Translations by Adam Pearcey
Adam Pearcey is the founder-director of Lotsawa House. He holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London, and a Master's degree from the University of Oxford. His publications include (as translator) His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Mind in Comfort and Ease (Wisdom Publications, 2007), Ga Rabjampa's To Dispel the Misery of the World (Wisdom Publications, 2012), and Beyond the Ordinary Mind: Dzogchen, Rimé, and the Path of Perfect Wisdom (Snow Lion Publications, 2018).
Texts translated into English by Adam Pearcey
- The Falling Rain of Blessings: A Brief Daily Practice of the Wealth Deity White Jambhala by Adeu Rinpoche
Alak Zenkar Rinpoche
Based on the writings of Patrul Rinpoche, this brief survey summarises each of the nine successive vehicles leading to enlightenment in terms of their entry point, view, meditation, conduct and results.
Alak Zenkar's brief biography of Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye (1813–1899) summarizes the great master's extraordinary education and activity, especially his remarkable literary output, which resulted in the so-called 'Five Great Treasuries' (mdzod chen lnga).
Alak Zenkar summarizes the remarkable life and liberation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892), showing how he mastered the so-called 'eight great chariots of the practice lineage' (sgrub brgyud shing rta chen po brgyad) and received the seven special transmissions or 'descents' (bka' babs bdun). Zenkar Rinpoche also briefly summarizes Khyentse Wangpo's collected writings, which are divided into nine main categories.
Alak Zenkar Rinpoche offers a concise account of the extraordinary life and teaching career of Dza Patrul Orgyen Jigme Chökyi Wangpo (1808–1887), one of the most influential Tibetan masters of the nineteenth century. The biography has been reprinted a number of times since it was first published in the 1980s, and is included in most recent editions of Patrul's most famous work, Kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung.
In this brief account, Zenkar Rinpoche summarizes the education and activity of Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal (1871–1926), and outlines the contents of the thirteen volumes of his collected writings.
Translated from an audio recording. Zenkar Rinpoche explains the various methods and traditions of teaching the Bodhicaryāvatāra, especially that of Dza Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) and his followers, who often guided students through the text experientially.
A brief biography of the Gelugpa geshe Drakkar Lobzang Palden Tendzin Nyendrak (blo bzang dpal ldan bstan 'dzin snyan grags, 1866–1929), who famously debated with Ju Mipham (1846–1912), composed his own Dzogchen treatise, and passed on the transmission for a number of major collections including the Kangyur.
Amdo Geshe Jampal Rolwé Lodrö
- The Jewelled Garland: An Aspiration for the Spread of the Teachings of the Omniscient Father and Son, Masters of the Teachings of the Ancient Translations by Amdo Geshe Jampal Rolwé Lodrö
This prayer for the spread of the teachings of the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364) is also an extensive panegyric on the qualities of those teachings. It is unusual in that the author was himself a Gelugpa — albeit one who studied with Nyingma teachers and wrote on Dzogchen.
This prayer for the accomplishment of the transcendent perfections was adapted from the summarizing verses that appear at the conclusion of each chapter in Jātakamālāṭīkā, Dharmakīrti's extensive commentary on Āryaśūra's famous Jātakamālā, or Garland of Birth Stories. (This covers the first four transcendent perfections only; additional verses for the remaining perfections and birth stories were composed by the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje).
This version of Aśvaghoṣa’s text outlining the fourteen root downfalls of the Vajrayāna differs from the version in the Tengyur; in addition to some minor variations, it contains additional lines to facilitate the confession of all fourteen forms of transgression.
This aspiration prayer to accompany the offering of butter-lamps is said to have been recited by Atiśa and his disciples in the shrines they visited throughout the central and southern provinces of Tibet.
These verses, which appear in the Kangyur, invoke the auspiciousness of the seven successive buddhas (sangs rgyas rabs bdun): 1) Vipaśyin, 2) Śikhin, 3) Viśvabhū, 4) Krakucchandra, 5) Kanakamuni, 6) Kāśyapa, and 7) Śākyamuni.
Jamyang Khyentse compiled this prophecy from the words of the Buddha. Before an audience that includes Ānanda and the future Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha tells how this text will appear from a meteorite and be disseminated by Avalokiteśvara. He also describes how a series of terrible events, including widespread disease, famine and warfare, will occur during the degenerate age, unless this text can be widely copied and recited as an antidote to such ills.
The Ārya caturdharmanirdeśa nāma mahāyāna sūtra (‘Phags pa chos bzhi bstan pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo) is the ultimate source for the doctrine of the four powers (stobs bzhi), a popular feature of Tibetan teachings on confession. In this initial, canonical presentation, however, the four are referred to as 'factors', although two are also called 'powers'. They are: 1) the action of total rejection, 2) the action as remedy, 3) the power of restoration, and 4) the power of support.
The Aparimitāyurjñāna-nāma mahāyāna-sūtra ('phags pa tshe dang ye shes dpag tu med pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po'i mdo) is said to bring extraordinary merit and longevity when written out, read aloud, copied, or venerated with offerings.
These commonly cited verses of commitment (dam bca' ba) occur several times in the Precious Treasury of Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod) and are also to be found in the collected writings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Chokgyur Lingpa and Tertön Sogyal. The translation here is based on Mipham's commentary.
Butön Rinchen Drup
In a series of poetic verses Chatral Rinpoche explains the purpose and benefit of saving the lives of endangered animals, especially those due to be slaughtered, as it is a practice of protection from harm and an expression of universal compassion.
Chögyal Pakpa Lodrö Gyaltsen
Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa
This version of the Yeshe Kuchokma (ye shes sku mchog ma) was arranged by Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829–1870) for recitation during the Ngakso Drupchen (sngags gso sgrub chen) and the Khorwa Dongdruk (‘khor ba dong sprug) practice. Chokgyur Lingpa has added an additional line as well as the syllables oṃ, āḥ and hūṃ to the root text.
This version of the famous confession, revealed as part of the Tukdrup Barché Kunsel (thugs sgrub bar chad kun sel) cycle, differs slightly from the eleventh chapter of the Immaculate Confession Tantra, with minor variations throughout and an additional two lines at the very end.
- A Torch for the Path to Omniscience: A Word by Word Commentary to the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro by Chökyi Drakpa
This word-by-word explanation of the Longchen Nyingtik preliminaries draws upon and summarizes earlier commentaries, especially the most celebrated of them all, Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher (Kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung). Yet Chökyi Drakpa's text is not entirely derivative and its relative brevity makes it ideal as a reminder of the most important points of the practice. This is why some lamas recommend reading and studying it regularly, together with the liturgy (which appears in bold).
Chomden Rigpé Raldri
A simple guide to the contents of Vasubandhu's classic work, listing the main subdivisions within the text's eight chapters devoted to: 1) the elements, 2) faculties, 3) cosmology, 4) karma, 5) negative tendencies (i.e., the afflictions), 6) paths and individuals, 7) wisdom and 8) meditative absorption.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Some notes on the history of Dzongsar Monastery, seat of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892), with emphasis on the sacred objects that the monastery housed during Khyentse Wangpo's time and thereafter.
In this teaching, which was originally intended for participants in a three-year retreat in Chanteloube, in the Dordogne region of France, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche discusses the importance of faith, renunciation, compassion, and looking into the nature of mind.
A letter to a fellow disciple of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö offering essential advice on how to practise the celebrated Nyingtik Saldrön guru yoga, which focuses on Jamyang Khyentse in heruka form.
- Nectar Shower of Blessings: A Song of Yearning Devotion Recalling the Everpresent Gurus by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Repository of Every Form of Dharma that Might be Wished For: A Catalogue to the Published Miscellaneous Writings of the Venerable Guru Jamyang Chökyi Lodrö by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
A detailed description of the two-volume edition of Jamyang Khyentse's miscellaneous writings (gsung thor bu) published in India in the late 1960s. The catalogue has three sections: 1) the greatness of the author, 2) the character of the texts, and 3) a brief account of the publication process.
- The Blissful Path to the Ocean of Bodhichitta: A Brief Prayer of Aspiration for Mind Training by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
This prayer of aspiration for training the mind in bodhicitta by exchanging all the world's suffering for genuine happiness is based on Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye's longer text, The Gateway to the Ocean of Bodhicitta.
Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
- A Brief Ritual for Consecrating Representations of Enlightened Body, Speech and Mind by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
Answers to a series of questions on the distinction between ordinary mind (sem) and pure awareness (rigpa), the dissolution of dualistic perception, mindfulness in Dzogchen, the phases of dissolution at death, and how to practise Dzogchen meditation.
This short text from Jigme Tenpe Nyima's Dzogchen corpus explains the distinction between the ordinary mind (sem) and pure awareness (rigpa), as well as the ways in which the Great Perfection is superior to other approaches.
These verses of aspiration to take rebirth in Amitābha's pureland of Sukhāvatī are extracted from the author's longer compilation of practices called The Easy Route to the Supreme Realm (zhing mchog bgrod pa'i bde lam).
A series of aspirations to devote one's life to the Dharma—which, Dodrupchen Rinpoche says, is the only thing of any real value or meaning—to practice it with sincerity, and to accomplish it successfully.
A discussion of the term for main practice in Tibetan—dngos gzhi which translates literally as 'actual basis'. In response to a question, Jigme Tenpe Nyima clarifies the explanations of the four permutations of 'actual' and 'basis' from Longchenpa's Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle (theg mchog mdzod) and Jigme Lingpa's Yeshe Lama.
These verses in praise of Rogza Sönam Palge (rog bza' bsod nams dpal dge, 1800–1884) provide a rough sketch of the master's life, including his dates. In fact, this is the only known text that specifies the years of his birth and parinirvāṇa.
An explanation of the final words of the great Dzogchen master Orgyen Tendzin Norbu (1841–1900): "I am Guru Padmākara of Oḍḍiyāna, a buddha free from birth and death. Awakening mind is impartial and unbiased, beyond labels of the eight stages, the four pairs."
Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
- The Stairway to Great Bliss: A Method for Planting the Seed of Liberation in Animals by Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Özer
This text contains all the recitations required for the practice of tsethar, freeing animals or ransoming their lives; it includes the aspiration that they may be freed from sickness, harmful influences and fears, and ultimately attain perfect liberation and omniscience.
Dola Jigme Kalzang
- Elucidating the Hidden Meaning: A Commentary on the Meaning of the Four Mudrās by Dola Jigme Kalzang
In this short text Dola Jigme Kalzang explains the meaning of the four mudrās that provide a context for tantric practice: the karma mudrā, which is the basis of practice; the dharma mudrā, which is the object of practice; the samaya mudrā, which is the means of practice; and the mahāmudrā, which is the fruition of practice.
Dongak Chökyi Gyatso
Brief explanations of some of the most important terms used in the Great Perfection, including primordial purity (ka dag), spontaneous presence (lhun grub), rigpa, Thorough Cut (khregs chod) and Crossover (thod rgal).
The author makes a distinction between “instructions that apply more generally” and “teachings that are intended for specific individuals” in order to argue for a gradualist approach that culminates in Mahāmudrā or Dzogchen for all but those of the very sharpest faculties (who are able to proceed to the highest teachings directly).
