It’s Not Where You Might Expect

Advice given to the western students in Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, July 2016

Real Buddhism is not in the texts, not in the monasteries, not in the retreat centres, not in the shedras, not in the dharma centres, nor are you likely to find it in the towns and cities. And you might think, ‘If Buddhism, the dharma, is not in the monasteries, where is it?’ What we […]

Repair not Despair

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 10th February 2020

The word for dharma in Tibetan is ཆོས་ (chö), which is related to the word འཆོས, which means to repair or to correct. When I see those who consider themselves students of mine conducting themselves unskilfully, I may well tell them that they are doing wrong, with the hope that they will see why it […]

Not In My Name

15th June 2019, Kagyu Samye Ling, Scotland

What I have to say concerns me personally. At the moment I’m quite sure there are a number of people who are highly critical of me, who don’t like me. But in my eyes I don’t have a single enemy in this world. I don’t mind what people say about me, I’ve got nothing against […]

Be Normal

Admonition to students, Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 7th February 2020

Just be normal. I do not expect you to be accomplished yogis. I do not expect you to be great bodhisattvas. But if you can be normal, level headed, decent, polite people, the sort of person who is switched on, easy going and courteous, that will suffice for now.

Don’t Be Weird

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 12th January 2020

Don’t think it doesn’t matter what people think about you. It makes a big difference to them and to you. If you do or say something that causes someone to have negative thoughts, that is bad for them and since you were the cause of that, it is bad for you. Every action brings a […]

First Instruction

9 February 2020, instructions given in the first practice session of the new six-year retreat cycle at Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal

If we totally exhaust ourselves during prostrations, pushing ourselves against our will, our mind will resist what we are doing; we’ll get fed up and become averse to doing prostrations. We shouldn’t do that. If that happens, there’s no merit in what we are doing. Our body will be going through the motions and we […]

It’s There in the Name – The ‘Preliminaries’ Must Come First

2015 Hwayue Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan

Buddhism encourages us to examine our life and situation carefully so that we can see things as they are. When we see the nature of our cyclic existence, we see that it is characterised by suffering and dissatisfaction, and we begin to long for freedom and the peace of transcendence. This insight and subsequent feeling […]

A Study of Your Own Heart

Namo Buddha Seminar, Nepal, 14 April 2019

We are not learning something new when we study the dharma. We tend to study the dharma in the same way that we learn a new language – but that is not right. In the study of dharma we are trying to recognise the desire that we have – desire is not new to us, […]

Off to the Mountains

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 12 December 2019

We often see new Buddhists, or old Buddhists who have not studied much dharma, getting ahead of themselves and making plans to run off to the mountains. This shows a lack of understanding and experience of dharma. In order to practise alone in solitude, and to be able to practice properly, we must have first […]