A Guided Tour of Hell

Take a trip through the realms of hell with a man whose temporary visitor’s pass gave him a horrifying—and enlightening—preview of its torments.

This true account of Sam Bercholz’s near-death experience has more in common with Dante’s Inferno than it does with any of the popular feel-good stories of what happens when we die. In the aftermath of heart surgery, Sam, a longtime Buddhist practitioner and teacher, is surprised to find himself in the lowest realms of karmic rebirth, where he is sent to gain insight into human suffering. Under the guidance of a luminous being, Sam’s encounters with a series of hell-beings trapped in repetitious rounds of misery and delusion reveal to him how an individual’s own habits of fiery hatred and icy disdain, of grasping desire and nihilistic ennui, are the source of horrific agonies that pound consciousness for seemingly endless cycles of time. Comforted by the compassion of a winged goddess and sustained by the kindness of his Buddhist teachers, Sam eventually emerges from his ordeal with renewed faith that even the worst hell contains the seed of wakefulness. His story is offered, along with the modernist illustrations of a master of Tibetan sacred arts, in order to share what can be learned about awakening from our own self-created hells and helping others to find relief and liberation from theirs. Purchase Sam’s book from Dharma Treasures.



Sam Bercholz is a senior teacher in the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and the founder of Shambhala Publications.  He has been a close disciple of Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and was empowered by them to teach.  He has taught extensively in North America, Europe, and Australasia.  He was particularly empowered by Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche to teach from A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar.
Mp3 Ngondro Teachings by Sam are available at Dharma Treasures.

Sam is scheduled to give lectures at the Annual
Vajrayana Foundation Ngondro Retreat
March 25 – April 3, 2017
Led by Lama Sonam Rinpoche, Sam Bercholtz and Ivan Bercholz

More information to follow, please sign up for email updates!



Easter Sunday Teaching and Tsok


Please join Lama Sonam Rinpoche, the Ngondro Retreat participants, and sangha tomorrow, Sunday, March 27,  2016 from 10 am to 1 pm for the final teaching of our Ngondro Retreat with a Shower of Blessings Tsok.  We have been fortunate this year to receive really incredible teachings from Lama Sonam Rinpoche, Sam Bercholz and Ivan Bercholz. It has been extremely inspiring to see brand new people take refuge and start the Dudjom Tersar path and practice with such pure-hearted enthusiasm. For those of us seasoned practitioners who have attended, it has revitalized our practice and strengthened our commitment to the path as well. 

We hope to see you Easter Sunday 10-11:30 AM for Lama Sonam Rinpoche’s teaching on the very practical aspects of keeping our practice alive at home. Of course, this is relevant for all of us, wherever we are on the path. Shower of Blessings Tsok will follow at approximately 11:30 AM until 1 PM. If you are unable to be here in person but would like to make an auspicious connection with this Easter celebration at Pema Osel Ling, we invite you to sponsor butter lamps or tsok.

Wishing you many blessings this Easter,
Becky Loy and Jaffa Elias
for the Vajrayana Foundatio