Buddhist Philosophy

How to Be Like a Lion, Not Like a Dog

What does it mean to be weak? Can we remain without any distraction in meditation for even five or ten seconds? In these two audio teachings, Phakchok Rinpoche asks us some difficult questions about the state of our minds.

Lion or Dog?

What does it mean to be like a lion instead of a dog? How do we learn to look at our mind, our experiences?

Listen to the Audio I

Stop Chasing!

Rinpoche points out here that we continually chase after external things. Instead, what might we do? We can turn inwardly—look inside and see how our thoughts naturally dissolve. Why are our minds not happy? And why are all our outer circumstances quite good, and yet we feel anxious? Why do we embrace suffering and worry? Our wish (to be happy) and our actions are in total opposition.

Listen to the Audio II

More Resources to Support Your Practice

The Path of Meditation

Rinpoche instructs us to drop our chasing after external distractions. Instead, he encourages us to look inward, at our own mind. This instruction corresponds directly to the meditation practices taught in the Mahāmudrā system. Again and again, throughout Samye Institute’s Path of Meditation course, we will hear Rinpoche advise us how to look inwards and watch thoughts dissolve naturally.

We can follow these pith instructions so as to become like lions instead of like dogs. The on-line course on The Path of Meditation is designed for self-study and will help us to avoid sinking into unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Click here for more information on The Path of Meditation

Radically Happy Resources

Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind was co-authored by Phakchok Rinpoche and Erric Solomon. This accessible book offers the reader an introduction to some of the most profound Buddhist insights and practices in a handy, concise, and secular way. 

Please also browse our Radically Happy Archive for other pith instructions for working with our minds.

Student Group Forums and Support

Don’t forget, the Samye platform features a number of student forums and groups that contain discussion, practice materials and a community of experienced practitioners towards which you can direct your questions. Please use these forums to post your thoughts about the videos and to engage in meaningful conversation with your world-wide Sangha brothers and sisters.

Please click here to access the online groups

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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.