Arya Bhagavati Prajnaparamita Hridaya

A Chanting Guide for the Heart Sutra in Tibetan

I'm currently in the process of memorizing the Heart Sutra, and for this task I've created a small chanting-guide. Actually there is already something similar online at where someone has created a nice website including the Heart Sutra in Tibetan with phonetic transcription and english translation, plus an audio version of the Sutra chanted by Thubten Gelek. Although this website is really great and I really do appreciate the work of this guy, the whole thing has some deficiencies, especially since the Lama who's chanting the Sutra is from Ladakh, therefore his pronounciation is Ladakhi. Also, he's chanting very fast and slurring some phrases etc., and that's why the whole thing isn't that efficient as a chanting guide (at least it wasn't for me).

Hence, I've created my own version of it.... On a russian server I found another recording of the Heart Sutra from a Lama named Nichang Kentrul Rinpoche. The chanting on this recording is also quite fast, but the pronounciation is much clearer, and the recording quality is better as well. I took the original version and stretched it a little, up to the point where it is slow enough, even for Tibetan beginners like myself. Due to the stretching you can hear now some strange background noises sometimes, and the voice sounds a little bit like a robot voice from time to time, but at least the whole thing is quite slow and understandable now ;-)

Another thing is that the two audio versions have some minor textual differences. I did a lot of research and compared various versions of the Heart Sutra in Tibetan and Wylie, but it seems that there are quite a few versions of this Sutra, all with some minor textual differences, so I decided to adjust my own version to the audio recording of Kentrul Rinpoche. I carefully checked the whole text, but since I'm still a beginner in the Tibetan language, it's likely that there are still some mistakes in it, so I would appreciate reports of any typos or other errors.

The word-by-word translation I've used is mainly from the other online audio version at, but since I have adjusted the Tibetan text to Kentrul Rinpoche's recording, I have adjusted the word-by-word translation as well. Also, it seems that there are some small mistakes in the other translation. For example, dri med is translated as 'color not', however, dri is the equivalent of gandha, therefore the correct translation should be 'smell not' or 'odor not'.

The final translation is a mix of different translations. In fact, I just took my favourite translation of each verse from various sources like Edward Conze, George Churinoff, Lama Yeshe, the Dharma Fellowship, Nalanda, and other translations. So take the whole thing with a grain of salt ;-)

Below you can download my version of the Heart Sutra in PDF format, including Tibetan script, Wylie, a word-by-word translation, as well as the 'final' translation. The whole thing is in A4 format, but you can contact me if you need it in A5, Legal, Letter, Kai, Shiroku-ban, Kiku-ban or whatever paper size.

    ⇒ Heart Sutra Chanting Guide (PDF Format, 272 KB)

And here you can download my stretched version of Kentrul Rinpoche's audio recording in MP3 format:

    ⇒ Heart Sutra in Tibetan (128 kbps/4,53 MB)

    ⇒ The Original (un-stretched) version (320 kbps / 6,7 MB)

Tentes - Some basic teachings

Everytime I search for Geshe Ngawang Dakpa at I come across more teachings and meanwhile there's a quite huge collection of talks available there. It seems to be a very good alternative to the meanwhile very controverse teachings by the Reverend, but I'm not really sophisticated enough to judge that.... Anyway, I just came across some very interesting teachings on the 4 tenets, and I'm looking forward to study the whole course over the winter time....

Buddhist Philosophy: Tenets
by Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dakpa

Tenets - Based on the idea that the Buddha taught different things to different people in line with their capacities, Tibetan scholars systematized the numerous trends in Indian Buddhist thought and taught the four schools of Tenets (Drubtha) as a means to approach the most profound philosophical teachings via more accessible levels. The text that is the basis for study of this subject gives a brief overview of the assertions on minds, objects, selflessness and the nature of attainment within each of the schools, culminating in the tenets of the most highly esteemed school, the Madhyamikas.

Teachings on the Vaibhashika School:

Vaibhashika Teachings Part 1
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 2
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 3
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 4
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 5
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 6
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 7
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 8
Vaibhashika Teachings Part 9

Teachings on the Sautrantika School:

Sautrantika Teachings Part 1
Sautrantika Teachings Part 2
Sautrantika Teachings Part 3
Sautrantika Teachings Part 4
Sautrantika Teachings Part 5
Sautrantika Teachings Part 6
Sautrantika Teachings Part 7
Sautrantika Teachings Part 8
Sautrantika Teachings Part 9

Teachings on the Chittamatra School:

Chittamatra Teachings Part 1
Chittamatra Teachings Part 2
Chittamatra Teachings Part 3
Chittamatra Teachings Part 4
Chittamatra Teachings Part 5
Chittamatra Teachings Part 6
Chittamatra Teachings Part 7
Chittamatra Teachings Part 8
Chittamatra Teachings Part 9
Chittamatra Teachings Part 10
Chittamatra Teachings Part 11
Chittamatra Teachings Part 12

