The path of learning in the Dharma unfolds in three stages:
The stage of learning, wherein the meaning, logic, view and lessons of Buddhism are absorbed.
The stage of contemplation, wherein these lessons are tested, related and referrred to one's own experience in the world.
The stage of meditation, wherein the results of contemplation become the clear and unwavering objects of meditational focus.
Whether the Buddhist practitioner is a lay person, monk or teacher, each stage of Dharma practice relies upon the previous one. Omitting prior stages of learning can lead to faults and weakness in the subsequent stages and practice. For example, if the view of emptiness is not confirmed through learning and contemplation, any unfamiliar experiences that occur during meditation can lead to confusion. On the other hand, if the knowledge of emptiness is only learned intellectually, and not experienced and and stabilized through meditation, then the actual painful experiences that occur in daily life will have no release. Another example would be a case where the overriding meaning and goal of boundless compassion has not been properly assimilated, so that any positive accomplishments that occur as a result of practice are easily subverted and regurgitated back into ego's habits of power and pride.
Thus, Dharma education is an indispensable component of Dharma practice. One important goal, in fact the main goal, of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute is to provide educational resources to interested students. These resources include access our regularly scheduled practice events, special events, Dharma courses in English, Tibetan language training, and other educational events. Also, we offer access to in-house Dharma library of books in English and other languages, as well as digital resources available through this website.