“Bodhichitta can be divided into two forms: absolute and relative bodhichitta.
Relative bodhichitta has to do with the intention of wanting to help people—we develop a feeling of concern toward those who are suffering.
Absolute bodhichitta is related to fully actualizing bodhichitta after we embark on the bodhisattva path. Rather than simply having the intention to remove suffering, eventually we become capable of actually removing others’ suffering. This happens when we realize the true nature of bodhichitta, which is currently only a potential.
Bodhichitta is divided into the cultivation of merit and the cultivation of wisdom. The five paramitas [pha rol tu phyin pa] of engaging in generosity, morality, patience, joyful effort, and concentration are based on the accumulation of conceptual merit. The accumulation of nonconceptual wisdom is based on the last paramita of prajna or wisdom. Prajna sheds a whole new light on how we understand each of the paramitas.
For instance, while practicing the paramita of generosity we might engage in giving. As we reflect on the activity of giving, we begin to realize that ultimately there is no giver, no recipient, and no gift. In this way, we come to understand that everything is insubstantial. There is no true substantiality in the conceptual divisions that we make regarding giver, recipient, and gift.
Sometimes the six paramitas are classified differently according to the three principles of ethics, concentration, and wisdom, otherwise known in Sanskrit as shila [tshul khrims], samadhi, and prajna.
Ethics is when we refrain from harming others. Ethics has to do with how our mind relates to things.
Concentration is whenever we are able to keep our attention on what we are doing in the present moment. Strictly speaking, for us to be in meditative concentration it does not matter what sort of object our mind is directed toward.
Wisdom covers a broad range of things, beginning with ordinary intellectual exercises such as accumulating facts and figures, and learning mathematics, medicine, logic, and so on. Gradually, wisdom includes understanding that the true condition of things is insubstantial and empty, and realizing that there is no permanent, substantial ego that endures through all of our temporary experiences.
We should not be too rigid in our thinking about what is and what is not Dharma practice. Sometimes people think that Dharma practice means to throw oneself into some formal practice for years and years, and that if we don’t do that we are not practicing at all. But this is not true. The practice of Dharma has to start off with whatever we are doing. Being mindful and aware, and trying to acknowledge and correct mistakes in our life is itself Dharma practice.
In a teaching on Vinaya, the Buddha said that we should not look at small, wholesome practices as something that can be ignored, and only pursue what we believe to be formal practice. Instead, we must accustom ourselves to doing small, good things so that the whole process starts to build on itself. He gave the example that if we place a pot underneath a leak in the ceiling, over time water will come through the ceiling, drop into the pot, and before we know it the pot will be full. Similarly, if we are able to predispose ourselves in a particular manner, and become familiar with doing certain things, eventually we will be used to doing those things in that way.”
Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
Turning the Wisdom Wheel of the Nine Golden Chariots (pgs 58-59)
Photo of Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche bestowing the empowerment of Lake Born Guru Padmasambhava in Portland, Oregon on September 18, 2016 by Derek Sarno.
Dzogchen Teachings on Longchenpa’s You Are the Eyes of the World
by Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
September 16, 2016
Dzogchen, the “Great Perfection” is the ultimate teaching of all the enlightened ones. You are the Eyes of the World, also known as The Jewel Ship: A Guide to the Meaning of the Supreme Ordering Principle in the Universe, the State of Pure and Total Presence (Byaṅ chub kyi sems kun byed rgyal po’i don khrid rin chen gru bo/bodhicitta kulayarāja ratnanāva vrtti) is a Dzogchen teaching by Longchenpa, considered to be the king of Dzogchen practitioners.
This teaching succinctly expresses the heart essence of Dzogchen, directly revealing the primordially pure enlightened nature of one’s own mind.
As a holder of the complete Nyingmapa lineages of Kama, Terma, and Dzogchen teachings, Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche is fully versed in all the schools of Buddhism, and is a master of Dzogchen, the most advanced tradition of meditation practice in Tibetan Buddhism. He is the author of several learned works in Tibetan, and has co-authored over 25 Dharma books in English with his brother Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche (1938-2010). Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche travels extensively within the U.S.A. and throughout the world, giving empowerments, teachings, and personal guidance at numerous retreats.
Portland Insight Meditation Community
6536 SE Duke St.
Portland, Oregon 97206
Filmed by Damien Genardi
The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche that Swiftly Removes Obstacles and Fulfills All Wishes
by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche
Guru Rinpoche, you are the embodiment of the supreme compassion of all the buddhas,
Our unfailing protector forever!
Quickly turn your loving attention to your praying children.
Please bestow your blessings, empowerments, and accomplishments right now.
Although we know your qualities, kindness, and enlightened activities towards us
Surpass all the other buddhas,
We don’t remember you during comfortable times.
Even when we pray, it becomes merely lip service.
Now we’re tormented by the approaching power of the five degenerations,
And unwanted suffering comes like a lightning strike.
Protector, we remember you from the depths of our hearts.
Please turn your loving attention to our crying calls and longing plea:
Earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, drought, floods, and the like,
Please remove all the outer obstacles of natural disasters externally!
All kinds of illnesses of heat, cold, wind, bile, phlegm, and their combinations,
Please remove all the inner obstacles of physical imbalances internally!
The neurotic five poisons of mind: attachment, anger, and the demon of hope and fear,
Please remove all the secret obstacles of mental imbalances into pervasive space!
