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 Practice of Self Reflection
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The desire for happiness is universal. And beyond finding happiness and meaning in our lives, most of us want to be good, decent human beings. Wanting to be good, happy, and decent is not only a reasonable desire but also a noble one. Ironically, much of the time we struggle with how to go about accomplishing this. We have an idea of how we want to be, but we always find ourselves running up against our own doubts, fears, and insecurities.
On the spiritual path, we speak of enlightenment. But how do we reconcile enlightenment with what we see when we look in the mirror? If we strive for enlightenment by trying to bypass our confusion, our practice will remain divorced from our immediate experience. Yet, when we focus only on our habitual tendencies, we get bogged down in our own self-absorption and pain.
This struggle to reconcile the notion we have of enlightenment with our own confusion is the very starting point of the path. It is an expression of our deep yearning for freedom and happiness, which is itself an indication of the great potential of mind we all possess. At the same time, the fact that we have this greater potential does not mean that we are completely noble or enlightened from the start. We may have confusion. But instead of trying to either sidestep or fight against our confusion, we can make good use of it. It takes some maturity to learn to accommodate both our greater potential and our neurosis. We can develop this maturity through the practice of self-reflection.
Self-reflection is the spirit and practice of honestly looking at whatever arises in our experience, without judgment. Habitually, this is difficult for us to do; our tendency is to try to rid ourselves of unpleasant experiences and to chase after pleasant ones. The unique beauty and kindness of the practice of self-reflection is that it does not demand that we experience anything other than what we experience. Looking without bias brings both the great potential of mind and our confusion into the light of our innate intelligence. Doing so alters the historical struggle we have with our mind, transforming it into the very basis of the path of enlightenment.
Self-reflection is the common thread than runs through all traditions and lineages of Buddhist practice. It protects our practice from becoming just another enterprise by breathing life into the teachings and making them a living experience.
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