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.)
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Grace & Elegance Part II
A practitioner who is truly resolved of all conflict – inner and outer, self and other; ultimately, of life and death – appears simply ordinary, simply authentic. The reason grace and elegance comes through is because there is no clumsiness. Clumsiness can only reside in an unresolved mind – when you are resolved, awkwardness, the source of the clumsiness, is no longer present.
For instance, imagine you are pouring a cup of tea for a friend. The tea overflows the cup and spills all over the tablecloth and your friend’s lap. Your outer action – spilling the tea – appears clumsy, because your inner emotions – “I’m making a mess! I’m doing this all wrong! I ruined my friend’s pants!” – emanate from your awkward state of mind. You feel embarrassed; your friend gets irritated, and your pleasant visit might get cut short or ruined.
In the case of a resolved practitioner, the whole episode has a different feel and different outcome. Again, you pour the tea, and it spills all over the tablecloth and your friend’s lap. Yet, somehow, the action appears very elegant, very gracious; since there is no awkwardness on the inside, the “mishap” does not appear clumsy on the outside. You and your friend might laugh at the mess, or simply go on with the visit, unfazed. Why? When a resolved practitioner – like, for instance, my own mother or His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche – does something, it usually manifests the way he or she intended. When, from time to time, things do go awry – it doesn’t make any difference. There is always a tremendous sense of grace and elegance to their actions because each action is free from any clumsy, self-conscious intention.
Another example is Minling Trichen Rinpoche, who is very well known for sleeping almost all of the time. It is not that he is depressed, tired, or bored – he simply “sleeps;” sleep is an expression of his mind. For someone like Minling Trichen, the line between practice and non-practice has become transparent. When your mind is free from all conflict, totally resolved, there is no sense of right or wrong, sleeping or waking, action or non-action. At this point in your practice the whole world becomes your ornament, because everything you do or relate to becomes a clear reflection of your graceful, elegant mind.
The resolved practitioner might appear ordinary, but this ordinariness is very profound. When you are truly resolved, conflicts are no longer a problem because they don’t manifest; the conflicts remain just potential conflicts, circumstances that could produce conflict but, instead, remain dormant. Particular circumstances don’t hold sway because of the strength of your meditation practice – your resolution shields you from any and all conflict. You are free to live your life: spill your tea like a small child or dispense it like a trained waiter; it doesn’t make one bit of difference.
So the source of freedom is not in the things you possess, but, rather, in the quality and texture of your mind and experience. Think of a bard or minstrel – wandering, enjoying everything and anything that comes his or her way. The whole world is the minstrel’s world: the sun and the moon, the sky and the clouds, the wind and the rain. Similarly, when a practitioner comes to have grace and elegance through resolution, it doesn’t matter if you are Tibetan or Western, what your background is, or what country you live in. It doesn’t matter whether you pour the tea expertly or sloppily, whether you are sleepy or wakeful, whether you are struggling to pronounce chants in a Tibetan Buddhist shrine room or mumbling through grace with your parents at the dinner table. Since you have no conflict or preference, you can enjoy each particular, unique experience without prejudice, as a simple measure of the maturation of your practitioner’s life.
Compiled from The Crucial Point, Volume III, Issue 3, 2002
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