Drikung Kyobpa Jikten Sumgön
This very short work in praise of Guru Padmasambhava—the Great Guru of Uḍḍiyāna—appears at the beginning of the first volume of the Drikung Yangre Gar (ʾbri gung yang re sgar) edition of Jikten Sumgön's collected works.
This short daily sādhana of Ucchuṣma (sme brtsegs) includes a simple visualization and mantra recitation. The practice is particularly associated with the purification of tantric commitments, or samaya.
- Brief Notes on the Visualization for the Concise Recitation of the Pure Vision Preliminary Practice by Dudjom Rinpoche
A simple practice of sur (gsur) offering to the four types of guest: those invited out of respect, those invited on account of their qualities, those invited out of compassion, and those to whom we owe karmic debts.
A daily practice of Dorje Gotrab (Vajra Armour) offering protection against sickness, infectious disease and obstacles, which Dudjom Rinpoche adapted from the terma Protective Wheel: Root Sādhana of the Extremely Wrathful Black Hayagriva.
- The Concentrated Essence: A Concise Practice of Healing and Purifying (Sojong) the Three Sets of Vows by Dudjom Rinpoche
Dudjom Rinpoche compiled this simple practice of Sojong (healing and purification) related to the three sets of vows—individual liberation (pratimokṣa), bodhisattva and mantra—for the benefit of beginners and those unable to extract the essential points from longer rituals.
- The Light of Primordial Wisdom: An Instruction Manual for the Primordially Pure Perfection Stage of the Powerful & Wrathful Dorje Drolö, Conqueror of Demons by Dudjom Rinpoche
This direct instruction on the perfection stage (rdzogs rim) practice for the Dorje Drolö form of Guru Padmasambhava includes the preparatory state of śamatha, and the main part, which is to generate the wisdom of vipaśyanā through view, meditation and action.
In this short text, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche explains some important points of conduct to be observed by the saṅgha of monastic practitioners and the saṅgha of vidyādhara yogins. It was written with a view to preserving aspects of tradition in danger of being lost forever.
Dzogchen Pema Rigdzin
This short prayer invokes the figures of the Dzogchen lineage from Buddha Samantabhadra onwards, including the peaceful and wrathful deities, calling upon them all to grant their inspiration and blessing, so that the practitioner might perfect the four visions and attain the rainbow body.
Dzong-ngön Pema Tukchok Dorje
A simple practice of the transference of consciousness (phowa; 'pho ba) for animals killed for the sake of their flesh or hide. The author says that the text was partly inspired by references in the biography of Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol.
Fifth Dalai Lama
Fourteenth Dalai Lama
- A Prayer to Kindle the Three Faiths, Addressed to the Seventeen Great Paṇḍitas of Glorious Nālandā by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
His Holiness himself identified seventeen of the most paṇḍitas associated with Nālandā Monastery (Nāgārjuna, Āryadeva, Buddhapālita, Bhāvaviveka, Candrakīrti, Śāntideva, Śāntarakṣita, Kamalaśīla, Asaṅga, Vasubandhu, Dignāga, Dharmakīrti, Ārya Vimuktisena, Haribhadra, Guṇaprabha, Śākyaprabha and Atiśa) and commissioned a thangka (scroll painting) depicting them. He then composed this prayer to accompany the image in 2001.
- A Yearning Song of Prayer to Invoke the Wisdom Mind of the Compassionate Teacher Padmasambhava by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
This prayer to Guru Padmasambhava, calling upon him to remember his pledge to come to the aid of Tibet and its people, was composed in 1980 at the request of the cabinet of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Composed at the Vajra Seat, Bodhgayā, in January 2005, this is an aspiration for the welfare of the Buddhist teachings and sentient beings in general and for the flourishing of Dharma in Tibet in particular.
- The Sage's Harmonious Song of Truth: A Prayer for the Flourishing of the Non-Sectarian Teachings of the Buddha by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
At the request of Trulshik Rinpoche (1924–2011) and others, His Holiness composed this prayer for the flourishing of the Buddhist teachings in 1999. It is a non-sectarian (ris med) aspiration extending to all the major and minor traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Lineage Prayer for the Single Mind Kīla Heart-Practice, Part of the 'Neck Pouch Dagger’ (Purba Gulkhukma) Cycle by Fourteenth Dalai Lama
This brief prayer of aspiration to accompany the offering of a butter lamp (mar me'i smon lam) is part of the feast offering (tshogs mchod) for the Accomplishing the Land of Great Bliss (bde chen zhing sgrub) cycle of practices based on the original Namchö (gnam chos) revelation of Tertön Mingyur Dorje (1645–1667).
A lineage prayer for the Accomplishing the Land of Great Bliss (bde chen zhing sgrub) cycle of practices based on the original Namchö (gnam chos) revelation of Tertön Mingyur Dorje (1645–1667) and compiled by Karma Chakme (1613–1678).
Gampopa Sonam Rinchen
- A Precious Garland for the Supreme Path of the Three Types of Individual: The Root of Dakpo's Four Dharmas by Gampopa Sonam Rinchen
This brief text in twelve stanzas summarizes the paths of the three levels of spiritual capacity—lesser, intermediate and great—from the Lamrim teachings and conveys the so-called Four Dharmas: 1) turning the mind to the Dharma, 2) Dharma progressing along the path, 3) the path clarifying confusion, and 4) confusion dawning as wisdom.
Gatön Ngawang Lekpa
This short light offering prayer (mar me'i smon lam) by Gatön Ngawang Lekpa, which is commonly recited in the Sakya tradition, encourages the practitioner to visualize a lamp that is as vast as the universe and that shines with the light of a billion suns, as the basis for infinite 'offering-clouds'.
- Praise of Kunga Yeshe, Great Being and Master of Extensive Scriptural Traditions by Gatön Ngawang Lekpa
In these five verses, Ngawang Lekpa praises the body, speech, mind, qualities and activity of Ga Rabjampa, the great scholar and founder of Tharlam Monastery. The author incorporates the syllables of the master's name, Kunga Yeshe (meaning total joy and wisdom), into every verse.
Geshe Chekhawa Yeshe Dorje
One of the most important and influential works of mind training composed in Tibet, this series of slogans was first composed—that is, written down—by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje (1101–1175) according to the tradition of Atiśa Dīpaṃkara (982–1055?). The seven points cover: 1) the preliminaries, 2) main practice, 3) transformation of adversity, 4) life-long application of the practice, 5) measures of progress, 6) commitments, and 7) precepts.
Geshe Langri Thangpa
Taken from a collection called Miscellaneous Sayings of the Saintly Masters of the Kadam Tradition (bka' gdams kyi skyes bu dam pa rnams kyi gsung bgros thor bu ba rnams) edited by the 11th/12th century teachers Chegom Sherab Dorje (lce sgom shes rab rdo rje) and Kharak Gomchung Wangchuk Lodrö (kha rag sgom chung dbang phyug blo gros).
Gompa Tsultrim Nyingpo
- A Brief Commentary on the Twelve Stanzas (Including the Divisions of the Stages of the Path for Individuals of the Three Capacities) by Gompa Tsultrim Nyingpo
Gönpo Tseten Rinpoche
Götsangpa Gönpo Dorje
This famous Kagyü prayer of taking refuge consists of four lines, each of which begins with the phrase, "All mother sentient beings as infinite as space..." (ma nam mkha' dang mnyam pa'i sems can thams cad...). This particular version of the prayer is from the oral tradition of Drogön Tsangpa Gyare (1161–1211) as recorded by Götsangpa (1189–1258).
Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
- Emptying the Hells from their Very Depths: The Sovereign Practice for the Confession of all Impairments and Breakages of Vows and all Negative Actions and Obscurations from the revelation of Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
This practice of confession and fulfilment, popularly known as Narak Kong Shak, was arranged by combining elements of Guru Chökyi Wangchuk’s revelation called Kagye Sangwa Yongdzok together with the Kagye Drakpo Rangjung Rangshar of the Northern Treasures.
Gyalse Shenpen Thaye
- The Gentle Rain of Benefit and Joy - An Explanation of the Practice of Sang Offering by Gyalse Shenpen Thaye
In this rare commentary on the Mountain Incense-Smoke Offering (ri bo bsangs mchod), Gyalse Shenpen Thaye explains the historical origins of the practice and then offers a word-by-word interpretation of Lhatsün Namkha Jigme's revelation.
Gyalse Tokme Zangpo
This is among the best known and most commonly taught commentaries on the popular mind training slogans. The author, famous for his Thirty Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas, writes in the style of the pith instructions, in plain and simple language.
This is a classic work on 'bringing difficult circumstances onto the path' (lam khyer), a subgenre of mind training. Tokme Zangpo reveals what it is like to live beyond hopes and fears, and how to face sickness, poverty and death (as well as good health, prosperity and long-life) with joy.
One of the most famous native Tibetan texts on mind training, this classic by Tokme Zangpo summarises the teachings of Śāntideva's Bodhicaryāvatāra and other sources, in order to present the path of the bodhisattva in just thirty-seven four-line verses.
A lineage prayer for Tsogyal's Whispered Transmission of Kīla (mtsho rgyal snyan brgyud phur pa), which was revealed by Gyarong Khandro, together with Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö and Khandro Tsering Chödrön, from the Zadü (gza' bdud) cave at Khyungdrak Dorjei Yangdzong in the water snake year (1953), and then transmitted by Jamyang Khyentse to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in the wood sheep year (1955).
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This commentary on the Ārya Mañjuśrī Tantra Garbha, which is said to encapsulate the famous Mañjuśrī Nāma Saṃgīti, appears anonymously in the Treasury of Precious Revelations (rin chen gter mdzod), but is thought to have been written by the editor of that collection, Jamgön Kongtrul.
- The Melodious Speech of Samantabhadra: A Prayer to the Glorious Master Jamgön Kongtrul Thaye by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
This prayer to Jamgön Kongtrul was composed by the master himself at the request of one of his disciples. It contains references to his life and the qualities he considers important, such as—to adopt the words of the text—the pure perception, with which he upheld all Buddha's teachings impartially.
Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- A Blossoming of the Intellect: In Praise of the Great Pioneer Thönmi Sambhoṭa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- A Brief Visualization and Recitation of the Great Mother Prajñāpāramitā by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This brief text, which includes ter marks, is of uncertain origin, but the editors of the latest edition of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's writings included it on the basis that it is possibly a revelation of his and note that he encouraged his students to recite it during a period of frequent earthquakes.
In this appeal to Hindu worshippers who practise animal sacrifice, Jamyang Khyentse explains the karmic consequences of taking life and questions how compassionate deities could ever sanction such a rite.
This short prayer, which is addressed directly to the sacred stūpa of Svayambhū (known to Tibetans as Pakpa Shingkun—“Noble All-Trees”) in Nepal, was composed at the site itself, and is part of a series of prayers addressed to the three major stūpas of the Kathmandu Valley.
Written for a disciple who was about to travel from Sikkim to Tibet, this brief song encapsulates the message of the intermediate and final turnings of the Wheel of Dharma and explains how to practise the indivisibility of emptiness and compassion.