Teachings on the Svatrantrika Madhyamika:

Svatantrika Teachings Part 1
Svatantrika Teachings Part 2
Svatantrika Teachings Part 3
Svatantrika Teachings Part 4
Svatantrika Teachings Part 5
Svatantrika Teachings Part 6
Svatantrika Teachings Part 7
Svatantrika Teachings Part 8

Teachings on the Prasangika Madhyamika:

Prasangika Teachings Part 1
Prasangika Teachings Part 2
Prasangika Teachings Part 3
Prasangika Teachings Part 4
Prasangika Teachings Part 5
Prasangika Teachings Part 6
Prasangika Teachings Part 7
Prasangika Teachings Part 8
Prasangika Teachings Part 9
Prasangika Teachings Part 10
Prasangika Teachings Part 11
Prasangika Teachings Part 12

Bodhicharyavatara Study Resources

Here is a small collection with some study resources for Shantidevas 'Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life':

bde gshegs chos kyi sku mnga' sras bcas dang
phyag 'os kun la'ang gus par phyag 'tshal te
bde gshegs sras kyi sdom la 'jug pa ni
lung bzhin mdor bsdus nas ni brjod par bya

"In adoration I make obeisance to the Sugatas and their sons,
and to their bodies of Dharma, and all those worthy of praise.
In brief, and in accordance with scripture,
I shall describe the undertaking of the observance of the sons of the Sugatas."


Original Texts:

Bodhicharyavatara in Tibetan (PDF)

Bodhicharyavatara in Tibetan (Roman transliteration)

Bodhicharyavatara in Tibetan

Bodhicharyavatara in Sanskrit

Translations online:

Alex Berzin's Translation

Alex Berzin's Translation (PDF)

Nick Barr's Translation (PDF)

Steven Batchelor Translation (PDF)

Alan Wallace' Translation

Biona Translation


Commentary by Patrul Rinpoche

Tulku Thubten Rinpoche Commentary

Commentary by Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

Commentary by Khenpo Kunpal

Padma Karpo Translation Committee

Audio/Video Commentaries:

His Holiness, the XIV. Dalai Lama: Teachings on A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Chod jug)

H.H. Dalai Lama: Shantideva’s Compendium of Precepts (Laptu) and A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Chod jug)

H.H. Dalai Lama: A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Chod jug - Wisdom Chapter), The 37 Practices of A Bodhisattva (Lak-len so dun-ma) and Chapters 18, 22, 24 & 26 of Nagarjuna's The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (Uma Tsawa Sherab)

H.H. Dalai Lama: Oral Commentary to Chapter Eight

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche: Teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara
    complete playlist

Geshe Michael Roach: Teachings on A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (ACI Course 10 - 12)
    complete playlist

Geshe Ngawang Dakpa: Teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara

Geshe Tsulga: The Way of the Bodhisattva
    complete playlist

Stephen Batchelor: A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life

Thubten Chodron: Commentary on Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life

Venerable Marut: Boddhisattva's(?) Way of Life - In Depth Course

Translations & Commentaries in Print:

Translation by the Padmakara Translation Group

Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life: Translation by Alan Wallace

Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life Translation by Stephen Batchelor

Bodhicaryavatara Translation by Crosby & Andrew Skilton

Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life Translation by Thrangu Rinpoche

Santideva's Bodhicharyavatara (Sanskrit & English) Translation by Pramananda Sharma

No Time to Lose; A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chodron

The Importance of Pacience: Commentaries on Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Chapter Six, "Patience" by the H.H. the XIV. Dalai Lama

Meditation: Teachings on Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (DVD)

The Way of Awakening: A Commentary on Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara by Geshe Yeshe Tobden

Practicing Wisdom The Perfection of Shantideva's Bodhisattva Way by the H.H. the XIV. Dalai Lama

A small comparison between the different translations (PDF)


And here is a nice little summary of the various translations of the Bodhicharyavatara, written and kindly posted on E-Sangha by my Vajra-brother Gady:

I will give my summary first, in case people know even less Tibetan than I do, or don't want to go into the details.

If you wish to read a version that is close to the exact words of the Tibetan version (for the original Sanskrit we should open another thread) the best you could do, it seems to me, is choose Stephen Batchelor's version, or perhaps the Wallaces'. Stephen's is a bit nicer design-wise, I recall from glimpsing it, and is translated from the Tibetan, whereas the Wallaces' is transalted from Sanskrit and Tibetan, Sanskrit being more dominant but when the Tibetan has major differences a footnote lists the alternate translation.

