Chamtrul Rinpoche returns to South Africa in 2017

Chamtrul Rinpoche Lobsang Gyatso’s dates to visit South Africa are 14th August-11th September 2017.  Rinpoche will teach in Johannesburg, Durban, the South Coast and Cape Town.  Schedule will be confirmed.

If you would like to be involved in helping with organising Rinpoche’s visit and perhaps have a special skill to share, this is an excellent source of merit.  Please email

“Of all the paramount sources of refuge or opportunities to accumulate merit there is none greater than the teacher.” (Words of my Perfect Teacher- Patrul Rinpoche)


Myriad humble thanks to Chamtrul Rinpoche for his visit to Pretoria and Johannesburg.  On Monday we completed the Retreat at Sediba Mountain Retreat  in Hartbeespoortdam and it was a great success and meaningful time of doing good introspection and dharma practice. OM MANI PADME HUNG!

Lam Rim Meditation Centre, Vrededorp, JHB


Rinpoche was well received in Durban and many enjoyed his precious teachings.

Rinpoche is on his way to Cape Town where the Retreat will start tomorrow followed by teachings from 25-30 September.

Contact Karen:  please call 084 760 4630 or E-mail: to attend teachings.


A Maitreya Prayer for Future Lives

Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey 
translated by Alexander Berzin, 1975

In the past, I have wandered down long, lonely paths,
But now, O my Guardian, by remembering you
At the time when the light of my life comes to set,
May the hook of your compassion catch hold of my mind.

When my mind travels on to my future rebirth,
May I sprout without hindrance from the heart of a lotus
In your presence, Maitreya, in Tushita Pure Land,
And may I be nourished on Mahayana’s ambrosia.

O Guardian Maitreya, when you are the spiritual mentor
Of wandering beings, beyond number, at the site of Bodh Gaya,
May I too become one of your foremost disciples
And be able to ripen all fortunate ones.

In short, whatever good deeds I have done throughout the three times
I dedicate as causes for being born in your presence, my Guardian, 
And by manifesting and teaching the Mahayana paths,
May I become a true refuge for all exhausted and miserable wandering beings.Image

Ocean of Merit


Chamtrul Rinpoche, Cape Point 2011


The Buddha said that when we dedicate merit, it is like adding a drop of water to the ocean. Just as a drop of water added to the ocean will not dry up but will exist as long as the ocean itself exists, so, too, if we dedicate the merit of any virtuous deed, it merges with the vast ocean of merit that endures until enlightenment.

— Padmasambhava, Guru Rinpoche


My Vital Advice


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My Vital Advice –  Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro
Homage to the unsurpassed savior, the Lord of Oddiyana.

Now that you’ve found this precious human life with freedom and richness,
Take care not to squander it unconsciously.
Push yourself to uncover the meaning of this life.

Your mind is the source of everything.
It is skilled in deception and manipulation, and beguiling when unexamined.
Once you look into it, it is without basis or root.
It comes from nowhere, stays nowhere and goes nowhere.
Everything, including samsara and nirvana,
Is but a reflection of pure and impure mind;
In reality, neither samsara nor nirvana exist.

The source of compassionate awareness
Is primordially empty. Though free from characteristics,
It is not just a barren nothingness
But is luminous and naturally present.
Pristine awareness is not captured by names and labels.
The endless unfolding of samsara and nirvana pours forth as its radiance.
At the same time, there is no rift between the place from where all these come and that which is coming;
Remain in that nondual place.

Unborn dharmakaya Rigpa
Arises naturally without cause or condition.
Alert, fresh and naked,
It is uncolored by dualistic mind
And unpolluted by intellectual ideas.
Stay in that spontaneously arisen meditation.
Even the words “to meditate” are but words;
In reality, there is no meditator and nothing to meditate on.
Without distraction, always maintain empty awareness,
The true face of dharmakaya.

The deluded karma of samsara will never run out.
The more you work to solve your problems, the greater they become.
Belief in enemies and friends grows and grows,
And the causes for incarnating in lower realms pile up.