- A Song of Perfect Joy: In Praise of the Sacred Sites of Rājgṛha, Vulture Peak and Nālandā by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Verses in praise of three sacred sites: Rājgṛha (rgyal po'i khab), the ancient capital of Magadha; Vulture Peak (bya rgod spungs ri), where Buddha taught the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras; and Nālandā (nālendra), site of the famous monastic university.
A simple song of advice addressed to yogins and yoginīs in acrostic form, meaning that each line begins with the successive letters of the Tibetan alphabet—an effect that is (inadequately) reproduced in the translation.
- All-Pervading Auspiciousness: An Aspiration for the Spread of the Teachings of the Eight Great Chariots of the Practice Lineage by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
An aspiration for the spread of the teachings of the so-called Eight Great Chariots of the Practice Lineage (sgrub brgyud shing rta chen po brgyad): Nyingma, Kadam, Sakya, Marpa Kagyü, Shangpa Kagyü, Kālacakra, Pacification and Severance, and Approach and Accomplishment of the Three Vajras.
- Aspiration Written on the Occasion of Princess Sangdé’s Passing in Sikkim by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this prayer following the untimely passing of Princess Sangay Deki in Sikkim in 1957. The prayer is for the enlightenment of all with whom he was connected, even those who merely heard his name, but especially his devoted followers and disciples.
A short prayer for the spread of the tradition of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, Jamgön Kongtrul and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and for the flourishing of the teachings at Tenchok Gyurme Ling (rten mchog 'gyur med gling), the seat of Chokgyur Lingpa, better known as Neten Monastery.
- Aspiration to Be Reborn at the Vajra Seat (Bodhgayā), Akaniṣṭha on Earth by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
In this prayer, composed at Bodhgayā, Jamyang Khyentse praises the features of the place Tibetans call the Vajra Seat (rdo je gdan), by comparing it to a celestial realm, and aspires to be reborn there in future.
- Auspicious Dance of Longevity: A Song for Touring the Sacred Sites of Nepal by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Benedictory Verses for A Brilliant Elucidation of Logical Reasoning by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Verses of aspiration written for the publication of A Brilliant Elucidation of Logical Reasoning (rigs lam rab gsal snang ba), Ju Mipham Namgyal Gyatso's annotation commentary (mchan 'grel) to Dignāga's Pramāṇasamuccaya.
- Benedictory Verses for The Clarifying Light: A Prophecy of the Future by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
These verses of aspiration are appended to the version of The Clarifying Light: A Prophecy of the Future (ma 'ongs lung bstan gsal byed sgron me) that appears in the 12-volume edition of Jamyang Khyentse's collected writings.
- Bestower of Supreme Blessings: Guru Yoga of the Great Incomparable Lord Atiśa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Blazing Splendour of Good Fortune: A Prayer for the Spread of the Teachings of the Katok Tradition by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Burgeoning Joy and Happiness: An Aspiration for the Welfare of the Great Hidden Land of Sikkim by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Written in 1957, the year that Jamyang Khyentse first arrived, this is a prayer for happiness in Sikkim and the fulfilment of the aspirations and prophecies of great masters of the past concerning the welfare of its people.
A short essay concerning the identity and significance of the warrior-deity Gesar, the subject of offering rites (gsol mchod) by prominent figures such as Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800–1866), Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and Mipham Namgyal Gyatso (1846–1912).
- Cutting through the Four Demons in Absolute Space: A Praise of Machik Labdrön by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
In this verse panegyric, Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö praises the great Machik Labdrön (ma gcig lab sgron, 1031–1129) and incorporates references to many key terms and concepts from the Chöd ('Cutting') practice for which she is renowned.
- Declaration of the Power of Truth: A Prayer to Overcome Invading Forces by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Composed on the very first day of the Tibetan year of the Water Dragon (26 February 1952), this short prayer invokes the power and truth of the Three Jewels and Three Roots, especially Dorje Drakpo Tsal, in order to overcome invading armies.
- Eliminator of Suffering: A Prayer to the Venerable and Exalted Tārā by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Fostering Recollection to Dispel the Torment of Deluded Perception: An Aspiration for the Bardos by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
An aspiration to recognise the true nature of each stage of the bardo experience, from the moment of death and accompanying stages of dissolution through to the bardo of becoming, and thereby attain awakening.
A simple instruction based on the so-called Four Dharmas of Gampopa: 1) turning the mind toward the Dharma, 2) making progress along the path, 3) clarifying confusion, and 4) allowing confusion to dawn as wisdom.
- Fully Blossomed Learning and Contemplation: A Praise of the Great Spiritual Friend Jamyang Gyaltsen by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Gathering Auspiciousness: A Prayer of Aspiration before the sacred Mahābodhi Temple and its Imagery, Magadha, Land of the Āryas by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A list of the kings of Derge (sde dge) and their ancestors from the semi-divine progenitor Gar Namtsa Druk onwards, including numbered generations beginning with Gar Tongtsen, a minister to Songtsen Gampo.
This guru sādhana (bla sgrub) focuses on the master logician Dharmakīrti, but the text also makes apparent reference to one of Jamyang Khyentse's main teachers, Khenpo Kunzang Palden (c.1862–1943), who is also known as Kunzang Chödrak, or Samantabhadra Dharmakīrti.
A short 'means of recitation' (bklag thabs), providing additional prayers and practices to be chanted before and after the root text of the Sūtra of Boundless Life and Wisdom (tshe dang ye shes dpag tu med pa’i mdo).
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö praises the great eleventh-century poet and yogi Milarepa, describing him as a ‘crown-jewel’ among the many siddhas, or accomplished adepts, to have appeared in the Land of Snows.
Although entitled a praise of Vārāṇasī, this short poetic work concerns Sarnath or Ṛṣipatana, located approximately 10 kilometres from that ancient city. It was in the deer park of Sarnath that Buddha Śākyamuni first taught, setting in motion the Wheel of Dharma.
Verses in praise of the sacred site of Yangleshö (yang le shod) near the village of Pharping to the south of the Kathmandu Valley, where it is said that Guru Padmasambhava attained the level of a Mahāmudrā vidyādhara.
In this verse text, probably composed in 1958, Jamyang Khyentse playfully marvels at modernity and expresses a sense of wonder upon encountering the vast Indian city of Kolkata and all its unfamiliar attractions for the first time. The real highlight of the city as he sees it, however, is the chance to view the Buddha's relics, which were housed at the Indian Museum.
A practice for developing wisdom; it is focused on Guru Loden Chokse (blo ldan mchog sred), a form of Guru Padmasambhava, and incorporates two other deities associated with wisdom, the goddess Sarasvatī and the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī.
- Intensely Brilliant Wisdom: In Praise of the Great Elder Smṛtijñāna by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Composed in 1949, this song of lament is addressed to Jamyang Khyentse's principal guru, Jamyang Loter Wangpo (1847–1914). The song expresses the author's grief and sadness at his own misfortune for having failed to encounter his master in visions or dreams.
- Lightning Bands of Compassion: A Song of Lament for Khenchen Kunzang Palden Tupten Chökyi Drakpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- Notes on Chögyal Puntsok Rigdzin and Lhatsün Namkha Jigme’s Incarnations by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Brief surveys, taken from Jamyang Khyentse's personal notebook, of the life of Ngadak Sempa Chenpo Chögyal Puntsok Rigdzin (1592–1656) and the lives of the incarnations of Lhatsün Namkha Jigme (1597–1650)
These notes on the Seven Points of Mind Training appear to derive from the celebrated commentary of Sé Chilbu Chökyi Gyaltsen (1121–1189). Unfortunately the notes do not cover the entire root text and their brevity is suggestive of lecture notes or an aide-memoire.
- Offering Clouds to Delight the Victorious Ones, Combining A Praise of Redreng with a Prayer of Aspiration by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Composed in 1955 when Jamyang Khyentse passed through the area, this is a short verse text in praise of Redreng/Reting, the famous monastery founded by Atiśa's foremost disciple, Dromtönpa Gyalwé Jungné, in 1056–1057.
- Opening the Door of Dharma: A Brief Discourse on the Essence of All Vehicles by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Among the best-known compositions of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, this short text in verse provides an introduction to the history and practice of Tibetan Buddhism and concludes with an appeal for nonsectarianism. It was written at the request of the Indian diplomat and author Apa Pant (1912–1992).
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this text in praise of Lhodrak Kharchu as he passed through the sacred place in 1956. The site is associated with Namkhai Nyingpo, who is said to have attained accomplishment here through the practice of Yangdak Heruka.
- Prayer of Aspiration to the Stūpa Commemorating the Bodily Sacrifice to the Tigress by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This short prayer to the sacred stūpa at Namo Buddha, which commemorates the Buddha's sacrifice—during one of his previous lives—of his own body to feed a hungry tigress and her cubs, is part of a series of prayers addressed to the three major stūpas of the Kathmandu Valley.
- Prayer on the Occasion of the Reading Transmission for the Omniscient King of Dharma's Thirteen-Volume Collected Writings by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This prayer to Jamyang Gyaltsen occurs twice in the latest version of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö's collected writings. The colophon to this second occurrence provides the circumstances of its composition: when Jamgyal gave the reading transmission for his new 13-volume edition of Gorampa Sonam Senge's writings at the Dragang retreat centre.
This prayer to the extraordinary Gyarong Khandro Dechen Wangmo, who was considered to be an emanation of Mandāravā, was written by Jamyang Khyentse at the request of Khandro Tsering Chödrön (1929–2011).
A prayer to Sé Pakchok Dorje, the mind emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and one of the six sons of Tokden Śākya Śrī (1853–1919), invoking his inspiration and blessings in order to perfect the path of Dzogchen.
- Prayer to the Supremely Learned Holders of the Glorious Sakya Teachings by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A prayer to six master scholars from the Sakya tradition: Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo (1382–1456), Dzongpa Kunga Namgyal (1432–1496), Yaktön Sangye Pal (1350–1414), Rongtön Sheja Kunrig (1367–1449), Gorampa Sonam Senge (1429–1489) and Śākya Chokden (1428–1507).
- Rain of Wisdom, Love and Spiritual Power: A Guru Yoga of the Three Mañjughoṣas of the Land of Snow by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A guru yoga focusing on the so-called Three Mañjuśrīs of Tibet, i.e., Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364), Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251) and Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (1357–1419). Here, Jamyang Khyentse further identifies Longchen Rabjam with the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi and Tsongkhapa with the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
A concise summary of the history of Sikkim with a special focus on its royal genealogy, possibly notes taken when reading the original 'Bras ljongs rgyal rabs by the ninth Chogyal Thutob Namgyal and Maharani Yeshe Dolma.
Written at the request of Lhasé Sogyal, the king of Yönru in Lithang, this short text covers the key points of Trekchö, from the foundational prerequisites to the unique Dzogchen preliminary of 'demolishing the house of the ordinary mind' and the main meditation practice of Dzogchen itself.
In these addenda to the standard lineage prayer for Longchen Nyingtik (klong chen snying thig), which is known as The Continuous Shower of Blessings, Jamyang Khyentse highlights two versions of the lineage received by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo: the full transmission from Khenpo Pema Vajra and the transmission of realization from Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu.
