four Thoughts - Samsara – 4 sessions
· Four Thoughts - Karma - 3 sessions
· Four Thoughts - The Benefits of Liberation and revision – 3 sessions
6- Refuge and an introduction to Bodhicitta
· Year 4 – refuge & an intro to Bodhicitta
· Prerequisite – completion of year 3 and a desire to follow the path to enlightenment according to the wisdom tradition of Tibet.
Taking refuge in the Buddha as the guide, the truth of his teaching as his path and the example of his practitioners as companions on the path, so awakening a confidence and trust in out own inner Buddha nature.
Giving birth to love and compassion – Bodhiciatta, the heart of the enlightened mind – and training our mind to work with ourselves, with others, and with the difficulties of life.
· Refuge – 14 sessions
· Bodhicitta – Module 1: An Introduction to Bodhicitta – 5 sessions
· Bodhicitta - Module 2:Training the Mind in the Four Immeasurables (10 sessions)
· Bodhicitta Module 3: Arousing bodhicitta (3 sessions)
· Bodhicitta Module 4 – Equalising self and others (6 sessions)
7- Bodhicitta - the heart of enlightened mind
His Holiness the Dalai Lama says: “Bodhicitta is the very highest form of altruism and the highest form of courage, the source of all spiritual qualities and the essence of all the teachings of the Buddha.”
The Six Paramitas or 'transcendent perfections' comprise the training of a bodhisattva. They are:
1- Generosity: to cultivate the attitude of generosity.
2- Discipline: refraining from harm.
3- Patience: the ability not to be perturbed by anything.
4- Diligence: to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome.
5- Meditation: not to be distracted.
6- Wisdom: the perfect discrimination of phenomena.
· Bodhichitta Module five: Exchanging self and others (8 sessions)
· Bodhichitta Module six: Considering others more important than self (2 sessions)
· Bodhichitta Module 7: Six Paramitas Part One (9 sessions)
· Bodhichitta Module 8: Six Paramitas Part Two (7 sessions)
· Bodhichitta Module 9: The Crucial Points of Bodhichitta (6 sessions)
8- Home Retreat Parallel Program – Vajrasattva to Guru Yoga
For students following the Parallel Program of the Home retreat that have completed the Bodhisattva modules.
· Vajrasattva (12 sessions)
· Mandala Offering (6 sessions)
· Cho (4 sessions)
· Guru Yoga (approx. 24 sessions)
9- Intensive Home Retreat Option
This is for students registered for the Home Retreat Intensive. These students are attending centres, regional groups or participating in Skype groups for the Vajrayana transmissions and Ngondro days. Which option is available to you will depend on where you live.