self-reflection

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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Check Yourself! The Tool of Reflection

Jul 5, 2019

Image by Daniel Mingook Kim on Unsplash By Nina Eder When I first heard Phakchok Rinpoche talking about reflecting on our mind, I didn’t think that “checking myself” would be of any use....

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From Physics to Dharma: Becoming Kinder and Happier

May 8, 2019

By Benjamin Schuellein “If you could take and weigh all the smoke, ash, and all the other stuff left over after a fire, it would be heavier than what was burned”, my...

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Buddha Nature: Where Is It?

Mar 24, 2019

We are often asked, “where is Buddha” and we may point to a statue or picture. We point outward but the real Buddha is inside, our innate nature, the nature of our...

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Practicing Dharma: Continuous Journey

Feb 28, 2019

When we really want to practice Dharma we wish to carry on until we die. We don't want to stop! Dharma practice is a continuous journey. Of course, we want to continue until enlightenment but as we begin, we can...

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Mahāyāna Practice Supports

Feb 4, 2019

As Vajrayāna and Mahāyāna practitioners we can regularly engage in self-reflection to check our progress. We gradually train in understanding these crucial points to give our practice a strong...

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Self-reflection on the Spiritual Path

Dec 26, 2018

We're busy people and have lots of responsibilities and activities, so often we may forget to engage in self-reflection.  But, we may want to look carefully at what we prioritize.  If we don't make time for self-reflection, we don't need...

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Renunciation: Wake-up Call

Oct 23, 2018

If we are serious about the Buddhist path, then we can and should reflect on the fundamentals.  Here, Phakchok Rinpoche reminds us to reflect on impermanence and on...

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Meditation Without Reflection Is Blind

Oct 19, 2018

When reflecting, it is important to do so with your practice, personality, responsibility, and so forth. Reflect on your actions and reflect on your self. When you don’t reflect, you are like a blind person, not knowing where you are...

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Trusting Karma

Oct 16, 2018

Trusting karma is something that many of us struggle with in our practice. But are we clear about what karma really means? Here, Phakchok Rinpoche reminds us that the Sanskrit word karma means "action." We create karma when we act...

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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.