- Sweet Melody to Delight the Glorious Deity: In Praise of Śrī Kālīdevī by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Written in Kolkata, a city associated with Kālī, these verses of praise identify the goddess as having "a hundred names and thousand attributes" and as being one with Samantabhadrī, Prajñāpāramitā, Ekajaṭī and many other prominent female deities in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon.
This short sādhana of Red Tārā, who is associated with the activity of magnetizing, was composed at the request of Khandro Tsering Chödrön (1929–2011) and her sister Tsering Wangmo of the Lakar family.
- Swift Enlightened Activity: A Concise Ceremony of Offering and Prayer to Mahākāla and Consort by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This brief practice of Mahākāla and consort was composed in the presence of the sacred Mahākāla image at Sakya Monastery, most likely in 1956, at the request of three close disciples, including the young Sogyal Rinpoche.
- The Ambrosia of Blessings: A Prayer to the Vidyādhara of Unparalleled Kindness, Drodül Pawo Dorje by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Beautiful Garland of Uḍumbara Flowers: A Prayer to the Previous Incarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö himself composed this prayer to the 'garland' of his own previous incarnations (skye phreng gsol 'debs), from the Buddha Mañjuśrī down to his immediate predecessor, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892).
- The Bestowal of Supreme Blessings: Praise to the Vajradhara Loter Wangpo by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Blissful Path to Awakening: A Song on the Essence of Definitive Meaning by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Bright Lamp of Wisdom: A Guide to the Practice of Guru Yoga (Yeshe Saldrön) by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A short poetic text in praise of Śrāvastī (mnyan yod), where Buddha Śākyamuni spent many rainy seasons and where, it is said, he defeated rival teachers in a contest of miraculous ability. Jamyang Khyentse composed the work during a visit to the town in 1956.
- The Drum of Deathlessness: A Prayer for the Long Life of Minling Chung Rinpoche by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Excellent Bilva Tree of Auspiciousness: Praise and Prayer to Terchen Chokgyur Lingpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Excellent Path of Definitive Meaning: An Unmistaken Expression of the Definitive Mahāmudrā by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This aspiration, written during an unspecified snake year, incorporates the key elements of the Mind Training teachings, such as taking on others' suffering and giving away one's own happiness, and perfecting relative and absolute bodhicitta.
- The Flower of Auspiciousness: A Prayer for the Long Life of Khenpo Khyenrab Chökyi Özer, Masterful Expositor of Scripture and Reasoning by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
One of two texts in praise of Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (1357–1419) that Jamyang Khyentse composed, this one dates from early 1959 and follows what he describes as a delusory dream of filling a statue of the master.
- The Fulfilment of All Wishes: Prayer and Entrustment of Activity to the Glorious Guru Mahākāla Pañjaranātha by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Honey of Devotion: A Prayer to the Garland of Glorious Karmapa Incarnations by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Magical Wish-Fulfilling Tree: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Merry Sea of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Lord of Sages, Peerless Teacher of All, Including the Devas by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this guru yoga focusing on Buddha Śākyamuni (including his sambhogakāya form as Vajradhara and dharmakāya as Samantabhadra) in January 1958 at Rajgir (ancient Rājgṛha) following a visionary experience several days earlier at Bodhgayā.
- The Moon’s Illusory Reflection to Gladden the Devoted: A Prayer to the Successive Rebirths by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Music of Immortality: A Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse wrote these behavioural guidelines (bca' yig) for the Sakya monastery of Tupten Tashi Gepel Ling (thub bstan bkra shis dge 'phel gling), also known as Sagang (sa sgang), from his residence at Dzongsar during the Earth Tiger year (1938–1939).
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this verse autobiography at the request of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–1991). Its detailed lists of teachings received, practices accomplished and teachings given later formed the basis of the full biography that Dilgo Khyentse himself wrote.
- The Precious Jewelled Key: A Synopsis of the Aspiration of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Radiant Treasure of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Great Vajradhara Ngawang Samten Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Sage's Powerful Words of Truth: A Prayer for the Spread of the Omniscient Buddha's Teachings by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Written in Bodhgayā at a time when Tibet was facing great turmoil and an uncertain future, this is a non-sectarian prayer for the spread of the Buddhist teachings (bstan rgyas smon lam) in all their authentic forms.
Verses of general advice on how to practise the path, from the preliminary contemplations through to the more advanced practices of the generation and completion phases, written for an unnamed student.
- The Sweet Ambrosia of Immortality: Concise Instructions on the Generation and Completion Phases of the Single-Form Daily Practice of the Heart Essence of the Sublime Lady of Immortality by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö wrote these detailed instructions on how to practise the short 'single form' daily sādhana of Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik based on teachings he received from Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso, who, in turn, received them from Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, the revealer of the practice, himself.
- The Sweet Melody to Accomplish Words of Truth: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Dharma-Expounding Guide Khenchen Khyenrab Chökyi Özer by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Sweet Song of Māra's Defeat: A Prayer for the Long Life of the Great Tertön and Vidyādhara Lerab Lingpa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this hymn in praise of the goddess Sarasvatī while he was visiting Palpung Monastery in Eastern Tibet. The text includes her mantra, the recitation of which is said to bring increased intelligence.
- The Swift Fulfilment of Wishes: A Prayer for the Swift Return of the Supreme Tulku of the Fifth Drubwang Dzogchen Rinpoche by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Swift Fulfilment of Wishes: Prayer for the Swift Appearance of the Supreme Tulku of the Mañjughoṣa Guru by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Lament and Prayer to Invoke the Wisdom Mind of Khenchen Vāgindra on the Occasion of His Passing into the Great Peace of the Dharmadhātu by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: In Praise of the Mahāpaṇḍita Candragomin by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Tambura of Devotion: A Prayer for the Swift Appearance of the Supreme Tulku of the All-Seeing Conqueror and Cardinal Guardian of the Land of Snows by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Torch of Wisdom: A Method of Offering Butter Lamps Based on Ārya Mañjuśrī by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This method of offering butter lamps on a large scale in connection with the Highest Yoga tantra practices of Mañjuśrī is for use on major anniversaries related to the Buddha’s life and other special occasions.
- The Treasure of Wisdom Illumination: A Prayer to the Omniscient Sun of the Teachings Sonam Senge by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Treasury of Blessings: A Prayer to Recall the Sublime Masters who Showed Great Kindness to the Land of Snows by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A non-sectarian prayer invoking many of the greatest luminaries in Tibetan Buddhist history, from King Trisong Detsen and the twenty-five disciples of Guru Padmasambhava down to Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrul.
- The White Lotus Garland of Immortality: In Praise of the Supreme Vajra Place, Tso Pema (Lotus Lake) by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Tso Pema (mtsho padma) or 'Lotus Lake' in Rewalsar, Northern India is identified with a lake in the ancient kingdom of Zahor, which was created, it is said, when the king and his ministers attempted to burn Guru Padmasambhava and his consort Mandāravā alive. The master transformed his funeral pyre into a lake, where he appeared, unharmed and seated upon a lotus.
Jamyang Khyentse composed these verses in November 1925 upon learning of the passing of his teacher Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso (1880–1925). The text makes it clear that Katok Situ's death occurred in the ninth month of the Wood Ox year.
- Upon Hearing the Fluted Speech of Kunzang Dechen Tsomo, Queen Mother of Sikkim by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Inspired by the speech of Kunzang Dechen Tsomo (1906–1987), Queen Mother of Sikkim, these verses acknowledge the kindness of past dharma patrons and masters and appeal for nonsectarianism and the flourishing of the teachings.
- Virtuous Adornment for All the World: Verses to Bring Auspiciousness and Wellbeing by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Verses invoking the buddhas' Three Secrets (body, speech and mind), the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha), Three Roots (guru, yidam and ḍākinī), as well as Red Tārā, Vaiśravaṇa and White Tāra, the Sublime Lady of Immortality ('chi med 'phags ma), for the sake of auspiciousness.
- Wondrous Light of the Moon: A Prayer for the Swift Appearance of the Supreme Tulku of Vajradhara by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- A Brief Practice of Paying Homage and Making Offerings to the Sixteen Elders by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- A Few Remarks: An Explanation of the Praise to Noble Mañjuśrī known as Glorious Wisdom’s Excellent Qualities by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
A clear and concise commentary on the words of the most famous of praises to Mañjuśrī, Glorious Wisdom's Excellent Qualities (dPal ye shes yon tan bzang po), attributed to the Indian master Ācārya Vajrāyudha.
- A Profound Concentration of Nectar: Essentialized Stages of Visualization for the Preliminary Practices of the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse (Longchen Nyingtik) by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This guide to the stages of visualization for the Longchen Nyingtik preliminary practices (sngon 'gro) is, as Khyentse Wangpo himself puts it, "brief, clear and essential." Some of its instructions differ slightly from those given by Patrul Rinpoche, so that it represents a distinct commentarial tradition.
Jamyang Khyentse composed this prayer for perfecting the Seven Points of Mind Training (blo sbyong don bdun ma) when he was in the presence of the famous Atiśa statue at the Tārā Temple in Nyethang (snye thang). The section headings were added by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
- Illuminating the Excellent Path to Omniscience: Notes on the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This is a version of A Profound Concentration of Nectar, into which the root text of the Longchen Nyingtik preliminaries has been inserted. The text also includes several prayers that were not included in Jikmé Trinlé Özer’s original version.
- Nectar of the Heart—An Experiential Song of Parting from the Four Attachments by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This experiential song (nyams dbyangs) based on 'Parting from the Four Attachments' (zhen pa bzhi bral) was composed in the cave of Rangjung Dorje, where Mañjuśrī is said to have delivered the original teaching to the Sakya patriarch Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092–1158).
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this twelve-line prayer to Patrul Rinpoche during the festival of Chökhor Düchen in 1860. The text identifies Patrul as an emanation of Śāntideva and the early Dzogchen adept Aro Yeshe Jungne, and praises his qualities of renunciation, bodhicitta and wisdom.
This four-line prayer is sometimes used for the accumulation of maṇḍala offerings in the Longchen Nyingtik tradition. Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, for example, recommends accumulating this prayer seventy thousand times (following thirty thousand recitations of the three-kāya maṇḍala from the Longchen Nyingtik).
- Supplement to the Omniscient Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo’s Prayer to the Lineage of Parting from the Four Attachments by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Excellent Path to Enlightenment: A Brief Practice of the Preliminaries by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Heart of Wish-Fulfilling Jewels: A Brief Practice for Paying Homage and Making Offerings to the Buddha together with his retinue of Arhats by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Rain of Virtue and Goodness: A Short Practice for Consecrating Representations of Enlightened Body, Speech and Mind by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
This popular rite of consecration (rab gnas) includes the standard elements of bathing, drying, and dressing (for which it draws upon the Bodhicaryāvatāra), before inviting the wisdom deities, sealing them within the image, empowerment, opening of the eyes, transformation, offering and praise, and prayers to remain until the very ends of the aeon.
- The Seed of Reasoning: Notes on the Five Great Logical Arguments of the Middle Way by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
A brief text summarizing the five great logical arguments of the Madhyamaka, or Middle Way: 1) the investigation of the cause: the Diamond Splinters; 2) the investigation of the result: refuting existent or non-existent effects; 3) the investigation of both: refuting the four permutations of arising; 4) the investigation of essential identity: ‘neither one nor many’; and 5) the logical argument of Great Interdependence.
