Tibetan Buddhist Ritual

Accumulating Causes for Enlightenment

Feb 9, 2018

In this video teaching, Phakchok Rinpoche reminds us that the essence of our mind is already enlightened. Yet, even though our nature is pure, that does not imply that we then can sit back and do nothing. We need to...

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Feast Offerings: Skillful Means in the Vajrayāna

Jan 22, 2018

Feast offerings are very important in the Vajrayāna tradition. Here, Phakchok Rinpoche describes the meaning and significance of this ritual practice. Additionally, he gives some very practical instruction on how we prepare for a feast...

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Malas: Buddhist Prayer Beads

Dec 11, 2017

Malas : What are malas? Why and how do Buddhists use them? Malas are found throughout Indian traditions. The Sanskrit word mālā means garland–flowers were traditionally strung together on a continuous loop or thread. When we speak about Buddhist malas we...

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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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Making Peace and Purifying Our World

Aug 2, 2017

For today's message, Phakchok Rinpoche offers insight into Kyepar Pakpey, the seventh manifestation of Guru Rinpoche. At the heart of this practice is making peace with all sentient beings and showing respect for the environment and those beings and aspects...

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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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Sharing our Practice with Family and Friends

May 23, 2017

How do we skillfully share our understanding and our practice? Phakchok Rinpoche here shares some suggestions after years of working with students from many...

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Sādhana Practice: The Importance of Ritual

Feb 2, 2017

Sādhana practice is the essence practice of the Vajrayāna tantras. Many great masters brought us important tantras, but in order to practice them, we use practice manual texts. In Tibetan, we use...

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Why Light Offerings?

May 3, 2016

Why lights? Light means understanding because light represents wisdom. And light removes and dispels misunderstanding. All of our sufferings come from not knowing and not seeing. Offering lights or butter lamps indirectly removes confusion. Throughout the Buddhist world, in all...

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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.