The Qualities of Taking Refuge

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Dear Friends Near and Far,

I hope that this Guru Rinpoche Day email finds you all well and happy and that your dharma practice is flourishing. From this month onwards, in these emails I would like to share some short teachings by Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha and incomparable Lotus-born master who we remember and honour on this tenth day of each month.

To begin, I’ve chosen a profound teaching on refuge that Guru Rinpoche gave in answer to a request by the dakini Yeshe Tsogyal. In these few paragraphs and using simple and direct language, Guru Rinpoche conveys some of the most crucial points of dharma. His words carry such blessing and as such have the power to immediately kindle inspiration and insight within us. If you read them with a clear and undistracted mind and with a pure motivation, they will really be able to benefit you:

The Master Padmakara of Uddiyana, who appeared as a nirmanakaya in person, was asked by Lady Tsogyal, the princess of Kharchen: “Great Master, please be kind and teach the basis for all Dharma practice, the means by which to end birth and death, a little cause that has immense benefit, a method that is easy to apply and has little hardship.”

The nirmanakaya master replied: “Tsogyal, taking refuge is the basis for all Dharma practice. The Three Jewels are the support for all Dharma practice. The means that brings an end to birth and death is to take refuge along with its subsidiary aspects.

Lady Tsogyal asked: What is the essential meaning of taking refuge? What is its definition? When divided, how many types are there?”

The master replied: “The essential meaning of taking refuge is to accept the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha as your teacher, path, and companions for practicing the path, and then to pledge that they are the fruition you will attain. Thus taking refuge means a pledge or acceptance. Why is such an acceptance called taking refuge? It is called taking refuge because of accepting the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha as the support, refuge, and protector or rescuer for being freed from the great fear of the sufferings and obscurations. That is the essential meaning of taking refuge.

The definition of taking refuge is to seek protection from the terrors of the three lower realms and from the inferior view of believing in a self within the transitory collection1 as is held by non-Buddhist philosophers.”

1 “The transitory collection” refers to the continuity of the five aggregates.

THE OUTER WAY OF TAKING REFUGE

Lady Tsogyal asked: Concerning the outer way of taking refuge, what is the cause of wanting to take refuge? In what object does one take refuge? What kind of person takes refuge? ….

Master Padma replied: The cause of wanting to take refuge is fear of the miseries of samsara, trusting in the Three Jewels as the place of refuge, and, moreover, accepting the Three jewels to be the objects of refuge and the protectors of refuge.

Through these three you give rise to the intention of taking refuge. In general, one wants to take refuge due to fear of death….

In what object does one take refuge? You should take refuge in the Three Jewels. Who can bring an end to birth and death? It is exclusively the omniscient Buddha who is free from all defects and who has perfected all virtues. Therefore, only the Dharma he has taught and the sangha who uphold his doctrine are able to bring an end to the cycle of birth and death of self and others. Since these are the sole objects of refuge, you should take refuge in them.…

THE INNER WAY OF TAKING REFUGE

The nirmanakaya master Padmakara was asked by Lady Tsogyal, the princess of Kharchen: To which inner objects does one take refuge? What kind of person takes refuge? Through which manner or method does one take refuge? ….

The master replied: Regarding the objects of refuge, you should take refuge in the guru, yidam, and dakini. The person who takes refuge should be someone who has entered the gate of Secret Mantra. The manner or method is to take refuge with devoted and respectful body, speech, and mind. Regarding the particular attitude of taking refuge, you should take refuge by perceiving the guru as a buddha, not abandoning the yidam even at the cost of your life, and continuously making offerings to the dakini….

BENEFITS

Lady Tsogyal asked the master: What good qualities result from taking refuge? The master replied: Taking refuge has eight good qualities.

