Mahamudra Please

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, November 2022

A reply to a student’s request for advanced meditation instruction. I sincerely wish for you to know Mahamudra. Perhaps I feel a greater sense of urgency about it than even you do yourself. You may wonder why I teach meditation when I travel abroad, but not to you here in the retreat centre. Well, truth […]

If You Find Such a Place

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat, Nepal, 24th January 2022

Today a Chinese nun came to see for advice about where to go for the dharma. She said since it seems like she doesn’t have the opportunity to stay here in the retreat centre, where could she go to get good opportunities for the dharma. I was stumped, I didn’t know what to say. The […]

Meeting a New Lama

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 25th January 2022

If you are going to approach a lama with a request for teachings, it is best to approach them with humility and conduct yourself humbly. That is if you think that the lama has the mentality of a real practitioner and you truly wish to be taken on as a student. I wouldn’t advise approaching […]

Faith – The Catalyst

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, January 2022

What do we need in order to attain the realisation of mahamudra? First, we should know how it is NOT attained. There is a quote by Master Shang in the Ocean of Definitive meaning, which reads: “This [i.e., mahamudra] is not realised through extensive study. It is not realised through great knowledge. It is not […]

The Greatest Fortune

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, December 2021

The greatest fortune in my life is having met the lamas that I did. Due to having witnessed their ways of being, faith in the dharma remains in my heart. Without this, now when the world is full of people claiming to be Buddhist but you can hardly find anyone who acts in line with […]

Integrating the Practice

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat, Nepal, Summer 2021

It’s very important that right from the beginning we link our dharma practice and our everyday experience as much as possible. If we continue to see our practice as something we merely imagine as we sit on the cushion, unrelated to the rest of our experience that we call ‘real life’, we will never come […]

Giving Yourself the Best Opportunity

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 2021

Whether you’d like to admit it or not, the fact remains that you cannot study the dharma extensively in English or other European languages at the moment. When I say ‘extensively’ I mean to the level that one can study the dharma in the shedras (Buddhist colleges), for example. For a start, many of the […]

First Impressions

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal 4th January 2022

Earlier today someone sent me some pictures of Khenpo Chokhyab. As soon as you see a picture of him you get the impression, ‘Here is someone with renunciation.’ At least that is what comes to mind for me when I see his picture. There are many lamas of his generation like that. A hardheaded cynic […]

If it’s not Broken…

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, December 2021

You hear people say things like the dharma should be updated to suit people of the 21st century because it was taught that the dharma should be imparted in ways that suit the student. Personally, I cannot agree that the dharma needs to be changed to suit modern people. I don’t think that is what […]

Traits of a Mahamudra Lama

24th December 2021, Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal

A mahamudra lama needs certain attributes and these are taught at length in the texts. To put it very simply though, they must have the way of thinking that we find explained in the mahamudra teachings. This means that they have little concern for this life, they are uncomplicated, and remain unswayed by circumstances. The […]

Everyday Life is Buddhism

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, June 2021

The teachings of the Buddha relate to our everyday experience, the way we perceive life. This is true across the board, from the most basic teachings to teachings on the ultimate view. So of course this is true in our practice of the dharma too. Our practice must relate to what we see, hear and […]

Good Friends Have Good Friends

Advice given to the teenage monks and nuns at Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, November 16th 2021

Be a good friend to people and you will never be short of good friends yourself. A good friend is honest and straight forward. So don’t cheat your friends for some small personal gain. That little something you might win by telling a fib will not last very long, but the seed of distrust and […]

The Freedom of Milarepa

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 5th December 2021

We shouldn’t bother wishing to be like the rich and famous. We probably have no idea of the trouble, anxiety and feelings of dissatisfaction that plague them. We should instead look up to and aspire to be like those who have control over their minds. When I was in Namo Buddha just now, I was […]

Moments of Clarity

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, October 2021

Here’s are some good questions you can ask yourself occasionally: What if everyone were like me? What would happen to my community if everyone had the same degree of care and concern for others as me? What would happen to the community if everyone offered the same amount of service as me? What would happen […]

Meditation Suicide

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 7th February 2018

If you are serious about learning mahamudra or dzogchen and you think you will have the opportunity to receive such authentic meditation instructions from a qualified lama, you should avoid reading any books or texts on these topics beforehand. To do so would be to commit meditation suicide. The vocabulary from such books that will […]