When beings and the world are flooded by the waves of the ocean of suffering,
O Padmakara, please rejuvenate everything into peace and happiness!
When weapons of war threaten from the edge to the center of the Earth,
O Padmakara, please reverse the armies and disturbing situations!
When pollution, negative spirits, disease, and epidemics plague us,
O Padmakara, please uproot all sickness and negative forces!
When the prosperity of the environment and beings declines, bringing poverty and suffering,
O Padmakara, please reveal a treasure of abundant food and riches!
When the time comes to benefit all beings with Dharma, wealth, and sacred samaya objects,
O Padmakara, please hand over a father’s treasure to your heirs!
When adventuring through mountain valleys, hermitages, and hidden lands,
O Padmakara, please lead us on the path with favorable conditions!
When vicious, wild animals attack us,
O Padmakara, please drive away these ferocious creatures!
When the four elements become unbalanced and threaten us by nearing the end of their time,
O Padmakara, please restore the elements to their natural state!
When wild beings, bandits, and robbers attack us,
O Padmakara, please dispel the terror of their cruelty and greed!
When armed aggressors and killers torment us,
O Padmakara, please enclose us in a vajra tent!
When this life is exhausted and death is coming,
O Padmakara, please lead us to Dewachen!
When the deluded experiences of the bardo arise with suffering,
O Padmakara, please cause the delusion to be self-liberated!
When we go in the wrong direction towards the cycle of karmic existence,
O Padmakara, please lead us to the path of liberation!
Through all the situations of this life, the next, and in the bardo,
O Padmakara, we have no other hope than you!
In brief, rest your lotus feet in the center of the hearts of those devoted to you,
And remain inseparable with us forever.
Please purify the suffering of impurity and delusion,
And bless us to reach the fortress of everlasting blissfulness!
This prayer is offered by Jigdral Yeshe Dorje (His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche) for the peace and happiness of the world, at a time when we are all afflicted both physically and mentally by all kinds of outer and inner circumstances. For anyone who connects to this prayer, may it pacify outer and inner obstacles, and accomplish their aspirations just as they wish.
Translated by Venerable Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche and Pema Dragpa in 2012 at Padma Samye Ling.
Excerpted from Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches’ book, Liberating Duality with Wisdom Display: The Eight Emanations of Guru Padmasambhava (pgs 119-127)
1. General Dharma Teacher
2. Teacher who Inspires you along the path & gives you vows
3. Teacher who bestows empowerment and transmission
4. Teacher who guides you along the path
5. Teacher who explains and clarifies the Dharma
6. Teacher you gives you liberating pith instructions
+ Your Root Teacher, who could be any or all of the above types of Teachers
Watch: General Vajrayana Samaya Vows and the Six Types of Buddhist Teachers
by Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Watch: Summary of the Entire Shedra on the Atiyoga Dzogchen Yana
by Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Dzogchen Shedra Retreat on The Jewel Staircase
by Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal Rinpoche
Padma Sayme Ling
August 31, 2017
Day 6 – Final Session
1. The Nature of Dzogchen (Atiyoga)
2. Word Meaning of Dzgochen
3. View of Dzogchen
4. Divisions of Dzogchen
Mind Section (Semde w/ 7 subdivisions)
Space Section (Longde w/ 3/4 subdivisions)
Pith Instructions Section (Mennagde w/ 3 subdivisions)
5. How to Enter Dzogchen Practice
Finish General Ngondro Foundational Practices
Finish Dzogchen Ngondro Foundational Practices
Receive Dzogchen Empowerment (Rigpai Tsal Wang)
6. How to Preserve the View
General Samayas of “Hinayana” and Sutra Mahayana
Specific Samayas of Inner Tantras
Very Specific Samayas of Dzogchen
27 Guarded Samayas
4 Unguarded Samayas
Pith Instruction Instructions
Recognize the View
3 Abidings that Measure Your Stabilities
8. Conduct (w’/ Mindfulness, Alertness, and Thoughtfulness)
9. Result (Final Achievement)
What a wonderful way to conclude an extraordinary summer season overflowing with incredible Dharma retreats and activities!
Developing Natural Vitality with Calm Abiding Yoga Retreat
September 1-5, 2017
Daily cycles of calm abiding meditation and Heart Sutra recitation, yoga, and nature walks. Each day of the retreat will offer an energizing morning yoga practice and a gentle late afternoon practice. Diane Avice Du Buisson will guide daily yoga sessions.The yoga sessions will focus on balancing the body’s elements and clearing the channels with fluid movements, postures, and breath awareness. All levels welcome.
Diane has studied and practiced yoga for 39 years and was the founder of Yoga Source in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been a student of Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche since 1987.
Support Your Practice with Meditation Pith Instructions on the New PBC Website
“Taming the mind does not mean eliminating outer objects or suppressing inner thoughts. It means revealing and maintaining the natural state of the mind. Taming the mind has nothing to do with cultivating certain thoughts; it is simply keeping the mind in its fundamental state, where its clarity and wisdom are revealed. The true nature of the mind is calm and clear and full of compassion, love, and wisdom.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Buddhist Path (pgs 2-3)
Photo of Venerable Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche and the PSL Sangha during the 2017 Dzogchen Shedra on The Jewel Staircase on August 31, 2017.