Category Archives: Khandro Rinpoche

Taming the Mind 2014, HE Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, 9/19/14 Talk 1,Part 2

(continued from Talk 1, Part 1)

Taming the Mind, 3 Kinds of Laziness, 9 Stages of Shamatha

Freedom from 3 kinds of laziness.

To be able to tame the mind, to let your sitting be free from all the obscurations of many lifetimes, all the obstacles of own habitual patterns. All the instructions are relevant, but further refining one’s sitting meditation by eliminating obstacles of many lifetimes, habitual patterns. Watch out for 3 traces of laziness.

  1. Laziness of discouragement.

[This is] where one is discouraged by one’s own situations such as health problems. Many of you suffer from health issues; you begin to think you are limited due to these. Meditators must immediately know this discouragement is another form of laziness. “Turning mind to the Dharma” means engaging in dharma must be kept intact. Whatever you are doing for health problems- treatments, etc. stands good on its own. Dharma stands good on its own. Health is health. Dharma is dharma. Even if lying flat on ground with tubes everywhere in bed, you can still be working with silence, stillness and non-thought. It is a question of priorities. That issue is made much worse. Illness could be greatest factor to be made into…

Being too busy to practice has nothing to do with Dharma at all. You could be with the view of dharma despite not having a single second to spare. If you allow that which you are busy with to distance you from Dharma, it is a form of laziness. There are two kinds of mind: one for dharma, one for business. You are starving one, and feeding the other. When you look at the busyness, if you transform it into a sense of how samsara can drown you, a sense that it completely overshadows basic mindfulness, it has become the most authentic meditation. Dharma is not a particular recitation, not a particular posture, but is creating an authentic awakened state than any amount of …

Taking the busyness and allowing the busyness to awaken you to the busyness of samsara. See “I can be limitlessly mad because this is how limitless busy mind can be. “ See how easily seductions of karmic influences arise, then take all that could be cause of laziness and use to recognize your own mind. When you don’t do it, you allow different reasons, such as health preoccupations, especially in America. That closely followed by weather. (Laughter) That allows you to breed that laziness. It is important to look at – health, money, responsibilities, and business- all those reasons that become cause of discouragement in year. Today, look in self to see traces of discouragement. “I am not able to practice because…” List them.

How many are really causes of impediment, or did you just allow it to be so? Here is your excuse to not train you mind be able to really — the best meditation is one able to see ‘here is the molding that happens.’ How much of the harboring and nourishing is happening in oneself? Continue reading


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Taming the Mind 2014, HE Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, 9/19/14 Talk 1,Part 1

Taming the Mind, Importance of Truly Working with Mind, 4 Dharmas of Gampopa, 3 Kinds of Laziness, 9 Stages of Shamatha

A very good morning everyone, as we begin with welcome to the first section of the annual retreat. And of course, acknowledging the factors that allow us all to be here, there are wonderful resident administrative staff, etc. thanks all of the heads of families, the staff that reside that make it possible year after year in all the programs here.

Lisa said that everything is happening without excitement, on their own. (Laughter) That is very nice to hear; it speaks volumes. The coming and going no longer has the excitement. For a practitioner, it is good if it is less. Would be good if it was all comings, and no going without realizations, but… (Laughter) A sense of it all becoming normal, very ordinary. Very wonderful. The teachers, senior practitioner, and Welcome back the lopons and nuns. Many of you have been studying with them. For those residing here, an intensive study and practice program.

Not just within the public programs, but year round. Very helpful for entire sangha. We passed the 10th year of Lotus Garden. It is timely that a group of people are maturing in dharma. It has started; the residents can keep up the continuity. A year round possibility. I am grateful to the monks, nuns, and teachers.

With that, begin with this section. Many of you are aware of Taming the Mind from last year. A series of teaching/ practice sessions emphasizing cultivating of meditation as foundation of practice. From last year, will recall the branching of the retreat to 3 parts.

The first part is to understanding meditation – hinayana, whatever, knowing the terminology is not about groups of people, but one’s own mind, working with one’s own mind, one’s own training of mind, focusing on silence, stillness, and non-thought. Three basic principles, following Buddha’s words. Any practitioner that doesn’t recognize one’s own mind as the basis of dharma doesn’t get dharma. Training the mind is very basis of dharma. Such a person who understands this closely accurately understands the relationship to the path of practice.

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Khandro Rinpoche annual retreat 2012 – morning 8/31/12- Mandala offering

mandala-viz_tnMandala offering text


The foundation is the perfectly pure, powerful golden earth.


The outer periphery is a ring of iron mountains.