If, however, you wish to read a standalone version in English, and you are willing to sacrifice considerable (but not fatal) accuracy in order to read a work that is superb and superior in and of itself in terms of poetical beauty, flow, and, as Will has said, 'Bodhicitta Vibes', I would go for the Padmakara group's work, which is also the most beautiful, by far, in its design and cover, especially the newer exquisite reddish-gold cover. In and of itself, I also like its title best, simple and pure.

So here is a more detailed report. Perhaps I have exaggerated in the details, but I became quite fascinated with it.

Stephen Batchelor's version - A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1979.

This was actually a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect from an old translation that was published in LTWA, when at that time the standards of translation weren't high and were (explicitly in most cases) interpretative, based on some of their other old editions I checked.

Furthermore, I didn't know what to expect form a person who, though a Tibetan tradition monk at the time of translating, later switched to Zen, then disrobed, then published a controversial book.

This version is in many ways the most simple, direct and faithful version, at least based on these three verses, from the three versions here (excluding the Wallaces') which were translated from the Tibetan alone (though consulting the Sanskrit and/or other translations from the Tibetan and Sanskrit many times).

One slight thing that bothered me just a little was that he translated 'gro ba as 'living beings' in verse #1, a bit clumsy to me. Another minor matter is that he extrapolated the 'all' those who remain in cyclic existence. The one thing that really bothered me was the fanciful 'receive Waves of joy' which is totally unrelated to the root text I have.

The Wallaces' version - A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, translated by Vesna A. Wallace and B. Alan Wallace, Snow Lion, 1997.

This version is actually primarily from Sanskrit, so I don't know how good it is for our specific purpose, though it states that it always consulted the Tibetan and when the Tibetan considerably differs brings an alternate translation of the verse in a footnote (which isn't a good idea, design-wise, imho).

A faithful and precise translation, it seems to me, based on these three verses. I found the use of 'joy and contentment' for bde dga' a little unwarranted, because I couldn't find 'contentment' for any one of these common Tibetan terms in themselves in the online dictionaries I checked (nor in the Illuminator, which I happily bought and downloaded today, which looks impressive but not comprehensive so far) and because all three other translations used 'joy' and 'happiness'. Another thing was that in the third verse they translated 'may the world attain...' which is a bit peculiar, I don't see any 'world', but rather just 'gro ba, but there might be a 'world' in the original Sanskrit, I don't know.

The Padmakara Group Version - The Way of the Bodhisattva, translated by Wulstan Fletcher, Shambhala, 1997.

I was actually a little disheartened after checking this version. It is the only version I fully read and the effect it had on me was profound. As a standalone version, it is a superb work of spiritual poetry, sublime, profound and astonishingly beautiful at one and the same time. It states in the introduction that it is not a word by word translation, but I didn't realize the extent of its stylistic rerendering, and it is a little bothering, though as a work-in-itself I still greatly prefer it to the other versions.

The many ways in which it differs from the source I have are numerous, but here are a few examples: 'the virtue I have now amassed': ammased is extrapolated, as far as I can tell (though I don't understand what rnam par does in the first verse, which seems to have been glossed over by all versions, I know its common usage, but can't make sense of it here, anyone?). Instead of 'oceans' (of joy and happiness) it has 'boundless measure', which is a bit strange considering that this is the most poetic of the translations I checked. In veres #3, in 'present joy', the 'present' is (perhaps understandably) extrapolated, and byang chub sems dpa' yi bde ba which is clearly 'bodhisattva's joy/happiness/bliss' translates as 'unsurpassed beatitude' which they may 'taste', which is perhaps good for non-Buddhists but a bit too personally- interpretatively-spelling-it-out for people who know what a Bodhisattva is, I think.

While this is the least faithful version word-wise, it is the only one who had both adjectives in the end, 'constant and unbroken'.

Alexander Berzin's version - The Berzin Archives, 2004.

This is the most interpretative and didactic of the versions, even after I have excluded (for reasons of space) the further interpretative additions in parentheses. At times it is a bit bizzare.

In verse #1 he adds 'my constructive act' (of having composed), which as far as I can tell is unwarranted and also somewhat his own idea. If by this he means to translate rnam par it is quite strange. Similarly, in verse #2 he gives 'Through the forces of my positive acts' for bsod nams kyis. As far as I can tell bsod nams is usually rendered as 'merit' or 'virtue', perhaps 'positive' is appropriate, but it can also mean mental 'actions' which isn't implied by Berzin's choice of English. This is a big difference, but of course I know next to nothing about Tibetan and will humbly stand corrected. 'forces' is also unwarranted in this case, though it could easily have been used had the common dbang appeared here, but it doesn't.

Furthermore, he also uses 'unsurpassed bliss' (though in parentheses he does add "bodhisattva's"), which is too far away from the literal to my mind, like Padmakara's.

