Buddhist Philosophy

Advice on Language

Practice Language

Advice on practice language is a frequent question from Tibetan Buddhist practitioners throughout the world.  How should we practice our chants? What language do I use? Is it more important to understand the meaning or to have faith in the blessings of the Tibetan texts? This question arises frequently in teaching situations. We know that it is easier to memorize when chants are done to a tune, but if we don’t know the meaning is there any benefit?

Here, we present Phakchok Rinpoche’s recent short video answer given to this question. Rinpoche explains that his answer relates to the Vajrayana tradition.

Practice Language: Practice Needs to Resonate For You

Please keep in mind that this is a general answer.  Rinpoche might give you individual advice that is different!  as beginners, we may want to alternate back and forth between languages.  Initially, we may spend more time studying the practice in our own language.  Then, as we gain familiarity, we may gradually practice the text in the Tibetan language.  Many practitioners do alternate languages to keep the meaning fresh in their minds.

In our on-line course presentations we aim to offer videos of practices chanted in both Tibetan and in English.  We hope to expand this to other languages as well.



1 responses on "Advice on Language"

  1. This exactly what I do! Thank you Precious Rinpoche _/|\_

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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.