At the center is HUM, from which arises Mt. Meru, the king of mountains.

In the east is Purvavideha, in the south, Jambudvipa. In the west, Aparagodaniya, in the north, Uttarakuru.

Deha and Videha, Camara and Aparacamara, Shatha and Uttaramantrina, Kurava and Kaurava,

The jewel mountain, the wish-fulfilling tree, the wish-fulfilling cow, the harvest that needs no toil,

The precious wheel, The precious jewel, The precious queen, The precious minister, The precious elephant, The precious, supreme steed, The precious general, The vase of great treasure,

The goddess of grace, The goddess of garlands, The goddess of song, The goddess of dance, The goddess of flowers, The goddess of incense, The goddess of lamps, The goddess of perfume,

The sun, the moon, the precious parasol, the victory banner of complete victory in all directions.

These perfect glories and riches of gods and men without exception- I offer to all the sublime ones, the glorious root and lineage gurus, the divine assembly of the mandala of yidams and the assembly of Buddhas and bodhisattvas along with their retinues.

Please accept this with compassion for the benefit of beings. Having accepted it, I supplicate you to grant your blessings.

The earth is anointed with perfumed water and strewn with flowers. It is adorned with Mt. Meru, the four continents, the sun and the moon. By offering this visualized as a buddhafield, May all beings enjoy that pure realm.   Continue reading

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat: August 27th, Talk 1 – Introduction to ngondro

Maybe is it a good way to refer to the ati zabdon commentary of ngondro so those of you doing that ngondro have a strong foundation, especially with the understanding how important ngondro practices are. Ngondro has encountered all kinds of ideas – I’d like to say rumors. Somehow, modern day meditations imagine they can bring fruition to the Buddhist path through an intellectual approach only. Then comes practice of Vajrayana, mainly founded on the foundation of the Mahayana view.  However, it is also very common, both for westerners and in the east, we think we want to do some practice to attain Enlightenment to benefit sentient beings, but simultaneously, there is a difference between action and aspiration. We want to hope to attain Enlightenment, wish to attain Enlightenment, but don’t have the courage to actualize Enlightenment. So, the tendency is there to retain tendencies of intellectual understanding only, with pitfalls of coming up with many impediments. Continue reading

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat: August 28th, Talk 1, Part 3- Outer preliminaries – The Four Reminders

(continued from part 2)

The Four Reminders

It is possible your shamatha is distracted. If distracted, following thoughts sound, forms, and going back to mental chatter, read the first verse of the Four Reminders. *

This precious human existence is, like an udumbara flower, difficult to attain.
If found, it is of greater benefit than the wish-fulfilling jewel.
However, having attained such a precious existence just this once,
we do not accomplish the ultimate aim of great benefit,
but instead waste it meaninglessly.
Guru, embodiment of the Three Jewels, look upon us with compassion.
Bestow your blessings so that we fulfill the meaning of this precious existence. Continue reading

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat: August 28th, Talk 1, Part 2- Outer preliminaries – Calling the Guru From Afar

(continued from part 1)

Calling the Guru from Afar

Now, to calling the guru from afar. Going back into ngondro text, where we stopped yesterday. Begin with:

At the crown of my head, seated on a lotus and moon seat is the glorious precious root guru. Accepting me with your great kindness, please bestow siddhis of body, speech, and mind.

In this way, at the crown of your head, visualize the guru.  Thus giving rise to devotion, recite the Calling the Lama from Afar, which was given by guru Rinpoche to Yeshe Tsogyal. Wherever one truly has revulsion and turns to blessings of guru, than Padmasambhava will be there.   If continuing, continue. Or, when the mind is distracted, rest.  Or, do it as a preliminary to any other practice. It’s Up to you.

Whenever the mind rests in its own nature, and then wants to return to habits of following forms and sounds, instead of following those forms and sounds, immediately gather the mind into the space above your head on lotus and moon disk in the form of Guru Rinpoche or your own guru. Whatever arises immediately as the embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of the guru, immediately think of them and supplicate that one may receive siddhis of body, speech and mind. Continue reading

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat: August 28th, Talk 1, Part 1- Outer preliminaries

Good morning everyone (Laughs).

Lineage supplication before I give a talk – then q and a, and overview of the whole cycle of teachings of the Ati Zabdon ngondro.

