Path of Meditation

Open for Anyone

These progressive programs are open to anyone. A student can enter this pathway without having taken the Buddhist refuge vows or having received any previous Buddhist teachings.

The Path of Meditation Levels 1 and 2 are required for all personal students of Phakchok Rinpoche.  Samye Institute has worked closely with Rinpoche to develop training courses that follow his recommended progression.  The student begins by understanding the ground, reconnecting with the purity and perfection that is our innate nature. The path of meditation guides the student to an experiential recognition of this truth.


Training the Mind: An Introduction

In this short support program, Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche instructs us in a step-by-step approach to working with our own minds.

Path of Meditation: Level One

This home practice program guides one in a clear progression to develop a mature, strong and stable practice of meditation.

Path of Meditation: Level Two

The Path of Meditation Level Two follows the time-honored tradition of the great Mahāmudrā masters of the past.

The Noble Wisdom of the Time of Death Sūtra

The Noble Wisdom of the Time of Death is a Mahāyāna sūtra taught by Buddha Śākyamuni. In this brief text, the Buddha gives pith instructions on the mind.

In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas

This 14-week course will guide participants through the concepts and practices given in Phakchok Rinpoche’s book "In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas".

Explore Our Self-Paced Path of Meditation Course: Free Access Units

Five Experiences of a Meditator

In this teaching from Path of Meditation Level One, Phakchok Rinpoche introduces the five experiences of a meditator.
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How to Validate the Dharma

In this teaching from Path of Meditation Level One, Phakchok Rinpoche discusses how we can know that the Dharma is true, or correct?
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Each stage of the Path of Meditation is designed to take approximately one year. Individual progress will vary depending upon diligence and prior training. Students are advised to discuss progress with an instructor before moving from Level 1 to Level 2.  We recommend that when you have completed the Path of Meditation 1 and 2, you proceed to study the Noble Wisdom of the Time of Death and /or the Samadhi Raja Sutra teachings. Rinpoche reminds us that these two texts condense and distill the entire traditional Buddhist Path. 

Once you have completed the Path of Meditation 1 and 2, and the Samadhi Raja Sutra program, and receive the Pointing Out instruction directly, you have a choice of entering the Traditional Vajrayāna path or the Nine Yānas program. These two pathways will converge after a period of study, contemplation, and meditation. 

You should choose the path that fits your interest, time availability, and inclination. An instructor will be happy to help you find the best match.

In the Footsteps of Bodhisattvas

In this uncommonly practical and experiential guide, Phakchok Rinpoche teaches us how to achieve this correct view so we can genuinely practice a meditation that will transform our lives by helping us abandon our own bad habits and hypocrisy. Edited by Jack deTar.


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.