Healing Medicine Buddha, Oddiyana Medicine Guru, Achi Queen of Medicine, & Yuthog Nyingthig Visions

In a world that can use all types of healing, there are special meditation practices that allow us to focus our minds to do just that. Modern medicine is extremely important, lifesaving, and absolutely needed in this world today. Medical workers and researchers have and continue to do incredible things to save and improve the lives of beings all across the planet, embodying the spirit of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas with their compassionate wishes to help others. That being said, in addition to modern medicine, there are supplementary pathways available to us when we seek healing in our bodies and … Read more

Yangzab Lamas: Ontul Rinpoche and Gyalpo Rinpoche

Two of my dear dharma teachers, mentors, and friends have passed on beyond this life, demonstrating the special instruction of impermanence. Both Lho Ontul Rinpoche passing away quite recently and Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche passing in recent years have left me realizing that there isn’t time to waste in this precious life of fleeting opportunity. One of the many common threads that I shared with both these Lamas was helping to translate their empowerments and teachings on the Yangzab treasure cycle revealed in the 16th century by Rinchen Phüntshog (1509-1557). Without going into too much detail yet, the Yangzab treasure represented … Read more

Garchen Rinpoche on Dzogchen

Out here in the blissfully desolate windswept mountains of the southwest, the night skies shine with the storm-like luminosity of the moon and stars. Makes me think of wearing my shades even deep into the night, as I strum guitar strings pondering the strange elusive beauty of the dance of darkness and light. Still, for me there is something that glows much much brighter. Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to study with Garchen Rinpoche, even feigning a bit of practice on the side. I’m quite endlessly grateful that he has not only indulged my … Read more

Longchenpa’s Secret Dakini Treasures

What is a dakini? In the context of the visionary tradition of Dzogchen meditation that flourished in Tibet, a dakini (khandro) is a being that travels (dro) through space (kha), a space traveler or more poetically a sky dancer perhaps. (Skywalker references, resist we will…….) Now, in the context of Dzogchen meditation teachings, dakinis generally refer to enlightened beings or their emanations, most often females. However, in many ways we are all dakinis, space travelers, skydancers. Physically, we might feel that we are not constantly moving. However, when we take a step back we find we are spinning with the … Read more

The Sounds of Reality: A Ah Sha Sa Ma Ha

Sound is powerful. The right combination of sounds in our ears brings us to tears of joy. The wrong combination of sounds can cause unimaginable pain. The ways we use sound can cause us to fall in love or descend into warfare and destruction. What is sound? Where does it come from? If we look deeply, there is not a single sound that we have ever heard that has ever appeared or been imagined outside of our minds in this life or in our memories and dreams. While in theory, there might of course be sounds outside of our minds. … Read more

Heart Bindu of the Dakinis, The Khandro Nyingthig

If you heard that there was a movie about a secret primordial Buddha, an infinite secret universe of enlightened space travelers, an immortal enlightened sorcerer born from a lotus flower, an enlightened Tibetan queen, a young princess resurrected from death, enlightened time-traveling treasure hunters, and a special message from the heart of the universe that granted the attainment of the indestructible rainbow body, you might mention that you hope it has a good director. Perhaps, you would make the wish that such a movie focuses deeply on character development and doesn’t get too carried away with computer graphics. Maybe you … Read more

They Might be Buddhas

One of Garchen Rinpoche’s favorite quotes is from a Milarepa song that goes in part: Ema If there were no sentient beings, From where would Buddhas come? Without causes, effects cannot happen. By the force of the truth of relative reality, There is cyclic existence and the state of peace. The Sage taught the existence of all possibilities. Appearances that materially exist And the reality of their non-existent emptiness Are of one taste, inseparable in essence. Views of self and others do not really exist. Everything is truly a vast union. The wise who have such realization See not consciousness, … Read more

Garchen Rinpoche on the Six Dharmas of Naropa

This is how it begins. For years I have wanted to share materials that I’ve translated from Tibetan into English with the world. I can think of no better way to start, than by sharing this very precious set of teachings on the Six Dharmas of Naropa that Garchen Rinpoche imparted to me a few years ago in Nepal near the Boudhanath Stupa. The teachings of the Six Dharmas of Naropa are very powerful in the sense that they instruct us to look at reality as being more than just this life. A few weeks ago, I spent some time traveling through Manhattan, gazing in awe at the massive monolithic towers representing at least some of the epitomes of worldly power and influence in this world. As I gazed upon the elegant architecture, the stone, the glass, and the aggressive steel that challenges the sky itself, I wondered what it would take to harness the power of such a city. As I listened to the music of endless movement, the wall-street backed percussion of productivity, the thunderous bass of struggle and gain, I thought again, as I often do these days, back to the words of my teacher Garchen Rinpoche. It is all a dream inside your mind.

From the other side of the world in Nepal, where even paved streets are rare outside the main cities, I hear reports of struggles, not to challenge the powers of the titans and gods, but to find basic food and shelter for each other and to figure out even the most modest of temporary political solutions for a country not only just recently suffering from a devastating earthquake, but from years of being one of the poorest countries in the world. And yet, there are still jewels that appear in my mind when I think of Nepal. Especially now, I encourage everyone to travel there to support the rebuilding process, whether working on a humanitarian project or even just going as a tourist or pilgrim, willing to give much needed support to the local businesses there.

I also might suggest, whether or not you physically travel anywhere, that you take a moment to travel with me to Nepal in your minds. We can do a little time travel, if you don’t mind, back a few years, back to when Garchen Rinpoche was near the Boudhanath stupa giving these instructions about setting your mind on fire within your body, meditating through sleep and dreams, and coming to understand that the strange illusory dance of earthquakes and skyscrapers seemingly going on all around us does not necessarily control our ultimate destinies. For me, the Six Dharmas of Naropa is a medicine, a healing balm. It is a cautioning reminder that the most carefully articulated discussions about the virtues of amassing wealth, power, and possessions in this life are complete nonsense, if in fact, we are living in a dream.

Instead, for me these teachings point out how we are all ultimately dreamers in this world, moving from one vision and experience in reality to another, sometimes in joy and sometimes with heavy hearts. If we are all dreamers, it only makes sense to craft the greatest of dreams together, to become artists and sculptors of our interwoven universes, to not only delight and take care of each other outwardly in this world, but to encourage and inspire each other to passionately set fire to the creative power of each others’ minds to awaken together into progressively deeper understandings of the secret magic in all reality.

Before you head off into Garchen Rinpoche’s mind, I would just like to point out that there are over forty other translations covering a wide range of outer, inner, and secret Buddhist topics in the translations section. There is a bookstore with a number of fine rare and previously untranslated offerings. Last, there is a way that you can make a donation, if you are so graciously inclined to support the work you find here. Anyways, please make yourself at home. I’ll be around to check on things from time to time and keep the website stocked with an endless feast of fresh and savory translations and ramblings.

Garchen Rinpoche on the Six Dharmas of Naropa