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Location: Shambhala Online

The Life of Milarepa

Aug 10, 17 & 24, 2024
from 1:00-2:00 p.m EST

About the Course

My religion is to live—and die—without regret.
― Milarepa

Join this short and accessible summer course that will explore the legendary life and story of Milarepa – Tibet’s most famous yogi and Meditation Master.

Milarepa (c. 1052 – c. 1135 CE) was a revered Kagyu lineage holder, and is well-known for his devotional doha songs (“spontaneously composed verses”) and stories, many of which have been translated and are available in English. But he did not start out this way! In his early life, he committed many serious crimes, before realizing this was not the path for him. Out of great regret and sorrow for his past misdeeds, he engaged in a deep spiritual path of purifying this negative karma. His story is an extreme example of how we can work with our own regret and pain for past actions to find peace, healing, and redemption.

This series is a powerful way to help us connect to the life and poetic words of a great wisdom holder such as Milarepa who, like us, struggled with disillusionment, worked with renunciation, and searched for a spiritual path with great devotion and insight—and can help us to find our own courage and do the same. The example of his life can serve as inspiration for how we can also be free from anxiety, depression, agitation, fear, and other forms of suffering.

Each live session is one-hour long with a 45 minute talk and 15 minutes for questions.


Session 1: The Life story of Milarepa

Sessions 2 & 3: Teachings on The Story of Accepting the Teacher Shakyaguna, one of the songs of Milarepa (translated by Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche and Gerry Wiener)

Included in the Course

  • Meditation instruction as presented by Milarepa, based on his own experiences
  • Personal guidance and teaching on the Life of Milarepa from a highly regarded and respected Tibetan Buddhist teacher
  • Opportunity for group discussion and reflection
  • Contemplations that bring personal insight and meaning to your spiritual path
  • Connecting with other spiritual practitioners and meditators in an online environment

What You will Gain

You will leave this course with a deeper understanding of the life of Milarepa as an example of  how to work with past karma—which can then lead to true happiness and contentment that is not based on external circumstances.

About Khenpo Gawang

Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of Pema Karpo Meditation Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where he has lived since 2007. In 2006, he received his Khenpo degree, the Buddhist equivalent of a PhD, from the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Buddhist College) of Namdroling Monastery in South India. His journey started when in 2003 he was sent by his root teacher, HH Penor Rinpoche, to assist Shambhala Global and to begin teaching in the West.

Rinpoche is the author of Your Mind Is Your Teacher (Shambhala Publications). He co-translated with Gerry Wiener, The Excellent Path to Enlightenment by Longchenpa, and The Gate of Entry Into the Limitless Activities of the Supreme Noble Ones: A Short Commentary on the King of Aspiration Prayers for the Excellent Conduct of the Noble Ones by Lochen Dharmashri. Khenpo and Gerry have translated a trilogy of works related to the profound text by Shantideva on becoming a bodhisattva: Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra: Entering the Way of the Bodhisattvas – Duhuang Edition by Shantideva (a 1000 year old text), The Ketaka Jewel by Mipham Rinpoche (a commentary on the Wisdom Chapter), and Entering the Way of the Bodhisattvas:  An Annotated Commentary by Khenpo Shenga (soon to be published). These books are available on Amazon.

Before returning to Namdroling Monastery in 2018, as vice-president of the Buddhist college, and continuing after his return to Memphis, Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche lives in semi-retreat. He practices meditation in the mornings and spends his afternoons and evenings in study, contemplation and translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts. Since early 2020, Rinpoche has been teaching regularly online, something he enjoys greatly since he can simultaneously be in retreat and teach anywhere in the world.

2024-06-19 18:35:05