Jamyang Loter Wangpo
In this short annotation commentary, Loter Wangpo explains the nature and subdivisions of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and identifies the somewhat cryptic numerical references in Nāgārjuna's verses.
Loter Wangpo composed two stanzas and added them to the standard four-line prayer to Jamgön Kongtrul as soon as Kongtrul passed away (at the very end of the nineteenth century) in order to create this three-verse prayer for swift rebirth.
A short maṇḍala offering from the revelations of Jatsön Nyingpo. These lines are also recommended in Chatral Rinpoche's edition of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang's notes (zin bris) to the Longchen Nyingtik preliminaries.
Jetsün Mingyur Paldrön
Four sets of concealed instructions (gab byang) related to the practice of Rigdzin Düpa (Vidyādhara Assembly), on 1) the wisdom deity, 2) the mantra, 3) the palanquin (do li) samādhi, and 4) the results of the practice.
- A Prayer to Jowo Rinpoche combined with Aspirations and a Means to Receive the Four Empowerments by Jigme Lingpa
Jigme Lingpa wrote this prayer for a student who was accumulating prayers before the famous Jowo Rinpoche statue in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. It is not only a prayer to Śākyamuni Buddha, but also a means to receive the four empowerments: vase, secret, wisdom-knowledge, and the supreme empowerment of great rays of light.
This famous offering prayer composed by Jigme Lingpa includes lines related to every aspect of the gaṇacakra feast yet is short enough to be recited multiple times, such as when accumulating large numbers of feast offerings. In fact, some claim that the tradition of accumulating multiple feast offerings originated with this very prayer.
- Entering the City of Omniscience—An Aspiration Prayer for Actualizing Words of Truth—Ngödrup Gyatso—Ocean of Siddhis by Jigme Lingpa
This popular prayer by the vidyādhara Jigme Lingpa includes aspirations related to every stage of the path, from gaining a precious human rebirth and following a qualified teacher through to accomplishing the most advanced practices of Dzogpachenpo and, thereafter, working for others' benefit.
This practice of eight branches (prostration, taking refuge, offering real and imagined gifts, confession, rejoicing, generating bodhicitta, offering the body, and dedication of merit) derive from the Tantra System Vajrakīla (rgyud lugs phur pa), which is part of the Nyingma Kama collection, but appear in other texts, especially empowerment rites.
- The Inner Practice of the Vidyādhara Assembly (Rigdzin Düpa), from the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse by Jigme Lingpa
The inner guru practice Vidyādhara Assembly (Rigdzin Düpa) features Guru Padmasambhava and Mandāravā at the centre of the maṇḍala, surrounded by the eight vidyādharas, twenty-five disciples and other deities.
A practice of confession and offering as a means to purify vows and restore commitments related to every level of the path, from the śrāvaka vehicle through to Atiyoga or the Great Perfection. The text was first revealed by Jigme Lingpa in 1760 while he was staying at Samye Chimphu.
This revelation, part of the Longchen Nyingtik, describes the pure awareness, or rigpa, that is the "natural state" (gnas lugs) of the mind, and how all the qualities of the path and fruition are complete within it. The text is considered a definitive statement on the topic, eliminating all doubts and need for further clarification.
- A Discourse on the Confession of Harmful Deeds Spoken by Yama Dharmarāja to Karma Chakme by Karma Chakme
- Extensive Instructions on the Transference of Consciousness to the Land of Great Bliss by Karma Chakme
This famous commentary on the 'transference of consciousness' ('pho ba; Skt. saṃkrānti/utkrānti) describes the various forms of the practice in general and the specific details of the Namchö (gnam chos) transference in particular. It offers instructions on how to perform the transference both for oneself and others.
Lasel Chenmo, 'The Great Spirit Clearing', is a practice for offering sang (incense smoke) to the nāgas (serpent spirits). It is a terma composed by Padmasambhava and revealed by Karma Chakme. This edition also includes further practices written by Paṇchen Lobzang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570–1662), Tsasum Terdak Lingpa (1694–1738) and others.
This prayer to Buddha Amitābha, Mañjuśrī the 'Lion of Speech' (smra ba'i seng ge) and the goddess Sarasvatī was composed by Karma Chakmé for his own daily practice. It includes a series of aspirations related to wisdom and intelligence.
This extremely concise form of the Mahāmudrā preliminaries includes contemplations on the preciousness of human birth, impermanence, karma and the sufferings of saṃsāra, as well as the practices of taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, Vajrasattva visualization and recitation, maṇḍala offering and guru yoga.
One of the most famous sections of Liberation Upon Hearing in the Bardo (bar do thos grol)—the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead—this text offers instructions on each of the six intermediate states, or bardos: 1) the bardo of this life, 2) the bardo of dreams, 3) the bardo of samādhi meditation, 4) the bardo of dying, 5) the bardo of dharmatā, and 5) the bardo of becoming.
Katok Getse Gyurme Tenpa Gyaltsen
- Prayer of Aspiration for the Buddhist Teachings to Flourish in Taiwan by Katok Getse Gyurme Tenpa Gyaltsen
Katok Rigdzin Tsewang Norbu
Katok Situ Chökyi Gyatso
This short prayer of aspiration for rebirth in Buddha Amitābha's pure-land of Sukhāvatī incorporates the so-called 'seven branches' (saptāṅga; yan lag bdun) of paying homage, offering, confession, rejoicing, requesting the turning of the wheel of Dharma, exhortation to remain, and dedication of virtue.
Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
- A Yogi’s Song of Happiness: The Melody that Brings Universal Auspiciousness and Fulfilment by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
- Accomplishing All Activity: A Daily Practice of the Great and Glorious Dorje Drolö by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
- Bestowing the Splendour of All That is Desirable: Fire Offering for the 'Neck-Pouch Dagger’ (Purba Gulkhukma) Cycle by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
A reminder to the Kīla guardians of their past pledges and a request that they carry out activity on the practitioner's behalf. The text was composed in Yangleshö, Nepal, and transcribed by Khenpo Namdrol.
- Inlaid Jewels: Addenda to the 'Neck-Pouch Dagger’ (Purba Gulkhukma) Cycle by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
- Offering to the Dharma Guardians of the 'Neck-Pouch Dagger’ (Purba Gulkhukma) Cycle by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
- The Cintāmaṇi (Wish-Fulfilling Jewel) Instruction: A Sādhana of the Glorious Vajrasattva, a Method of Purification and Accomplishment for Both Self and Others by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
This short Vajrasattva sādhana, which incorporates the four powers as a means of purifying negative actions, obscurations and breakages of samaya, was composed spontaneously in April 1997. The translation also includes additional verses for refuge, bodhicitta, dedication and aspiration, as recited in Larung Gar.
- The Healing Medicine of Faith: A Prayer to the Lineage of the Peaceful Sādhana of Mañjuśrī by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
Composed spontaneously at the sacred mountain of Wu Tai Shan, this is one of the late Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok's most famous works. In 23 verses, which were written down in just 23 minutes, it encapsulates the entire Buddhist path from basic instructions on how to follow a spiritual teacher through to the advanced meditations of the generation and perfection phases and the pinnacle of all forms of practice, the Great Perfection.
- The Single Mind Kīla Practice, Part of the 'Neck-Pouch Dagger’ (Purba Gulkhukma) Cycle by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
This is the main text of the Purba Gulkhukma cycle of Vajrakīla practice, which Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok revealed at the Asura cave in Yangleshö, Nepal. It includes the empowerment, sādhana and gaṇacakra offering.
Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok sang this doha spontaneously in 1996 at a time when various outer, inner and secret obstacles had been overcome. It stresses the importance of meditating on Dzogchen, cultivating bodhicitta, maintaining ethical discipline, and having a positive basic character.
- The Spontaneous Sound of Uncontrived Song: A Lament Recalling the Great Guru of Oḍḍiyāna by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
- The Sun of Samantabhadra’s Realm: The Quintessence of Oceanic Prayers of Aspiration by Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
Composed in Bodhgayā, this is a bodhisattva's aspiration to emulate the buddhas of the past, such as Śākyamuni, serve the remaining buddhas of this fortunate age, and lead all beings to awakening. The prayer was recorded and transcribed by Khenpo Sodargye.
This devotional prayer to invoke the blessings of the guru is one of Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok's best known compositions. It was written in 1987 at Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan) at the request of an elderly disciple, Lama Rigdön.
Khenchen Ngawang Palzang
In this brief text, the celebrated Dzogchen scholar and adept Khenpo Ngawang Palzang summarizes the four main Indian Buddhist tenet systems traditions (according to Tibetan doxographers): 1) Vaibhāṣika, 2) Sautrāntika, 3) Cittamātra (Mind Only) and 4) Mādhyamika (Middle Way), which is further divided into Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika.
Khenmo Rigdzin Chödrön
Khenpo Pema Vajra
- A Brief Overview of the Three Turnings and the Mantra Piṭaka of the Vidyādharas by Khenpo Pema Vajra
In this short instruction in verse, Khenpo Pema Vajra explains the key points of the path in general and of the Great Perfection in particular. His practical advice includes what to do in the intermediate state, or bardo.
- The Life of Khenpo Pema Vajra by Wangchen Dargye
This brief biography of Khenpo Pema Vajra describes his early studies at Dzogchen Monastery and his path to becoming a teacher at its famous Śrī Siṃha college. It also details his later career at the nearby hermitage in Peme Thang, 'Lotus Plain', where he taught many of the most influential figures of nineteenth century Kham.
- Words from the Lineage Masters to Clarify Maitreyanātha's Vision: An Overview of the Perfection of Wisdom's Ornament of Realization by Khenpo Pema Vajra
Summarizing the entire text of the Abhisamayālaṃkāra, but with special focus on the first of the eight topics, omniscience, this concise overview serves as a useful introduction to Maitreyanātha's famous guide to the Prajñāpāramitā. Written in 1875 to mark the enthronement of the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche.
Khenpo Petse Rinpoche
The late Khenpo Petse Rinpoche wrote this brief autobiography in or around 1997, when he was in his mid-60s. It is primarily a list of what he received from his various teachers, presented with characteristic humility.
This brief account of the life of Böpa Tulku (1898/1900/1902–1959), who is renowned for his Prajñāpāramitā commentaries and his systematic presentations of Ju Mipham's philosophy, was written by his direct disciple, Khenpo Pema Tsewang Lhundrup.
Said to have been composed some time around 1909 or 1910, this poem expresses the author's appreciation for the Sakya teachings and is intended as an encouragement to fellow disciples (of Loter Wangpo) to pursue their study and practice.
Taken from his miscellaneous writings, Khenpo Shenpen Nangwa's text compares the great Dzogchen master Longchen Rabjam to the most celebrated Buddhist saints of India and praises him as the unique embodiment of all the qualities exhibited by Tibet's own learned and accomplished figures.
A prayer of aspiration to understand the nature of reality, just as it is explained in the Madhyamaka teachings, and then, having perfectly realized this view, to teach it to others, and in so doing, emulate great figures from the past like Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva.
Notes on the general preliminary points to be made before commenting upon any of the major Indian treatises, such as what is meant by “In the language of India...” and the four rubrics of subject matter, immediate purpose, connection and ultimate purpose.
