A Bodhisattva ?

Teaching on 'A Torch for the Definitive Meaning' at Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 28th May 2015

Photo: Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli, a 72-year-old priest in Bergamo, Italy, who gave a respirator (that his parishioners had purchased for him) to a younger patient (whom he did not know), has died from coronavirus.   Many people think that one becomes a bodhisattva by helping others, but that is not necessarily the case. Giving a […]

Worldly is Worldly – Dharma is Dharma

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 24th Mars 2020

If you still have a worldly view, you could found a monastery and it would be a worldly act, you could start a dharma centre and it would be a worldly act, you could even teach the dharma and that too would be a worldly act. But if you have a dharma view, all that […]

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

Kagyu Samye Ling, Scotland, 15th June 2019

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 […]