Direct yourself toward the dharma,
And if you can bring dharma to every action, word and thought,
You will uncover the great awakening, the path to liberation.
When death falls upon you, you will regret nothing.
During this life and in those to come,
You will walk the path of ever-growing happiness.

Atop your head and in your heart,
Imagine as a single being
Your most kind guru and the great Lord of Oddiyana.
Feel an upwelling of unbearable longing and devotion.
Whatever joy or sorrow befalls you, whatever favor or misfortune,
Pray forever to the lord Guru.
Let your minds flow together, yours at one with his.
As death draws near, let go of all attachment and hatred.

Picture Guru Padmasambhava above your head;
Imagine your consciousness as an orb of light, marked with the syllable Hri;
Dissolve that into the heart of the guru.
If you practice regularly now
And recite “The Aspiration to Be Born in the Copper-Colored Mountain,”
At death, a clear visualization will be easy.

To put it briefly, the essence of dharma
Is to cut through clinging to samsara,
To cultivate love and compassion toward those in the six realms
And to completely tame one’s mind.
Without distraction, please always practice thus.
Even though I am immune to dharma, have no experience of meditation, and just use up the donations, I, Chokyi Lodro, wrote this according to what the past masters have taught, to fulfill the request of the yogini Pad Lu.

The Practitioner of Meditation


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by Longchen Rabjam

As an individual who takes up the practice, You must have faith, perseverance, renunciation and a sense of disenchantment.

You must be saddened and wearied by samsara, and strive for freedom. Renouncing the concerns of this life and seeking eventual enlightenment.

You must leave distractions and busyness far behind, and have few mental afflictions, Be easy-going and tolerant, and have pure perception and great devotion, As well as stability of mind[i] and deep respect towards the teachings— [Practitioners such as this will accomplish the most supreme liberation!][ii] You must serve, in the best possible way, a noble teacher, And purify your mind through study, reflection and meditation.

In particular, you should spend your days and nights Diligently applying yourself to the essential instructions of the aural lineage. Without becoming distracted for a moment by ordinary concerns.

Diligently apply yourself to the profound innermost meaning. Never transgressing the precepts of the shravakas, bodhisattvas and vidyadharas, With your own mind under control, help others in any way you can, And take whatever you experience onto the path to liberation.

As a beginner, it is most important that you secure your own well-being, Guarding your mind in solitude, abandoning distractions and busyness, Avoiding unfavourable situations, and subduing the mental afflictions with appropriate antidotes.

Ensuring that your view and conduct are in harmony, enthusiastically devote yourself to meditation. Whenever any of the ordinary five poisons arise, in that very moment, Catch them with mindfulness, and, without distraction, apply the antidotes. With conscientiousness, introspective vigilance, self-restraint and a sense of dignity, bring your own mind under control.

See the equality of praise and blame, approval and disapproval, good and bad reputation, For they are just like illusions or dreams and have no true existence. Learn to tolerate them as if they were mere echoes, And sever at its root the mind which clings to an ‘I’ or a self.

In short, by never transgressing the Dharma in all that you do, Bring your mind under control, do no harm to others, And without succumbing, even for an instant, to the mental afflictions.

Devote your days and nights to virtue—this is crucial! Nowadays, when people are so unruly, It is vital that you first achieve your own well-being in solitude. Just as a bird can not fly without both wings.

The welfare of others cannot be accomplished without the higher faculties of perception,

So diligently strive for your own wellbeing, whilst mentally considering the welfare of others.

Without letting your mind be deceived by the devious maras of distraction and busyness, It is vital that you apply yourself to the practice— Do not cause yourself to suffer regrets at the time of death! Therefore, make your mind ready now, And consider this: Were you to die now, what would become of you? Without any assurance as to where you’d go or what might happen, [iii] To spend your days and nights in the grips of confusion and distraction, Is to squander and make meaningless the freedoms and advantages.

Meditate therefore on the essential meaning, alone and in solitude. For it is now that a long-term strategy is really needed. How can you be sure where you will go in future? You must diligently apply yourself this very day! These delusory appearances of samsara are like treacherous pathways. Keep this in mind: You must find the methods to free yourself.

