Excerpts > General

Making the Most of Our Life

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 9 May 2019

While I do sometimes worry what will become of me after I die, it doesn’t trouble me too badly. What worries me the most is wasting the time I have now, before I die. Each day is an opportunity, an opportunity that we can never retrieve if we let it go to waste. To not […]

Make Big Aspirations But Remain Realistic

9th One-Week Meditation Retreat, Hong Kong, June 2019

I honestly hope and aspire to one day be able to practise the greater vehicle, mahamudra, dzogchen and other secret mantra practices. But in this life, if I am able to have an authentic practice of the lower vehicle I would be absolutely delighted and think I am doing something amazing. Actually, it’s what I […]

What is Meant by the True Dharma?

2nd UK Kagyu Monlam, Kagyu Samye Ling, Scotland, 13 June 2019

What is meant by the true dharma? It is a certain way of mind. It is not something outside of one. There are two areas of dharma: the dharma of scripture and the dharma of realisation. We can say that the methods found in the dharma that correct our way of thinking are the dharma […]

Buddha is not Outside of Your Mind

First UK Kagyu Monlam 2018, Samye Ling, UK

Most beginners see the three jewels as an outer object, as something separate from ‘me’. This is the beginner’s view, and it will not lead us to Liberation. The basic Buddhist view is that the Three Jewels are not something that truly exists externally. Buddha, Sang-Gye in Tibetan, shows us, or demonstrates to us our […]

Buddhas in Waiting

Excerpt from the weekend teaching in Kagyu Samye Ling, October 2018

A good student will appreciate and feel fortunate to have their faults pointed out by their lama, because they are trying to change and improve themselves. Since they are a good student they will know that their ultimate nature is good and pure, and that the faults are transient or incidental. So they will not […]

Growing Into a Dharma Person

Advice given to western students at the start of the six-year retreat programme at Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 13 January 2015

We all feel that we have to become good Dharma practitioners. And what it means to be a good dharma practitioner is to have a view that is different from normal worldly views. We simply can’t become dharma practitioners whilst maintaining a worldly view, because that can only take us along the path of samsara, […]

Scoldings Are More Profound

Teachings on 'A Torch for the Definitive Meaning', Sekhar, Nepal, 1st March 2015

Reprimanding a student is often much more profound than just explaining the words of a text. Usually when we receive teachings on a text, we don’t feel all that much, nothing really hits home. But when we are told off, something registers. We may become a little upset at first, but later a personal truth […]

The Mirror

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, February 2017

Real understanding can never be found amongst the pages of a book. But if we can learn to look into everything we experience in the same way that we look at a mirror, we will always be gaining fresh and ever deepening insight, most importantly about ourselves. Think about how we use a mirror. We’re […]

And the Winner of Best Director Goes to…

Meditation Retreat, Kagyu Samye Ling, 9 October 2016

The way our minds work is very strange. The smallest little thing we see or hear can totally change how we feel. Someone casts a smile in our direction or treats us in a way that we like, and that’s enough for us to love them and feel happy. If a few moments later that […]

Chocolate or Dharma ?

Teaching on ‘The Four Dharmas of Gampopa’, Thrangu Vajrayana Buddhist Centre, Hong Kong, 29 June 2013

Something very important we need to be aware of, is that we don’t have good understanding of the dharma and what it is. Therefore we don’t really appreciate the dharma as much as we might think. It’s very important that we are aware of this. Here is an example that clearly shows how we think. […]

Being Picky is Being Sensible

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 4 February 2017

One of the biggest mistake I have seen Western Buddhists make when it comes to receiving dharma teachings, is feeling that somebody who can explain the teachings well, is a suitable teacher. There is no thought that the teachers themselves need to have the particular view which they are explaining. This attitude comes from a lack of understanding of the dharma.

Buddhism: A Quest for Truth

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Centre, Nepal, 14 March 2018

The true study of Buddhism is a quest to establish the truth; to ascertain the basic reality of things. When that happens for someone, their intelligence and understanding blossom; they become clear about the whys and wherefores of life. This intelligence and insight permeates and transforms their whole perspective and behaviour.

This Precious Day

Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 27 December 2016

This day, today, is of inconceivable importance for all of our myriad future lives. Why? Because what we do today has the potential to bring benefit or harm to those countless future lives. Suppose that today, through your practice, you reduce or dent your afflictions just a little bit, or gain a tiny nugget of […]