Happiness Above All Else

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, Spring 2022

From what I have seen, most Western Buddhists are not so concerned about the buddhadharma. You have no real thought of learning the full breadth of the teachings in order to master them. Yes, to master them for your own development, but also in order to preserve the continuity of the teachings for future generations. […]

The Perfect Teacher

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, Summer 2022

My retreat lama, Karma Sherab, was something of a scholar in his younger years. At one point after he had served his root lama, Lama Tsepal, and had received mind instructions, Lama Tsepal said the only text he should read from then on is the Words of My Perfect Teacher. From that time onwards, for […]

It’s not Done Until it’s Done

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, Spring 2022

When I see the students I’ve guided leave retreat and then make no effort to pursue the dharma, it becomes clear that I haven’t helped them at all. It pains my heart when I see that. The fact that some of them stop practising and receiving dharma teachings shows that after teaching them daily for […]

Whim VS Wisdom

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 15 May 2022

If you are serious about the dharma, try to let go of what you are attached to and try to accept what you find difficult to accept. At the very least try to question your likes and dislikes. This alone will open up a new path for you and you will be able to make […]

Tell Tale Signs

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 1st June 2022

A sign of a true lama is that they give up what normal worldly people like and pursue. If a lama gives up the chance to become famous, that would be a sign that they might be a real lama. Everybody wants more money, so if a lama has the chance to come into some […]

True Yogis Die Like Dogs

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, Spring 2022

A retreat lama once died in the retreat place where I and my main lamas and their root lama (Lama Tsepal) stayed. It was before my time though. The lama who had died was sitting upright on his seat in meditation posture, while other retreatants were doing prayers and meditating. When Lama Tsepal entered the […]

Volunteers NOT wanted

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, May 2022

Many people are very fond of doing voluntary work in the dharma centres and at dharma events {Rinpoche was addressing a predominantly Chinese audience}. But you should remember that the most important thing when relying on your Lama is to learn the dharma. Sacrificing the opportunity to attend a dharma teaching to do volunteer work […]

Dromtonpa’s diligence

This depicts Dromtonpa Gyalway Jungne while he was studying with Setsun Lama from Kham. As his eyes read a text, his hands mill barley flour, his feet soften a leather hide and he churns milk on his back. It demonstrates the unbelievable diligence with which he pursued his studies and served the lama. འདི་ནི་འབྲོམ་སྟོན་པ་རྒྱལ་བའི་འབྱུང་གནས་ཁམས་ཀྱི་བླ་མ་སེ་བཙུན་གྱི་སྐུ་མདུན་ནས་སློབ་གཉེར་གནང་སྐབས་ཀྱི་འདྲ་རིས་སྟེ། ཕྱག་གིས་རྩམ་པ་འཐག་པ་དང་། […]

Wrong view, wrong result

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 17th May 2022

If your view is wrong, your meditation will be wrong and the subsequent result will be wrong. First of all then, we need the right view, otherwise the rest of what we do will only take us in the wrong direction. So how do we get the right view? As it is said, ‘First, establish […]

The greatest pursuit

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 8th May 2022

There’s no true happiness to be found in cyclic existence (samsara) but we spend our time pursuing it all the same. A Buddhist practitioner gives up this futile pursuit and forbears any hardship in the most worthwhile pursuit, the true and lasting happiness of liberation and awakening.

How Milarepa became Milarepa

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 2nd May 2022

When I was on pilgrimage in Yolmo the other day, something came to mind that might be useful to you. While we were there, we sang some songs of Milarepa which tell of his time in the region of Yolmo. In one of them, a group of students made a request of Milarepa, ‘Since it […]

Sad but true

Mind Training teaching with HuaYue Foundation, Taiwan, 2015

We think that by practising the dharma we will only improve, but over the years I’ve seen many people, if not the majority of people, deteriorate as they spend more time in the dharma. The first year when people enter the dharma they are very enthusiastic, even though they do not know very much about […]


Samye Ling Retreat Centre on Holy Isle, Scotland, 2012

As Westerners, you won’t like this. But if you are taken on and cared for by a real lama in an authentic fashion, they will mind your business. They won’t just leave you to your own devices. They will pull you up on even what might be considered small things, the way you eat, the […]

Clean slate

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, April 2022

When we come to learn meditation we carry the assumption that we already know the mind. Right from the start we speak of, ‘my mind’ and ‘all these thoughts’ as if we know what we are talking about. Nobody has ever come to me saying that they do not know the mind. Through the meditation […]

Part of a whole

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 28th March 2022

The best way to look after yourself is to look after your environment. By that, I don’t mean the physical environment, but the people and the culture that you surround yourself with. If everyone around you sees learning and self-improvement to be important, if they aspire to be kind, take responsibility for what needs to […]