Saturday, December 25, 2010

Padmasambhava on devotion in Mahamudra

To use an analogy, when the sun is bright and you have an undamaged, untainted lens, dry moss will catch fire the very moment you correctly arrange the three. Similarly, when the master’s blessings, your own devotion, and the pure sincerity of your being all coincide, the original wakefulness that is Mahamudra automatically arises by simply making a supplication with deepfelt yearning.

-- Padmasambhava, from Juniper Ridge.

The image is at Tsopema, the Lotus Lake in Himachal Pradesh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Tulku Urgyen's elder brother Penjik with his wife
and their sons Gyurmed Dorje and his little brother
(photo courtesy of Gyurmed Dorje's son Tsangsar Tulku, Karma Tekchok Nyima)

Tulku Urgyen said about his brother:

My half-brother Penjik was supposed to be a tulku, but he didn’t want to be recognized as such. He was incredibly bright. Personally, I haven’t met anyone as sharp as he was. For example, in a single day he memorized the entire text of Chanting the Names of Manjushri.[i] Think about that! Isn’t it astounding? That’s the kind of person he was. I certainly was in awe of him.

If he had gone to Derge to pursue Buddhist studies, there is no doubt that he would have become a great scholar. Everything he heard, he understood. It’s a shame he didn’t stick to a spiritual path.

Penjik was very brave and intelligent; no one could outdo him or dominate him in anyway. If you heard his full story, you would be in awe. Let’s begin with his mundane qualities: He was extremely eloquent—so much so that he could be mistaken for a demon.[ii]

Penjik was known throughout Nangchen for his bravery; he was completely fearless and not intimidated by anyone. He was also tall and broad-shouldered. You should have seen him race his horse or shoot his rifle while riding! He was an excellent marksman. I felt that he had all the important qualities of a hero.

[i] Chanting the Names of Manjushri—Manjushri Nama Sangirti consists of six hundred verse lines. [epk]

[ii] Free-flowing, perfect eloquence is often considered to be a special power bestowed upon a person by either a deity or a demonic force. [epk]

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a siddha. He followed a great number of masters, and attained the highest degree of learnedness in most fields of knowledge. For us he was an embodiment of the original wakefulness of all buddhas, the lord of all mandalas -- a master who was indivisible from the mind of Padmasambhava. His heart was at peace in his compassionate resolve to liberate all beings. And it was this resolve that showed itself in the immense 'turning of the Wheel of Dharma' he manifested throughout his life.

Concerning guru yoga, there are outer, inner and innermost types of masters. The outer master is the one who explains us the general points of spiritual practice, how to begin the four times 100,000 preliminary practices. The inner master is the one who gives us Vajrayana empowerment and explains the meaning of the tantras, and how to implement the tantric teachings in our lives. The innermost master is the one who gives us the pointing out instruction, who 'brings us face to face' with the naked state of nondual awareness', so that we realize it in actuality within our own experience. In this way, the guru awakens the buddha from within our heart.

It is taught that compared to making offerings to all the buddhas of the ten directions there is more merit in making offerings to a single hair in one pore of the guru's body. So persevere in guru yoga. It is through the sincere practice of guru yoga that your three poison subside, that boundless samadhi unfold, and inconceivable benefit result; so definitely practice guru yoga.

Spoken by 4th Tsikey Chokling, Mingyur Dewey Dorje Trinley Kunkyab.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dudjom Rinpoche et al

(click on image to view larger)
Dudjom Rinpoche (centre) with Minling Trichen Rinpoche sitting to his left, and Trulshik Rinpoche to his right.
If anyone can identify anyone else in this photo please let us know.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bomta Khenpo

Bomta Khenpo was a remarkable master and also very eccentric. "You and I have become very close," he remarked one day, "and you seem able to understand what I say. We are now connected as master and disciple."

He continued after a pause, "I'm an old man now and I tell you this without bragging, but this old man here is a bearer of the authentic Dzogchen teachings. Still, what good does that do? No one comes here to request them and even when they do, they rarely understand. A lecturer without an audience is no more than a barking dog. What's the use of me teaching into the air?

