The Kunsang Gar Wisdom Program is a series of teachings offered by Geshe Dangsong Namgyal, designed with the intention of establishing a comprehensive framework for understanding essential concepts, such as impermanence, emptiness, dependent origination, compassion, and awakening through Natural Mind.
The program is divided into three categories: Foundation Wisdom, Mental Development, and Quintessential Wisdom.
Similar to when you build a house, the first thing you do is build a solid foundation. Foundation Wisdom includes knowledge of what our world is; what human beings are and how we take birth in this sphere of existence; how we change as the world changes; whether or not we cease to exist after death. Foundation Wisdom classes will include the following topics:
The Four Noble Truths
The outer and inner preliminary practices
The twelve links of interdependent origination
The nature of samsara and nirvana
Practices for mental development include a framework or structure for understanding the Natural Mind. One must develop the common wish to develop a mind of compassion, wishing to free all beings from suffering, and loving or wishing to conjoin them with happiness. Mental Development classes will address the following:
The non-inherent existence of things
Emptiness as taught in the Prajnaparamita Sutra
Emptiness as explained in the Vehicle of the Perfections
The Great Mother of the Sphere, Sherab-jama
Maha madhyamaka, the Great Middle Way
Mahamudra, the Great Seal
The Tantric view of enlightenment
Tantric samadhis or meditative absorptions
The Six Yogas of Tantra
The third category of Kunsang Gar Wisdom is Quintessential Wisdom. This is the teaching of Pure Dzogchen, considered to be the very peak of the nine vehicles. This involves introduction to the true nature of your mind and training in the practices of Trechod, Cutting Through to Primordial Purity, and Thögel, Direct Crossing or Spontaneous Presence. This is the basis of the previously mentioned Tantric view, the singular base of primordial enlightenment. This is not just a realization of the tantric system, but a door to this special quality spontaneously present within us. On the basis of actual practice, not simply believing, one develops definite realization or direct experience. It is the swiftest path to attaining the resultant state. Its view is without prejudice, unbiased; its meditation is the great equanimity. Quintessential Wisdom teachings will attend to the following:
Identifying mind and the mind’s true nature
Revealing the innate wisdom-mind through the three great stages of
meditative practice (Thun-gom, Ngang-gom and Long-gom)
Pure Dzogchen or Natural Mind meditation
The sources of the Wisdom taught at Kunsang Gar are traditional Tibetan Bon-Buddhist teachings practiced historically and in the present day. These practices are based in part on Bon Zhang Zhung, the ancient indigenous knowledge of Tibet as taught by its founder, Shenrab Miwo. This wisdom also incorporates the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the tradition of scriptural commentary by the masters of Nalanda Monastery in India that spread throughout Tibet. Although these two traditions have different histories, the subject matter of both is included in the three categories of Kunsang Gar Wisdom. One thing to understand from the outset is that these teachings and meditations, although rooted in traditional Buddhist traditions, are secular; you need not forego your religion or philosophy in order to benefit from Kunsang Gar Wisdom.
The Kunsang Gar Wisdom Program began in the spring of 2018 with a day-long teaching on the Four Noble Truths, which is the first class in the Foundation Wisdom series. Please watch our calendar or follow us on Facebook to get updates on additional teachings.
Click for a downloadable PDF of the Wisdom Program Booklet: KG_Wisdom_booklet030518