Following Geshe Tenley's advice on the importance of familiarizing ourselves with the essential texts that capture the profound teachings of the Buddha, we will recite together Abhisamayālaṃkāra (Ornament for Clear Realization) by Maitreya and Madhyamakāvatāra (Entering the Middle Way) by Candrakīrti.
The Ornament for Clear Realization by Maitreya is a commentary on the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita) texts that serves as a support for understanding the profound teachings on emptiness. It includes a detailed explanation of the spiritual paths of hearers, solitary realizers, and bodhisattvas, together with their clear realizations and abandonments on the various paths. It discusses the precepts and methods for obtaining the meditative stabilizations, clairvoyances, signs of irreversibility, and qualities of buddhahood, including the thirty-two signs and eighty exemplifications, the four buddha bodies, and omniscience.
Candrakirti's Entering the Middle Way introduces us to the teachings of Nagarjuna, the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Buddhist philosophy. Its focus on emptiness serves as a valuable foundation for exploring more in-depth writings on the topic of wisdom. Each of the chapters also discuss one of the ten paramitas that are practiced and perfected as one progresses in spiritual development on the bodhisattva path to enlightenment.
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