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Guru Rinpoche Day Teachings

Guru Rinpoche  journeyed throughout Asia taming countless beings and introducing Vajrayāna teachings. As he taught,  he also displayed innumerable miraculous deeds to benefit beings. And on the 10th lunar day of each month of the year, he displayed twelve great deeds.  Therefore, Vajrayāna practitioners commemorate this occasion on the 10th of each month by doing intensive practice and supplication.

Phakchok Rinpoche sends out short teachings to all students via email on every Guru Rinpoche day.  These messages are composed  with the aspiration to inspire students. Rinpoche often uses these teachings to answer frequently asked questions.  Also, he suggests topics that remind us to bring our minds home in the midst of our busy lives.  Samye Institute maintains an archive of these teachings.  In that archive, you can return to particular teachings or search for specific topics.

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Most Recent Guru Rinpoche Day Teachings


Jan 19

Unlocking the Door of Blessings of the Great Perfection

Dear Friends Near and Far,   Greetings to you all on this first Guru Rinpoche Day letter of the year 2019 and the last of



Dec 18

Mindful Joyous Year

Dear Friends Near and Far, How have you all been? I very much hope that you and your loved ones have been happy and healthy.



Nov 18

Three Modes of Faith, Bodhichitta, and Refuge

Today, on Guru Rinpoche day, I’d like to share with you all a short instruction. There are three modes that pertain to what can be


Guru Rinpoche: a short biography

Guru Rinpoche (Precious Master) is also known as Padmasambhava (Skt.), or Padmākara.  Tibetans consider him the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.  For this reason, he is often referred to as the “second Buddha”. Guru Rinpoche was instrumental in bringing the Vajrayāna teachings to Tibet, arriving in the Iron Tiger year of 810 CE. In Tibet, he is famed for taming the local spirits by converting them to be protectors of the Dharma.

We often refer to Guru Rinpoche as Pemajungné (The Lotus Born) or Tsokyé Dorjé, ‘Lake Born Vajra’. He manifested from the heart of Amitabha Buddha. From that miraculous beginning, he appeared on the anthers of a lotus flower in the midst of Lake Dhanakosha in Oḍḍiyāna.  The date was the year of the Earth Monkey, on the tenth day of the waxing moon, in the monkey month. As Guru Rinpoche was born, the ḍākinīs praised him. Their spontaneous invocation is now well -loved as the Vajra Guru Mantra.

Guru Rinpoche and Yeshé Tsogyal

Guru Rinpoche and his consort and closest disciple Yeshé Tsogyal traveled throughout the Himalayan regions. During their practice they empowered and blessed the region. They visited  twenty snow mountains of Ngari, and the twenty-one accomplishment places of Ü and Tsang.  Also, they practiced in the twenty-five great pilgrimage places of Dokham, the three hidden lands, five ravines, three valleys and one region.

Guru Rinpoche made many prophecies about the future. And Yeshé Tsogyal kindly remembered, preserved and concealed innumerable terma teachings. Through this activity, they continue to benefit beings.  For each of these terma treasures, Guru Rinpoche predicted the time for its revelation. Additionally, he foresaw the identity of the revealer, and those who would propagate and uphold the teachings.

Suggested reading list

  • 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.

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Samye Institute

Samye Institute