Category Archives: Lotus Garden teachers

These are teachings by various teachers that aren’t Khandro Rinpoche received at Lotus Garden. These include the Lopons that Rinpoche has appointed as her senior teachers.

Lojong, Mindrolling Lotus Garden – June 18- 21, 2015 Lopön Helen Berliner and Lopön Andre Papantonio – Talk 1

Lopon Andre – first talk – morning 9/19

Begin with the right intention. The best intention we could have for anything we do on the land- meditating, studying, or hearing a talk is – being with the benefit for all sentient beings. May we all work with our own minds to be a cooling oasis for all sentient beings, to free all sentient beings from suffering, and ourselves as sentient beings from suffering. We call this raising bodhicitta: a sense of my intention is “I am expanding outward so I am working not for just my own benefit, but for the benefit of all.”

I also like to remember those who came before us, without whom we wouldn’t be studying Buddhism in an air-conditioned room. Going back to Shakyamuni Buddha 2500 years ago, all the way up to His Holiness Mindrolling Trinchen Rinpoche, who died in 2008, and of course His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and of course our dear Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, who is director of our center. Just a sense of connection to lineage and a sense of connection to who we might be appreciative of. Continue reading


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Devotion and Lineage- Lotus Garden – 2-19-12 (AM)- Lopon Jann Jackson

Good morning everyone. So this morning we did a session of shamatha as a way of reminding ourselves that without the foundation of stable calm attention, simply learning produces a lot of mental excitement. It is very easy to lose calmness, awareness, effect on environment. We are trying to balance a lot of material, learning history, including history not by practitioners. Who were the ancestors? What did they teach? How were they preserved?    How is all that integrated? hear, contemplate, and integrate by taking that knowledge in in non-conceptual space of awareness. That becomes power when it is part of your mindstream.  Shamatha–vipashyna is the bridge.

Just like that beautiful stupa in the slideshow, we know stupa has symbolism – bhumis at the spire. Can’t have that without the foundation. You need shamatha for stability and vipashyna for wisdom. [First, practice the] Four Foundations of Mindfulness, to see experience as non-substantial yet apparent. Then, practice the 4 Limitless Ones to build compassion. Then, practice the Vajrayana, [to] let it manifest, seeing things as they are. Instead of waiting for things to be perfect, which is the samsaric approach, we are seeing them as perfect, which is Vajrayana approach.

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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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Lopön Andre Papantonio and Rita Gross-12 Nidanas Review-8/27/11 8:30 PM

Lopon Andre: This is a chance to get all your questions out there, all your concerns and confusions. The only things we offer are repeating the words of our perfect teacher.

Khandro Rinpoche likes us to always start any session with motivation. This is not to gain intellectual knowledge, but to transform our lives, and devote our body, speech and mind to serve all sentient beings. And remember the lineage going back through H.H. Mindrolling Trinchen Rinpoche, Terdak Lingpa, Padmasambhava, Buddha, and all the kindness.

The attitude and conduct is most important. The willingness to train yourself in path of practice doesn’t matter if old or new students, it’s all about training yourself. When you go back home, people should see a change in conduct and kindness.” – Khandro Rinpoche

Lopon Rita: In 35 years of hearing teachings, this was the first time I’ve heard a Tibetan teacher teach from a Pali text. This is wonderful. I can’t emphasize how important these foundations are. I think people get to vajrayana too fast, and it becomes like balancing on a point, and coming back to them year after year. They are vast in their profoundness. I am so grateful. (editor’s note: Ditto.)

She’s emphasized at this retreat so far the 12 nidanas and interdependence, which is the foundation of everything else. Next week will be the Four Immeasurables, which caps the foundations. These were presented with great depth. She built a bridge with Theravadan. Continue reading

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Dzigar Kongtrol Rinpoche – Lotus Garden Shedra 2011 – Chandrakirti – July 5-6, 2011

Chandrakirti’s Introduction to the Middle Way

Chapter 5 – July 5, 2011

start of Chapter 6  – July 6, 2011

Chapter 5- Hard to keep

The Great Ones on the ground called Hard to Keep cannot be overcome by all the hosts of demons. Strong in concentration, excellent in mind, In subtle grasp of truth they have great skill.  

