Aro Podcast Notes: 01-Part1

These are my personal notes taken while listening to the Aro Buddhism Podcasts which can be found for free on the Apple I-tunes store.  This post covers the 1997 San Francisco lecture by Ngak’chang Rinpoche:  Aro01: Part 1 – Compassion and the Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism.

There are many ways to classify Buddhism.  Ngak’chang R. describes the classic method used by the Nyingma Sect/School as shown below:

The 4 major Buddhist sects in Tibet are Vajrayāna sects as shown in the diagram on top.  Vajrayāna also exists outside of Tibet but in smaller numbers.

Ngak’chang R. further speaks of two sanghas (strand of practice) inside of the Nyingma School (classified by the color of their robes): The Red Sangha (monastics) and the White Sangha (lay yogis — this is Aro’s sangha).

To the right is another unique classification used by Nyingma to classifying the whole of the Buddhist path into 9 yāna within the three main yāna.

In the first lecture, Ngak’chang R. is speaking about shravakayana which, in Sanskrit, means the Listener Yana.

For the big picture of the yanas and dzogchen and the principles and functions, see this post.

“Buddhism is 99% method.” — Ngak’chang R.

Ngak’chang R. also discuss emptiness and form for which I have a little post here.

Below are a few more glossary  terms used in Ngak’chang R’s lecture.

Tibetan Sanskrit English
nying-ma ancient
byang chub kyi sems (wyl)
boddhichita “awakening-mind” (Sk)
Also translated: the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

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