As we start to talk about the transformation of the creation of contaminated impure perception into pure nature, we think many times, “these practices are contrived.”  This is because you live a contrived life now.  All forms are contrivances of mind.   In same way, what you think of sound, even subtle sounds, or a sense of intellectual knowledge of the emptiness of sound, are a contrivance. Thoughts are empty, but even the non-grasping at this point is contrived.  We live in a contrived existence because mind labels it – even the labels “true,” “pure,” and “Buddha” are a contrivance.  Since we are trapped in an elaborate contrivance, pure perception is a necessity, because mind isn’t able to understand completely letting go at this point, so mind needs a subtle reference. As long as mind thinks it needs a contrivance to rest on, even emptiness, there will always be a need for a relative reference. Continue reading

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat – talk 5: part 1: Patrul Rinpoche practice text based on Bodhicharyavatara – Elaborate explanations of Paramitas: Diligence

(continued from talk  4, part 4)

A Step by step guided meditation on the profound Mahayana text of Bodhicharyavatara by Patrul Rinpoche called “The Sun of Brilliant Clarity”

Lopön Barbara has kindly made available an outline [of the teachings so far] for all of you, particularly those of you here for this weekend. Since many have come in later it’s alright to have it, it’s not restricted and so forth, but it’s mainly for those taking transmissions. This is a practice text, not a theory text; this is a practice text, so the outline is given to give you a step-by-step guide for meditation. The full text with the commentary that is available needs a little work. So I am asking Lama Roar, along with Jetsunla, to do the editing later. This will be made available to you later. But many of you take excellent notes, as well of course as the recordings will be available if you need them. But the idea is to use the text and use the outline for daily contemplation.      Continue reading

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat – talk 5: part 2: Patrul Rinpoche practice text based on Bodhicharyavatara – Elaborate explanations of Paramitas: Samadhi

(continued from talk  5, part 1)
A Step by step guided meditation on the profound Mahayana text of Bodhicharyavatara by Patrul Rinpoche called “The Sun of Brilliant Clarity”

Elaborate explanations of Paramitas

Fifth Paramita: Meditative concentration/Samadhi

  1. Becomes paramita of meditation because it abandons those factors that are not conductive to concentration
  2. Paramita of meditation becomes one is working with those objects that stabilizes shamatha.

1. Abandons those factors that are not conductive to concentration.  Patrul Rinpoche says, “abandoning the factors means to give up mundane concern such as habitual preoccupations.” “Dog chasing a tail” Samadhi arises when one give up busyness. Give up the thought of being afraid to be alone.   Give up the sense that you can’t enjoy quietude.  Anything that impedes quietude and silence is an impediment. Patrul Rinpoche says “to train in contentment. A true meditator who can really enhance shamatha can build shamatha on contentment.” Contentment is built on present moment.

Abandoning the factors of discursive thoughts.  Even in a conducive place of practice, if mind pursues mundane possessions and thoughts, shamatha is completely destroyed.  If in a conducive place of practice one doesn’t destroy craving, shamatha will never arise.

2. How to cultivate Shamatha

Object of Samadhi-

A. equalizing self and others.

B. exchanging self and others.

a. Equalizing self and others Where this equalizing self and others is weak, bodhichitta will be weak.

In the 8th chapter, the 97th verse is of particular significance to meditators.

Why should one guard against my future pain Which does no harm to this, my present me?”

Everything we do is to safeguard the future me.  Shantideva says at this moment, this doesn’t affect you at all. The past is gone, the future we don’t know, the present always changing. So what are we grasping to so strong?

“Everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering”.

Why should I be the one to think of others?

Why should I work for others? Why shouldn’t you?

Verse 99 – the pain felt in my foot is not my hand, so why I should help others?

Hand can rub foot because part of own body.  Sentient beings are interconnected.  There is a shared basis of connection itself that is basis on which one is responsible for others.  If someone is having the pain, then based on interdependency, it is your responsibility to remove that pain, and give happiness to sentient beings.

Patrul Rinpoche says, “Prior to going into contemplating, train the mind to in post-meditation practice to truly understand sameness of self and others.”

“Ninje” is developed. ‘’Compassion’ is the translation usually.  But the Tibetan term literally means “it leaves a footprint in your heart.’” It leaves sense of ‘what can I do for the others?’ that makes you recall the need for happiness in all sentient beings. Ninje is “my concentration, my heart beats for others.”


Verse  129.

“All the joy the world contains has come from wishing happiness for others. All the misery in the word has come from wishing happiness for myself”

Verse 161.

“Happiness, fulfillment, these I give away.

Patrul Rinpoche says “It is true; joy comes from wishing happiness for others. But everyone pursues happiness for self. May I not fall into this pit of this ignorance…”

Preliminary Meditations to Shamatha

  1. Visualize oneself as the other who is lower or inferior to you
  2. Visualize yourself and the other as equals in every regard
  3. Visualize the other very high and accomplished and the other yourself as very unaccomplished

In first, feel power of envy. In the second, feel power of rivalry. In the third, feel power of pride.