This short text, which is untitled in the original Tibetan, briefly discusses the Five Treatises of Maitreya, the writings of Asaṅga, and the fact that the buddha nature, or sugatagarbha, is not empty of its own immaculate qualities.
A supplication to the great Sakya scholar and patriarch Kunga Gyaltsen (1182–1251) calling upon him to assist beings of the degenerate age, especially practitioners of the Dharma. Shenpen Nangwa composed the text while visiting the Sakya monastery of Lhundrup Teng in Derge, also known as Derge Gonchen.
Having identified the Abhisamayālaṃkāra as one of the five treatises of Maitreyanātha, Khenpo Shenga explains the features of each of the five texts in this collection, before focusing on the Ornament of Realization itself, which he discusses under five rubrics: its author, sources, category, theme, and purpose.
This introduction to the teaching of Candrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra explains how the text provides an introduction (avatāra) to the most important Middle Way treatise, namely the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nāgārjuna.
A brief explanation of the three noble principles (of arousing bodhicitta in the beginning, remaining without reference in the middle, and dedicating merit at the end), which are said to be the root of the Mahāyāna path.
Studied in Nyingma colleges, or shedra (bshad grwa), before the full study of the Abhisamayālaṃkāra, this text covers the following topics: various ways of identifying the founders of the Prajñāpāramitā commentarial tradition, the sūtras which the Abhisamayālaṃkāra explains, the 21 Indian commentaries on the Abhisamayālaṃkāra, and the most important commentarial works studied in the Nyingma tradition.
- Clouds of Offerings to Delight the Victorious Ones – An Aspiration Prayer for the Spread of the Teachings of the Lord of Siddhas, Dzogchen Rinpoche by Khenpo Tsöndrü
- The Words of Jigme Chökyi Wangpo: A Commentary Presenting the Subject Matter of the Great Treatise Abhisamayālaṃkāra by Khenpo Tsöndrü
This commentary, known as The Words of Jigme Chökyi Wangpo, briefly presents the each of the eight principal topics and seventy points of the Abhisamayālaṃkāra, following the explanation of Patrul Rinpoche (whose full name is Orgyen Jigme Chökyi Wangpo). It is thus a useful summary of, and guide to, both the root text and Patrul Rinpoche's own famous 'overview' (spyi don) commentary.
Khenpo Yönten Gönpo
In this short piece of advice, written in verse, Dzogchen Khenpo Yönten Gönpo explores samaya from the definitive or ultimate perspective, according to which all commitments are perfectly maintained by realizing the true nature of phenomena.
Khyenrab Chökyi Özer
Könchok Tenpe Drönme
A rite to summon the conditions for prosperity in a monastic college, including observance of discipline, generous patronage, and the coming together of qualified teachers and intelligent, respectful students.
- Words of Truth: An Aspiration for the Spread of the Noble Gendenpa Tradition by Könchok Tenpe Drönme
This is the commonly recited version of Bhikṣuṇī Lakṣmī’s famous praise of Avalokiteśvara, often known as the Po Praise. It includes several differences from the version preserved in the Tengyur, as noted in the text.
Lala Sonam Chödrup
In this brief guide to samaya (Tib. dam tshig), the author uses the example of receiving a Mañjuśrī empowerment to explain some of the most important commitments related to enlightened body, speech and mind.
- Prayer of Aspiration Incorporating the Eight Thoughts of Great Beings who follow the Way of the Mahāyāna by Lala Sonam Chödrup
Lhatsün Namkha Jigme
Through this brief rite of summoning prosperity (g.yang 'gugs), the practitioner summons everything from the attainment of the highest Dzogchen accomplishment to long-life, splendour, merit, progeny and the fulfilment of all desires.
Lobzang Chökyi Gyaltsen
A short practice to confess misdeeds and pledge never to repeat them. It incorporates the four powers (stobs bzhi) first introduced in the Caturdharmanirdeśa sūtra: 1) power of support, 2) antidotal power, 3) power of repentance, and 4) power of restraint.
Citing a passage from the Chronicle of Ba as a reference, Lochen briefly discusses the eighteen elements (or dhātu) and their relationship to the ten virtues and twelve links of dependent origination.
Lodi Gyari Rinpoche
Essential advice on every stage of the path from beginning to end. As Longchenpa puts it in the text itself: "Even if we were to meet in person, I would have no greater instruction to give you than this. So take it to heart, all the time, and in any situation."
In this profound instruction on the process of dying and the intermediate state, or bardo, the great Longchen Rabjam explains how to see death from a Dzogchen perspective and how to attain liberation either at the moment of death or thereafter in the bardos of dharmatā or becoming.
- From 'Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation': A Guide to Locations for Cultivating Samadhi by Longchen Rabjam
The first chapter of Longchenpa's Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation (samten ngalso), describing ideal environments and dwelling places for cultivating meditative concentration and insight throughout the year.
- The Pure Three Kāyas Ablaze in Perfect Splendour: A Prayer Based on the Meaning of the Great Perfection by Longchen Rabjam
This prayer invokes the blessings of all the three-kāya gurus, yidam deities, ḍākinīs and dharmapālas to inspire recognition of the ultimate nature of the Great Perfection (Dzogpachenpo), which Longchenpa describes in evocative detail.
Mayum Tsering Wangmo
The Lakar matriarch Pema Tsering Wangmo tells the fascinating story of her family, renowned for its patronage of monasteries and teachers throughout Tibet. She recalls the legend of how the family received its name from the great Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa, and speaks about the most significant figures from the last few generations, including her own sister, Khandro Tsering Chödrön.
Menlungpa Mikyö Dorje
One of the most famous four-line prayers to Guru Padmasambhava. It is attributed to Menlungpa Mikyö Dorje, who is also credited with a detailed commentary on the prayer. The final line is often adapted to turn the text into a tea-offering (ja mchod).
Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje
- Damchen Chitor: A Brief Practice of Torma Offering to the Oath Bound Guardians by Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje
- Liberation Upon Hearing: An Explanation of the Phenomena of the Intermediate State by Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje
This explanation of the bardos is composed so that it can be read aloud as part of a ritual to guide the deceased. The explanation begins with the meaning of bardo, or intermediate state, in general; it then goes on to describe the process of dying and the subsequent phases, the bardos of dharmatā and becoming, in detail.
One of the most popular prayers in the Nyingma tradition, The Secret Vajra Knot (rdo rje rgya mdud) includes aspects of the dedication of virtue (dge ba bsngo ba), as well as various aspirations related to the path in general and the path of the three yogas, i.e., Mahāyoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga, in particular.
Minyak Kunzang Sönam
Taken from The Excellent Vase that Grants the Qualities of the Bodhisattvas (rgyal sras yon tan bum bzang), the author's extensive commentary preserving his teacher Patrul Rinpoche's instructions, this overview discusses the structure of Śāntideva's classic text and how its major sections and chapters have been analyzed and explained by various commentators.
A summary of the fuller dhāraṇī which was spoken by Mañjuśrī and is included within the Compendium of Dhāraṇīs (gzungs bsdus), this is a practice for averting obstacles linked to particular moments in time.
Also known as the "instruction that points directly to the very essence of mind in the tradition of ‘the old realized ones’ (rtogs ldan rgan po)", this is a pithy guide to Dzogchen meditation written for 'village yogis' and other practitioners without a background in study. It includes three separate instructions, for: 1) cracking open the egg-shell of ignorance, 2) cutting the web of saṃsāric existence, and 3) remaining in space-like equalness.
Mipham Rinpoche gave this text in thirty-seven verses to the Third Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima as a sealed scroll while they were both at Dzongsar Monastery. Although the precise date is unclear, it seems likely that this was in or around 1886. The text is a mixture of personal, often cryptic advice and prophecy.
In this short text, Mipham Rinpoche succinctly explains what is meant by the self of the individual (pudgalātman; gang zag gi bdag) and the 'self' (or identity) of phenomena (dharmātman; chos kyi bdag), and he describes how to become certain as to the non-existence of them both. The author also highlights the importance of distinguishing between a more superficial, conceptual understanding and a genuine, non-conceptual realization of ultimate reality.
A poem of eight verses praising the bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha (Essence of the Earth), playing on the literal meaning of his name and evoking the earth's qualities as a nurturing support and foundation for growth and development.
- Freedom from All Adversity: A Sur Offering to Harmful Influences, Obstacle-Makers and Elemental Spirits by Mipham Rinpoche
This section of Gateway to Learning (mKhas 'jug) explains the so-called "Four Great Logical Arguments of the Middle Way" (dbu ma'i gtan tshigs chen po bzhi), which are: 1) investigation of the cause: the Diamond Splinters; 2) investigation of the result: refuting existent or non-existent results; 3) investigation of the essential identity: ‘neither one nor many’; and 4) investigation of all: the Great Interdependence. This translation also includes some comments from Khenpo Nüden's celebrated commentary.
Extracted from Gateway to Learning (mKhas 'jug), this section on the selflessness of the individual (gang zag gi bdag med) explains the absence of any permanent, unitary, independent and all-pervading self, either identical to or distinct from the five aggregates (pañcaskandhā; phung po lnga).
A set of common and uncommon preliminary practices, beginning with the four thoughts that turn the mind away from saṃsāra and continuing with taking refuge, generating bodhicitta, maṇḍala offering, Vajrasattva visualization and mantra recitation, and guru yoga.
This praise of Mañjuśrī for increasing the power of one's intelligence consists of fourteen four-line verses—fourteen, says Mipham, being the number of vital essences (dwangs ma) in beings and the world. The text was written in 1906.
This prayer recalling the accomplishments of Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, written by the master himself, was later supplemented by additional verses composed by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö at the behest of Khenpo Kunpal (1862–1943).
Composed in 1892 and appended to The Wheel of Analytical Meditation (dpyad sgom 'khor lo ma), this instruction continues that text's analysis, extending it to all phenomena. Its central message is that the nature of all things, i.e., appearance and emptiness, can only be fully understood through meditation.
Properly titled Wondrous Talk Brought About by Conversing with a Friend (Grogs dang gtam gleng ba'i rkyen las mtshar gtam), this playful text pokes fun at followers of the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyü and Gelug (or Gendenpa) schools, in order to highlight potential pitfalls associated with each tradition, while also pointing out the absurdity of sectarian prejudice in general.
- Self-Radiance of Indestructible Awareness and Emptiness: An Aspiration towards the Meaning of the Indivisible Ground, Path and Fruition of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī by Mipham Rinpoche
Written using the language of the Great Perfection, this prayer, which Mipham wrote in 1886, is an aspiration to realize the nature of mind — indestructible awareness and emptiness — and the true meaning of Mañjuśrī.
A short prayer incorporating the four causes of rebirth in Sukhāvatī, namely: 1) visualizing the pure realm, 2) accumulating merit and purifying obscurations, 3) generating bodhicitta, and 4) making prayers of aspiration and dedicating all sources of virtue towards rebirth in Sukhāvatī.
In this short text, Mipham Rinpoche attempts—by his own admission—to express the inexpressible. Aware of the challenge and the apparent contradiction, he nevertheless offers various descriptions of mind's ineffable essence "for the sake of those fortunate individuals who seek to penetrate the profound meaning of dharmatā."