For if you remain deluded now, you’ll wander in delusion forever. So arouse perseverance and keep this in your heart. The ocean of mental afflictions and the sea of self-grasping are difficult to cross.

But now that you have the vessel of the freedoms and endowments, use it to reach the distant shore! Now that you have gained this rare opportunity through the force of your merit—access to the path of liberation and enlightenment— Secure your own benefit and happiness by striving with heartfelt sincerity!

Life is impermanent and changes from one moment to the next, And we expertly deceive ourselves with distractions, postponing virtuous practice. When we have long become accustomed to delusion,

In each moment we’re naturally drawn into the mental afflictions, And even if we apply ourselves to merit and virtue, We find they do not easily arise. Strive, therefore, to avert the miseries brought about by your own actions! [iv]

There is not the slightest joy to be found within the states of samsara. The sufferings of conditioned existence, if you think of them, are impossible to bear. Therefore apply yourself right now to the means of gaining freedom. If you do not earnestly devote yourself to the essential meaning,
The state of leisure and intermittent Dharma will bring no benefit.

So develop a strong sense of weariness for all that is impermanent, And, without being distracted even for an instant, generate enthusiasm for the practice!

If you realize this at the very outset, You will swiftly achieve the state of an Arya! Accomplishing your own welfare, the welfare of others will come naturally,
And you will find the supreme path of liberation from the states of samsara.

When everything that you do is in accordance with the Dharma, Then you are one who has the basis for attaining enlightenment.

This concludes the second section, being an explanation of the individual practitioner who cultivates samadhi, from Finding Comfort and Ease in the Meditation of the Great Perfection.

[i] As H.V. Guenther noted, the word bstan meaning teachings appears in the root text and also when the root text is given in the auto-commentary, but in commenting on this line, Longchenpa uses the wordbrtan meaning firm or stable. I have tried to incorporate both senses into the translation.

[ii] This line appears in the auto-commentary, The Pure Chariot (shing rta rnam dag), but not in the root text.

[iii] gtad so. The commentary spells this as brten so. I am taking it to mean assurance, reliability.

[iv] Root text has las kyi gdung shugs. Commentary has las kyi rlung shugs.

Ambrosia for the Mind


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by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

In commenting upon these seven points of mind training, a pith instruction of the precious Kadampas who upheld the teachings of the seven divine dharmas, in the tradition of Chekawa Yeshe Dorje, there are three main parts.Part One, Good in the Beginning, which is divided into two

1. The Title of the Prayer

“Ambrosia for the Mind, A Prayer of the Seven Points of Mind Training.”

2. Homage

I bow down before the spiritual guides of the supreme vehicle,

The source of all that is positive in samsara and nirvana.

May the precious masters grant their blessings

So that my mind is purified through the three kinds of faith.

Part Two, Good in the Middle: the Main Subject of the Text, which has seven subdivisions

1. The Preliminaries, the Basis for Practice

May the precious masters grant their blessings so that I may train thoroughly in the preliminaries,

Recognizing how hard it is to gain the freedoms and advantages and how easily they are lost,

So that I strive always to act in accordance with the laws of karma, adopting wholesome deeds and avoiding what is harmful,

And develop genuine renunciation for samsara.

2. The Main Part, Training in Bodhichitta

May the precious masters grant their blessings,

So that I may always cultivate the two aspects of bodhichitta,

Purifying my dualistic perceptions, which have no basis in reality, into all-pervading space,

And practising the profound exchange of my own happiness for others’ suffering.

3. Transforming Adversity into the Path to Awakening

May the precious masters grant their blessings,

So that whatever adversity and sufferings may arise

I see them as the wiles of this demon, ego-clinging,

And transform them into the path towards awakening.

4. Applying the Practice Throughout One’s Life

May the precious masters grant their blessings,

So that I may focus upon the essence of the practice throughout my life,

And always apply the five strengths of pure thought and pure deed,

Gathering merit, purifying obscurations and making prayers of aspiration.

