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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» The Path of Honesty: Not Deceiving the World or Ourselves
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What is honesty?
Honesty is the quality of someone who is not afraid to look at himself or herself deeply and to look closely at situations without any personal investment.
Honesty is a mental characteristic that some people cherish, but which others regard as a burden. In the everyday world of shallow exchanges, honesty is very difficult to express because we feel that we have to keep up some kind of facade. We have to maintain the relationships that we have created with the world, so most of the time we just don’t bother to be really honest with ourselves. It is much easier to continue with this facade and simply act as if everything is good. But there’s so much deception in doing that.
In Tibetan we have the term, “yo gyu,” which is a very interesting word. “Yo” refers to behavior which is intended to gain benefit for oneself. For example, you might flatter or act in a cunning manner towards someone to lure them into supporting you, to give you what you want.
“Gyu” means pretending to be innocent and naive. We do this to hide our misdeeds and faults. The two combined actions of yo gyu are mentioned quite often among Tibetan elders. For example, “This person has a great deal of yo gyu and therefore he can’t be trusted.” Or, “That person doesn’t have much yo gyu. He is just as he seems to be from outside, a very straightforward person.”
People with this type of deceptive or cunning behavior, this yo gyu, will sooner or later expose themselves to their friends, and to society, despite how skillful they are in manipulating situations. Eventually they will be revealed as not trustworthy.
There is a saying in Tibet, that “Any yo gyu will, in the end, expose itself.” But, it’s up to each of us to decide whether we believe that yo gyu is good or not, and therefore whether it will remain part of our mental makeup. You may decide to recognize this tendency in yourself and work to get rid of it. It’s totally up to you.
In many cultures yo gyu is just an accepted part of people’s minds. That’s how we think we have to survive. It’s how we think we’ll get what we want. Often there is a fear that if you become free of yo gyu, you will become very simple-minded and get taken advantage of, like a peasant. People who are straightforward, without any yo gyu are often looked down upon because they are quite simple and honest.
These days, people are so sophisticated, they have so much pizzazz, so much charisma, and so much magnetism to lure people into doing what they want.
When people say, “Oh, he’s a leader,” or “She’s a leader,” it’s all about having more or less yo gyu, getting very involved with how to change situations to your advantage. But in the end it’s just more manipulation.
Not all yo gyu is bad, it has different degrees of selfishness. Some expressions of yo gyu are much more reasonable than others, because some expressions support a situation for the overall benefit of people. But the more selfish expressions of yo gyu come from the degree to which we are attached to ourselves, to what extent we are in love with ourselves.
People who have a lot of yo gyu, like myself, have a lot of attachment to themselves. We are in love with ourselves so, therefore, it is hard to recognize this tendency in order to abandon it and become more honest.
It is almost as though as soon as we open our mouth, here comes the yo gyu speech to deceive others. You know it, and you’re ashamed of it, but it almost takes over you.
So, it shows a tremendous sense of a confidence to say, “I’m not going to act deceptively. I’m going to stay free of yo gyu from now on.”
The Buddha realized the absolute nature because he could really look at things without any deception without deceiving anyone, without any yo gyu, and without deceiving himself.
It is very clear that we don’t want to be deceived. We want to see the truth, but most of the time it’s just a weak intention. When it really comes to not acting deceptively or not being deceived oneself, so many insecurities of ego arise.
When we cannot separate ourselves from our ego desires then we are vulnerable to being deceived and being caught up in our own self-deception. We believe in impermanent things as if they were permanent, or believe that things which do not make us happy are actually a source of our happiness. We deceive ourselves constantly in this way.
Where does all of this come from? When we cannot separate ourselves from our own ego’s insecurities, when we believe so much in the existence of our own ego, then we are vulnerable. We simply become vulnerable to believing in illusory things, while insisting that they are something other than an illusion.
We exist in the relative world, holding on to the relativity as an absolute thing, and holding onto our ego as something that actually doesn’t exist , as something that is very much part of who we are. In that fundamental way we lose our honesty, we become caught in self-deception, not realizing the truth of our situation.
We should contemplate the courage of the Buddha, who became a pioneer of honest beings, someone who traveled on the path of truth by not believing in his own ego, and the emotions of self-clinging, as real. He discovered this truth and has shown us that path. In so doing, he offered such a great service to mankind. This is why we respect and emulate him, and should attempt to follow his example of becoming honest, by genuinely examining our mind and our interactions with the world.
Excerpt Taken from Personal Link 138: Commentary on Patrul Rinpoche text “Propitious Speech: From Beginning, Middle and End.” given 2/24/2002.
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