"No one from Kham, Central Tibet or these southern mountain ranges has come to request the view with a sincerity coming from the core of their heart. My health is now failing, yet I am still the old bearer of the true Dzogchen teachings--and it seems that I am going to take them with me when I die."

It stung me to hear these moving words, so I requested as many teachings as I could.

from Blazing Splendor, pg. 348

Friday, September 24, 2010

the struggle for recognition

Chokgyur Lingpa
Chokgyur Lingpa's early treasure revelations are recorded in multiple ambiguous and confused narratives. He himself wrote that before his thirteenth birthday he was visited by a vision of Padmasambhava, and that this was followed by “many unwanted and confusing apparitions,” some of them reportedly unintelligible, others apparently clear signs that he would reveal treasure. After he announced publicly that he would extract treasure from Namkadzod, one of his early teachers, Ngedzin Pusiri (gnas 'dzin pu si ri) at Pelme monastery, specifically forbade him from doing so. Nevertheless, the first four of his treasure revelations date to this period, including one of his most successful, the Barche Kunsel(bar chad kun sel), said to have been revealed in October 1848 from Danyin Kala Rongo (zla nyin kha la rong sgo), when Chokgyur Lingpa was only nineteen years old.

Biographies of Chokgyur Lingpa report that his colleagues in Nangchen scorned him, rejecting his claims to be a treasure revealer, and in his autobiography he expresses considerable frustration at this inability to gain acceptance. The nickname by which he was known during this period, Kyasu Terton (skya su gter ston), might be rendered in English as “the so-called treasure revealer of the Kyasu clan.” Ultimately, when he was twenty-five Chokgyur Lingpa left Nangchen for Derge, in search of patrons who might legitimize his treasure-revealing status. The biographies have it that Chokgyur Lingpa was expelled from his monastery, ostensibly for making mistakes during a ritual dance. But if he was in fact expelled, it is likely that it was due to his assertions that he was a treasure revealer, which possibly included his having taken a consort. Although this is nowhere explicit in the biographies, there is sufficient reason to believe that Chokgyur Lingpa began his relationship with his main consort, Dekyi Chodron (bde skyid chos sgron), before he left Nangchen in 1853.

read full biography at The Treasure of Lives

more info on image at Himalayan Art

Friday, September 03, 2010

Chokgyur Lingpa

Click on image to see large
For more on this image go here
(h/t to anon-linker)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Adeu Rinpoche

A video highlighting Adeu Rinpoche apparently at the enthronement of a young tulku, if anyone knows details of who it is (I assume that is their footprint in the rock) please let us know.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Towards a Buddhist Ecology

We talk a lot about protecting and safeguarding the environment, about the importance of organic foods, and so on. The point, however, is not just to talk about it, but to make sure that we actually do take care of our environment. What we do will have very far reaching consequences, affecting even the most subtle forms of life on this planet. We need to prevent future disaster, and to do that we must first of all seek to understand what direction we are moving in. We must try to identify where things have gone wrong and discuss how we can best restore and improve wherever there are problems. In this way, we way we can make sure that the future is a happy one. If the outer environment is healthy and in balance, the physical well-being of all who inhabit it can also improve, and this, in turn, allows for peace of mind, kind heartedness, and brightness of the mind. In short, we can come to experience true joy and fulfilment.
On the other hand, what prevents this is, basically, human craving and selfishness: Having no concern for what may happen later; simply thinking that the elements are there to be exploited; for me to become as rich as possible - even if it means poisoning the world -- that type of selfish attitude. So what we think and do matters. (read more)
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Provocative film about the human's life and nourishment

Why would the issue or eating or not meat come up on this page?

Compassion and insight are the core values on the Buddha's path to enlightenment.

Here is a film about insight into how we live and feed made in a very compassionate way.

Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche suggested to watch it 100 times.

"This meat and not to eat, that is the answer."

Friday, July 09, 2010

from Erik Pema Kunsang

Hello friends of the Gomde centers, students of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche and Phakchok Rinpoche, and you who have visited the Monastery in Nepal.

I have a query-question: do you have a small study or meditation group where you meet regularly, like minimum 8 people? Or are you interested in forming one? Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche would like to help you with Dharma materials in video/audio format.

Write to me and tell where you are in the world.

Warmest wishes from Erik

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche - Free Video Streaming

18 July 2010, 3pm Paris time (GMT+2)

Join the video streaming here:

The streaming of this exciting event is offered for free. If you would like to support it, you are welcome to make a donation on the website.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Restoration of Swayambhu Stupa

We are happy to share with you some photos (view slideshow) from some recent events held at Swayambhu: A May 27th National Peace and Unity Event and a three-day consecration Tibetan Puja, performed from the sky by His Holiness Trulshik Rinpoche. For the next couple of weeks we will continue with elaborate Vajrayana re-consecration pujas at Swayambhu performed by Newari priests from around the Kathmandu Valley.

Started in July 2008, the Renovation of Swayambhu was completed during the most auspicious month of Saga Dawa in May 2010. Involving many of the finest artisans in Nepal from Gold, Copper, Iron, and Wood traditions, the renovation involved the removal, repair and re-gilding of the vajra, mandala, nine shrines, harmika, spire, and cornice. To celebrate the completion of the work on the Stupa, a large peace and unity event was held on May 27th, 2010 - Buddha Jayanti.

Hundreds of thousands of people were invited to light a lamp for peace and unity in Nepal and the world. Thousands came to Swayambhu to light a lamp while other lit a lamp and observed a moment of silence at home or in their communities around the country and world. The entire event was live telecast. That evening, 13,000+ bags of sand supporting candles were placed around the Stupa, down the stairways, and along the main circumambulatory path. At 7:30 pm at Swayambhu Stupa, an official lamp lighting ceremony began with the ringing of bells, followed by a minute of silence. Then an old man and young man and lit a large butter-lamp, symbolizing the coming together of different generations to achieve peace and unity. Once the lamp was lit, a chorus of famous singers from Nepal sang a song of peace and the Stupa was lit up from all four sides. For hours people circumambulated the Stupa lighting lamps and enjoying the beautiful scene of the Stupa, bright and shining, on top of the heart of the Kathmandu Valley.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gebchak meets Google

Wangdrak Rinpoche of Gebchak Gompa, and Caterina De Re give a presentation about the Gebchak Nunnery at Google's headquarters in San Francisco.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wonderful liberation through seeing and reading

The writing is by the precious master Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje - Mara-Tamer Fearless Wisdom Vajra, who is mentioned with deep veneration by Tulku Urgyen in Blazing Splendor.

Photo from Rinchen Lhamo.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bringing Buddhism to the West

A conversation with Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche October 1988

Question: The question always seems to come back to the same thing, which is how an ancient tradition, which grew up in a certain cultural environment and comes from a background entirely different from our modern world can come into the modern world, with all the forces at work here that are so different from—and even against—the spiritual search. What adjustments need to be made and how do you see the particular problem of modern people? Modern civilization with its technology and economic situation has created an entirely different atmosphere than the tradition that you grew up in. What do you see as the specific first steps that need to be taken for us, for modern people?

Answer: It is very true that the whole of our world is becoming modernized. However, we have also to understand that Buddhism first developed in India and adapted itself to the cultural tradition there. And later, when Buddhism was brought into Tibet from India, it also had to adapt itself to the Tibetan tradition. But the essential Buddhist teaching has remained very much unchanged. The essential quality of Buddhism and the meditation practices never really changed in going from one country to another.

So, therefore, Buddhism emphasizes two aspects of the teaching: the “view” aspect, and the “practice” or “meditational” aspect. The “view” aspect of Buddhism teaches the ultimate nature of outer phenomena and the ultimate nature of ourselves. That ultimate nature never changes, whether considering ancient times, a thousand years ago, or the modern era. So Buddhism speaks philosophically about the ultimate nature of external and internal being, and about that ultimate nature remaining unchanged.

Therefore, what is made available to the new generation of the Western world is that very essential, or ultimate, part of Buddhism, which is called the Dharma. And again, speaking from experience, if the Dharma were false or if the new practitioners in the West had to adopt a Buddhism which included the Tibetan culture, then it would become conflicting and could create considerable misunderstanding and confusion in the minds of the beginning practitioners. This has been the case since ancient tunes.

So what seems proper is for the Western mind to adopt the essential nature of Buddhism, the Dharma, and not necessarily the cultural aspects. And it seems important for all of us to maintain a responsibility not to mix the Dharma with a culture or tradition.

One must not look at the Dharma as belonging to somebody or some nation; if one does so, this can be the beginning of the greatest confusion. So Rinpoche believes that the Dharma can be adapted to any culture, but one cannot make the Dharma into a culture.

read more

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche Teaching

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche teaching. The translator is Erik Pema Kunsang. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche sits behind Erik.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Benefits of reciting the Vajra Guru Mantra

The Vajra Guru Mantra is the mantra associated with Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava. This is a draft translation of a treasure text which explains the Vajra Guru Mantra. It was originally concealed during the time of Padmasambhava in Tibet and later rediscovered by Karma Lingpa (14th century) who brought it forth from its place of concealment and copied it down on reams of gold. It is simply known as "The Syllable by Syllable Commentary Explaining the Benefits of the Vajra Guru Mantra." It begins with an invocation and then goes into a dialogue between Yeshe Tsogyal, the spiritual consort of Padmasambhava, and Padmasambhava himself.

Here is the full text >>click<<

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Devastating earthquake around Yushu

Please consider donating generously to the efforts of supporting the people of Nangchen who lost family members and their dwellings, and to rebuild the monasteries that are so important in their lives. Many of the lamas and Rinpoches mentioned in Blazing Splendor come from this area and will spearhead these efforts.

You are welcome to post the links to them here as comments.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Kela Chokling has passed on.

It is with great sadness we inform you that the Kela Chokling incarnation has left his body. After the strict suppression of Buddhist practice eased off in the '80, Kela Chokling worked tirelessly to restore one of the three main "seats" of the great treasure revealer Chokgyur Lingpa. He also was able to transmit the entire collection of Chokling Tersar teachings on many tulku, lamas, monks, nuns, and laypeople, which he has received primarily for the Tsikey Chokling and Tulku Urgyen in Nepal.

Among the tulkus present were his sons and lineage holders as well as Trungpa Tulku and Rolpey Dorje of the Surmang lineage.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Two great masters of the 20th century

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro together with one of his chief disciples, Dilgo Khyentse Rabsel Dawa.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rare footage of Dilgo Khyentse and Tulku Urgyen together

This video contains wonderful footage of Tulku Urgyen visiting Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche for the last time. Lots of familiar faces including Tulku Urgyen's sons Chokyi Nyima Rp. and Tsoknyi Rp., as well as his close disciple Andreas Kretschmar. Footage begins around the 2:30 mark.

Our thanks to the anonymous person who shared the link.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crystal Lotus Cave

A special thanks to Michael and Helen for sharing these photos of their pilgrimage to Pema Shelpuk.

Tangton Gyalpo Iron bridge

on the way to Pema Shelpuk (Crystal Lotus Cave)

view of terma site

entrance to the cave where the Dzogchen Desum was revealed

caretakers of the cave

altar inside the cave

statue of Padmasambhava

retreat huts offered  free to those doing retreat or kora

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Two precious reincarnations

The two reincarnations of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche - seated together at Shechen Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Khandro Rinpoche on pilgrimage

Khandro Rinpoche explained at Karma Shedrup Ling, Norway in 2007 why it is beneficial to do Buddhist pilgrimages.