In this, one of his most popular Dzogchen instructions, Mipham Rinpoche explains how to go beyond the initial stage of the recognition (ngo shes) of the face of rigpa, or pure awareness, to the subsequent stages of perfecting the strength (rtsal rdzogs) and gaining stability (brtan pa thob).
In these six pithy verses, composed in 1896, Mipham explains the relative strengths of each of the four main Tibetan Buddhist Schools—Nyingma (rnying ma), Kagyü (bka' brgyud), Gelug (dge lugs) and Sakya (sa skya)—and appeals to their followers to tolerate and respect one another.
This general prayer for the long life of the holders of the teachings was composed by Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche in 1888. It is part of the daily liturgy at the Nyingma Monlam Chenmo, or great prayer festival, held every year in Bodhgaya.
This short advice in verse explains the perfect equality (mnyam pa nyid) of the dharmadhātu (chos kyi dbyings), the space-like nature of phenomena, which, Mipham says, is a crucial point to understand in both sūtra and tantra. Mipham wrote this text in 1901.
Mipham wrote this longer practice for offering the flag of windhorse (rlung rta) in 1903. It includes optional verses addressed to Gesar, Hayagrīva, Gaṇapati (tshogs bdag), and Magyal Pomra (rma rgyal spom ra), the protector of the Amnye Machen mountain range.
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Great Embodiment of Unchanging Awareness Wisdom by Mipham Rinpoche
One of Mipham's best known works, this treatise in 104 verses was written in just a single day in 1885. It is structured around the four principles of reasoning (rigs pa bzhi)—of causal efficiency, dependence, nature and establishing a proof—and the four reliances (rton pa bzhi), i.e., Rely not on the individual but the Dharma; Rely not on the words but the meaning; Rely not on the provisional but the definitive meaning; Rely not on ordinary consciousness but wisdom.
This short verse-text sets out to clarify the term "self-awareness" (rang rig; svasaṃvedana), especially as it is used in Dzogchen, and challenges those who reject the notion. Mipham points out that self-awareness is something to be experienced firsthand, not debated or speculated about.
Composed in a single day in 1891, this celebrated verse text offers a practical guide to meditating analytically on the multiplicity, impermanence, suffering nature and selflessness of the aggregates, as an antidote to the mental afflictions (kleśa; nyon mongs).
This simple practice of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, includes a visualisation to accompany the recitation of the six-syllable mantra, oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ, or, optionally, the seven-syllable mantra, oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ hrīḥ.
In this short text, called Pratītyasamutpādahṛdaya in Sanskrit, Nāgārjuna explains the heart or 'essence' (hṛdaya) of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) in just seven stanzas. He shows how the twelve links of dependent origination can be further condensed into the three categories of afflictions (kleśa), karma and suffering, and how all phenomena, being interdependent, are empty of true existence.
Namkha Drimed Rinpoche
Ngawang Tenzin Norbu
- A Brief Commentary on the Refuge & Bodhichitta Prayer known as Sangyé Chö Tsok Ma by Ngawang Tenzin Norbu
- Prayer to the Successive Lives of the Great Trulshik 'Destroyer of Delusion' by Ngawang Tenzin Norbu
Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo
This supplication to the gurus of the lineage of transmission for Śāntideva's classic text down to Kunga Zangpo himself includes a request for the inspiration and blessings required to perfect the bodhisattva path.
A prayer to the lineage of masters who held the instructions for the famous four-line teaching from the Buddha and Mañjuśrī down to Ngorchen's own guru, Sharchen Yeshe Gyaltsen (shar chen ye shes rgyal mtshan, 1359–1406).
This famous prayer is taken from the author's text in praise of the Vasudhārā (Tib. Norgyünma) maṇḍala, dPal ldan lha mo nor rgyun ma'i dkyil 'khor gyi lha tshogs la bstod pa chos dang dpal 'byor rgyas byed.
Based on an earlier text by Paṇchen Lobzang Chökyi Gyaltsen (1570-1662), this is a short practice of confession that incorporates the four powers (stobs bzhi): 1) power of support, 2) antidotal power, 3) power of repentance, and 4) power of restraint.
Nyala Pema Dündul
In this brief song Nyala Pema Dündul advises his audience how to give up the eight ordinary concerns, or 'worldly dharmas' ('jig rten chos brgyad), i.e., hope for happiness and fear of suffering; hope for fame and fear of insignificance; hope for praise and fear of blame; hope for gain and fear of loss.
Taken from his collected songs (mgur 'bum) this spontaneous poem offers advice on the practice and its fruition, with Nyala Pema Dündul explaining that his view corresponds to Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, his meditation to Mahāmudrā, and his action to the Vinaya.
Nyala Pema Dündul composed this prayer to himself at the request of his disciples. It is a plea to receive his inspiration and blessings in order to follow in his footsteps and perfect the practice of Dzogpachenpo.
In this text from his collected songs Nyala Pema Dündul describes the visionary encounter with Avalokiteśvara which first made him aware of the suffering brought about by eating meat and which led to his becoming a vegetarian.
In this poem Nyala Pema Dündul praises the peace of isolated mountain hermitages and retreats, contrasting it not only with the hustle and bustle of towns and villages, but also with the everyday comings and goings of ordinary monasteries.
- The Sovereign of Confessions for all Impairments and Breakages, Extracted from the Rampant Elephant Tantra revealed by Nyala Pema Düdul
Although part of the Space-Pervading Self-Liberation (mkha' khyab rang grol) revelation, this confession is virtually identical to the popular Yeshe Kuchokma liturgy that is taken from the Immaculate Confession Tantra (Dri med bshags rgyud).
Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje
Definitions of the five wisdoms (ye shes lnga), i.e., the wisdom of dharmadhātu, mirror-like wisdom, wisdom of equality, wisdom of discernment and all-accomplishing wisdom, according to the oral tradition of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, aka Khenpo Ngakchung.
This brief prayer to Avalokiteśvara, combined with the famous mantra oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ, is a heartfelt request for blessings and inspiration, so that all obstacles to the path may be overcome and bodhisattva activity may be accomplished.
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche
A brief history of the sacred image of Tārā, the Wish-Fulfilling Wheel (yid bzhin 'khor lo), in Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s residence, known as ‘The Garden of Immortality’ ('chi med grub pa'i dga' tshal), in Dzongsar Monastery, Derge, East Tibet.
Tsewang Paljor was the nephew and private secretary and treasurer (chakdzö) of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, and the father of Dzogchen Rinpoche. This obituary first appeared in the Tibetan language newspaper Nyenchen Thanglha in 1999.
Palyul Choktrul Jampal Gyepe Dorje
Pari Lobzang Rabsal
- An Appeal for the Prosperity of Teaching and Studying the Five Major Scriptures by Pari Lobzang Rabsal
Adapted from Könchok Tenpe Drönme's "The Summoning Hook of Wish-Fulfilment: An Appeal for Prosperity", this is a rite to summon the conditions for teaching and studying the five major texts (bka' pod lnga) of Gelug scholasticism.
This survey of the five paths (lam lnga) and ten stages or bhūmis (sa bcu) explains the practices and qualities associated with each and every phase of the Mahāyāna path, from its initial point of entry through to its eventual culmination with the attainment of enlightenment.
Written for his close disciple, Alak Dongak Gyatso (1824–1902), this text of Patrul Rinpoche offers advice on the purpose and significance of solitude. Brief as it is, the work is of interest not only for its comments on retreat, but also for the clues it holds about Alak Dongak's life, especially as no complete biography has yet come to light and his writings have not survived.
This short work in verse offers advice on the natural self-liberation (rang grol) of thoughts and emotions, which Patrul Rinpoche repeatedly identifies as the key to the view, meditation and conduct of the Great Perfection.
Taking a famous four-line prayer as his basis, Patrul Rinpoche explains the practice of taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha, and arousing bodhicitta, in both its relative and ultimate forms.
One of Patrul Rinpoche's better known works, this pithy presentation of the two levels of truth is more than just a guide to what "relative" and "absolute" signify; it is also a practical instruction on how to apply such understanding in meditation.
This prayer of aspiration covers the entire Buddhist path, but places special emphasis on the cultivation of bodhicitta in its various forms. For to have bodhicitta, says Patrul Rinpoche, is to have "all that's needed to attain enlightenment."
Patrul Rnpoche's explanations in this brief guide to the Longchen Nyingtik preliminary practices mostly follow those given in his classic text, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung). Still, this condensed text offers useful reminders of the most important points of the practice, especially the details of the visualizations.
- Excellent Explanation from the Scriptural Tradition: A Brief Guide to the Stages of Meditating on the General Themes of the Ornament to the Prajñāpāramitā by Patrul Rinpoche
In this practical guide to meditating on the teachings of the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras, as outlined in Maitreya's Abhisamayālaṃkāra, Patrul discusses the attitude and training of a bodhisattva. He repeatedly emphasises the fact that enlightened activity for others' benefit—and not simply realization—is the ultimate goal.
This prayer to the masters of the lineage of explanation for Bodhicaryāvatāra, from Patrul Rinpoche back through the generations as far as Śāntideva, and before him to Buddha Śākyamuni and Mañjuśrī, is also an aspiration to take the central message of the text to heart.
- Preliminary Points to be Explained When Teaching the Buddha's Word or the Treatises by Patrul Rinpoche
This brief work on pedagogical theory outlines the qualities and approaches of three different types of teacher (a fully enlightened buddha, arhat and learned paṇḍita), before discussing the science of listening and explaining the purpose of titles.
- Self-Liberating Meditation: A Profound Method for Attaining Enlightenment according to the Ultimate Great Perfection by Patrul Rinpoche
Sometimes known by its first four syllables as Eko Eko (translated as "Have you heard? Have you heard?") and sometimes as Self-Liberated Wisdom-Mind, this is a comprehensive and popular instruction on Dzogchen meditation. Although the emphasis is on remaining natural and unaltered (machöpa), the text also offers advice on how to integrate and adapt to the various experiences and circumstances a practitioner might face. The style is direct, eloquent and moving.
Only recently discovered, this prayer of dedication by Patrul Rinpoche is to be recited when the construction of a temple is complete. It is not only an aspiration for the new temple to prosper and be of as much benefit as possible, but also a plea to the protective spirits to watch over the temple and guard its contents.
- The Brightly Shining Sun: A Step-by-Step Guide to Meditating on the Bodhicaryāvatāra by Patrul Rinpoche
Patrul Rinpoche was renowned for his mastery of, and fondness for, Śāntideva's classic guide to the way of the bodhisattvas, and this is his practical manual for applying its wisdom and meditating on its key themes.
- The Concentrated Seed: How to Distinguish the Tenets of Non-Buddhist and Buddhist Schools by Patrul Rinpoche
In this short guide to Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical tenets, Patrul Rinpoche begins by outlining the tīrthika views of eternalism and nihilism. He then summarizes the views of the śrāvaka schools of Vaibhāṣika and Sautrāntika, as well as the two kinds of pratyekabuddha, the various branches of Cittamātra, and the Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika strands of Mādhyamika. To conclude, he offers a brief overview of the various levels of secret mantra.