One thing I did like was that he was the only one who used 'wandering beings' for 'gro ba, which is both more literal and conveys the flavor of this common Tibetan term. I myself might have chosen 'wanderers' by itself, I think it is one of those rare cases where the English word is in this case perhaps even better in a way, in what it gives rise to in the mind of the reader, than the original term it translates.

Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings

A new book by Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche is now available:

Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings

During 1991, the Bonpo Dzogchen master, Lopon Tenzin Namdak, visited the West twice, coming first to Europe and later to America, where he taught a number of meditation retreats and gave a series of public talks on Bon and Dzogchen. In March and April, Lopon Rinpoche taught a meditation retreat focusing on the practice of Dzogchen at Bischofshofen, south of Salzburg in the Austrian Alps, and several weeks later he gave a series of talks on Dzogchen at the Drigung Kagyu Centre in Vienna. After that he went to Italy where he taught two retreats in Rome, and also briefly visited Merigar in Tuscany, the retreat center of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Coming to England next, the Lopon taught a ten-day Dzogchen retreat in Devon in the west of England, at a locale near Totnes, and after that he gave several talks in London. Proceeding later to Amsterdam, he taught a five-day retreat on Dzogchen in the city at the beginning of June. With the exception of the Italian visit, I was present on all of these occasions and served as a facilitator and sometime translator for the teachings.

Then in October, Lopon Rinpoche visited New York city at the invitation of H.H. the Dalai Lama and Tibet House, to participate in the Kalachakra Initiation and in other activities connected with the Year of Tibet. In particular, the Lopon was the first speaker in the afternoon series called "Nature of the Mind Teachings." During the Devon retreat, the Lopon had prepared a brief paper on the Bonpo teachings for presentation in this series in New York. I translated this into English as "The Condensed Meaning of an Explanation of the Teachings of Yungdrung Bon" and this has been published elsewhere. During his time in New York city, the Lopon gave three further talks, at which I was again the facilitator as I had been in Europe. Towards the end of the month, at the teinvitation of the Dzogchen Community of Conway, known as Tsegyalar, the Lopon gave a weekend seminar at Amherst College in western Massachusetts. In November, I met up with the Lopon in San Francisco where, again at the invitation of the Dzogchen Community, he gave a two-day seminar on Guru Yoga practice. After that he went to Coos Bay, Oregon, where for eight days he held a retreat on the Dzogchen teachings.

On these occasions also I served as facilitator and translator and made detailed notes on the teachings. These notes again served as the basis of the transcripts found herein of the Lopon's teachings in America. Although the Lopon spoke in English, on many occasions he asked me to translate technical terms and help clarify various other technical points. All of this I recorded in my notes. In order to further clarify matters, he requested that after each portion of the teaching I repeat from my notes what he had said. So the transcripts found here result from our collaboration together. Nevertheless, I alone must take responsibility for any errors that might be found. I have done some editing of the transcripts, adding any additional clarifications required as well as any sentences needed to link the various paragraphs or topics. But generally, I have left the language in the style of the Lopon's oral presentation and have not rendered the text into a literary presentation since the present collection of teachings is not envisioned as a commercial publication, but as an aid for practitioners of Dzogchen.

I have included only transcripts directly related to the Lopon's teachings on Dzogchen, and to where the views of Sutra and Tantra are contrasted with that of Dzogchen. The Lopon's teachings on Guru Yoga, the Rite of the Guardians, specific Tantric teachings such as the practice of Zhang-zhung Men, and so on, as well as the Dzogchen teachings from specific texts of the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud, are found elsewhere in the publications of the Bonpo Translation Project.

I began working on the translation of Bonpo Dzogchen texts first with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal in Italy some years ago, and continued doing this with Lopon Tenzin Namdak on his three visits to the West. As a consequence of this work, I organized the Bonpo Translation Project in order to make translations of Bonpo texts and prepare transcripts and monographs on the Bonpo tradition available for interested students and practitioners in the West.

Before the arrival of these two learned Bonpo Lamas in the West, my interest in the Bon tradition was stimulated by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, head of the Dzogchen Community. Rinpoche, although not a Bonpo Lama himself, was for many years interested in the Bonpo tradition because he was researching the historical roots of the pre-Buddhist Tibetan culture known as Bon. He was also very interested in discovering the historical sources of Dzogchen teachings, for which there exist two authentic lineages from at least the eighth century CE, one found among the Nyingmapas and the other found among the Bonpos. More than any other Tibetan teacher, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche has played a key role in transmitting Dzogchen teachings to the West, and for this he has the profound gratitude of all of us.

