essence of refuge


The essence of the refuge practice is unshakable, unchangeable faith and devotion. Without this kind of faith and trust, your mind cannot open. When your mind opens, it becomes soft and receptive. Buddha’s compassion is like a hook which catches the ring of your faith and devotion. Without faith, there can be no real connection to dharma ~ not blind faith, but rather intelligent faith, free from any doubt or confusion because dharma is pure and faultless, Buddha’s mind is like the sun shining on a snow-covered mountain. With devotion, the rays of your faith can melt the snow of Buddha’s nectar of blessing. 

~  Lama Tharchin Rinpoche
Ngondro Commentary
© 2000 by Bero Jeydren Publications

tavish refuge 1
Refuge Ceremony ~ Tavish Nink with Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

photo source: Sonam  Famarin
with permission to post by Tavish Nink

Join Lama Sonam Tsering Rinpoche November 5th, 2020 10:30 am – 12:30 pm Pacific to receive the Dudjom Tersar Ngondro Lung (Oral Transmission) and series of Ngondro Teachings on the Preliminary Practices beginning with Refuge.

Visit the Vajrayana Foundation website at to receive the livestream link.


Beginningless Wisdom of Buddhas

The beginningless wisdom of Buddhas is not ordinary beings’ wisdom. When the state of full enlightenment is reached, there is no name of worldliness. One cannot only conceptualize this. Fully enlightened Buddhahood is full wisdom and full wisdom activity. Buddhas’ mind is wisdom, but Buddhas such as Guru Rinpoche and many others emanate in samsara to benefit beings. Buddhas teach faith, meditation, and realization, manifesting in the state of impure worldly wisdom to guide others, but the mind is fully enlightened Buddhahood. This wisdom excels beyond samsara, but is performing in samsara. Buddha Shakyamuni manifested in samsara in order to guide beings by showing a history and an order of stages of how to enlighten, but Buddha does not have any conception of order. If there is no conception, there is no stage. When Buddhas emanate, they have to emanate according to beings’ phenomena, showing histories to other beings, such as that of Buddha Shakyamuni learning, studying, and enduring hardship for six years so others can follow the example of these histories and open Buddha nature through practice, as Buddha taught according to Mahayana, until finally reaching the fully enlightened state in which there is no fixation of time, place, or direction, where all Buddhas abide. So, Buddhas manifest within pure worldly wisdom. Full enlightenment has no pure worldly wisdom, but the fully enlightened can still manifest anything, whether in male or female form or as any kind of being, in any world or realm, while their mind is fully enlightened. This way of excelling is not like stone; it does not appear and just remain as it is. Whatever excels does not stay in one state. Whatever is shown is like magic and will change miraculously. That is why whatever manifests cannot be made a certain way.

Cascading Waterfall of Nectar
Thinley Norbu

Photographer unknown
In this photo Tulku Jamyang Rinpoche

In the service for public disclosure,
this post has been reprinted under the Fair Use Law.

what is the point in obtaining this human body . . .

If you are wondering what is the point in obtaining this human body that is so hard to find, the benefits of doing so are enormous. Not only is one easily able, temporarily, to accomplish all the happiness and perfections of the higher realms, but one can also accomplish the nirvana of the lower vehicles and unsurpassable enlightenment as well. 

Without obtaining a human body, there is no way one can achieve any kind of happiness in cyclic existence, let alone accomplish liberation. But by starting from the most insignificant positive actions and devoting one’s efforts exclusively to the sublime Dharma, one obtains the manifold perfect qualities of higher rebirth and ultimate excellence.

As it says in the Jewel Garland,

If you constantly practice the Dharma,
You will make the whole world
And yourself happy,
And this will be all to the good.

With the Dharma you will always fall asleep happy
And wake up happy.
Inwardly you will be without fault, and so
Even in your dreams you will see virtue.

By wholeheartedly respecting your parents,
Venerating the head of the lineage,
Putting your wealth to good use, being patient, giving generously,
Speaking gently, avoiding slander, and telling the truth —

Observing these for one lifetime,
You will reach the level of Indra
And be Indra again and again.
Bit by bit you will accomplish Buddhahood.

And in the Sutra of the Arborescent Array we read:

Child of good family, whoever has the freedoms and advantages, on him will also fall the great and abundant rain of the Buddha’s teaching, and he will acquire infinite other benefits.

 Dudjom Rinpoche
Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom
Shambhala Publications
Photographer: unknown


In the service for public disclosure,
this post has been reprinted under the Fair Use Law.