The Devil Debates an Angel

A Dialogue on Meditation and the Nature of The Mind
November 16-18, 2018

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Geshe Michael Roach will be offering three days of special teachings on meditation and the nature of the mind in Sedona. These teachings are taken directly from The Angel Debates The Devil, a dialogue between the good and evil that happens in our mind, by Lobsang Chukyi Gyeltsen. The text is at the same time extremely funny and extremely deep, as it reveals the tricky ways that our mind deceives us into believing we are thinking and acting in a way that actually helps us. This teaching will help us to unravel these seductive arguments of the Devil in our own mind to order to be successful in this life, and to learn how to develop the skills necessary to confront any obstacle.

The traditional name of our text is An Argument with the Tendency to Think that Things are Real. It was written by Lobsang Chukyi Gyeltsen, who lived 1565-1662. He was above all an extraordinary practitioner, thinker, and contemplator; a yogi; a poet and writer among the greatest who have ever lived; and an ardent pacifist who once stopped a war single-handedly, by walking out between the opposing armies.

What’s amazing is that—as we listen to the Devil and the Angel debating—we unexpectedly begin to get some new ideas about how the world around us works: why things happen to us the way they do, why we meet the people we do. By the end of the fight, we have a lot of what we need to know to change our own life—to be happier, and make those around us happy.

The genre of the work that we will be learning in this course series is known as Mahamudra, or the Great Seal. This is a practice where we try to come to an understanding of emptiness by observing our own mind and grasping how the mind itself—like all other things—is empty of being itself, by itself.