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This book presents the stages of the path to enlightenment. It is offered for the benefit of all those who, in this day and age, have an interest in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, not only in its intellectual but particularly in its practical aspect. This text was written following the structure of The Swift Path, an authentic text of practical instructions written by the Fifth Panchen Lama, Djetsun Lobsang Yeshe. It contains the quintessence of the Lamrims (namely, The Great Treatise of the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment by Lama Tsongkhapa), works which in themselves contain the essence of all the excellent words of the Victorious One. Furthermore, the author has added nothing to that which is not already stated in these texts. He also requests of those scholars who might detect superfluous elements, omissions or errors, to be indulgent towards him.
2. The practice itself
We may choose any specific meditation topic (from how to follow a spiritual master, the root of the Path, to calmabiding and special insight), and meditate on each of the points mentioned in this theme, knowing when best to alternate between analytical and stabilizing meditation. At the end of the session, we dissolve the merit-field with prayers and dedications.
The main part of the session may also consist of a meditation on all the topics as a whole, starting with how to follow a spiritual guide to developing calm-abiding and special insight, always knowing when to alternate between analytical and stabilization meditation. We may choose which of these two methods we prefer or which is most suitable to our temperament.
Analytical meditation consists in the use of quotations, logical reasoning, and examples during the meditation session. Stabilization meditation consists in focusing the mind single-pointedly on a chosen object.
The various meditation topics will be explained throughout the text. It is most important to start by listening and reflecting on the teachings of the Lamrim. Without the lamp of listening to the teaching, we could not possibly know what should be practiced and what should be abandoned.
Certain people use analytical meditation to develop attachment and love while thinking of dear ones, and develop aversion and hostility while thinking of persons whom they do not like. This, however, is far from being a positive and beneficial analytical meditation. It is, in fact, a meditation contaminated by attachment and aversion and, therefore, generates suffering. We should not meditate in this way; rather, we should meditate with enthusiasm on the methods that allow us to find the happiness of higher conditions and ultimate states.