Guru Rinpoche Day Teachings

Taming Our Fears

Dear friends near and far

Hello. Happy Guru Rinpoche Day. Today we continue in the Twelve Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche series.  Within the series, we are now at number nine, the manifestation of the wrathful Guru Rinpoche called Guru Dorje Drakpo Tsal, or Guru Dorje Draktsal.

This particular Guru Rinpoche manifestation is for subduing or protecting us from all the evil spirits. Not only the trouble-makers, but every obstacle-maker. Is this important or not? Oh, yes. Do you know why? In life, many of us we seem to look perfect on the outside. But, inside our mind, we have fear.  We have different kinds of fear. Guru Rinpoche mentioned that our fear comes from our emotions. Some fear comes from attachment. Some comes from jealousy. Some comes from pride. Some comes from hatred. Some comes from ignorance. It is very important to remove the fear. That’s why the practice of Guru Dorje Draktsal is specifically to tame fear.

The fear comes in different ways. For example, Guru Rinpoche teaches that “naga” means ignorance or attachment. This practice of Guru Dorje Draktsal, the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche, contains many ways to tame or transform or protect the mind to remove all of these obstacles. The eighth manifestation we spoke of last time, Guru Dorje Drollo, is for taming the “damsi”, the trouble-makers. This current manifestation, Guru Dorje Draktsal is not just for trouble-makers. This is for the fear. Ok? It’s a little different.

At the experience level, it is the fear we want to tame. So now I want to advise you how to tame the fear. Fear comes up because we have a lot of holding tightly or clinging. That is where some fear comes from. Sometimes fear comes from not knowing. When we don’t know what will happen, we have fear. Often, when we feel things are not controllable, then fear arises. Keeping our mind dignified and confident, and whatever else I have mentioned in the past; all of this together is very important for taming the fear. So I really want to encourage you to do supplications, (as we have talked about in the past), and to think about the blessings. This year, now, the blessings are very important. You need to feel your heart is full of the blessings. Thinking of the blessings of the great Guru Rinpoche, I think is the best way to reduce and tame the fear.

Thank you very much. I send love and many prayers and Happy Guru Rinpoche Day and tame the fear!

Sarva Mangalam,


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.