A Lamp Illuminating the Path

Ethical Behavior in Buddhism: The Virtues

Feb 27, 2018

Ethical behavior occupies a central role on the Buddhist path to awakening. Yet often, modern presentations of Buddhist teaching skip over these fundamental principles. In our hurry to jump to the "good stuff," however, we may be missing some crucial...

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The Buddhist Wheel of Life

Sep 28, 2017

Buddhist Wheel of Life Paintings adorn monastery porches throughout the Himalayan region.   We may also know the Sanskrit name, the Bhavacakra, or "Wheel of Existence".  In the Tibetan Vinaya, or monastic rules, the Buddha instructs monks to paint the...

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Buddhist Flags: History and Meaning

Sep 19, 2017

Buddhist flags flutter around temples and monuments throughout the world today. Yet, the six-striped flag we see today is a modern...

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Dharma Wheel and Pair of Deer

Sep 12, 2017

We may notice certain representations such as a Dharma wheel with two deer gazing steadily at it appear frequently. Why do we see this image on every...

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Ritual Dance: Tibetan Buddhist ‘cham

Aug 27, 2017

Ritual dance performances occur on special days in the Tibetan calendar, particularly around the new year, and are an important way of transmitting the Dharma....

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Maṇi Wheels Spreading the Dharma

Aug 20, 2017

When we spin maṇi wheels in a clockwise direction, rolls of paper (or film) printed with mantras spin. In this way, we are turning the wheel of the Dharma for the benefit of sentient beings and accumulating...

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Life-Release

Jul 27, 2017

Life-release, or the saving of animals destined for slaughter, is practiced throughout the Buddhist world. All schools of Buddhism encourage followers to not only refrain from harming beings, but also to actively save...

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Prayer Flags

Jul 20, 2017

Prayer flags have now become very popular throughout the world. What is their history and...

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All About Water Bowl Offerings

Jul 13, 2017

Water offerings are a tradition was accepted by the masters of the past as a practice unique to Tibet. It is the most common offering of Tibetan...

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Offering Water Bowls as Material Offerings

Jul 7, 2017

Offering water bowls is an easy and pleasurable meritorious activity widely practiced in Tibetan Buddhism. Water's purity gives it great...

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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.