Lama Jampa began by describing the reasoning behind the poetic title of the book ‘Patterns in Emptiness’. Throughout seven chapters, and an important appendix explaining the structure of the dharma, Lama Jampa placed this inexhaustible teaching within the rich context of the Buddha’s teachings through which it may be properly understood. He explained that dependent origination is none other than emptiness, the profound essence of the Buddha’s teaching.
Phenomena manifest through dependent origination and, by this very fact, their essence is emptiness. Dependent origination and emptiness can be said to be like two sides of the same reality within which all appearances manifest like patterns. Since these patterns lack any inherent existence liberation, through the development of wisdom and compassion, is always possible.
Lama Jampa went on to pay homage to his own masters to whom the book is dedicated, reminding us that it is always in dependence upon our teachers that we are able to receive the teachings and hence have the opportunity to gain realisation.
Lama Jampa also explained why he decided to write this book exclusively on the topic of dependent origination, given that there are many teachings on this topic contained within the classical texts. The reason is that there is no single text which focuses solely on dependent origination, as it relates to all the parts and stages of the Buddha’s teachings. In particular, this is a text written in straightforward language suitable for the relatively untutored beginner (as well as being of benefit to more experienced practitioners).
As usual when teaching Lama Jampa went through the text in great detail so that students were able to take copious notes and return home with a treasure trove of knowledge on which to study and reflect.
Throughout the week the afternoon practice of ‘Tara who Liberates from All Fears’ acted as a balance to the intense study of the morning sessions.
The week was rounded off with a celebratory soiree in which sangha joined Lama Jampa and family for an evening of food and music in marquees in the grounds of the gompa.
The Dechen Summer Course (continues next week with Lama Jampa bestowing the initiation of Chenrezik, emanation of the compassion of the Buddhas, alongside the transmission of instructions for an extremely rare and precious cycle of Chenrezik practice.
Lama Jampa’s next teaching in the UK will be in Harrogate, Yorkshire on Saturday 7 September. Click here for details.