 Hard to keep

A: The definition

“The great ones who dwell on the fifth ground, Hard to Keep, cannot be overwhelmed or defeated by demonic forces. “ Continue reading

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Review of 2006 Shedra – Lopon Jann Jackson – Morning – 4/14/07

We are going to do a Review of H.E. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s teaching at 2006 Shedra.  Shedra is a total immersion training program to turn away from ordinary activities with body speech and mind.  After years of training, one doesn’t just get a degree.  A khenpo gets a PHD in being a complete human being.

For the next 2 ½ hours, you will not be thinking your usual thoughts. You are doing something different. At the beginning of a day, you are setting aspiration for entire day. Ordinary activities are being turned away from. Hopefully this sparks some inquisitiveness.

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Lopon Jann Jackson – Lotus Garden – Devotion and Lineage program – Feb 18, 2012 – afternoon

Lopon Jann JacksonGood Afternoon! It’s wonderful to have a talk on the Mahayana be so anticipated. (laughter) the plot thickens.

There are so many ways to think about how to present this material, which is the whole path. We are trying to answer fundamental questions, such as “who are these people!?” (in the long seven-branch offering we have been reading every morning.) For many pages, there are a lot of names. Occasionally, we recognize a name or place. “Who are these people, what is there story, what were their contributions to dharma, how is what they taught transmitted now?” Finally, “what are the pith essence teachings, how do we hold them, and how will they affect us in this time and place?”

Today, we are continuing down the river of lineage, the exciting important development based on 1st teaching, which then came to Tibet, and then to us as practitioners.  But first, we wanted to share a deep practitioners’ perspective of this morning.  Sharing a timeline which will be the basis of going forward. We said in beginning we would attempt to present the highlights of 1200 years in 5 days, which is laughable. Even the last 50 years would take a week. For reference, on the chart in Deki Gyatsal (a timeline of world history from 3000 B.C. to the present day), we are on the first line of the timeline- still at the orange dot of Buddha.  This was the time between Buddha’s enlightenment, and the story of Buddha’s death.   Nothing was written for a couple hundred years. The Mahaparanirvana sutra contains elements of the first and second wheel turnings. The point is not to go into which is right, or conspiracy theory. It’s a flowing lineage, flowing manifesting depending on river bends.  Depends on trickle, flood, muddy, etc.  Us receiving this is a river bend.    Continue reading

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Loppon Helen Berliner- February 17, 2012 – Morning talk – “Devotion and lineage” program – Lotus Garden

I fully trust everyone did homework last night and looking forward to detailed, explicit explanation of 37 wings of enlightened path. (laughter) To begin, what did you discover? What most clearly elucidates- for those coming in the middle, this – the arc of our journey will become clear- reiterate where the path is going and where it is from. We are considering Buddha’s final instruction at his death what he felt were the most important instructions. What he felt summarized, encapsulated the pith instructions – we have the expansive and the explicit. We are looking at the explicit. Continue reading

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Guru yoga – Lopön Andre Papantonio – 2/21/11

Guru yoga – teaching at Lotus Garden Ngondro program

This is a preview. (laughter) The real movie is in March at the guru yoga program.  Jann and Cathie are just fab teachers. This has been an incredible retreat. Only one of them is here, but we’d like to thank the residents.  [Thanks them by name.]

Again, remember what the proper intention is for any practice period, or giving or hear a talk.  Flash on motivation of radiating bodhichitta and then remember the whole point is to achieve liberation for all sentient beings including ourselves. Keep that in mind instead of gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Also, flash on the lineage- in particular the Mindrolling lineage, in part His Holiness and Her Eminence, and picture the continual flow of blessings from that lineage, and from our guru, even when she is sitting still (which isn’t often). Continue reading

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