What is the Path of Liberation?
The Path of Liberation is multi-year course of Buddhist meditation practice that immerses the practitioner in the main forms of meditation taught in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The most important form of practice on this path involves exploring the nature of mind through a series of experiential exercises and direct instructions provided by Mingyur Rinpoche and other qualified teachers. Various other forms of meditation training are also taught, including contemplations on core Buddhist teachings like impermanence and compassion, the preliminary practices (ngondro), and practices that involve visualizing sacred symbolic imagery.
Who is the Path of Liberation for?
The Path of Liberation is for those who feel inspired to follow the Buddha’s teachings as their primary spiritual path, and in particular for those who feel drawn to the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and the way the teachings of these lineages are presented by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
I am not sure if the Buddhist teachings are for me. How can I learn more?
Mingyur Rinpoche created the Joy of Living teachings precisely for those who are interested in following a path of meditation, but in a non-religious format. The Path of Liberation, on the other hand, is a Buddhist path. If you’d like to learn more about the Buddhist teachings to see if they’re a good fit for you, there are a few options. The first option is to attend a retreat entitled The Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings: Exploring the Path of Liberation. These retreats, led by senior Tergar instructors, introduce the main principles and practices of the Path of Liberation for those who are interested in learning more about Buddhist practice. Another option is to attend one or more of Tergar’s Buddhist Studies seminars. These classes give an overview of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
I am already Buddhist. Can I practice the Path of Liberation teachings?
The Path of Liberation is a continuation of the teachings and practices offered by Mingyur Rinpoche in the Joy of Living program. If you are new to the Tergar community, we recommend that you begin by attending the three Joy of Living levels, even if you already have a consistent meditation practice.
If you have been meditating consistently for at least five years, and have spent at least one month (cumulatively) doing Buddhist practices in either group or solitary retreat, you may attend a Path of Liberation retreat without having worked with the Joy of Living teachings. However, we still recommend that you go back and attend the Joy of Living workshops and retreats at a later date, as these teachings form the foundation for the Path of Liberation.
How can I get started?
To start practicing the Path of Liberation teachings, you’ll need to attend a Path of Liberation retreat or workshop led by Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tergar lama, or a guest teacher. This includes the various Path of Liberation workshops taught by the Tergar lamas, the Exploring the Nature of Mind annual retreat in Minnesota, and other retreats where teachings on the nature of mind are given, along with the transmissions needed to begin the preliminary practices (ngondro). You can check our online event calendar to see if there’s an event near you.
If you have already attended one of the Path of Liberation retreats and would like to formally begin the practices, there is a Path of Liberation resource page available on the Tergar Learning Community website.
Video: What to Expect at a Path of Liberation Retreat
Senior Tergar Instructor Cortland Dahl discusses the Path of Liberation and the different activities that take place at Path of Liberation retreats.
Download a transcript of What to Expect at a Path of Liberation Retreat [pdf]
If you are interested in the Path of Liberation and have questions that are not answered here, please feel free to email us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.