Parting from the Four Attachments is a great classic mind-training teaching of the Sakya tradition. It was bestowed upon the eleventh-century Sakya founder Sachen Kunga Nyingpo by Manjushri himself, summarizing in four lines the path to enlightenment according to the paramitayana tradition. Over the past 1000 years, its explanations and meditations have been a source of inspiration and realization for countless generations of practitioners.

Course description

We welcome you to study Parting from the Four Attachments in one of two ways:

  1. By self study. This method of study requires no commitment and is self-paced. Listen on your own to audio teachings by His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche and self study of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen’s commentary on this teaching contained Volume 1 of the Freeing Heart and Mind: Introduction to the Buddhist Path.
  2. By participating in the Parting from the Four Attachments Online Study Group. Participants in the study group will need to set aside dedicated time for study and practice for approximately four months. The study group will hold its first meeting from 8:00 to 9:30 pm New York time on Friday, October 30, and then meet every Sunday thereafter at the same time for 17 weeks, through February 21. Study group members will need to set aside time to attend the class and discussion group each week, to review the teachings, contemplate the daily meditations, and do the supplementary readings. 

Parting from the Four Attachments Study Group Plan

Study Group Goals

  • To learn the root verses of the great classic Sakya mind training teaching Parting from the Four Attachments, and related famous commentaries.
  • To carefully contemplate and meditate on the teachings, using them to train our own minds
  • To encourage each other in our efforts to personally experience the deep meaning of the teachings.

Study Group Teachers

  • His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trichen, through study of his written commentary in Freeing Heart and Mind Book 1: Introduction to the Buddhist Path
  • His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, weekly by pre-recorded audio teaching
  • Very Venerable Dezhung Rinpoche, as author of supplementary readings
  • Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen, translator for Luding Khenchen Rinpoche and author of supplementary readings

Study Group Facilitators

  • Chodrungma Kunga Chodron, Tsechen Kunchab Ling
  • Trung Jamyang Tharchin, Sakya Phuntsok Ling

Commitments

  • Attendance: Participation in at least 15 of 17 study and discussion sessions
  • Practice: 15 minutes of contemplative meditation on the discussion topic 5 days each week
  • Study: 1 hour of supplementary reading and review of key points each week

Cost and Requirements to Participate

  • There is no charge for the class
  • Purchase the two books listed below, if you do not already have them
  • A computer, phone, or handheld device on which to connect to Zoom.

Lesson Format:

  • 8:00 to 8:30 pm – Review and discussion of previous week’s material
    • Review of key points from the previous week’s teaching
    • Sharing comments on the weekly discussion topics
  • 8:30 to 9:30 pm – study of new material
    • Introduction of key points to be learned
    • Listening to the main teaching by Luding Khenchen Rinpoche
    • References to related commentaries by other Sakya masters
    • Explanation of the meditation to be undertaken during the coming week
    • Review of new key points and discussion topics to prepare for the coming week.

Books used in the course

Syllabus

All classes meet 8:00 to 9:30 pm by Zoom. The Zoom meeting details will be provided upon registration.

PRELIMINARIES

    • Friday, October 30: Introduction and How to Study
    • Sunday, November 8: Life of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo
    • Sunday, November 15: Life of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen and Luding Khenchen Rinpoche
    • Sunday, November 22: Refuge
    • Sunday, November 29: Enlightenment Thought

MAIN TEACHING

If you are attached to this life, you are not a religious person.

    • Sunday, December 6: Precious Human Birth
    • Sunday, December 13 Impermanence

If you are attached to samsara, you do not have renunciation

    • Sunday, December 20: Suffering of Samsara
    • Sunday, December 27: Law of Karma

If you are attached to self-interest, you do not have bodhicitta

    • Sunday, January 3: Loving Kindness
    • Sunday, January 10: Compassion
    • Sunday, January 17: Enlightenment Thought

If grasping arises, you do not have the view

    • Sunday, January 24: Shamatha
    • Sunday, January 31: Vipassana: All appearances are objects of the mind
    • Sunday, February 7: Vipassana: Mental objects are illusory
    • Sunday, February 14: Vipassana: Illusions lack inherent nature

CONCLUSION

    • Sunday, February 21: Dedication of merit