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: Joey Waxman. Joey considers how the Buddhist path to enlightenment is supported by both emotion (heart) and reasoning (head). Above all, Buddhism values a kind and loving heart. There are no substitutes for compassion and devotion, which, when powerful enough, are sufficient to lead to realization. But reasoning can also support, clarify, strengthen, and stabilize an open heart. At the same time, the negative aspects of both emotions and reasoning can obstruct our progress: emotions are unreliable, while unclear reasoning can reinforce ignorance and bias. Vigilant introspection and mindfulness of the activities of our heart and head can enable us to balance their beneficial aspects and support our path to realization.
Speaker: Jill Oppenheimer. Jill reflects on the benefits of pursuing her motivation to deepen her connection to her practice. Sometimes practice lacks vitality and becomes a matter of habit and we find ourselves just going through the motions. To cultivate a deeper connection, we can slow down and stimulate our sense of curiosity, pausing to reflect on the meaning of the liturgy and visualizations, reflecting on the roots of habitual patterns, and shifting our perspective from the “checklist” mentality to the intention to benefit all beings. The efforts we make to connect more deeply with practice cultivate self-confidence and joy.
Speaker: Andrew Shakespeare. Andrew reflects on the importance of sangha. Even in conventional communities, our individual well-being depends on the quality of our relationships with others. For Buddhist practitioners, the value of sangha is even more profound. Our appreciation of the sangha deepens as we gain a greater understanding of Buddhist principles like karma and interdependence. Like the benefits of bodhicitta, those of relating to sangha are two-fold: our participation benefits ourselves as well as others.
Speaker: Daisuke Inaba. Dai-san talks about how self-reflection helped him navigate the changes in his practice and appreciate the importance of trusting himself. Initially, when he practiced to alleviate intense suffering, his motivation was equally intense. As his suffering diminished, his motivation also weakened and he began to question the sincerity and value of his practice. Through self-reflection, he was able to overcome the discomfort of seeing the limitations of his practice and to accept them as part of the path. He emerged from this experience with a greater understanding of how to work with obstructions on the path and a greater appreciation for the importance of trusting in himself.
Speaker: Paula Breymeier. Paula reflects on how peace, stability, and realization are to be found only in discipline, devotion, and wisdom. We try to alleviate our sense of anxiety and loneliness by numbing or distracting ourselves, but this only generates more confusion. To alleviate suffering, we need to understand our true nature; realizing the emptiness of self enables us to face adversity fearlessly. The lineage, the source of this wisdom, provides the context we need to cultivate devotion and prajna.
Speaker: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. This is a re-broadcast of a LINK talk originally given by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche on November 6, 2011 at Phuntsok Choling in Ward, Colorado. A life of meaning and true connection has to come from living a full life. Attachment does not allow that. Attachment is not the same as appreciation. When you are attached to life, life becomes a burden and can wear you down. You spend time trying to fix things rather than embracing life and what life may bring. Life and karma are not fixable. It takes more wisdom than attachment to fix the problems in life.
Speaker: Paul Greene. Paul reviews the Buddhist perspective on anger and identifies a variety of skillful means to work with it. Although Western culture sometimes seems to accept anger as appropriate and inevitable, Buddhism recognizes it as a poison that threatens our well-being and impedes our path to enlightenment. We can work with anger by recalling the egolessness of the self, the enlightened Buddha nature of all beings, the causes and conditions that give rise to situations, the negative karmic results of aggression, and the positive karmic results of allowing negative karmic seeds to ripen. From the perspective of the Mahayana path, the bodhisattva intention to benefit beings is dependent on our ability to overcome aggression.
Speaker: Gretchen Kahre-Holland. Gretchen offers an appreciation of the tremendous power of prayer to heal and transform, and guides listeners through a session of tonglen practice dedicated to our mothers. Over the years, Rinpoche has provided us with prayers to respond to difficult situations like the death of George Floyd, the fires in Colorado, and the war in Ukraine. One particular form of prayer, the tonglen practice of giving and taking, is essential to attaining enlightenment. On this Mother’s Day Gretchen reminds us that, over the course of our countless lifetimes, all sentient beings have been our mothers. Soliciting specific prayers from listeners, she leads a guided tonglen practice devoted to benefiting our all our mothers.
Speaker: Dungse Jampal Norbu. Dungse-la reflects on working with our emotions and neuroses by examining our determination to practice the Dharma. Where are we investing our freedom? Are we making time for practice and retreat? Are we working with our habits? Are we accumulating merit?
Speaker: Stanton Dossett. Stanton conveys the importance of deeply contemplating the four thoughts that turn the mind to the Dharma: precious human birth, impermanence, karma, and samsara. Appreciating our precious human birth and its impermanence inspires us to make the most of our opportunity to practice the Dharma. Grasping the power of karma to shape our future lives focuses our attention on engaging in right action. Being aware of the unnecessary suffering samsaric beings experience, lifetime after lifetime, opens our hearts and cultivates bodhicitta, the “mind set on enlightenment.”