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: Sarah Thompson. Sarah describes how self-reflecting enables us to cultivate merit, self-confidence, appreciation, gratitude, and trust in our ability to progress on the path. Self-reflection allows us to recognize that our connection with the Dharma, the lineage, the Sangha, and Rinpoche could have arisen only through merit gained in this or previous lifetimes. Recognizing this merit builds confidence to work with the conditions that arise in life, which in turn enables us to continue to accumulate merit and to progress on the path.
Speaker: Dungse Jampal Norbu. Dungse-la explores the defects of cyclical samsara and how disillusionment is an important seed for our commitment to the path of transformation rather than just hoping for change. This requires moving beyond our comfort zone, like we do when on pilgrimage. Dungse-la shares his New Year’s resolutions.
Speaker: Vanessa Waxman. Vanessa reflects on the importance of putting the Dharma at the center of one’s life, applying its wisdom and skillful means throughout our everyday experiences. To fully commit to the Dharma, it is necessary to shift from fitting practice into our life to fitting our life into our practice. In addition to being aware of the truth, cause and cessation of suffering, we need to put the path to ending suffering into practice. Doing so requires perseverance, devotion and patience. It requires us to contemplate deeply the Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind toward the Dharma. And it requires us to practice vigilant introspection, being aware of our mind’s activities and applying the remedies that will pacify confusion and generate clarity and wisdom.
Speaker: Jim Kinkaid. Jim speaks about how writing poetry has enriched his connection to the Dharma. It is a vehicle to stay mindful, to contemplate, to express devotion, to enliven and strengthen his practice, and to share with the Sangha. Jim reads several of his poems and explains the sources of his inspiration to write.
Speaker: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Rinpoche gives a New Year’s Day talk with prayers for deep peace in the world during this time of war, conflicts, corruption, and refugee crises, including reflections on the spirit of the bodhisattva who lives to benefit all sentient beings.
Speaker: Stephanie Kindberg-Velasco. Stephanie expresses her appreciation for the Sangha as a community that provides opportunities to study, serve, and practice. The transformation practitioners seek depends on the cultivation of choshe, the sadness that comes from recognizing the suffering of samsara and that leads to renunciation. It depends on having faith in and devotion to the Three Jewels as the only remedy for the suffering of cyclic existence. It depends on the commitment to put the Dharma into practice by maintaining a warm and open heart. In providing a context for faith, devotion, and commitment to the path and to others, the Sangha represents a fortunate opportunity for inner transformation.
Speaker: Sasha Dorje Meyerowitz. Sasha addresses how he responds to the challenges that confront him as a practitioner. It is important to acknowledge unconscious self-doubts and to skillfully address the tendencies that undermine one’s practice. The Dharma offers several remedies to work with these doubts and habits. We can choose to accept our experience fully without letting regrets distract us or using the Dharma to avoid pain. We can apply the wisdom of emptiness to remember that experience is not solid. We can recognize that our integrity is grounded in self-respect and nyingru (“the bone in the heart”), which fortify our motivation to persevere. And we can remember the rare and extraordinary blessing of being in the mangala of the guru.
Speaker: Katsutoshi Okabayashi. Oka-san reflects on how the quality of our devotion depends on the depth of our conviction in the Dharma. When motivated by a desire for appreciation and esteem, service and practice do not reflect authentic devotion to the guru or the lineage. Only deep conviction in the wisdom of the dharma can generate genuine devotion. To gain this conviction we need to contemplate how the four thoughts that turn the mind to the dharma are relevant to our own lives. Grasping the truths of impermanence, our precious human birth, karma, and the suffering of samsara will motivate us to work with our minds. And by focusing our efforts on transforming our minds, we can give birth to genuine devotion to the guru, the lineage, and the Dharma.
Speaker: Dungse Jampal Norbu. Lojong, the Buddhist practice of mind training, is where compassion and wisdom meet. The slogans on mind training provide an important framework for how we meet the world with kindness and equanimity. Dungse-la joins us from Vermont where he teaches on Lojong, drawing on commentaries by great Lojong practitioners, and other texts referring to foundational teachings of Buddhadharma. This program is a continuation of a series on Lojong over the past three years.
Speaker: Suzy Greanias. Suzy coined the term, “the Buddha’s advocate” as a counterpoint to the more familiar phrase, “devil’s advocate.’ Recalling Rinpoche’s advice to his students never to think we have something to teach others, but to pursue our paths, she concludes that the best way to be the Buddha’s advocate is to have faith in his teachings.