Lamrim means “the stages of the path to enlightenment”.

It is a special set of instructions that includes all the essential teachings of Buddha – and is the backbone of Kadampa Buddhism.

The Lamrim instructions were compiled by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha, who was invited to Tibet by King Jangchub Ö in AD 1042.

There is a completely pure and unbroken lineage of these Lamrim instructions from Buddha Shakyamuni up to our present day Spiritual Guides.

The instructions of Lamrim are easy to understand and practice, and can readily be applied to solving the problems of daily life. If we gain deep experience of Lamrim there will be no basis for these problems; we shall be completely free of all of them.

First we must understand the value of Lamrim. Then by joyfully and patiently doing these meditations we shall gradually experience the fruits of Lamrim practice.

Eventually we shall attain freedom from all suffering and the unchanging peace and happiness of enlightenment.

Twenty-one meditations

There are 21 Lamrim meditations, which are usually practiced in a three-week cycle as a daily meditation practice:

1. Our precious human life
2. Death and impermanence
3. The danger of lower rebirth
4. Refuge practice
5. Actions and their effects
6. Developing renunciation for samsara
7. Developing equanimity
8. Recognizing that all living beings are our mothers
9. Remembering the kindness of living beings
10. Equalizing self and others
11. The disadvantages of self-cherishing
12. The advantages of cherishing others
13. Exchanging self with others
14. Great compassion
15. Taking
16. Wishing love
17. Giving
18. Bodhichitta
19. Tranquil abiding
20. Superior seeing
21. Relying upon a Spiritual Guide

These meditations, along with instructions on how to practice and essential background material can be found in The New Meditation Handbook.

An extensive presentation of Lamrim can be found in Geshe Kelsang’s book Joyful Path of Good Fortune.