Buddhist Philosophy

Learning What the Buddha Taught: A One-Minute Reminder

Learning Buddha’s teachings could take a lifetime of study, contemplation, and meditation. However, the Buddha often summarized his teachings in simple, easy-to-understand key points. Here, in a one-minute reminder, Phakchok Rinpoche explains the heart of the teachings.

Learning Buddha’s Teachings: Three Key Points

Learning what the Buddha taught

  • Don’t do actions that make others suffer. Don’t create suffering.
  • Do actions that benefit others. This includes yourself.
  • And finally, tame your mind.

Taming the mind

When the Buddha said tame the mind, what did he mean? Rinpoche explains that we need to tame our minds not to respond to negative emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or habits.

Taming the mind is the Dharma.

If we follow the three points above and take them to heart in our daily lives, then we are truly practicing the Dharma.

Additional Resources

If you are interested in learning more about the Buddha’s teaching and about mind training,  contemplate this teaching on Defining Dharma.

Samye Institute also offers a short home-study course based on live teachings by Phakchok Rinpoche. Here, in Training the Mind: An Introduction, you can explore techniques to train your own mind.

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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.