Study and Practice in MSB
“In the end, all teachings -- traditional or informal -- have one aim: to help reduce self-importance and make room for the truth.”
-- Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
The teachings of the Buddha emphasize that the mind is the source of all our happiness and suffering. Yet we habitually tend to look outward to achieve fulfillment, even though all pain and pleasure are felt within our mind. The Buddhist approach is to look directly at the mind itself, to get to know its strengths and weaknesses, and to apply skillful means to transform ourselves from within. The aim is to achieve a lasting fulfillment that does not depend solely on variable outer circumstances, and to lead lives that profoundly benefit both ourselves and others.
Mangala Shri Bhuti, under the guidance of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, offers a thorough, systematic education in the Buddhist teachings and practices. These teachings go right to the heart of Buddhism: developing compassion and wisdom. Building on the understanding that the minds of all sentient beings are alike in desiring happiness and freedom from suffering, we are encouraged to open our hearts and expand our small “self” to a universal self that encompasses all beings. At the same time, we are shown how to calm our minds so that we can self-reflect and ultimately gain insight into our mind’s true nature.The lineage of Mangala Shri Bhuti offers a vast array of teachings and practices, but in sum, all of them are means of softening the heart and awakening the mind. Everyone is welcome to take part in this education. There are several levels at which one can participate, depending on one’s interest and commitment.
MSB offers a wide range of publicly available study and practice materials. You can read, listen to, or watch teachings on this website; order books and audio and video materials by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche at the MSB Store; listen to the weekly LINK teaching, presented live on Sundays by Rinpoche and other MSB teachers and students; or read Crucial Point, the semiannual journal of MSB.
Public Programs and MSB Centers
Every year, Rinpoche gives several teachings at MSB’s two main centers, in Colorado and Vermont, and teaches throughout the United States and around the globe. In addition, Dungse Jampal Norbu, Rinpoche’s son and dharma heir, as well as Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, his most senior student, have annual teaching schedules. Phuntsok Choling, MSB’s center in Ward, Colorado, and Pema Osel, our center in Vershire, Vermont, also have an annual calendar of programs, group practices, and other events. Mangalam Dharma Groups, which are smaller concentrations of MSB students throughout the U.S. and around the world, get together regularly for group studies and practices. We also offer a public course in Modern Day Bodhisattva Training, led by senior students at the MSB centers and some of the Mangalam Dharma Groups.
Connecting to a Study and Practice Representative
To receive individual guidance from experienced MSB students, one may develop a relationship with a Study and Practice Representative (SPR). An SPR can give basic guidance in the foundational Buddhist practices, provide information about MSB and Rinpoche, and be available as a reference point as one moves forward along the path.
MSB Lineage Training
The MSB Lineage Training program provides systematic training for those who wish to embark on the path of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage under the guidance of Kongtrul Rinpoche. The program consists of nine study courses through which one progresses at one’s own pace with the help of an SPR.
Course 1: Self-Reflection and Shamatha Meditation
Course 2: Four Immeasurables and Shamatha Meditation
Course 3: Refuge Vow
Course 4: Bodhisattva Vow
Course 5: Mangala Shri Bhuti Lineage Ceremony
Course 6: Pre-Sessions
Course 7: Post-Sessions
Course 8: Ngondro
Course 9: Sadhana
The first four courses focus on the Hinayana and Mahayana, and do not involve any commitment to MSB or Kongtrul Rinpoche. Those who feel inspired to make the teachings of Kongtrul Rinpoche -- and the lineage that he holds -- a focal point of their lives, may take the fifth course and ask to become formal members of the MSB lineage through participating in the Lineage Ceremony.
As a Rimé (nonsectarian) teacher, Kongtrul Rinpoche upholds, and has the deepest reverence for, all three yanas (vehicles) and the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Within these, Rinpoche’s focus is on fulfilling the vast aspiration of the Mahayana by using the skillful means of the Vajrayana. The path on which he guides MSB students is the Longchen Nyingtik lineage of the Nyingma school. MSB’s mission is to benefit beings in the deepest way possible, by transforming our minds and leading us to realize our intrinsic enlightened nature. In this context, Rinpoche’s aim has been to help fully transplant the Buddhist teachings, and this lineage, in the West.
We warmly welcome you to take part in Mangala Shri Bhuti’s study and practice program. May this be of benefit to all sentient beings. If you have any questions, please contact our Khenchungs, Directors of Study and Practice.