Learning Programs

In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas (Summer 2021)

Key Learning Points

Embrace traditional visualization techniques to develop "wealthy shamatha" practice

Clarify the distinction between shamatha (calm abiding) and vipashyana (special insight) meditations

Actively train in seeing phenomenon as illusions.

Begin to experience increased freedom and expansive compassion

Develop conviction that the highest meditation is our fundamental nature

Practice forgetting our dualistic story-line and our ego-clinging


This 14-week course will guide participants through the concepts and practices given in Phakchok Rinpoche’s In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas. We will become familiar with the view, meditation, and conduct of a bodhisattva and explore how bodhisattva training in its myriad forms lays the foundation for the dawning of genuine samadhi. We will also explore how the practices of the Samadhi Raja Sutra fit within the context of Vajrayana practice.

Each week, in addition to reading a chapter from In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas, we will read supplementary sutras, prayers, and the advice of great masters. Together, we will train in a diversity of methods to open up our experience of samadhi; and in the final classes of the course, we will apply the understanding and training gleaned from Phakchok Rinpoche’s words to the practice of the Treasury of Blessings (The Shakyamuni Buddha Sadhana).

The first session begins on Sunday, June 20 at 11AM PST and will continue weekly for 14 weeks. 

The cost of the course is $108 which helps support Samye and its ongoing activities. We want to make sure that the Dharma is accessible to everyone so if you have financial difficulty, please contact us.

Readings: In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas will serve as our foundational text and additional reading materials will be provided each week. Video and audio teachings by Phakchok Rinpoche and other Dharma resources are also available on Samye to supplement your personal practice and engagement with the text.

About the Instructor

Jack deTar trains under the guidance of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Phakchok Rinpoche. He tries to serve others, hold in devotion those who have realized the Buddha’s teachings, and become familiar with the mind “as it is.” In that light, Jack wishes to help connect students and practitioners with authentic teachers and provide support for anyone who wants to genuinely study, reflect, and meditate. Jack currently serves as the Shedrub Mandala Coordinator for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s centers and activities, and as the Executive Director of Rangjung Yeshe Gomde California, a Buddhist retreat center nestled in the forested mountains of Northern California’s Mendocino County. Jack assisted Phakchok Rinpoche with the composition of In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas, and was subsequently encouraged by Rinpoche to instruct this course on the teachings presented in the book.

Course Curriculum

Introduction 00:00:00
Week One : Introduction 00:00:00
Week Two : The King of Samadhi 00:00:00
Week Three : Only the “I” is Painful 00:00:00
Week Four : Renouncing Suffering 00:00:00
Week Five : Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity 00:00:00
Week Six : Asking the Buddha to Stay 00:00:00
Week Seven : Offering for Bliss 00:00:00
Week Eight : True Discipline 00:00:00
Week Nine : Patient and Unharmed 00:00:00
Week Ten : Joyful Effort 00:00:00
Week Eleven : Victorious Meditation 00:00:00
Week Twelve : Wisdom, the Inconceivable Buddha 00:00:00
Week Thirteen : The Treasure of Awakening 00:00:00
Week Fourteen : Upholding the Teachings 00:00:00
Additional Materials
In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas : Supplementary Resources 00:00:00
Guided Meditations
Guided Meditation: Meditating on the Buddha’s Form 00:00:00
Guided Meditation : Bringing the Buddha into Appearances 00:00:00
Guided Meditation: Dharmakaya Practice with the Form of the Buddha 00:00:00

About the Instructor

Jack deTar

Jack deTar trains under the guidance of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Phakchok Rinpoche. He tries to serve others, hold in devotion...

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Program Details

57 Students Enrolled


Duration: Lifetime Access

Price: $108.00

Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.