5. The Measure of Mind Training

May the precious masters grant their blessings,

So that with joyful self-assurance and freedom of mind,

I may bring all adverse circumstances onto the path,

And everything may become a remedy to ego-clinging.

6. The Commitments of Mind Training

May the precious masters grant their blessings,

So that I may keep my promises without hypocrisy,

And always remain impartial, and free of ostentation,

Guarding the lojong commitments as I do my very life.

7. The Guidelines for Mind Training

In short, may the precious masters grant their blessings,

So that I may genuinely follow all the guidelines

For increasing the two aspects of bodhichitta,

And within this lifetime gain the realization of the supreme vehicle.

Part Three, Good in the End

1. Dedication

Through the merit of this heartfelt aspiration

To practise the seven points of mind training,

The heart-essence of the incomparable Jowo Atisha and his heirs,

May all beings attain the level of perfect awakening.

Atisha statue at Nyethang

2. The colophon

This one-pointed prayer was made before the precious statue of the glorious Atisha at Kyishö Nyethang by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, a carefree yogin who wanders throughout the land and is extremely devoted to the precious Kadampa tradition. May it be accomplished.

The section headings were added by Mangala (Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche).

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2007


Never Give Up


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Never give up No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country is spent Developing the mind instead of the heart. Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone
Be compassionate.
Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
Work for peace and I say again Never give up.
No matter what is happening, No matter what is going on around you,
Never give up.

By His Holiness Dalai Lama
Read more:

The Freedoms and Advantages


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Recognizing the Freedoms and Advantages

There are eight freedoms and ten advantages. Firstly, if you were born in the hell, preta or animal realms, you would suffer from intense heat and cold, from hunger and thirst, or from enslavement, and it would be impossible for you to practise the Dharma. If you were born amongst the long-living gods, it would also be impossible because you would not have any thought of practising the Dharma. The Buddha’s teachings are not found in uncivilized lands of the border regions, so living there is also an impossible state. Those with wrong views do not have any possibility of practising the Dharma because their minds are contaminated by false beliefs, and they are just like Devadatta or Lekpé Karma. If you were born in a world where a buddha had not come, or during a dark kalpa, it would be impossible because even the words “Three Jewels” would be unknown. If you were born incapable of understanding, it would be impossible to practise the Dharma because you would not be able to understand the meaning of the teachings. When you have a physical body that is free from these ‘eight states where there is no chance for Dharma practice’, it is known as possessing a support for Dharma practice complete with the eight freedoms.

Secondly, the ten advantages are divided into the five personal advantages and the five circumstantial advantages. With regard to the first of these, being born as a human being means that you have a proper physical support for practising the Dharma. Having all fivefaculties intact means you can study the teachings and contemplate them. In a central land means to be born in a place where the teachings are available. A lifestyle that is not harmful or wrong means that your body, speech and mind are in harmony with the Dharma. Having faith in Buddha’s teachings means recognizing that they provide a special path leading to freedom from samsara, and a state which surpasses the situation of the worldly gods. When you possess these five endowments, ‘the five personal advantages’ are said to be complete.

For the five advantages due to circumstances to be present, a buddhamust have come into the world, an event as rare as the appearance of an Udumbara flower; he must have taught the three wheels of Dharma; and the teachings must have survived without fading. There must be extraordinary friends who have embraced the teachings [i]; and a master or a spiritual friend must have accepted you. These five are known as ‘the five advantages due to circumstances’.

If you have every one of these eighteen freedoms and advantages then you have what is known as a “precious human life”, and you are in a position to practise the teachings that bring about permanent freedom from samsara. Nevertheless, if you succumb to negative influences and adopt an incorrect lifestyle and so on, then your human life will have gone to waste. As it is said:

Finding a human life with freedoms and advantages,

Is like finding a priceless jewel,

Just look how those without renunciation,

Waste this opportunity!


Used well, this body can be a ferry to liberation,

Used badly, it is an anchor in samsara.

[i] There are different ways of interpreting this one of the five circumstantial advantages. Words of My Perfect Teacher explains that it means we have entered the teachings.. Some commentaries, as is the case here, explain it as meaning that there are other people who have entered the teachings.