For their help and assistance in various ways during the retreats with Lopon Rinpoche and also later while compiling and editing these transcripts, I wish to thank Gerrit Huber, Waltraud Benzing, Dagmar Kratochwill, Dr. Andrea Loseries-Leick, Armin Akermann, Ken Rivad, Tim Walker, Lee Bray, Florens van Canstein, Michael Katz, Des Berry, Dennis Waterman, Bob Kragen, Michael Taylor, Anthony Curtis, and last, bu~ not least, Khenpo Nyima Wangyal and Geshe Tenzin Wangyal. It is also my hope here as translator and editor that this small collection of Lopon Tenzin Namdak's teachings on Dzogchen according to the Bonpo tradition, its view and its practice, will prove of use and benefit to Western students and practitioners of Dzogchen.

Preface to the New Edition

Even though these teachings on Dzogchen were given by Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche some years ago in 1991, and have circulated privately as transcripts, they remained in need of some further editing regarding repetitions and annotations. This has been provided here, as well as a new introduction to Bon in general, and some further material on the education given to young monks and nuns at Lopon Rinpoche's monastery in Kathmandu, Triten Norbutse (Khri-brten nor-bu'i rtse). This further material is found in the appendix. The monastery is primarily an educational institution for monks and nuns, aimed at preserving and perpetuating the ancient culture of Bon, rather than a residential monastery. After finishing their education here, the former students will go elsewhere and serve as teachers or enter lay life. Students are drawn from the Bonpo areas of Nepal, such as Dolpo and Mustang, as well as from Tibet itself, where a traditional Bonpo education is becoming progressively more difficult to obtain.

The educational program at Triten Norbutse includes the thirteen-year course in Geshe studies at the Dialectics School or Lama College (bshad-grwa), at present under the direction of the chief teacher of the Dialectics School (mtshan-nyid bshad-grwa dpon-slob), Lopon Tsangpa Tenzin. The focus is on the philosophical studies (mtshan-nyid) found in the Bonpo tradition, and on cultivating skills in correct thinking and the art of debate (rtsodpa). In addition, a number of traditional secular sciences (riggnas) are studied and mastered. Upon completion of the course and passing several examinations, the student is awarded a Geshe degree (dge-bshes), the equivalent of a Western doctorate. Independent of this program in Geshe studies, there is also a Meditation School (sgrwb-grwa) at the monastery which has a four-year program for the study and practice of the four major systems of Dzogchen found in the Bonpo tradition. Whereas in the Dialectics School, the emphasis is on academic study and learning the skills of debate, here the emphasis is on the actual meditation practices of Dzogchen in a semi-retreat situation. This school is at present under the direction of its Abbot (sgrub-grwa mkhan-po), Kenpo Tsultim Tenzin. During these courses of study and practice, the students are housed and fully supported by the monastery. Frequently young monks and nuns come as refugees from Tibet seeking a Bonpo education and possess no funds of their own at all.

With Lopon Rinpoche now in retirement at the age of 80, the monastery is under the able direction of its present Abbot, Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung. However, Lopon Rinpoche continues to teach on occasion at the monastery, in sessions open to both monks and lay people, and also to Westerners at his new meditation center in France, Shenten Dargye Ling, near Saumur in the Loire region, south-west of Paris. Moreover, Lopon Rinpoche's collected works (gsung `bum) in thirteen volumes were published last year by the monastery. A number of Geshes at the monastery, with the help of modern computer technology provided by Japanese friends, have been digitalizing the basic Bonpo texts which are studied at the monastery, including those of Dzogchen. The texts are then published in India and Nepal for the use of students.

Now that Bon is becoming increasingly recognized in the West as an important spiritual tradition in its own right, and as an original component of the Tibetan culture and civilization which continues and even thrives today both in Tibet and in exile, it was felt that these teachings of Lopon Rinpoche on Dzogchen should be republished for a wider reading audience. My thanks, as the editor of these teachings, go to Vajra Publishing of Kathmandu for undertaking this project, to Elisabeth Egonviebre for providing the photographs included here, and to Dr. Christine Daniels for her editorial and other help while completing this project. I would especially like to thank Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung for supplying additional information on the expanded educational program at Triten Norbutse. It is my prayer that these rare explanations of Lopon Tenzin Namdak Yongdzin Rinpoche, being exceptionally lucid and clear, will help to clarify the relationship between Dzogchen and Madhyamaka, Chittamatra, Tantra and Mahamudra, for interested Western students.

