Guru Rinpoche Day Teachings

Are You on the True Path?

Dear friends near and far

I hope you’ve all been happy and healthy. I’m well and at the moment in Kathmandu performing the annual Tsekar or White Amitayus (Buddha of Longevity) Drupchen, a nine day puja based on a collection of liturgies belonging to the “Great Accomplishment Group Sadhana of White Amitayus”. This drupchen beginning on the 8th day of the first lunar month of the Tibetan New Year brings forth auspicious circumstances for the practitioner’s two-fold attainment of longevity and primordial wisdom.

In the past few evenings of the drupchen, I have been re-reading some of the great texts of Shechen Gyaltsab, Pema Namgyal, and in particular, the “Advice from Old Vijaya” which never fails to inspire me. I have taken few lines from the text to remind you of the basic elements of the path which in a way is also an interesting analysis to check whether if you are actually on the true path.

Make sure the topics of:

  1. Precious Human Birth
  2. Death and Impermanence
  3. Karma: Consequences of Action
  4. The Defects of Samsara

Do not let them become mere words and ideas, but reflect upon them from the core of your heart. Once you are well acquainted with them, your mind will have turned away from samsara and towards the sublime Dharma. Once you feel this way, you have already covered half of Dharma practice!

Constantly keep reminding yourself of the excellent qualities of your Guru and the Three Jewels. Having trained in this, you will seek no other refuge than your Guru and the Three Jewels, no matter what joys or sorrows befall you. Once that happens, you will have become one of the Buddha’s followers.

Once when you are on the path, train in accepting all sentient beings as your parents, and maintaining this attitude uninterruptedly, cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, and awakened mind. Once when you have become accustomed to benefiting others and freed from the chain of selfishness, you deserve the name “child of conquerors.” The merit and benefits of this are beyond measure.

These are the ways in which you avoid going astray from the True Path. And once on it, I hope that you are constantly showered with blessings and have unwavering trust and devotion.

Signing off from the Valley with much love and affection on this Guru Rinpoche Day just before midnight!

Sarva Mangalam,

KPR-Signature

Phakchok Rinpoche

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.