  1. You enter the group of Buddhists. Having taken refuge in the Three Jewels, you are called a Buddhist….
  2. You become a suitable vessel for all the vows such as the Individual Liberation. Correspondingly, if you lose your refuge vow, it is said that all the vows based thereon are also destroyed….
  3. The vow of taking refuge in the Three Jewels diminishes and brings to an end all karmic obscurations accumulated throughout all your past lives. That is to say, your obscurations will be totally exhausted through the special taking refuge, while through the general taking refuge the karmic obscurations will diminish….
  4. You will possess vast merit. The mundane merits of long life, good health, splendor, and majestic dignity, great wealth and so forth, result from taking refuge. The supramundane unexcelled enlightenment also results from taking refuge….
  5. You will be immune to attack by humans and non humans, and immune to the obstacles of this life….
  6. You will achieve the fulfillment of whatever you may wish for. When the genuine taking refuge has arisen in your being, it is impossible not to accomplish whatever you intend….
  7. You will not fall into the lower realms, evil destinies, or perverted paths….
  8. The final benefit is that of swiftly attaining the true and complete enlightenment. What need is there to mention other benefits!

It is said in the Mahayana teachings of Secret Mantra that one can attain enlightenment within this single body and lifetime. This means that without a doubt you will swiftly attain enlightenment. So it is necessary to cut the misconception of thinking that it is enough to take refuge just once in a while. You should take refuge again and again both day and night. Then you will definitely swiftly attain true and complete enlightenment.

Master Padma said: If you exert yourself in taking refuge, you do not need to practice many other teachings. There is no doubt that you will attain the fruition of enlightenment….

– Dakini Teachings, Rangjung Yeshe Publications

Please try to reflect upon the meaning of this profound teaching and apply it as best as you can in your formal practice as well as in daily life. I am sending this from the Garisson Institute in New York while keeping you all in mind and sending many prayers and aspirations.

KPR-Signature

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

26 June 2015 – The Illuminating Sun of Wisdom

Dear Friends Near and Far,

When the sun rises, it dispels the darkness so we can see things clearly. Wisdom, or insight (prajna) is like the sun, because it enables us to see things clearly. If we have yet to understand the fundamental importance of the mind, it is a sign that wisdom has not yet dawned within us. Once wisdom arises within us, we need to make it stable and in order to do that we train in meditation and other practices.

The mind is the most important factor. When training the mind in bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment), we need to cultivate compassion, and just like wisdom our compassion needs to be stable and vast like the open, unchanging sky. If it is unstable, it will be vulnerable to circumstances and easily swayed. So in order to strengthen our compassion we can intentionally train in cultivating compassion, in contemplating its benefits, in developing confidence and dignity within ourselves, and at the same time train in shamata and the like.

Whatever we are engaging in, whether it be spiritual practice or a mundane activity, we need wisdom that sees to the heart of the matter, that understands the essential points. The source of happiness and suffering is the mind. To understand this fact, we need the illuminating sun of wisdom. At the same time, we should avoid being judgemental. Wisdom accompanied by judgement can be very harmful; we need to develop wisdom, but with as little judgement as possible.

My root guru, the late Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, would explain that to be Buddhist (which in Tibetan is nangpa, literally ‘insider’) means to understand that the source of all happiness and suffering, samsara and nirvana, awareness and ignorance, delusion and wisdom, benefit and harm and so on is the mind (inside, not outside).

We are all students of the buddhadharma. Some of you are studying and exploring the Buddhist teachings. Others of you are already engaged in practice, and some of you have been practising for many years. As Buddhist practitioners, essentially the two qualities we are striving to develop are wisdom and compassion; wisdom and compassion that are as vast and unmovable as the sky, as stable as a mountain, and as bright as the sun.

I am sending this short reflection today from Delhi having just finished some of my morning recitation.

With many greetings and aspirations for you all,

Phakchok Rinpoche

28 May 2015 – Compassion in Action

Dear Friends Near and Far,

We are trying our best over here in Nepal. Thank you all so much for your support. On this Guru Rinpoche day I would like to remind you of a few things. Through the earthquake relief efforts we have been undertaking for the last month, I realized that compassion as a mental state and compassion as physical action are quite different.

Compassion is a positive motivation. Compassion is a positive dream. Compassion is a positive wish. But to actualize this and in reality put this into practical action—that kind of active compassion is very different to mental compassion. What I’d like to share with everybody today is that through the earthquake relief efforts we have been undertaking for the last month, I realized that compassion as a mental state and compassion as physical action are quite different.

