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Self-Voidness & Other-Voidness in the Four Noble Truths
This weekend I’ve been asked to speak about self-voidness and other-voidness, what is called in Tibetan rangtong (rang-stong) and zhentong (gzhan-stong; shentong). This is a very advanced, very complicated and very important topic. Therefore, it requires a great deal of...
Main Points of Self-Voidness and Other-Voidness
Traditional Stories: Teachers, Human Rebirth & Death
Healthy Relationships with Spiritual Teachers It is very important for the disciple to examine and check the lama very carefully before studying with him. Don’t go just because a famous teaching is being given. You have to examine the lama very carefully. It is said in a...
Traditional Stories about Life, Death, Karma and Refuge
Guru & Avalokiteshvara: Guru-Yoga, Refuge & Bodhichitta
This weekend I’ve been asked to speak about a practice that was composed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama called The Yoga of the Spiritual Master Inseparable from Avalokiteshvara, which is a practice of guru-yoga that focuses on the development and practice of compassion. And...
Commentary on "The Guru Inseparable from Avalokiteshvara" – Dr. Berzin
What Is Guru-Yoga?
Defining the Term “Guru-Yoga” “Guru” and “yoga” are Sanskrit words. We need to learn what these mean in order to know what we are going to be talking about. First, a guru is a fully qualified spiritual master. The word literally means someone who is heavy, and in the case of...
Theory and Practice of Guru-Yoga
Overdependence on the Spiritual Teacher
Avoiding Overdependence on Others for Spiritual Energy Even after committing oneself to a spiritual path and establishing a disciple-mentor relationship, maintaining energy and motivation in one's spiritual practice may often present a challenge. Thus, seekers need a variety...
Unhealthy Relationships with Spiritual Teachers
Establishing a Relationship with a Spiritual Teacher
The Sanskrit and Tibetan classical Buddhist literature provides the source material for how to relate to a spiritual mentor. Most of the texts, however, explicitly refer only to the relationship with a tantric master. The main examples include Ashvaghosha's Fifty Stanzas on...
The Dynamics of a Healthy Student-Teacher Relationship
Western Versus Traditional Tibetan Spiritual Students
Cultures play a large role in shaping the form of the personal interactions of their members. Just as the child-parent relation differs from one society and time to another, so does the relationship between spiritual seeker and spiritual teacher. It is only natural, then, that...
Spiritual Teachers and Spiritual Students
Is the Guru Really a Buddha?
The Relation between a Mentor's Functioning as a Buddha and Being a Buddha Beyond the suggestion to focus with firm conviction and appreciation on the good qualities and kindness that their mentors actually have, the sutras and tantras instruct disciples to regard these...
Seeing the Spiritual Teacher as a Buddha
The Basis: A Qualified Guru and Precious Human Rebirth
Tsongkhapa, the Author of the Text All of you here have great interest in the Dharma and great intentions to follow the teachings. You’ve invited me here to give you teachings and I’m very happy to be with you. I’ve been asked to teach the text called The Foundation for Good...
Commentary on “The Foundation for Good Qualities” – Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche
Serkong Rinpoche: A Real Thing Lama
Audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama before Moving to Germany April 1998, I returned home to Dharamsala, India, after a long lecture tour and intensive period of writing in Mongolia and the West. I had been living in the foothills of the Himalayas since 1969, studying and...
A Portrait of Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche