Excerpts > Faith

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

The Liberating Lives of the Lineage Masters

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 1st June 2020

For someone who aspires to practice the dharma, it is very important to read or hear the liberating lives of the masters of whichever lineage of teachings we follow. Even a little knowledge about their lives can help inspire faith and trust in the dharma and lineage. And when there is faith and trust, our […]

Go Easy on the Platitudes

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 21st July 2021

In Tibetan Buddhist circles you hear many people theses days referring to their lama as Buddha so-and-so, or Dorje Chang so-and-so. But in truth only those who have attained accomplishment can see their lamas as Dorje Chang, Vajradhara. Ordinary beings cannot. I think I have quite strong faith in my Lamas, I think it would […]

Each to Their Own

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 8 December 2020

I sometimes think that I am a faithless individual, because I rarely have faith in the types of lamas and things that other Buddhists seem to have faith in. At other times I think I have very strong faith, but it is just a bit unusual. For example, I can come across an old Nepali […]

Treasure it or lose it

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 19 August 2020

A good lama will not teach the dharma easily, to just any student. Feeling that we can get dharma whenever and wherever we want is a sign that the dharma has become devalued. A genuine lama, like Milarepa, Gampopa, or Patrul Rinpoche, will not teach the dharma lightly. For example, when they detected a hint […]

Q & A : Belief in Past and Future Lives

Teaching at Tara Rokpa Centre, Groot Marico, South Africa, 1st September 2017

Question: The belief in past and future life is intrinsic to being a Buddhist. I’m not looking for definitive proof, but the seed of doubt in my mind noticeably affects my practice. Please could you help me to destroy this doubt and deepen my motivation. Answer: Generally this is a difficult but also very essential […]

Q & A : Blind Faith

Discussion in a local Buddhist study group in Taipei, Taiwan, 24 October 2017

Student’s Question: How should we respond if some of our family members challenge our belief in Buddhism as being just blind faith?   Rinpoche’s Answer: The way I think about it is, if our families say that our belief in Buddhism is just blind faith, they are right. I’d tell them they’re spot on and […]