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.
You may browse directly to any of the calendars to find out more about the teaching schedules of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Namgyel, or Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel. In addition, you can 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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» Daytime, Dream and Sleep: Part 1 – Waking Up
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Daytime, sleep, and dream correspond to life, death, and the intermediate (bardo) state.
Waking up to a new day is a lot like waking up as a newborn baby. When we first open our eyes in the morning, we do not immediately feel we are waking; there is no real sense of self and other, no sense of the world around us. Our activities have not yet begun; there are no expectations. A calm, simple brilliance infuses that particular moment, the moment of waking.
How can we maintain this fresh, just-born attitude throughout our daily lives? Can we wake up “brand new” every morning, free from expectation, hope, and fear?
Most of us wake up feeling dull and groggy, or panicked and tense, our minds exhausted from a night filled with dreams. It is not easy to wake up fresh and awake, it takes more than a simple intention. In order to wake up fresh, to wake up clear, we have to change our whole view, our whole way of looking at the world.
To begin, remember that nothing in the world is permanent; there is constant change. Why does everything seems so old to us, so stale, so “the same?” The world feels tiresome because we are not trained to see the freshness inherent in every single moment. If we are unable to observe and understand change, then, by extension, we will not be able to experience each moment as fresh and new, as interesting.
If we can develop an understanding of impermanence, we can also learn to trust in the simple fact that everything changes, all the time. This is precisely the attitude required to free ourselves from constantly judging each experience, throughout each day, as good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong, exciting or boring.
You can still wake up looking forward to the day, but without obsessing about details, cranking up expectations, or hoping for certain outcomes while fearing others. Learn to look forward with childlike inquisitiveness to whatever comes your way, whatever your karma presents. The goal is to observe and experience change, free from expectation, with authentic, childlike curiosity.
As your daily life becomes infused with your understanding of impermanence, you will begin to wake up more calm and refreshed, less groggy and dull, because you are relating to experiences in a different way. Old habits morph into new attitudes slowly; it takes intention, practice, and diligence to live our lives with this type of resolution.
Try not to judge how your day is going to be immediately upon waking. Instead, let each day begin anew and unfold effortlessly, without steering things in any particular direction, micro-managing the details, or harboring any expectation.
In short, be resolved, upon waking, that anything might happen in any day, good or bad, ugly or beautiful, usual or unusual. This is the attitude we want to cultivate in our daily lives, this is the attitude we need to keep each moment interesting and alive. It all starts by waking up fresh, clear, and curious, free from expectation.
(Next: Part II, Sleep)
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