Verse 56 of chapter 10-

The pain and suffering of all sentient beings, may it ripen in me, and may the virtuous qualities of bodhisattvas…”

Shamatha is being able to rest without being entangled in emotion. Meditation or shamatha doesn’t get entered into by self, but gets entered into by bodhichitta. This contemplation gives the shamatha the right direction.

Sixth Paramita: Wisdom

Wisdom in meditation is that which realizes the empty nature of all phenomena. Wisdom in post-meditation practice is the recognition that all experiences are like an illusion.

That knowledge becomes wisdom the moment mind becomes more relaxed, not taking things as seriously, not taking things as solid. In English you have an expression,  “go with the flow”. You make sense of what is flowing, and let it flow.

Untightening your grip over things. That is where knowledge of meditation has been able to manifest as wisdom in ones’ meditation.  Realizing all phenomena to be empty. In post-meditation practice, (you see the) natural nature of things as they truly are, and can relate to things almost like a dream.

Working in meditation and post-meditation practice.

How do we know we have realized wisdom? Applying the above two – “seeing emptiness and seeing everything as a magical illusion” and then building selflessness. Patrul Rinpoche says “Every learning, contemplation, examinatuion  leads to the truth of selflessness.  Wisdom is selflessness. Wherever there is a strengthened selflessness, paramita of wisdom arises.  Recognizing selflessness of self, and phenomena.”

In meditation and post-meditation practice, work with contemplation of selflessness of individual and phenomena.

Rest in meditation, and question, “Who do you call the self? Are the knees? The toes? The thighs? The limbs?  The senses? The skin? The bones? The organs? Cells? Molecules? Sinews and nerves?” Search again and again until realizing selflessness to be there and the designation of “self” can only be given when all the things gathered together are the self. Beyond all the factors, there is no self. So, question: Why WOULD one live their whole life as if there was a self when one realizes the selflessness of the individual?

Also, work with practicing the absence of self in phenomena through four contemplations, also known as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

What is the nature of body?  Mindfulness of body
  1. Is what we call ‘body’ the same as or different from the assembly of its parts?
  2. Where does the body originate?
  3. Where does it remain?
  4. Where does it go in the end?
What is the nature of feelings? Mindfulness of Feelings
  1. Are all feelings the same or different each time?
  2. Do feelings originate independently?
  3. Are mind and feelings the same or not?
  4. Observe arising, manifesting, and dissolving of feelings.   Find the answer, “where do feelings arise from? What is the nature of a feeling when it manifests, and where do feelings dissolve?”
What is the nature of mind? Mindfulness of mind
  1. Are what we call “mind” made up of the 6 consciousness or is it separate of it?
  2. Investigate likes, dislikes, happiness, sadness, attachment, aversion and see whether they are the same or different.
  3. When not labeled, what is the nature of mind?
  4. Is mind permanent or impermanent?
What is the nature of phenomena? Mindfulness of phenomena
  1. What is the nature of perception?
  2. What is the nature of formation?
  3. Is phenomena conditioned or unconditioned?
  4. What is interdependency? Are phenomena interdependent or not?

 Interestingly, there is no mention of the 4th part, fruition. Patrul Rinpoche says “if you have these answers to these 4 foundations of mindfulness, Fruition is there.”

Wisdom is never wisdom until it is able to manifest as selflessness. Selflessness is just a  synonym for bodhichitta.

In short, of all that has been said in the past few days, Above all, be kind.

End of Teaching.

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Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat – talk 4: part 4: Patrul Rinpoche practice text based on Bodhicharyavatara – Elaborate explanations of Paramitas: Patience

(continued from talk  4, part 3)

A Step by step guided meditation on the profound Mahayana text of Bodhicharyavatara by Patrul Rinpoche called “The Sun of Brilliant Clarity”

Elaborate explanations of Paramitas


Besides the general explanation of patience, there are 24 opportunities to practice patience in general and 72 in particular every day of your life.  Patrul Rinpoche says “Patience should be at all times.  But to start, may want to choose 24 occasions.”

  1. When someone treats us with contempt.
  2. When someone addresses oneself with harsh speech.
  3. When someone slanders us behind our back.
  4. When someone causes us pain.

These are four applied to three kinds of individuals, making 12:

  1. When these four happen to your teachers.
  2. When these four happen to your relatives.
  3. When these four happen to your friends (those you love – including you, the one you love the most). Continue reading

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