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Category: Tibetan Buddhism
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INTRODUCTION

 

Ven. Khempo Ringu Tulku

 

The last two years, I have been teaching the “Jewel Ornament of Liberation”, or Dagpo Targyen of Gampopa.

In the older days, the practitioners of Dharma used to follow a progressive sequence. First they would be taught this and practise this, then they would be taught that and practise that, and so on. This used to be the tradition. Nowadays, there are so many books and so many teachings everywhere that you get everything at the same time! There is no longer any progressive sequence. You get so many pieces of information without knowing where to put them, which can sometimes be quite confusing. You receive too many instructions on how to do one and the same thing. If you knew how to set them in the proper order, there would be no problem, but you do not, and it puzzles you.

Traditionally, you would first gain a basic understanding through very general, introductory teachings (like Gampopa’s “Jewel Ornament) and then come to their practical side, which, in a way, is Mahamudra1. However, Mahamudra does not start with Mahamudra: it starts with the Preliminaries to Mahamudra, what we call the Ngöndro Practice.

I think you all know what the Ngöndro is. Many people are doing or have done this practice everywhere, and this must be the case here also. Actually, almost everybody who wants to receive Mahamudra teachings has first to practise the Ngöndro.

The Ngöndro practice is one of the main practices in all Vajrayana schools, but this particular Ngöndro we will explain is specific to the Mahamudra and the Kagyü2 tradition. For those who practice the Kagyü tradition, it is one of the main practices, almost a “must”.

I am not sure whether “preliminaries” is the right word. It sometimes gives the wrong impression to people that it implies something you do before you go over to something else and forget about it. This is not true. The preliminaries are a basic practice, and the more we understand it, the more we experience it, the clearer the real Mahamudra teachings will become. The preliminaries are not just something we do in the beginning and then leave behind: it is the very essence, the real basic foundation of Mahamudra. The more you understand it, the deeper it becomes, and when you get the actual Mahamudra teachings, when you really practise Mahamudra, you will find out that everything was already there, in the preliminaries.

It is such an important teaching that it may be good to start with it.

If we do not understand the fundamentals, if we do not have the real basis, if we miss the meaning of one important word or one important notion at the bottom, let us say something seemingly very simple, then we do not understand anything beyond that! I always emphasise this because I think it is true for anything we study. It is so important to know the basics.

To illustrate this, I usually tell the story of my studying geometry. When I was young, I went to a school for lamas which was called “Young Lamas’ Home School”. We did not know anything, we were completely new. We were taught arithmetics, additions, subtractions, and I was quite good at it, I used to get the best marks, so later on, I became quite interested in mathematics. As we did not have any further teachings, I went to town and bought a book on geometry. I wanted to study “higher” mathematics! I asked somebody who had been to college to teach me geometry. We opened the book, and on the first page, there was a kind of diagram, a triangle with the letters a, b and c at each corner.

What are these a, b, c?” I asked.

Well, these are imaginary points” answered my teacher.

What is an imaginary point?”

Well, you just have these points, and you call them a, b and c”.

What does “a” mean?”

Nothing, it is just an imaginary point.”

And “b”?”

Well, just another imaginary point.”

How can “a” mean nothing, and “b” just nothing? It must mean something, why then “a”?”

No, no, it is not necessarily “a”, it could be d, e, f, or z, anything!”

It was completely beyond my understanding, and that was my last class on geometry! I was convinced by then that mathematics were very difficult. Much later, I told the teacher of the mathematics department at the University where I was teaching myself that geometry was completely beyond my scope of understanding. He asked me why and I told him the story. He laughed and said: “No, it is easy. Suppose you are building a house from here to here, and from here to there, the distance is this much, and from there to there, it is that much. Then you mark a point here, and here, and there, and you measure it.” It became very clear. If my first teacher had explained it like that from the beginning, maybe I would now be a mathematician!

I think it is like this with everything. If we miss the basics, we do not know what we are talking about.

It is also true for Dharma practice. Sometimes we do things, without knowing what we are actually doing. It happens so often, especially with Dharma in the West, because it is new for you. But it is also true for Tibetans, actually maybe even more for Tibetans, because we are so used to it. Everything, every word is so familiar to us that we take it for granted. We have heard it so many times, since we were very small, and since it is so familiar, it seems to be all right, acceptable. We mumble through the texts, and we think we know the meaning because it is so familiar. It is only when we are asked a question that we scratch our heads and realise we do not know! It often happens. It happened to me, so it must have happened to others too. When you read a prayer every day, it seems to be all right, but when you really want to know what each word means, it is sometimes quite difficult. However, if you do not understand that, you do not understand anything. Therefore, it is very important to try to understand the fundamental points one by one, both through analysis and through experience.

 

Sometimes we talk about very simple, basic things like Shiné3 meditation, or the Four Fundamental Thoughts. They are not very difficult to understand theoretically, so we think that we know them. But if we do not really get deep into them, we do not get to the bottom, to our actual experience, we miss their actual meaning. With the right understanding of the basics, all the rest comes naturally. It is true for the training in Tibet, it must be the same in the West and everywhere else.

In the beginning, we feel attracted to “big names”, like “Mahamudra”, “Dzogchen4” and the like. “Whow, I’d like to practise Mahamudra, or Dzogchen, or the Six Yogas ...” Actually, if you do not have the basics, these higher teachings will just not mean anything for you! You can read the books, you can get the teachings, and even all the initiations and empowerments5, everything, but it will not blossom into your experience. And as nothing happens, you will come to the conclusion that it does not work and you will reject it as useless. In fact, it is not true: it does not work because you lack the real basics, you have not really understood how to practise properly.

 

This disparagement of very valuable teachings is a big problem. I have seen it in different places. Once a Lama promised to teach Dzogchen somewhere, eventually he did not, he taught something else. All the students were complaining, so I told them of my own experience. Since I am considered as a “tulku6”, I have received all the teachings from everybody. It is the advantage or disadvantage of being a tulku: the Lamas consider that you have been practising for many lifetimes and therefore give you all the teachings. But personally, after having received all these teachings from beginning to end, I felt the need to go backwards. The more teachings I have received, the more I have gone backward in my actual practice. Not forward, but back, back to the beginnings! I think this means we all have to begin with the beginning. Maybe it is particular to me, I do not know, but I think it is valid for everybody. Maybe you can go backward as I did, but it may be easier to start from the beginnings.

It is very important to understand the basic things. If you have a doubt, if something is confusing, try to clear it, otherwise whatever you build on it will be based on a misunderstanding, on a wrong preconceived idea. It often happens.

 

The more fundamental thing is to make sure why we are practising Dharma. We talk about practising different kinds of things, like Mahamudra, but the basic question is why are we doing all that, why should we practice Dharma in the first place? If we are not clear about our motivation, we are just wasting time. So why are you practising Dharma?

 

(Different answers:

- (To try to become kinder to other people.)

- (To come to know better my inner landscape and live more and more in

clarity and light instead of confusion.)

-(To progressively get more and more out of my own sufferings and to help others

to get rid of their own problems)

- (To find out what is genuine in ourselves and make it grow.)

-(To live in the present moment and not beside it.)

 

You all more or less say the same thing. The puropose is to get out of sufferings, to become more happy and find ways to help others become more happy too. But in order to do that, why practise Dharma? Is there no other way?

 

- (We have met Lamas who give us the impression that they have reached

that goal or are on the right way. It seems to be a valid model to follow.)

Maybe you have too much faith in the Lamas!...

 

- (There have been proves of its validity, that it is working.)

- (This tradition goes so far back, it has been twisted all ways, still it

keeps its purity and efficiency.)

How do you know?

-(I speak from experience. Well my experience is very limited of course,

but I experience it works!)

Maybe your experience is different from that of other people. And how can you trust your experience, as it always changes?

 

- (There is a correspondence between the Dharma and what really is. It is

true, there is no discordance. Through Dharma practice, one comes to

harmony, not disharmony.)

And then? What do you understand by Dharma?

- (We have read the story of the Buddha, it’s a nice story, we want to

believe it, to follow it.)

-(It is what shows us the nature of mind.)

Yes . That is the main thing.

The Dharma is not just a nice story, otherwise it would not mean much. What we mean by practising Dharma is that we are trying to find the truth, to understand, to see the way things really are. Practising Dharma is important because it means we try to find out what we really are, what is our real self, our true nature, to learn how to really be ourselves.

When we talk about the “true nature”, sometimes it is very much misunderstood. “To see our true nature”: this is jargon! When we say we try to see our true nature, it implies that at for the moment, we do not see it, do we? It means that we are confused. If we do not have a clear understanding, a clear vision, if we are confused and in doubts, it means that we are deluded, that there is something wrong. So many misunderstandings come out of not seeing things clearly, even in our daily life: a misunderstanding can lead to grievous mistakes, wrong judgements, confusion, etc.

Once we accept that we do not see things clearly and completely, we must find out whether there is a way to see them clearly and completely, for as long as we do not, we cannot get out of confusion, that is very clear, isn’t it? Moreover, when we are not clear, when we harbour lots of doubts and confusion, we are unable to make others understand how things really are because we do not understand it ourselves. A blind man cannot guide somebody else. Therefore we should first clear our own vision. When our vision, our understanding is clear, then only will we be able to guide others.

To first understand ourselves completely, to clear our own confusion and misunderstandings, so that we can see clearly what we and all phenomena are, that is the most basic, the most fundamental procedure in Buddhism, and maybe in all spiritual paths. If we see that, we see the truth. That is what Dharma practice is all about: seeing things clearly, getting out of confusion.

All our problems come out of our confusion, out of our not seeing things clearly. It is the basic understanding, or we could say, the basic misunderstanding. All our problems arise out of confusion, out of misunderstandings, wrong assumptions, wrong concepts, wrong ways of seeing things. That is the main Buddhist theory. That is why Ignorance is pinpointed as the basic problem in all Buddhist teachings. Out of ignorance come all the other problems. When we say “ignorance”, it does not mean that we are lacking some Ph. Degree, that we are lacking some information about everything. It means that we are basically not clear. Basically, we are confused, and all our presumptions, assumptions and concepts are built on that confusion. A house built on foundations made of sand bricks without cement will collapse. The real reason why we should practise Dharma is to clear away this fundamental misunderstanding and try to see things clearly. However, it is not just correct information that will be able to clear that confusion. If I just tell you: "It is like this!”, and you say: “Oh, yes!”, it will not work, that is too easy. Our confusion has built up for a very long time, it is made out of a mixture of all kinds of confusions. It is not just an informative confusion, it is very deeply ingrained. We are so obsessed with it, we have become so habituated to that process, to that way of thinking, that even if somebody tells us “It is not like this, it is like that.”, and even if through thinking, rationalising and analysing, we come to the conclusion that “Yes, it is true, it is not like this, it is well like that”, even then, it does not go deep enough. Our habit is so ingrained that we have become neurotic. Though we know rationally that the way we see things is not right, yet we cannot help behaving in that compulsory way. Because of this deeply ingrained, compulsive character, in order to clear this basic confusion, we need not only informative understanding, but also transformation at a very deep level of consciousness. This is why we need many different methods, at different stages, in order to deal with it. Therefore, we are mainly dealing with our mind.

Sometimes, we have problems defining what mind is. It is sometimes understood as the thinking mind, the thoughts. But here, what I mean by “mind” is rather the whole of consciousness. That is the “thing” we are dealing with, because that is what we are, isn’t it? As you know, mind is the more important element in a person.

 

I think it is very important, when we talk about practising Dharma, to emphasise that - at least from the Buddhist point of view - it is not something that we do as an extra, as a kind of extra curriculum or activity, besides and beyond our usual activities. It is not a leisure, not a practice we do as a kind of luxury, when we already have everything else. It is something we find we must do in order to be whole. It is not something extra. If we do not do it, we feel we are not complete, we are not fulfilling our own purposes, our own objectives and aims. We do it for our own well-being, our own good and the good of others. It is something vital that we cannot do without. When we understand it that way, we will not practise Dharma because we are in trouble, or because we have nothing else to do, but because it is almost a means of survival, as vital as bread, part not only of our education, but of our own essential development.

Through Dharma practice, first we try to find out what are our problems and what are the things we want, then we try to deal with all our problems. If we understand things properly, there is not one circumstance in life when Dharma practice is not necessary. Dharma practice is not only a set of particular practices, like Ngöndro, Mahamudra, or meditation. Meditation in itself is not Dharma practice. Meditation may be, or may not be Dharma practice. Meditation is not necessarily Dharma practice, Ngöndro is not necessarily Dharma practice, any practice is not necessarily Dharma practice. Doing nothing is not necessarily not practising! This is why we can say that there is no non-practising Buddhist. There may be non-practising Christians, who do not go to Church, but there are no non-practising Buddhists!

The real Dharma practice, if we understand it as a totality, starts with very basic things. From the Buddhist point of view, anything we try to do in view of what we call - “enlightenment” is a very big word, jargon! - towards realising the truth, in order to better ourselves, to better others, anything we do towards that end is in a way practising Dharma.

Therefore, when the Buddha taught, he gave teachings at many different levels. He taught different people different things according to what they were able to understand and practise. This is why we find those different levels of teachings that were later categorised in, for instance, the Three Yanas7. The purpose of this multiplicity of teachings is to show that the practice of Dharma is not just "one thing", but many different things at many different levels.

For instance, at the Hinayana8 level, what is taught is to work at the level not even of our mind, but of our actions, to try to refrain from doing things that would bring bad results for ourselves and for others. If we do something that brings about a negative result, we try to understand what causes generated the sufferings, pain, and unpleasant things we were not looking for and to refrain from doing it again. This approach is not particularly spiritual. It is very practical and rational, just ordinary common sense, but it is Dharma practice.

Dharma practice is not necessarily sitting in the lotus posture and closing our eyes. Trying to refrain from doing something which is going to cause problems for ourselves, for others, in the short or the long run, that in itself is Dharma practice.

If we go further, we will try to do something that will have positive results and correspond to what we and others desire. We try to find out what brings about good results, what stops us from generating negative results, and we try to actually, actively create such causes. That is also Dharma practice, a slightly superior form of Dharma practice.

Now that we are actually doing something, we find out that while we are performing these actions with our body or with our speech, it is basically our mind that actually generates these actions. Whatever we do, we can only use our body, our speech or our mind, we have nothing else. This is the usual Buddhist way of categorising actions, but actually, do we have anything else apart from body, speech and mind with which we can do anything? It is all we have. Out of these three mediums of expression, mind is the most important, because it directs the two others. We cannot do anything without the mind first giving orders. If we want to do something nice, like for instance giving sweets to someone, first our mind has to decide: “I am going to be very nice and give this to him.” The same is true if we want to be very nasty. Even before our body acts, the expression on our face betrays our intentions. Mind is like a chief giving orders, although the action, the result, the effect is accomplished with body or speech. Whether our body is doing something positive or negative, whether our mouth is saying something positive or negative, it all originated in our mind. Therefore, the mind is the main protagonist. From the Buddhist point of view, mind is the most important constituent of a person. Therefore, if we have to change, to improve, to develop something in ourselves, to change some of our ways, it is only through changing our mind, through transforming or improving it, that we will be able to achieve it. Nothing else will work, because evrything is just created by our mind.

Dharma practice is targeted at the mind. The mind is the object, the main material, we could say the raw material, on which we work when we practise Dharma. Dharma practice is almost nothing else than working on our mind, and by so doing, we work on our whole being. All our sufferings, happiness and emotions come from our mind. Practising Dharma is nothing but dealing with our mind, working on it in many different ways, at many different levels.

When we talk of meditation, it means trying to make our mind a little calmer and clearer. If we try to change our attitude, the way we see things, the way we react, that is also working with our mind. Trying to become kinder, more loving, more compassionate, to develop our positive side, is again working with our mind. When we try to control and reduce our negative emotions, like anger, jealousy and so on, it is still working with our mind. Mahamudra is nothing different.

Since Dharma practice is working with our mind, dealing with our mind, studying our mind, Buddhism is very individualistic, very personal. It is not a social practice. I mean by this that I can work with my mind, I cannot work with somebody else’s mind. As I deal with my own mind, I practise on my own, which does not mean that it has no effect on others. Basically, I have to work with my mind first, but with the intention to help others. When I improve myself, when I become clearer, more realised, more “enlightened” in a way, then I can also better benefit and help others. On the contrary, if I am myself completely confused, I cannot really help anybody else. Of course, I should try to help others, it is very good, I should try to do whatever I can. Trying to do something for others at a practical, more social level is also a way of practising Dharma, and it is very important. However, since our main problem is the way our mind functions, we should mainly focus on working on our own mind. Whether we suffer or whether we are free from sufferings depends on how our mind functions, on how it reacts. For instance, even if I have enough to eat, enough to wear, a place to stay and no problems, I can be very unhappy. I could also be very happy, depending on my mind. It is of course necessary to have something to eat, otherwise I might die or suffer, but even if I have everything, I could not very unhappy. On the other hand, even if my body is not that well, I could be not suffer too much in my mind, I could even be happy. Maybe you have seen such persons, who are dying, who are very sick, but who are still very happy due to the way their mind functions, the way they see things.

If we can work on our mind so as to find peace and develop the correct way of seeing things, we will have no problems not only when our environment is all right, but even when everything goes wrong with us, we will not be completely down and depressed. That is the main purpose of Dharma practice and it actually happens: it affects our whole experience.

When we try to understand Dharma, to understand the teachings, it is not enough to believe that if the Buddha said it, it must be the truth. Of course if must be true, because he is Buddha. However, for us, blind faith is not sufficient, because when we encounter problems, just remembering what the Buddha said will maybe help a little, but not really. We have to understand through our own experience. This is why it is not just information that we need, but real contemplation. For instance, the Buddha said “Everything is impermanent.”, and we may think: “Oh, yes, everything is impermanent, of course!”, but when something really happens to us, when we are hit by impermanence in our daily life, then we panic, we are desperate and completely frustrated. If our understanding remains superficial, we do not really benefit from it. On the contrary, if we understand that everything is impermanent from deep down, from our own experience, not in the head only, but at heart level, then when impermanence actually strikes us, we will not react and feel that bad, because we really knew that it could happen any time. That is the difference between an intellectual and an experiential understanding of Dharma.

As I am talking about all this, some people may get really bored: “Why is he talking about the same things over and over again?” We have been discussing this for the last 2 years, and I am still talking about it. If you think that you have heard it all before, that you know all about it and leave it at that level - “I understand it all right, I could pass exams or even write a thesis on the subject”, and that is all, it is not enough!

To approach this from the point of view of the Ngöndro, or the point of view of contemplation, means that we actually try to bring all this knowledge to the level of our experience, to understand it really, deeply, we could say from the bottom of our heart. Then it actually helps, we are really working with our mind. In that case, even the smallest, the tiniest Dharma practice will have a real result, a real impact, because it comes from your experience. Otherwise, just studying everything from beginning to end, learning by heart the whole Buddhist Canon, the whole Buddhist philosophy, does not really mean too much.

You can recite the whole Kangyur9 and Tengyur10, but of what help will it be? This is illustrated by a story from the Buddha’s life.

One of the Buddha’s assistants had been serving him for a long time. He had heard a lot of teachings and knew them by heart. He was very proud of it. Once he got a little annoyed, and he left the Buddha. Wherever he went, he used to tell people that: “Except for a kind of radiance emanating from his face and body, the Buddha is not different from me. I know whatever he knows.” And he actually knew all the teachings by heart! But it did not help or benefit him because he had not practised anything and his life did not end very nicely.

In the same way, since the main purpose of practising Dharma is working with our mind, if we do not do it, we will not benefit from it.

When I talk about practice, I do not mean any specific practice, one being better than another. Actually, all practices are equivalent, as long as it benefits you. All the practices are just means, tools to work on your minds. Therefore, if you can work with part of a practice, with one practice, or with many, then it is a practice. If you cannot, nothing is a practice. I believe that we can practise many different things together on ourselves. We can practise Mahamudra, Dzogchen, Zen, Mahayana and Theravada together. We can do it because they are all aimed at the same objective: working with our mind. Whatever gives a result, whatever makes us understand, makes our mind clearer, that is working with our mind, that is the practice.

Patrul Rinpoché11 used to say that if a person gives us a piece of advice, a clue that really helps us work on our mind, even if that person has a hundred faults, a hundred negativities, we should take his words as a teaching from the Buddha himself, because what matters is that it helps us work on our mind, not from whom it comes from.

In this perspective, even different religions do not matter. As long as a teaching works that way, it does not really matter whether it comes from the Bible, the Kangyur, the Upanishads or whatever. It does not matter because we are not working on Kangyur, the Bible or the Upanishads12, we are working on ourselves. Therefore not only different teachings of the Buddha, but teachings from other sources, can become our practice, as long as we find them efficient for us.

When we talk about the Ngöndro practices, there are sometimes lots of things that people do not understand very well, with which they cannot connect. Actually, they are all means of training our mind, of working with our mind in different ways.

As we all know (or maybe you do not know), I do not remember the English word for it, but I have a very simple example: our mind is like yak’s horns, very rigid. We cannot bend them as we like, we cannot do anything with them, they are just hooked, not flexible. They have grown this way and that, and it is very difficult to make them straight again. Our mind is a little bit like that, it goes its own way and we are so used to it that it is not easy to work with it and get it to do what we want to. This is why we need many different methods in order to tame it, we could say, to make it softer, more pliable. We also need very skilful means, because our mind is quite delicate. If we try to force it, to order “You must do this!”, it will react saying “No, I am not going to do that!”. I do not know, maybe you would not react like that, but I would. If you ask me to do something saying “This you must do!”, I will think “Why? Of course I won’t do that!” And if you ask me very sternly not to do something, I will think that there may be something good in what you forbid me... We cannot order our mind and force it strictly to do something: it is not productive and can in fact give the opposite result. Working with our mind is a delicate matter. We have to do it in a very skilful, subtle and delicate way. The whole practice of Dharma is just doing that.

 

Questions

 

In Trungpa Rinpoché’s centres, students are advised to practise intensively Shamatha meditation prior to starting the Ngöndro practices, whereas in other centres like Samye Ling, students start with Ngöndro and practise Shamatha afterwards. Are both approaches valid or is one better than the other?

 

I do not know. Shamatha is a means to make your mind calm and clear, Ngöndro has the same objective. Both actually work the same way. It does not really matter that much which you practise first, you can even do them simultaneously. The point is that when you are working with your mind, you need some stability, some clarity of mind, and whichever way you achieve it is the practice. You cannot say this is better than that.

Actually, we should not generalise anything. If you always say “You must first practise Shamatha and then Ngöndro”, it is not right, because it may not be appropriate for everybody. And if you say “You must not practise Shamatha before you practise Ngöndro”, that is not right either!

In Tibet we have this saying: “Each Lama has his own religion, and each village its own language”. Maybe Samye Ling has its own religion, I mean its own ways, and Trungpa Rinpoché has his own ways, as everybody has. You can have your own way. This does not mean that you completely go out of the system, but how you practise depends on your own experience.

In fact, this is how it is actually done. A good teacher does not say “You have to do this!”. He will ask his student whether it is all right for him. When I was receiving teachings from Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoché13, he would give me a teaching from Mahamudra, then give me a teaching from Dzogchen and ask: “Which one do you think is better?” And I would answer: “It does not make any difference. It is the same, anyway it does not work with me!”

 

1 Mahamudra (cha ja chen po / phyag rgya chen po): literally “the great seal”, the most

direct practice for realising one’s Buddha nature, the nature of one’s mind. Highest

teaching of (mainly) the Kagyu School.

2 Kagyupa: one of the 4 main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

3 Shiné (zhi gnas): or Shamatha in Sanscrit, is the meditation of calm-abiding.

4 Dzogchen or Dzogpa Chenpo (rdzog chen): literally “the Great Perfection”

Highest teachings of the Inner Tantra of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Equivalent to Ati Yoga.

5 Initiation/Empowerment (wang / dbang): ritual conferring the power or the

authorisation to practice a specific Vajrayana teaching, it is an indispensable door to

any Tantric practice. To be complete, the transmission of the text (lung) and the

explanations (tri) should also be received.

6 Tulku: “apparitional body”, refers to an incarnated Bodhisattva who works for the

welfare of beings, recognised incarnation of a master of the past.

7 The Three Yanas : the three "vehicles" : see below

8 Hinayana: All the Buddhist teachings are subdivided in 3 “yanas” or vehicles:

1. Hinayana (small vehicle) or Theravada (vehicles of the Ancients - more

in favour nowadays to avoid the slightly pejorative connotation of

“Hinayana”) claims the greatest authenticity, to be closest to the initial

teachings of the Buddha. It’s ideal is the Arhat, who has reached

complete personal liberation.

2. Mahayana (great vehicle) accepts all the Hinayana teachings, to which

it adds the various prajnaparamita sutras. The Mahayana ideal is the

Bodhisattva, who works not only for his own but for all beings’

complete liberation and enlightenment.

3. Vajrayana accepts all Hinayana and Mahayana teachings, and adds to

them specific techniques aimed for those with the highest capacities

(compassion and intelligence) to reach swiftly perfect enlightenment.

9 Kangyur (bka’ ‘gyur): Instructions and Precepts of the Buddha, title of a great

collection of the Buddha’s teachings, translated mostly from Sanskrit into

Tibetan, consisting of 108 volumes.

10 Tengyur (bstan ‘gyur): Collection of commentaries on the Buddha’s teachings in

225 volumes, mainly translated from Sanskrit and Chinese.

11 Patrul Rinpoché (1808 - 1887): one of the most outstanding masters of the 19th cy.

12 Upanishad: texts on which the Vedanta is based.

 

13 Dilgo Khyentsé Rinpoché (1910 - 1991) outstanding master of this century, lineage

holder of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.

 

© Ringu Tulku