Cultivating compassion as one’s motivation, sitting down on your cushion and contemplating compassion is very important. It reminds, refocuses, and reconnects one with others, with the basic empathy that regards oneself and others equally. This is extremely important.  But at the same time, we should not feel superior to the objects of compassion.

When it comes to practically dealing with people, dealing with situations, and dealing with yourself then we should always apply the six paramitas. This is how we put dharma into action. For instance, generosity or giving, being disciplined and respectful. Not reacting with emotions is patience. Acting consistently and with perseverance is diligence. Whatever you are doing, not getting distracted from the larger goal and maintaining equanimity is meditative concentration. And not having too strong attachment to your own opinion and your own ego is wisdom. Putting these six paramitas into action is so important.

We all have our own capabilities and our own limitations, whether it be our character, emotions, intelligence, and wisdom. We should be aware of this. I think that it is very important to find balance and calm within yourself while at the same time maintaining your motivation to do what you are doing.

Throughout all of this, I feel it is very important not to let go of one’s confidence and dignity. When you don’t let go of your confidence and your strength of mind, you will always succeed. We need to remind ourselves repeatedly of compassion.

As a simple person who happens to have the title ‘Rinpoche’ and who tries to do something to benefit others, what I would like to share is that through the last month’s relief work I saw my own strengths and limitations. I also saw how important it is that when you are physically tired you rest, when emotionally tired you don’t judge, when mentally tired you meditate, and when you find that you lack wisdom you remember the kind pith instructions of the teachers. It is so important to remember the dharma practices. They are the most worthwhile thing.

It is our actions that show who we are, and our motivation that decides what we become in the future.

Having been in the recent earthquakes myself, I have seen how many people are suffering and in real, immediate need. Since this is the situation, we cannot spare time to plan and discuss things as we usually would because as we use precious time to leisurely sit down and plan people are suffering intensely. At the same time as mentioning this, I would like to thank the many, many people who have helped Nepal’s earthquake victims so far. In particular, I would like to request all of you to keep on practicing compassion in action like this and contribute whatever you can, whether it be time, energy, donations, raising awareness though the media, telling your family and friends, and so on.

And let’s all remember that this is an opportunity to practice. Don’t wait for people’s appreciation. Don’t be attached to what people say. Go with your heart and follow through with your actions. Then you will see the worthwhile results. I am not saying that we shouldn’t respect others; what I am saying is don’t be too attached to such things.
I am sending this simple message in the great month of Saga Dawa, the month of the birth of Buddha, on the tenth lunar day, the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche and reminding myself and all of my friends of the precious teachings that are still alive in this world. Please remind yourself and keep practising. At the moment we are trying to help rebuild people’s schools, homes, and community temples. So please help as much as you can. Right now is the time to help. We are trying our best over here in Nepal. Thank you all so much for your support.

Reminder: Candlelit Vigil for Saga Dawa Düchen

Lastly, I would like to remind you all about the candle-lit vigil that is taking place on the auspicious occasion of Saga Dawa Düchen, on the 2nd June 2015. It is my wish that our global sangha can come together on this day to join in prayers and to light candles for the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Click Here For Details

Sending much love and prayers and good wishes, from a simple person with a simple compassion,

Phakchok Rinpoche

 

28 April 2015 – Nepal Earthquake

Dear Friends Near and Far,

As you all know, on Saturday Nepal suffered a devastating earthquake that took the lives of thousands of people and has left many tens of thousands of others destitute, vulnerable, and filled with fear. Fortunately, our community of monks, nuns, and students are safe and our monasteries relatively undamaged. Many other areas though have suffered overwhelming loss and destruction.

Here is a link to our appeal for relief funds. Under the direction of PhakchokRinpoche and senior monks, our community has already organized and sent out groups to help those in the worst-struck regions. Please donate to this and/or other relief funds as soon as you can.

Moreover, at this tragic time the country is not only in need of material aid but alsoprayers for the deceased and those suffering. Below is a list of mantras to chant. The blessings of these mantras can give immediate relief to those in the intermediate state. Please recite them as much as you can.