This brief guide to explaining Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje's famous aspiration prayer, known as 'The Secret Vajra Knot' (rdo rje rgya mdud), provides a topical outline of its contents, and, in so doing, reveals the vastness of its vision.
This compilation, which supplements the root text of the transference (phowa) practice from the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse (Longchen Nyingtik) with additional prayers, is extracted from Patrul Rinpoche's famous The Words of My Perfect Teacher (kun bzang bla ma'i zhal lung).
Pema Kunzang Rangdrol
- Annotation Commentary on the Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King by Pema Kunzang Rangdrol
Annotations to clarify the root verses of Patrul Rinpoche's popular text, The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King (mkhas pa śrī rgyal po'i khyad chos), which elaborates on the 'three statements that strike the vital point' (tshig gsum gnad brdegs) by Garab Dorje.
Rago Choktrul Tupten Shedrup Gyatso
- Vines of Amṛta: A Prayer to the Lineage of the Bodhicaryāvatāra by Rago Choktrul Tupten Shedrup Gyatso
- The Powerful Prayer of Aspiration from the Tantra of the Great Perfection that Reveals the All-Penetrating Wisdom Mind of Samantabhadra by Rigdzin Gödem
This famous prayer of aspiration of Buddha Samantabhadra (kun bzang smon lam), which is taken from the All-Penetrating Wisdom Mind (dgongs pa zang thal) revelation, is among the most popular texts of the Dzogchen tradition. Its recitation is especially recommended during solar and lunar eclipses, at the solstices and new year, as well as during earthquakes and other environmental anomalies.
Rongtön Sheja Künrig
- Clarifying the Essence: A Summary of the Instructions on the View of the Middle Way by Rongtön Sheja Künrig
A précis of Rongtön's larger text of instructions on the Middle Way entitled The Moon Rays of Crucial Points, which includes advice on the view, meditation and action that facilitate an understanding of Madhyamaka.
- Elucidating the Essence of the Instructions for Entering the Three Gateways to Liberation by Rongtön Sheja Künrig
In this short work, Rongtön clarifies the teachings on the samādhi (ting nge 'dzin) meditations related to the three gateways to liberation (rnam thar sgo gsum): emptiness, the absence of characteristics and the wishless.
- The Excellent Path of the Great Vehicle: How to Meditate on the Three Gateways to Liberation According to the Mahāyāna by Rongtön Sheja Künrig
A brief explanation of the "three gateways to liberation" (rnam thar sgo gsum) according to the Mahāyāna, i.e., emptiness (śūnyatā; stong pa nyid), absence of characteristics (mtshan ma med pa), and wishlessness (smon pa med pa).
- The Garland of Jewel Ornaments : The Stages of Meditating on the Bodhicaryāvatāra by Rongtön Sheja Künrig
- The Joyous Entrance to the Path to Liberation: How to Practise the Six Transcendent Perfections by Rongtön Sheja Künrig
- The Sun that Causes the Lotus of Intelligence to Bloom: In Praise of the Lineage of Gurus for the Noble Abhidharma by Rongtön Sheja Künrig
Sakya Paṇḍita Kunga Gyaltsen
Sakya Paṇḍita provides the outline of a very simple meditation on Amitābha for the moment of death, summarizing the preliminaries, main part, conclusion and benefits of the practice according to the oral tradition of his uncles and their father.
Following some lines of the Prayer of Good Actions (bzang spyod smon lam), Sakya Paṇḍita here offers a simple visualisation centred upon Buddha Amitābha, to be practised each day before falling asleep in order to secure rebirth in the Sukhāvatī pure-land.
- A Brief Practice for Paying Homage and Making Offerings to the Buddha together with his retinue of Arhats by Śākyaśrībhadra
The Viśuddhadarśanacaryopadeśa (lta spyod rnam dag gi man ngag) is a very brief work included in the Tengyur. In it Śākyaśrībhadra discusses the empty, illusory nature of reality and recommends meditation on 'emptiness with compassion as its core' (stong nyid snying rje'i snying po can).
Verses of taking refuge and generating bodhicitta followed by a brief ritual for taking the eight vows of sojong with the mahāyāna motivation of wishing to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
Lists of the seven branches (yan lag bdun; saptāṅga) vary. In this short text by the influential Kashmiri scholar Śākyaśrībhadra, the seven are: 1) prostration, 2) offering, 3) taking refuge, 4) confession, 5) rejoicing, 6) generating bodhicitta, and 7) making prayers of aspiration.
- Burgeoning Benefit and Happiness: An Aspiration to be Reborn in the Land of Turquoise Leaves revealed by Sera Khandro
- The Profound Bestowal of Blessings: A Sādhana of Dorje Drolö from the Reality Ḍākinīs' Secret Treasury (Chönyi Khandrö Sangdzö) revealed by Sera Khandro
This Dorje Drolö sādhana from Sera Khandro's Dharmatā Ḍākinis' Secret Treasury (chos nyid mkha' 'gro gsang mdzod) cycle includes visualization and mantra recitiation, as well as an additional activity rite.
This guru yoga, which Sera Khandro describes as a visionary experience put it into words, is a supplement to the Dharmatā Ḍākinīs' Secret Treasury (Chönyi Khandrö Sangdzö) cycle. It includes many of the standard elements of a preliminary practice (ngöndro) and is structured around the 'Four Dharmas of Gampopa', i.e., turning the mind towards the Dharma, making progress along the path, clarifying confusion, and allowing confusion to dawn as wisdom.
Seventh Dalai Lama
- Rain of Accomplishments: A Song that Incorporates the Four Mindfulnesses from an Instruction on the View of the Middle Way by Seventh Dalai Lama
This famous song summarizes four forms of mindfulness, which Mañjuśrī taught to Tsongkhapa: 1) mindfulness of the guru; 2) mindfulness of bodhicitta; 3) mindfulness of the body as a divine body; and 4) mindfulness of the view of emptiness.
Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol
In this short song the famous yogi Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol explains the essence of all practices, from the contemplations of the outer preliminaries to the practices of the inner preliminaries, and the main practices of the generation and perfection stages.
The great yogi Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol is, like Milarepa, famous for the songs of realization through which he communicated the teachings. In this song, inspired by the repeated appearance of some beggars at his door, he expresses his compassion for all beings—his very own mothers from previous lives—who are now suffering in saṃsāra's various realms.
This concise set of preliminary practices by Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol includes the outer preliminaries, as well as the inner preliminary practices of taking refuge, arousing bodhicitta, visualisation and recitation of Vajrasattva, maṇḍala offering, and guru yoga.
Shamar Chökyi Wangchuk
Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal
- Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Guru Yoga based on Jamgön Mipham Gyatso by Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal
Situ Paṇchen Chökyi Jungne
Tertön Mingyur Dorje
A short guru yoga in which the guru is the embodiment of all lineage masters, especially Samantabhadra, Guru Padmasambhava, Dorje Drolö, Düddul Lingpa, Dudjom Lingpa, Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima and Lerab Lingpa himself. The text remained for many years in the possession of Tulku Dorje Dradül (1891–1959), Dudjom Lingpa's youngest son, and was copied by Kyala Khenpo (1893–1957).
This inventory (thems yig) provides key details of the Razor of the Innermost Essence (yang snying spu gri), including a list of all texts in the cycle, and important information for the tertön concerning its revelation.
In this guru yoga, a mind terma of Tertön Sogyal, the lama is visualized in the form of Dorje Tötreng Tsal. The text was revealed in association with the Nechung Oracle and it remains a daily practice of Nechung Monastery to this day.
- Far-Reaching Benefit of Beings, Extensive as the Sky: Visualization and Mantra Recitation of the Great Compassionate One by Thangtong Gyalpo
One of the most popular Avalokiteśvara liturgies in Tibet, this practice of visualization and mantra recitation for the Great Compassionate One (mahākāruṇika) is attributed to the great adept Thangtong Gyalpo.
- Vajra Speech of the Prayer to Noble Avalokiteśvara from the Great Siddha Thangtong Gyalpo's Lifetime as Bhikṣu Padma Karpo recalled by Thangtong Gyalpo
Tra Gelong Tsultrim Dargye
In his final words, Tra Gelong Tsultrim Dargye invokes the Khecharī form of Vajrayoginī, together with her retinue, makes offerings before them, and prays to enter the ranks of the sky-faring ḍākas and ḍākinīs.
Composed in Lerab Ling, France in 2005 at the request of several translators, led by Tenzin Jamchen (Sean Price) and Chökyi Nyima (Richard Barron), this is a prayer of aspiration to be recited by modern-day lotsāwas.
Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa
One of the great Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa's most famous teachings, this short text highlights the importance of renunciation, the motivation of bodhicitta, and the wisdom that realises the nature of things.
A very simple practice of phowa ('pho ba), or transference of consciousness, in which the practitioner, appearing in the form of Avalokiteśvara, ejects his or her consciousness into the heart of Buddha Amitābha.
In this brief instruction, the celebrated Dzogchen master Tulku Tsullo explains how the nature of mind is the nature of everything and reveals the method for settling into an experience of that nature.
- Prayer for the Long Life of Tulku Thondup Rinpoche by Gyalse Möndrup Dorje
Yangchen Drubpe Dorje
- The Magical Wish-Fulfilling Tree: The Essence of Thönmi’s Masterpiece 'The Thirty Verses' by Yangchen Drubpe Dorje
A text that every Tibetan school child learns by heart, Yangchen Drubpe Dorje's Magical Wish-Fulfilling Tree (legs bshad ljon dbang) is based on the Thirty Verses of Thönmi Sambhota and covers the rules of Tibetan orthography.
- Prayer for the Flourishing of the Dzogchen Teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche, the incarnation of Lerab Lingpa by Yangthang Rinpoche
Composed in Lerab Ling in 2013, this is at once an aspiration to realize the natural state of the Great Perfection, a prayer that the teachings of Clear Light Dzogpachenpo may spread throughout the world and a supplication for the long life of Sogyal Rinpoche.
Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol
- Brief Explanation of Clarification and Transcendental Resolution from the Oral Tradition of Nyala Sogyal by Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol
This brief explanation of the important Dzogchen notions of clarification (shan 'byed) and transcendental resolution (la blza ba) was composed by Tertön Sogyal and recorded in the collected writings of Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol.
An explanation of The Vajra Verses on the Natural State, a revelation of Jigme Lingpa, which describes the pure awareness that is the natural state of the mind and how all the qualities of the path and fruition are complete within it.
- How Liberation and Delusion Develop out of the Clear Light of the Ground, etc. by Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol
In these brief notes, Chöying Rangdrol explains what is meant by the 'youthful vase body', and outlines how liberation occurs in the intermediate state (bardo), and how delusion develops should we fail to recognise the nature of bardo appearances.
- Notes from the Oral Tradition on Ālaya, Ālaya Consciousness, etc. by Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol
These notes discuss the ālaya, or 'ground of all', as well as the ālaya-consciousness (ālaya-vijñāna) and other forms of consciousness from a practical, experiential perspective, rather than a scholastic or theoretical point of view. They drew upon the sayings and explanations of such masters as Adzom Drukpa, Tertön Sogyal and Dudjom Lingpa.
- The Final Testament of Yukhok Chatralwa as Transmitted to Lama Rigdzin Nyima by Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol