Wednesday, July 05, 2006


During a stay at Nagi Gompa in 1994 I had the opportunity to ask Tulku Urgyen the following:

MT: I was wondering if Rinpoche could explain exactly what ‘blessing’ is?

Rinpoche: What people usually consider blessings are what I would call ‘superficial blessings.’ It’s like when you have something you want to get rid of and you ask, “Please bless me to be free from what I don’t like,” whether this is being sick or in pain, evil spirits are attacking you, your business isn’t going that well, etc.. So, people ask for something to wear around their necks, something to eat, maybe some charm to be made and so on. Then when they feel better, the evil spirits are repelled, business is going well or whatever, they say, “I got the blessings.” These are known as ‘superficial blessings.’

On the other hand, the real blessings are the oral instructions on how to become enlightened in a single lifetime, which you can receive from a qualified master. That’s the real kind of blessing.


Anonymous said...

hi eric and everyone, just like ot say that i love this little page, i never met tulku urgyen, but i am a student of mingyur rinpoche and feel the connection through him. i check out this page often to see what updates have been put on...i am halfway through blazing splendor, and i love it, you have put it together beautifully eric!

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche recently gave another interpretaion of the word "blessing" - jin-lab, in Tibetan: "the bestowal that permeates."

"As a student's mind is bestowed the instruction to realize the original, awakened state, his or her mind - and physical being and voice as well - becomes permeated with that realization. The voice becomes unhindered and eloquent through the untying of the knots in the channels and the body, apart from temporary signs, ultimately leaves sharira-relics or vanishes in rainbow light."

Anonymous said...

Dharma friends,
When I first read the above comments about 'blessings" I thought, "Well, that clears that up - I know what kind of student I am - a superficial one!" Becuase I am only too happy (may all beings be so happy) to have the "superficial blessings" of lamas to help me - needing all the help I can get as I do. And I thought "I would never ask for "oral instructions to obtain enlightment in a single lifetime" -it seems arrogant to me - as if I could do that! I would be ashamed to ask for such a thing knowing it would be wasted. I struggle enough just trying to be a good person in daily life. And then when I just read Chokiy Nyimas's statement I was moved to tears because I see immediately that that's how blessings work - whether superficial or otherwise - they permeate and change one. That's encouraging. And that staement seems very kind to me. I don't know why. Thank you.

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

We should aim for the highest but talk steps that our legs can reach.
I always found that advice very practical (though I don't remember who gave it).
PS. I also have a long explanation of "blessings" from the Dzogchen tantras - in the context of how the buddhas communicate beyond words. More about that later in Wellsprings of the Great Perfection.

Anonymous said...

I contacted the local book bookstore a while back about buying "Quintessential Dozgchen" but they said it was not in print. Is there a way to obtain a copy?

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

"Quintessential Dzogchen" which also contains teachings by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, is printed and right now on a truck on its way to you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Erik, I contacted the local bookstore to order "QD" and they are now saying it will be published in September, 2006. I ordered it.
Thanks. Thank you to Marcia too - they said to me it was "by Marcia Binder Schmidt". I said 'okay'. Made me giggle.

Anonymous said...

What is 'Wellsprings of the Great Perfection?' And how did you get the title in italics? I don't see on the blogspot where text formatting is possible. Did you type it somewhere else and then copy it to the blog? I ask because I like to be as expresive as possible when I write.

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Wellsprings of the Great Perfection is a collection of anscient Dzogchen scriptures, mainly historical or poetry.

You can add around text to italize.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching and listening to a video teaching by Mingyur Rinpoche on "Loving Kindness" - the video teachings were more effective than just reading - does anyone know of other video teachings available online?

pensum said...

i'm not sure of video but here are is some good audio by the likes of Tulku Urgyen, Tsoknyi, Chokyi Nyima, Dzongsar Khyentse etc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Micheal,
I posted an earlier response about 3 days ago but it never showed up here - I'm not sure what happened -I don't know if I did not type in the 'word verification' correctly or if there is a glitch in my computer or a glitch in the posting process - anyway, the earlier post seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. Also a couple of weeks ago I posted something that showed up twice a couple hours apart. I don't know what happened there either.

I should have been more clear - I was looking for more teachings on Loving Kindness - I find that I have this knot (pattern of thinking/behaviour?) of anger/mistrust and hatred that arises very strongly from time to time - and that this is where I need to put my practice effort. I actually really need help with this - if I never receive any other kind of teaching the rest of this life - this is what I need to resolve - the issues surrounding loving kindness. After many years of taking an 'inventory' of what my problems are I see pretty clearly now what I'm up against. I have such a difficult core of mistrust that I misperceive good intentions and then hatred arises.
This is the real issue for me.
Still trying but still failing.

Unknown said...

To italizice some text like this. Enclose it between HTML-tags like this:

<i>text like this</i>

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Peter.

Anonymous said...

Hello to you all and thank you for helping me to further my understanding and practice of the Dharma!

I am looking to find a qualified teacher in my area to receive oral instructions and teachings, but I do not know where to start.

I live in Salem, Oregon, and was wondering if it is recommended or appropriate to receive proper teachings by a qualified teacher through the internet. If not, how can I go about finding a teacher?

Finally, how can one know whether a teacher is "qualified" or not?

May whatever merit comes from this forum become a drop in the ocean of the activity of all the Buddhas working for the enlightenment of all beings, and may all attain the common and supreme accomplishments!