Liberation-upon-hearing mantra:
a ah sha sa ma ha

Mantras for the three kayas buddhas and peaceful and wrathful deities: 

om amarani jivantaye soha (Amitabha’s mantra)
om mani peme hung (Avalokiteshvara’s mantra)
om ah hung bendza guru pema siddhi hung (Guru Rinpoche’s mantra)
om ah hung bendza guru pema totreng tsal bendza samaya dza siddhi pala hung dza (mantra for Guru Rinpoche and his emanations)
om bodhichitta mahasukha gyana dhatu ah (mantra for peaceful deities)
om rulu rulu hung joh ah (mantra for wrathful deities)
om bendza sato ah (Vajrasattva’s mantra)

It is also extremely beneficial to recite the following aspiration prayers. These will help guide the deceased through the intermediate state and help them find the path to a good rebirth, and in the best case to liberation:

Sukhavati Aspirations Prayers (for download in the Dedications & Aspirations section of our website)
The tenth chapter (Dedication & Aspiration) of Bodhisattvacharyavatara (The Way of a Bodhisattva)
Maitreya Buddha Aspiration
Mahamudra Aspiration
The King of Aspiration Prayers: Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions” (for download in the Dedications & Aspirations section of our website)

For more information: http://earthquakerelief.cglf.org/

And for those of you who know how, please do White Sur practice for the deceased. Reciting these blessed mantras, prayers, and practices as much as possible in the coming weeks and simply keeping all those suffering in your heart with compassion and love will bring great benefit and relief to all those affected here. Please keep this in mind and share this message with your family and friends.

With prayers and aspirations,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Remember How Lucky You Are

Dear Friends Near and Far,

Happy Guru Rinpoche Day to you all! At the moment I am in Chile and this morning recorded a short video for this month’s email in which I mention three simple points:

  1. Remember how fortunate we are to have the dharma in our lives. Remember and make use of this and carry it into your lives!
  2. The most important thing, as I have said many times before, is one’s motivation. So recall the motivation of bodhicitta and the four immeasurables and train in them again and again and again.
  3. All dharma teachings and practices can be contained within bodhicitta, so please apply this.

So let’s all make an effort to remember how extremely lucky we are and no matter what our circumstance may now be, whether good or bad, apply the precious dharma in our lives.

Lastly I would like to encourage all of you to keep on reciting the Six Vajra Lines and register your accumulations on the website. This way when we reach a total of 100 million accumulations, we will all share in the merit and blessings of that.

That’s it for today. Please take care and happy Guru Rinpoche Day.

With prayers and aspirations,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Multiplying Month

Dear Friends Near and Far,

I hope you are all well and happy and have been able to find time to practice today. This precious Guru Rinpoche Day falls in what is called ‘the multiplying month’ according to the Tibetan calendar. This means that this month the strength of one’s actions are multiplied 100,000 times. So with the thought of all sentient beings in mind, please make special effort to keep the dharma in your heart and apply it in your lives this month. At the moment we are doing a White Amitayus drubchen at our main monastery in Nepal and some students helped make the short video clip attached here during one of the breaks earlier today.

Update on Dusum Sangye Accumulations

Thank you all for your continued recitations of the Vajra Verse in Six Lines (Dusum Sangye). Together we have accumulated over 22 million verses so far. Please continue to register your accumulations on my website so that we can reach 100,000,000 by the end of this year.
With prayers and aspirations,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

The King of Samadhi Sutra

Buddha Shakyamuni

Dear Friends Near and Far,

I hope you are all well wherever you may be. On this precious Guru Rinpoche Day, the first in 2015, I would like to share with you all some quotations from The King of Samadhi Sutra, a very profound teaching given by Buddha Shakyamuni.

In the eleventh chapter of the sutra, Buddha explains:

When blessed with clarity, you will come to know the genuine limit.
And when you understand the genuine limit, there is nothing you cannot explain.
By knowing this one thing, you come to know all.
By seeing this one thing, you come to see all.

