May bodhicitta, precious and sublime, arise where it has not yet come to be. Where it has arisen may it never fail, but grow and flourish more and more.
Unbroken lineages of wisdom traditions are rare in these times, and Kongtrul Rinpoche descends from a pure lineage of the Dzogpa Chenpo Longchen Nyingtik tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
We have two main study and practice centers in America: Phuntsok Choling in Colorado and Pema Osel in Vermont. Rinpoche teaches the core MSB programs at these two centers. In addition, MSB has several city centers or groups around the world where people gather for group meditation and study, and to listen to the LINK teachings together.
Browse to any of the calendars to find out more about the teaching schedules of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Norbu, or Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel. View the upcoming events at Phuntsok Choling, Pema Osel, or find out who is giving the next LINK talk.
MSB is a part of the Longchen Nyingtik and Khyen-Kong-Chok-Sum lineages. (Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, and Terton Chokgyur Lingpa, collectively known as Khyen-Kong-Chok-Sum, were the heart of the Rimé, or nonsectarian, movement, which did so much to preserve and harmonize all schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the nineteenth century.)
Speaker: Bob Reid. Bob summarizes two talks given by Rinpoche at this year’s Shedra. In these talks, Rinpoche discusses the topic of habitual obscurations, one of the four obscurations that hinders the progress of practitioners. Rinpoche tells us that the biggest habitual obscuration we face as practitioners is American culture conditioning. Bob sheds light on these talks with clear and concise examples, elaborating on the eight worldly dharmas, and providing a summary of the Rinpoche’s teaching on four principles of Kadampa. With his humble sense of humor, insight and wisdom, Bob encourages us to review these precious teachings for ourselves in order to develop our own understanding of how habitual obscurations manifest in our personal lives, and how we can begin to overcome them.
Speaker: Kelly Smith. This is Kelly’s third talk on the history of Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, MSB’s long-term retreat center. Kelly tells the origin story of long-term retreats commencing in 1995, when Rinpoche began imparting the Longchen Nyingtik lineage and its rituals to a handful of students. In 1997, Rinpoche’s sister continued to demonstrate how ritual practices were conducted in the monastic tradition. Kelly shares what it was like to be among the first students to go into long-term retreat, including challenges with the physical environment, extended work periods, managing expectations and navigating uncertainty. These proved seminal in facing her ego attachment and self-clinging. In retrospect, she recognizes how these pioneering days were also filled with wonderment and joy, having shaped current retreat practices including work periods, being of service to others and seamlessly re-entering the quotidian world after retreat.
Speaker: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. This Personal LINK was originally given by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche on January 29, 2006 at Samten Ling in Crestone, Colorado. Rinpoche talks about how devotion is the fuel to excel on the Vajrayana path.
Speaker: Suzy Greanias. Suzy gives us an explanation of how four immeasurables practice is a meaningful framework to cope with current world affairs. She walks us through a heartfelt journey of her thoughts using tonglen, the concept of impermanence, and equanimity in a practice of compassion. Suzy demonstrates the relevance of the practice for navigating the challenges of everyday life.
Speaker: Pontus Strömdahl. Pontus shares his story of how he was led to the Dharma, to the Sangha of Mangala Shri Bhuti and to his teacher, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Books and study groups were not enough; his search took him to Nepal, India and the U.S. where he encountered many enlightened teachers. His longing to make his life more meaningful and to devote himself to the Dharma is a wonderful reminder for anyone who wishes to step onto the path, but one must first find an authentic teacher.
Speaker: Samuel Gates. Sam shared his experiences where he allowed serendipity to guide him on the spiritual path. Attending this year’s Nyingma Summer Seminar, being with Sangha and offering his service restored something in him. Being seen and heard by others on the same path inspired him to prioritize his spiritual practice more often. He acknowledged how the power of coming together with like-minded people provides motivation and inspiration for practice. Growing up in a Christian family, Sam heard his mother use the words “God Winks” to describe a sense of being called, which he experienced as serendipitous events that have guided him. Sam embodies these many experiences with a sense of adventure and gratitude, and shared that as he opens to them, over time, more and more is revealed.
Speaker: Scott Gallagher. Reflecting on the 2023 Nyingma Summer Seminar, Scott was particularly struck by Rinpoche’s encouraging students to approach practice with a state of ease. Scott differentiates the notion of ease from his habitual ways of relating to practice, characterized by a focus on challenges, dwelling on areas for improvement and fixating on whether or not he’s doing “it” right. He investigates ease in practice through an example of a friend who looks forward to curling up and enjoying a good book. What would it take to shift one’s practice from a problem-centered approach to one of such enjoyment and immersion? Scott presents various ways to let go of habitual, discursive thinking and direct our minds towards a more relaxed approach to practice: We can confidently rely on the lineage and deities as our supports. We are not in this alone. We can remind ourselves of the precious opportunity we have to become liberated. We can make genuine, heartfelt aspirations to benefit all beings, which allows our practice to flow with ease.
Speaker: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. This previously recorded LINK talk was given by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche on March 29, 2015 at Phuntsok Choling in Ward, CO. Rinpoche illustrates the necessity of self-awareness to cleanse one’s mind and reduce suffering. With practice, we develop the wisdom and skillful means to free ourselves from ego’s drives.
Speaker: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. This previously recorded LINK talk was given by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche on March 29, 2015 at Phuntsok Choling in Ward, CO. Rinpoche illustrates the necessity of self-awareness to cleanse one’s mind and reduce suffering. With practice, we develop the wisdom and skillful means to free ourselves from ego’s drives. He describes the practice as our capacity to turn a “junk pot into a flower garden”.
Speaker: Markus Stobbs. Markus reflects on how the guru principle has acted as a guide on his ever-unfolding path both within the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Markus describes how the guru can accelerate our awakening through their teachings and their physical presence. He gives examples of the different aspects of the guru principle, weaving a thread through his journey starting with his first “guru” being his mother, many years as a student of Hinduism, to his current guru, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Markus’s devotion to the guru shines bright throughout the talk.