(John Myrdhin Reynolds)

Seminare & Retreats im Herbst


....hier ein kleiner Ausblick auf einige der Seminare und Retreats im
deutschsprachigen Raum:

5. – 12. Oktober 2006
Ermächtigungszyklus des ‘Künsang Gongdü’
mit S.E. Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche
Hamburg, Deutschland

6. - 9. Oktober 2006
Dzogchen Belehrungen aus der Bön Tradition
von Shang Shung Nyan Gyud

Yongdzin Rinpoche Tenzin Namdak
Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche
in der Schweiz

09. – 15. Oktober 2006
Chö-Belehrungen und
Einweihung in Prajnaparamita und Karma Pakshi

mit dem Ehrw. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Kamalashila Institut, Germany

13. - 15. Oktober 2006
Die kombinierte Praxis von Mahamudra und Maha-Ati &

mit dem Ehrw. Tenga Rinpoche

20. - 22. Oktober 2006
Bonpo Dzogchen Teachings from the Zhang-zhung Nyan-gyud
mit John Myrdhin Reynolds

21. - 29. Oktober 2006
Einweihung in die
Ungewöhnliche Weiße Tara & die 21 Taras

mit Jetsun Chimey Ludig
Pauenhof, Germany

7. - 9. November 2006
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche

10. - 12. November 2006
Tantric Transformations: The Practice of Kyerim
and Dzogrim in the Higher Tantras

mit John Myrdhin Reynolds
Kamalashila, Eifel, Central Germany

16. - 19. November 2006
Kalachakra Teachings & Initiation
His Holiness
Sakya Trizin Rinpoche

Pauenhof, Germany

17. - 19. November 2006
Einweihung in die Grüne Tara &
Belehrungen zur Tsa Lung Tigle Praxis

mit Chenga Rinpoche
in München, Deutschland

06. Dezember 2006
Besuch S.H. Pema Norbu Rinpoche
im neuen Palyul Zentrum in Züsch, Deutschland
(noch keine genaueren Details bekannt....)

Edited (on Oct. 13): Visit Canceled!

9. - 12. Dezember 2006
Ranyak Dza Patrul Rinpoche
Schweiz, Zürich

Mind & Reality

Mind & Reality: A Multidisciplinary Symposium on Consciousness

February 25-26, 2006 — Columbia University

Building on past Columbia lectures such as Meditative and Contemplative States (2001), Destructive Emotions: Neuroscience, Psychology, and Buddhism (2003), and Tibetan Mind Science Meets Modern Neuroscience (2005), the Center for the Study of Science and Religion will host Mind & Reality: A Multidisciplinary Symposium on Consciousness this February 25th-26th in the historic rotunda of Low Memorial Library at Columbia University.

Supported by the John E. Fetzer Institute, this event is dedicated to enriching the dialogue between Buddhism, Hinduism, and contemporary consciousness studies. Recently the editors at the The Journal of Consciousness Studies warned of a “serious danger that the emerging multi-disciplinary field of consciousness studies could Balkanise and different groups of scholars will end up ‘circling the wagons’ and talking among themselves.” The overarching goal of this symposium is to cultivate communication between culturally diverse lines of thought and foster relationships between like-minded individuals.


Georges B.J. Dreyfus, Jay Garfield, Thubten Jinpa, Anne Klein, Gareth Sparham, Robert A.F. Thurman, B. Alan Wallace, and many more....

....these are really interesting talks, however, I'm curious what Mr. John Lorber thinks about all that stuff - maybe they should have invited him as well....

Invocation of Samantabhadra

There will be another wonderful precious opportunity to receive teachings from Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche this month. This webcast retreat will be a teaching about the Invocation of Samantabhadra which belongs to the cycle of the Northern Treasures (byang gter) discovered by the Tertön Rigdzin Gödem Chen. The teachings will be broadcasted live from Merigar, Italy.


Day 1: Introduction about this retreat and its teaching,how we can apply its principal practice "Guru Yoga" in a simple way, and giving the tridlung of Short Thun


Day2: Explanation about the transmission and the Empowerment of Guru Yoga, and giving the tridlung of Medium Thun


Day 3: Teaching of "The Invocation of Samantabhadra about the condition of the Base, how developed the transmigration", and giving the tridlung of Gana Puja


Day 4: Teaching of "The Invocation of Samantabhadra about the Six Lokas and how one can liberate all of them", and giving the tridlung of Longer Thun


Day 5: Teaching of "The Invocation of Samantabhadra about the last part", giving some Tridlungs and advices for daily life practices. The retreat ends with a Short Thun Practice together

The following is an excerpt by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu taken from Teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, which contains twenty teachings from The Mirror, the newspaper of the international Dzogchen Community of Namkhai Norbu. It has been edited with permission from The Mirror. This newspaper is available as a bi-monthly and is also on line at

Invocation of Samantabhadra

I want to explain the Invocation of Samantabhadra contained in an Upadesha Tantra; within this Tantra is the very essence of knowledge of the Dzogchen teaching.

This invocation is not only to be used as such, but is also very important for having knowledge and understanding. In general, practitioners use it as an invocation, chanting and reciting it to be in the state of knowledge. Particularly at the beginning of the invocations there are verses that are essential Dzogchen.

