Buddhist Philosophy

Phakchok Rinpoche and senior instructors offer regular audio, video and written wisdom teachings. You can check your understanding with reflections or practice exercises. Browse by topic and level according to your interest.

Reading Namtars

Jan 9, 2020

Reading namtars can be a way to inspire one to practice the Buddhadharma diligently. The term “namtar” (rnam thar) is a shortening of the Tibetan nampar tharpa. In English we translate this...

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Antidotes for the Loneliness Epidemic

Jan 2, 2020

Loneliness: What’s Going on in Our Lives? Researchers are noting that large numbers of people report chronic feelings of loneliness. The numbers are so staggering that government agencies in many countries and...

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FOMO Got You Down? Try Sympathetic Joy

Dec 26, 2019

FOMO, or “fear of missing out,”  afflicts many of us more dramatically in our hyper-connected world than it did in the past. Thanks to constant connectivity, we are immediately aware of what...

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Four Radically Happy Ways to Not Just Survive, but Thrive During the Holiday Family Gatherings

Dec 19, 2019

By Erric Solomon The holidays are supposed to be a time of joyous celebration with extended family and friends. Yet many people dread the family gathering, especially these days where the political...

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Buddha-Nature: Hidden Treasure, Buried Diamond

Dec 5, 2019

Buddha-nature can be understood by using classical analogies. We may have heard teachers say that every being has buddha-nature. And yet, we remain skeptical. We don’t see the evidence of this around...

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Giving Joyfully: #Giving Tuesday

Dec 2, 2019

Giving joyfully, we read in the Buddhist texts, brings many benefits, both for oneself and for others. At this time of the year, many cultures celebrate festivals of abundance and plenty rooted...

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Understand Ignorance to Reveal Buddha-Nature

Nov 21, 2019

Understand ignorance.  Why would we need to do that if we are studying our minds? Most of us come to meditation retreats or Buddhist teachings because we are searching for answers.  We know that we are unhappy, or anxious, or...

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Repeated Placement: Once Again Resting the Mind

Nov 14, 2019

Repeated Placement is the third stage of our calm abiding meditation.  In shamatha meditation, our practice proceeds gradually so that we are able to quickly recognize when our attention wanders off.  Here, Tulku Migmar Tsering explains how repeated placement works.Repeated...

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Continuous Placement in Meditation: Bring Back the Mind

Nov 7, 2019

Continuous placement, or establishing continuity, is the second stage of calm abiding meditation.  When we practice calm-abiding or shamatha meditation, we're gradually retraining our minds. When we practice continuous placement we don't have more thoughts than we had before.  In...

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Everyone Can Meditate: Caring for Our Minds

Oct 31, 2019

Tulku Migmar explains that Mindfulness is an exercise everyone can practice, notwithstanding their religion or...

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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.