The teachings were based on Mipham Rinpoché’s Gateway to Knowledge as well as on Rinpoché’s own research into Buddhist philosophy. Shamar Rinpoché began in 2009 with an extensive teaching on the 51 mental events. This year’s teachings also focused on the skandhas (aggregates) and continued into the dhatus (elements or constituents). Rinpoché continue the remainder of the teaching in the following year.
The final three days were open to the public. Hundreds of people of all ages and origins came to hear Rinpoché give an overview of the lojong (“mind training”) teaching as presented in his book, The Path to Awakening. He emphasized the importance of meditation as a solid foundation for putting lojong into practice. Rinpoché suggested that practitioners who were interested in making lojong their life practice might consider beginning with one year of training in shamatha (Tib: shiné) followed by one year of vipassana (Tib: lhaktong) before concentrating on tonglen, the active visualization practice of sending happiness to all beings and taking on their difficulties as presented in the lojong teachings.
Rinpoché made it clear that lojong was a complete practice that could lead sincere practitioners all the way to enlightenment.