Wake Up Call: Relationship with the Teacher

passage from article: Pawo Tsulak Trengwa, a Kagyu teacher who was the principal scholar of his time, wrote an extensive commentary on this topic, which I studied when I was in retreat. He excoriates the view that the first root downfall means absolute obedience to the guru. He is very explicit: you have to do everything your lama tells you only as it pertains to your spiritual practice. He says that the first root downfall doesn’t apply to how you live and function in the world.

Translation - text

The Vajra Song Recognizing Mind as the Guru

passage from text:
Because of your great compassion,
Every being is originally placed in full awakening.
Because of your powerful actions,
You engage and master everything in samsara and nirvana.

Translation - prayer

A Shower of Energy

passage from text:
In these ways, all experience, appearance, sound, or thought,
Are signs that point me to know directly the nature of being.
They are solely expressions of my magnificent teacher.
In recollecting your great kindness, I pray to you.
Give me the energy to know directly the nature of all experience.

Translation - prayer

A Prayer Song to Mother Labkyi Drönma

passage from text:
Whatever appearances of happiness and suffering arise,
Look at their essence and they will spontaneously subside.
This is the mahamudra of making all tastes equal.

Translation - prayer

All the Matter in the World

passage from text:
All the matter of the world,living and not living,
Appear as objects to my eyes.
Let me rest in the appearance of things,without seeing them as things.

Translation - prayer

The Ship Which Sets Beings Free

passage from text:
By understanding the effects of good and bad actions,whatever their importance,
May I be able to keep to the workings of seed and result.
By seeing clearly the suffering in the three realms of samsara,
May I develop the renunciation to leave samsara’s domain.

Translation - prayer

Devotion Pierces My Heart

passage from text:
Even with a free and well-favored birth, I waste this life.
The meaningless activities of conventional life constantly distract me.
When I work at freedom, which is truly important, laziness carries me away.
Because I am turning away from a land of jewels with my hands empty,
Guru, think of me: look upon me quickly with compassion.
Give me energy to make my life worthwhile.

Translation - prayer

Guru Yoga Prayer

In response to many students’ requests for a clear and simple translation of this classical and deeply revered prayer, Ken McLeod in Los Angeles put these words together as best he could.

Translation - prayer

Mountain Offering Ritual

passage from text:
May we acquire all the abilities of the ground, path, and fruition.
And clear away all disruptions in outlook, practice, and behavior.
In the infinite expanse of the wonderful mind of Ever-present Good,
May we take hold of eternal being in the youthful vase body.

Podcast with transcript

Pointing Out Instructions 3

Shamatha and cultivating a basis of attention; infallibility; the end of suffering as a process, not an end state; resting in whatever arises; guru yoga.


Buddhahood Without Meditation 3

Participants’ accounts on using tools described in previous sessions; discussion on guru yoga, negative emotions, and faith; instruction and questions on sky gazing; instruction, discussion, and experiences on using the breath and questions to learn how to rest in the view.


Mahamudra (retreat) 4

Building capacity, Shamatha meditation, Energy transformation practices, The practice of devotion: guru yoga

Podcast with transcript

Guru, Deity, Protector 7

Description of protectors and commentary on related text, importance of moderation in protector practices, connection between the three roots (guru, deity, and protector) and the three marks of existence (suffering, non-self, impermanence), questions on above

Podcast with transcript

Guru, Deity, Protector 3

Questions regarding faith and compassion, balance in a guru-student relationship, the three types of faith and the three doors of freedom, questions from participants regarding this practice

Podcast with transcript

Guru, Deity, Protector 2b

Devotion reveals student’s internal material, difference between faith and belief, three types of faith and how they transform the three poisons, commentary on guru yoga and related prayer (text available on the website), questions from participants

Podcast with transcript

Guru, Deity, Protector 2a

Comments on the teacher-student relationship, the responsibilities of the teacher and student, methods that teachers use to reveal presence, provide instruction, and point out student’s internal material