What these lines are teaching is that when you are blessed with clarity (this same word is often translated as mindfulness and in this instance refers to the blessings of the buddhas), you will come to know the genuine limit (the genuine limit meaning emptiness). And when you understand emptiness, the genuine limit, there is nothing you will not understand or will be unable to explain. By knowing this one thing, emptiness, you come to know and see everything. So these lines demonstrate the importance of seeing (meaning to directly experience and understand) emptiness and the fact that emptiness is seen through the blessings of the buddhas.

In the same chapter, Buddha further explains:

Through cultivating generosity, discipline,
Learning, and patience,
And by following an excellent spiritual guide,
Enlightenment will be swiftly realized.

In order to realize the true nature of things and thereby reach enlightenment, all of these qualities must be present. If you foster these qualities within you they will act as the conditions for swiftly realizing the state of enlightenment.

In the ninth chapter, Buddha says:

Learned ones live by loving kindness.
They live by compassion and sympathetic joy
And in a constant state of equanimity towards samsaric existence.
By thus training in samadhi they reach enlightenment.
Having realized peace free of sorrow—awakening—
One sees the sickness, ageing, and anguish of sentient beings.
Compassion for beings then dawns within
And the ultimate discourse is taught.

Learned ones, those rich with knowledge and understanding, live in a state of loving kindness. Based on loving kindness, they arouse compassion and sympathetic joy. These are qualities that we all need to cultivate. With these qualities, if you then train in equanimity towards samsara and habituate yourself to this samadhi then enlightenment will swiftly come about. And having awakened, you will see the terrible sufferings of sentient beings and compassion will dawn from deep within you. And as a result, you will expound the ultimate discourse, meaning you will teach the definitive, ultimate teachings to others through a variety of skillful means. This is one of the great benefits of realizing enlightenment and boundless compassion.

Likewise, in the same chapter it says:

Ascertaining the four truths,
The childish claim to have seen the truth.
Yet seeing the truth is free of all presumptions.
Freedom from presumptions is the truth, so the victors taught.

Freedom from presumptions means to be free of any attachment or grasping whatsoever. It is something extremely important. For the blessings to enter us and for samadhi to dawn within us, we need to gather the conditions of bodhicitta and the four immeasurables and with these as the basis to develop our understanding of emptiness, the ultimate nature of things. When contemplating the four truths of noble ones, we should be free of presumptions, free of any conceptual notions. This is a very important point.Those were a few lines of Buddha’s profound teaching, The King of Samadhi Sutra to contemplate on this tenth day of the lunar month. Please continue to practice well and remember to encourage yourself and your friends in dharma practice. Do not view the dharma as a pressure or burden; rather remember the amazing qualities of the dharma and practice joyfully. If you can keep the dharma in your heart each day, it will bring you true happiness and peace.

Also, please keep accumulating the Vajra Verse in Six Lines (Dusum Sangye) and register your accumulations on my website. You have accumulated 8,552,720 recitations so far and I’d like you to reach 100,000,000 by the end of this year. Guru Rinpoche is the embodiment of all buddhas and this supplication to him is very blessed. It is especially effective for clearing away obstacles and fulfilling wishes so please chant this as much as you can while praying that all the illness, famine, drought, and conflict in the world be eliminated.

With prayers and aspirations,


Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

The Three Excellences

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Dear Friends Near and Far,

This month’s Guru Rinpoche Day falls on the Western calendar’s New Year’s Eve, so happy New Year to you all. I pray that all of your wishes and endeavours in this coming year are fulfilled!

As we all know, dharma practice is very important, and in particular to practice the dharma on a daily basis. Concerning practice, there is a teaching known as ‘the three excellences’. This is a most precious teaching and something we need to apply not only to all of our dharma practice but to everything that we do.

These three excellences are 1) the motivation of bodhicitta, 2) the main part free of reference, and 3) dedicating virtue to enlightenment.

The motivation of bodhicitta is to wish that all sentient beings be freed from all suffering and the cause of suffering and attain the state of complete, perfect enlightenment.

Our motivation should encompass all sentient beings. We should develop the wish to be of benefit to everyone, not just to ourselves or to a few. This broad, open-hearted motivation is something we need to train ourselves in and cultivate. Without this motivation, our practice will not be genuine dharma practice and any virtue we accumulate will not become a cause for liberation, liberation here meaning freedom from selfish interests, freedom from samsara. The cause or seed for this genuine liberation is bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment.

When we wish for enlightenment, we are referring to freedom from self-clinging and dualistic notions of self and other and freedom from the negative emotions that torment everyone in this world. This state is what we mean by enlightenment and it is a state that brings genuine benefit to oneself and all others. This was about the first excellence, the motivation of bodhicitta. As practitioners and people on the path of virtue, we should keep this constantly in mind.

The second excellence, the main part free of reference, or concepts, is to understand that everything is illusory, dream-like, and transient. We are all undergoing constant change. Whatever it may be – our physical body, the environment, emotions, sensations – everything is changing moment by moment and lacks any true, substantial nature.

This being so, whatever virtue (meaning positive, beneficial actions) we perform, keep in mind that they lack true existence, are transient, in a process of constant flux, and therefore are impermanent and empty. Viewing things this way is the main part free of reference. When you apply this second excellence to a virtuous action, that virtue becomes ultimate virtue since it accords with the ultimate state of things, the natural state of all things. For the primary root of suffering is our perception and fixation on things as being real. Being from this mistaken perception is the main part free of reference. This is an extremely precious instruction.

Many of you know how to meditate, and many of you don’t. In either case, my wish and hope for all of you is that you can understand and keep in mind that everything we know and experience is like a dream, impermanent, illusory, empty of true existence. If you practice like this, you will see for yourself how powerful and helpful this understanding can be.

Third comes dedication. Whatever you do, dedication is very powerful. Dedication is directed by our motivation and our motivation needs to be powered by some kind of aspiration. I find that aspirations can help our motivation develop and become stronger and purer.

The best way to dedicate is to follow in the tried and trusted footsteps of the buddhas and noble ones of the past. Think, “Just as the past enlightened ones and excellent practitioners, both male and female, dedicated virtue, likewise I dedicate this and all other virtue in the same way and with the same motivation – to benefit all sentient beings.”

When you apply these three excellences, whatever virtue you perform, the result will be the ultimate result, your path of virtue will be able to overcome negative emotions and benefit many beings, and the power of your virtue will continue to increase over time. So whatever practice you do, whatever work you do, please apply these three as much as you can.

For example, if you notice you made a mistake and then make a confession, you should do so with these three excellences. When doing your job or any work, you should apply these three. If someone is causing problems for you and you’re having a hard time, you can apply these three: you can think “By suffering like this now, may all other sentient beings be free from suffering and its cause and attain enlightenment (the motivation of bodhicitta). All the suffering I am experiencing right now is illusory, impermanent, and has no real nature, just like a dream (the main part).” And then you can dedicate all roots of virtue to the benefit of all sentient beings (the dedication). Likewise when you are happy and having a great time, you can train in the three excellences, and when suffering or neutral too. When enjoying a delicious meal, or with anything you experience through your five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch – whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral you can apply these three excellences. They are a very precious and important instruction for people like us who are setting out on the path of virtue. So please, keep these in mind.

These three excellences are something we need to intentionally train in and develop within ourselves. Mundane life in itself is futile and meaningless, but at the same time the different jobs and things we do are not without potential benefit; if used well they can definitely bring about benefit. And since the source of all benefit, and likewise flaws, is the mind then if you can take the three excellences to heart they will guide all of your actions from beginning through to the end so that we become genuinely kind and caring people.

With many warm greetings and constant prayers,

Sarva Mangalam,


Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Keeping up the Practice

Dear Friends Near and Far,

On this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to first share with all of you that I think it is very important to have a balance of dharma practice. We must consider our lack of practice, our lack of understanding, our lack of virtuous activity and also the difficulties we face in our life. Dharma practice is very valuable for improving our daily life, especially our way of thinking and how we perceive.

Please look toward the great masters. How do they actually practice compassion? How do they actually practice devotion? How do they actually practice patience? How do they change their habitual patterns? Remind yourselves of the masters like Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Kyabje Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen Rinpoche. All the great masters that have lived until now are really important to understand. All the great masters have aspirations for you to improve in your practices. So keep in mind that all of the great masters of Guru Rinpoche’s lineage are all with us.

