“Many of the Vajrayana teachings of Guru Padmasambhava were hidden in various parts of Tibet for the sake of future generations. These hidden treasures are called terma in Tibetan, and the people who reveal them are called tertons. The terma treasures include texts and ritual objects that were hidden by Guru Padmasambhava and Lady Yeshe Tsogyal in Tibet in the eighth century. Yeshe Tsogyal, one of Padmasambhava’s nine heart students, attained enlightenment in one lifetime. Yeshe Tsogyal left signs of her accomplishment, such as writing verses in solid rock with her finger.
The terma teachings were written down mainly by Yeshe Tsogyal, as well as a few others teachers, as instructed by Guru Padmasambhava, for the sake of future generations who would be living in different situations. They were hidden throughout Tibet, many of them in inaccessible locations, such as inside rock mountains and under the water of lakes and rivers. They were placed there by masters like Yeshe Tsogyal, who did so by the power of her realization. In most cases, she did not actually travel to those places, but she hid them through the power of her mind.
The terma can be retrieved only through the meditative power of the tertons. There are 108 great tertons and one thousand lesser tertons in the Nyingma lineage. The tertons are very special and powerful people, who often have special dreams, even as children, in which they receive blessings and teachings directly from Guru Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Buddhist Path
“For all sentient beings, a mother is so important. Without her, we would not be in this world. As human beings in samsara, the Buddha taught that we have eighteen freedoms and favorable conditions enriching the basis of our precious life. These extraordinary qualities are due in part to the kindness of our gracious mothers. Just as a mother is so important in the ordinary world, the surface of samsara, she is also important on a deep level in the awakening of our spiritual energies.
This is why the Buddha introduced us to Mother Prajnaparamita, the mother of all enlightened beings. It is often said that without understanding her nature, there is no enlightenment. She gives birth to all realized beings as her children, and raises them to the state of full awakening. The mother principle is also very important in the Vajrayana where she is the source of all buddhas and dakinis. Without the dakinis, there are no activities and no fulfillment. The dakini is the driving force related to the four beneficial activities of pacifying, increasing, overpowering, and subjugating. The mother dakinis are the power that continues to bring forth enlightened beings. For these reasons, mother is so essential.
During this retreat, we are going to focus strongly on the great mother who has appeared in the world in very active forms, as well as in very quiet, peacefully hidden twilight zones, helping beings accomplish beneficial activities and realizations. Presently, we are going to connect with the most gracious, kindest, greatest mother of all, especially for Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana practitioners. She is known as Wisdom Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal. We are going to discuss, contemplate and explore this teaching to invoke her blessings so that we can bring forth our own realization and understanding.”
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
2013 Dzogchen Summer Retreat on the Dudjom Tersar Khandro Thugtik
Photo of a Yeshe Tsogyal mural painting in the main temple at Padma Samye Ling.
“Spiritual practice includes study, meditation, and reciting prayers and mantras. But what is the root of all of this? It is loving-kindness and compassion, along with gratitude, devotion, and humility.”
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche
Inborn Realization (pg 16)
Photo of Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche with Saymo at the cabin at Padma Samye Ling in the 1990s.
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Opening the Wisdom Door of Anuyoga (pg 36)
Photo of Ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche at Padma Samye Ling during the 2009 Dzogchen Summer Retreat on Shigpo Dudtsi’s Semde teachings.