Everything Has the Same Base

The beginning of the first verse says that the bases of all of the universe-samsara, nirvana, and all our considerations-are the same base. There is a Tibetan word zhichig; chig means one, zhi means base. One base does not mean the only base, but the same base.

For example, in the universe there are infinite sentient beings, including all enlightened beings. All these beings, either enlightened or in samsara, have the same base. One of the most important things we learn in Dzogchen is what the base is. The base is our real condition. When we explain the base, we use the explanation of essence, nature and energy. There is no difference, enlightened or not. That is why in Dzogchen we say that since the beginning our state is the enlightened state. Our real base or condition never changes or is modified. If we follow the teaching and use methods or practices for purification, we purify obstacles, but that doesn't change our nature. Our real condition is the same base since the beginning.

Two Kinds of Paths

Lam nyi means there are two paths or two aspects of manifestation. When we have knowledge or understanding of the base or are in the condition of the base, that is called enlightenment, the state of illumination. If we are ignorant of that and are no longer in that state, then we fall into dualistic vision and samsara. Hence samsara and nirvana.

When did this samsara and nirvana start? In the West we usually have a Judeo-Christian education, and have the idea that someone has created everything from the beginning. So who created this and divided these paths into two? No one divided them; their division is related to our nature. If we have movement in our nature, it must manifest. If we have the capacity of manifesting reflections, somehow they manifest when circumstances arise.

There is no starting point of samsara, because our real condition is beyond time. When we are beyond time we are in an illuminated state, no longer in samsara. But we don't remain in that state for a long time, because thoughts arise and we are conditioned by them. In the state of contemplation, even if thoughts arise we do not follow them. That state of clarity or instant presence is the illumined state. When we are distracted with thoughts and dualistic vision, we are in samsara. That is the starting point of that moment of samsara. We can be at the starting point of samsara many times. We can have millions and millions of starting points of samsara. It depends on our condition and how we get in that state.

Generally speaking, we say that since the beginning one who is in the state of instant presence and is never distracted has knowledge or understanding. That primordial understanding is called Samantabhadra, which is the symbol of the Ati Buddha, the primordial Buddha that since the beginning has never been conditioned by dualistic vision. If we don't have this knowledge or understanding there is no way we can realize or get in that state. This is called lam nyi, two paths.

Drebu nyi means there are two kinds of fruit: either we have knowledge and understanding or we don't. Those who have that kind of knowledge are in a state of illumination. Those who are ignorant continually create negative karma and the potentiality of karma, producing infinite samsara.

Rigpa and Marigpa

What is the cause of these two paths and two fruits? Here we arrive at the main point: rigpa and marigpa. Rigpa means knowing or being in that knowledge and understanding; marigpa means ignorance of real knowledge or understanding. If we are ignorant we fall totally into dualistic vision. The way we fall is very simple. For example, we can relax a bit and observe our thoughts and circumstances: our eyes see, our ears hear, all our organs have functions, and immediately we have contact through the senses and we think and judge. We see something very pleasant, receive the information through our vision and immediately our judgment arises "Oh, how nice, I like that." That means we are accepting and creating attachment. Then we fight and struggle to get that object of attachment. When we can't get that object, we suffer. So this is how we fall into suffering.

Or, if we see something we don't like, we say "Oh, I don't like that and if you put it in front of me it makes me nervous." That means we are rejecting and are angry with that object. These are our two main emotions: attachment and anger. In this way we accept and reject over and over again, falling into dualistic vision and accumulating the negative potentiality of karma. When we produce negative karma it has the potentiality for producing samsara. Therefore our obstacles of negative karma become thicker and thicker and we become more and more ignorant of our condition.

Buddha Essence

Even if we have our perfected qualification of potentiality from the beginning, if we are not aware of it, it has no value. This principle is found not only in Dzogchen but also in Sutra teaching. In Sutra it is called Buddha essence. Everyone has the Buddha essence. There is a book called Gyüd Lama which explains and gives an example that is very important in the Dzogchen teaching as well:

There was a very poor man living in the country. Every day he went to town to get food. He didn't have a house and every night he went to a mountain cave to sleep. He passed his life in this way. In front of this mountain there was a practitioner, a yogi, who was doing retreat. Every day the yogi saw the old man going to town and coming back in the evening. Then the yogi noticed that the old man no longer came out of his cave. He saw by means of his clarity that the old man was dead in the cave. He looked a little deeper with his clarity to discover why and how the old man had died and he saw that the old man had a negative karma to purify and due to this had no money. But he also saw that every night in the place the old man put his head to sleep there was a big diamond. But even though the old man had contact with this diamond every day, he never discovered it throughout his life. If he had discovered this diamond he would have become very rich.