We must never lose our dignity and our strength on the spiritual path. We must persist in the transformation of our mind, in realizing the nature of our mind, and in purifying our perceptions and way of perceiving. We need to remind ourselves that we are benefiting all of the beings by the practicing and changing our way of life. Immediately we are benefitting our friends and families. Indirectly, we are benefitting their friends and families and so on. The benefit extends to all sentient beings. I want to remind all of you on this Guru Rinpoche Day to sustain your spiritual path, to motivate yourself, and keep in mind the benefits of practice.

The most important is keeping up. And it is crucial to understand that you must see with a positive perspective. I really think that dharma practice means seeing yourself in a positive light. This means seeing your own strength, your mind’s enlightened nature, and your habits as change-able. It is possible to purify absolutely any of our negative habits. This kind of positivity is really, really important! And how do we improve ourselves? We must keep reminding and keep maintaining these dharma ideas in our mind and our heart. It is also important to keep reminding other people to understand and remind themselves about what it means to be positive. This what the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, Arhants and all the great masters have done from the past until the present. Think about this.

I am writing this message in Bangkok, Thailand, where I am transiting from Kathmandu to Indonesia for the Asia Tour teachings that have been organized for me. I am in the hotel room, writing this to all of you. In the middle of checking and rearranging my bags, I am discussing with some friends here about keeping up our practice and especially maintaining positive thinking with our work. I would like to share with you that I was very much a negative person, and by receiving through my practice, all of the blessings of Guru Rinpoche, all the Buddhas and all my gurus, I have been able to have more positive thinking. Please remember the great masters’ aspiration to benefit all the beings is close at hand for us. Keep it near your heart.

Some of you are not spiritual. You can improve your way of thinking whether or not you are spiritual, or religious. Our nature of mind is actually perfected. The nature is already clean and perfected. Please learn this and know this. Let’s learn through our mistakes, especially to recognize our own faults instead of making excuses. Please recognize and avoid the tendency to always make excuses instead of pointing the finger towards our own faults.

Whenever you do the finger pointing at yourself, do not blame your nature. There is nothing big to blame, it is simply the mistake of not seeing our own faults. It is a simple mistake, so please don’t be too emotional. Now, as I am transiting to Indonesia, I just wanted to send you some love and care and these reminders.

Some of my students have also created this video clip of a talk I gave in November in Kuala Lumpur on Anger: The Fire that Burns.

Sending my love and prayers always,

Sarva Mangalam,


Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

Becoming Fearless

Dear Friends Near and Far,

This Sunday, I am staying in Cameron, Malaysia and teaching a Mahamudra meditation retreat. I am keeping you all in my heart and holding sincere aspirations for you to practice correctly with pure motivation.

We all know a bit about dharma. However, most of the time we do not have the teachings and the pith instructions in mind. So, most importantly, keep constantly reminding yourself about the dharma. This is a very important key!

Also, please check your behavior. Does it align with the dharma? Is it motivated by the dharma? Make dharma practice sensible and understandable by bringing it to life through your lived experiences/behaviors.

It is also crucial that you have trust in the Three Jewels (the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha) and especially Guru Padmasambhava. Trust is very important.

Our life is all the time busy. We face internal challenges and external ones from our family, work and so forth. So, because of this, it is very important to take the opportunity to practice whenever you have time. Anywhere, such as in the car, or wherever, it is very important to take time to practice. Take the opportunity!

Please be kind and especially practice your motivation and Bodhicitta. Maintain good behavior for the benefit of yourself, your family, your friends and others. Get in the habit of doing more meditation practice, and make sure you have trust in the Three Jewels! Meditation will bring you freedom of mind, and trust will bring you fearlessness.

Some of students have worked together to share this video with you. It was filmed last week in Taiwan at the Chuan Der center on October 27th. Here the teaching was based on the King of Samadhi Sutra. This video covers some of the key points that I’ve mentioned above, and it also includes some more ideas that I hope will be helpful for your meditation practice.

Please practice correctly and transform your mind. When you transform your mind, you transform your life.

With constant prayers,

Sarva Mangalam,


Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche