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.

Reducing Negative Emotions: The Power of Meditation

Sep 3, 2019

Our minds are full of thoughts, full of afflictive emotions, and full of unhappiness. This is why dharma practice is really indispensable to us all. We can’t really do without it. It is better when we practice because right now...

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Contemplate Impermanence: How Do We Follow That Instruction?

Aug 27, 2019

We know that we ourselves will eventually die. We know, and yet...are we really taking these teachings to heart as the Buddha and the teachers encourage us to do? Do we truly believe that this could be our last Dharma...

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Essence of Bodhicitta

Aug 20, 2019

Essence of Bodhicitta: How Do We Understand and Practice? Understanding the essence of bodhicitta is fundamental for our practice.  Here, in a brief audio teaching from Japan, Phakchok Rinpoche addresses this question...

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What Devotion Really Is, Part 3 – Infallibly Inseparable

Jul 23, 2019

By Erric Solomon   Infallibility of the Guru There seems to be a lot of talk in Buddhist blogs, magazines and in real-time lectures about what it means for a guru to...

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What Devotion Really Is, Part 2 – Cultivating Devotion and Sometimes Saying No

Jul 16, 2019

By Erric Solomon How to Cultivate Devotion In modern culture, we seem to have lost the traditional regard for our mentors. In the old days, you apprenticed to a trade. Your master...

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What Devotion Really Is, Part 1 – Devotion Beyond Concepts

Jul 9, 2019

By Erric Solomon What is devotion? Is there something about the guru/disciple relationship that makes it unsuited to the modern world? If this relationship is truly essential to swiftly making progress along...

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Segmented Understanding – Skillfully Interpreting the Buddha’s Teachings

Jul 2, 2019

“Segmented understanding” or “partial” or “limited” understanding of the Buddha’s teachings can sometimes cause confusion and misunderstanding. To emphasize this point, Phakchok Rinpoche addresses the highly charged and somewhat controversial topic of...

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Tonglen Practice: Developing Bodhicitta

Jun 25, 2019

"Mindfulness is a mirror of our mind and motivation is a mirror of our dharma practice". Here we can understand motivation to mean tonglen--the development of bodhicitta. By practicing tonglen, we increase our loving kindness, our compassion and ultimately our...

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Training in Kindness

Jun 14, 2019

These days, in a busy and sometimes angry world, we often don’t observe a lot of kindness in our interactions. When we feel this way it can be very helpful to review...

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Five Ways to Radically Increase Your Joy

May 28, 2019

By Erric Solomon Buddhists often wonder if happiness is too trivial a thing to worry about. While it is true that the ultimate realization of Buddhist practice is far more profound, when...

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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.