This is an example of how we each have the Buddha essence, like that diamond. When we don't discover it, even if we have it, it has no value.

Dualistic Vision

All our sense organs are directed externally to have contact with objects. When we have this contact with the objects of our senses we fall into dualistic vision and have no capacity to observe ourselves. In Dzogchen, therefore, we do not use the teachings and our understanding like eyeglasses because even if they are clear and strong they always look outside. We use the teaching and knowledge like a mirror. If we look in a mirror we discover how our face appears. In this same way if we turn our awareness within ourselves, then we can discover and have knowledge, understanding; this is the principle of rigpa or marigpa-having understanding or not. Whoever has this knowledge can be in their real condition and be like Samantabhadra and Vajrasattva. If we look outside-judging, thinking and multiplying our dualistic vision-we end up with infinite dualistic vision and samsara.

In the Dzogchen teaching we have a word rulog which means reverse. We do not go directly into samsara, we reverse this process and get into real knowledge or understanding. We can have this experience and be again in our real potentiality with this invocation of Samantabhadra. This is called illumination or realization.


Realization or illumination is not something we construct or build. If we consider realization as something we build then it becomes something made up of aggregates or something impermanent. If we create something within time and through action, we can never get beyond time. In our real condition the base is beyond time, beyond consideration, explanation, beyond everything. That is why at the end of his life Buddha Shakyamuni explained everything as emptiness with the teaching of the Prajnaparamita. Even at the end of his life he said there was no wisdom, no path, and no realization. Why did he negate all these things? We always enter into concepts. If we say "wisdom" then we have a concept and if we remain in this concept, we have a problem. Realization must be beyond all this.


In Dzogchen we have the qualification of self-perfectedness from the beginning. Self-perfectedness is the nature of our real condition. For example, in the summer there are many kinds of flowers and trees in the garden. No one made them. There is cause and effect, our condition, and through our condition our nature manifests. In the same way in our qualification there is the self-perfection of everything. This is the base in the real sense.

Why do we say that the base or essence is empty? Because when we search there is nothing to find. We always reach the point of emptiness; our real condition is emptiness. If we are in a room in the night-time and the room is totally dark, if we go in any direction we will reach a wall. We reach a wall because we are in a room. In general, we are in our real nature of emptiness. That is why we search and always find emptiness. Reaching this emptiness we discover our condition.

It seems we only find emptiness but our real condition is emptiness with infinite potentiality, not only an idea of emptiness, like the emptiness of the idea of the horns of a hare or a horse. These animals don't have horns, but you can imagine they do even though in reality they have never existed. This is a kind of emptiness. The kind of emptiness of a horn on the head of a horse has no function.

Emptiness with Infinite Potentiality

This is not what we mean by the total emptiness of our real nature such as Dharmata or Dharmakaya. This is emptiness which can have infinite manifestations. We can observe the emptiness of space, and the infinite manifestations of this dimension. When we observe the sky, there may be nothing in the sky. When infinite clouds arise, those manifestations of clouds can't be separated from space; they manifest in the same dimension as space. In the same way, we have that emptiness with infinite potentiality. For that reason we say that our real nature is clarity. Even if it is empty, it can manifest everything. All possibilities can manifest without interruption. This is represented by the thigle and the white A-by sound, light and rays.

Three Kayas

In the teaching there is an explanation of the three dimensions, the three kayas of the base, path and fruit. If you read many books, particularly Mahayana texts, then you understand that these three kayas explain some qualifications of enlightened beings. In the real sense this is not only the explanation of enlightened beings but also the explanation of our condition. It is very important to know this from the beginning. Essence is empty and is Dharmakaya. Nature is clarity natuand means manifestation and is Sambhogakaya. And energy without interruption means Nirmanakaya. When we are in a state of contemplation we are in those three states. When we have that knowledge through Introduction we have discovered our real base. How we manifest this concretely depends on how we do practice and how we realize.

Discovering our real nature doesn't mean we manifest our qualifications. In the Dzogchen teachings there is the example of the practitioner's knowledge which is similar to the egg of the eagle. The egg of the eagle is different from other eggs; when it opens the small eagle is perfectly formed and ready to fly, self-perfected from the beginning. That is why it is said to be like a practitioner of Dzogchen. Even if we live with the limitation of the physical body, our capacity, knowledge and understanding are perfected. When we liberate from this physical body we have the realization of all three kayas.

[May 1996-Mirror 36]

taken from the Snow Lion Newsletter

Mani cravings

Google Earth is really full of strange and interesting pictures. Here's a picture with huge Om Mani Padme Hum cravings on a frozen lake in Tibet - the biggest is 170 by 75 meters (560 by 250 feet).