Posts Tagged ‘Kalu Rinpoche’

Is it possible to reach enlightenment by practising the Four Foundational Practices?

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Torch of Certainty

The book “Torch of Certainty“, first published by Shambhala in 1977, has become a classic reference material in the English speaking world for all using the Four Foundational Practices (Tib. Ngöndro) of Tibetan Buddhism, especially as taught in the Karma Kagyu school. It is a translation of a text by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye (1813-1899), entitled “The Torch of True Meaning”, which is in turn based on the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s (1556–1603) treatise on the Great Seal (Skt. Mahamudra) entitled “The Ocean of True Meaning”. While the English translation, made in the early days of Tibetan Buddhism’s introduction to the West in the 1970’s now sounds somewhat dated, the book is excellent, and the introduction contains questions and answers about the Four Foundational Practices with three influential lamas who were alive and active in the West when the book was published; Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987), Deshung Rinpoche (1906-1987) and Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989).

In the introducation to the book, Kalu Rinpoche – one of the first teachers of Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl – summarises the Ngöndro as follows: “Generally speaking, the first practices (refuge and prostrations, Vajrasattva and mandala offering) clear away obscurations and gather the two accumulations. The guru yoga gives you great faith in your guru which leads to your receipt of his blessing and attainment of mahamudra”.


Kalu Rinpoche, Hannah and Lama Ole in the UK, 1975

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Kalu Rinpoche and students in Samye Ling 1975 (photo: Peter Mannox)

Kalu Rinpoche and students in Samye Ling 1975 (photo: Peter Mannox)

This historical picture was taken during Kalu Rinpoche’s visit to the West in 1975 at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre, Scotland by Peter Mannox. It was during the life of the 16th Karmapa, in the early years of the encounter between Tibetan Buddhism and the West, and the times when the Karma Kagyu school was united. Can you spot a young Hannah and Ole Nydahl on the far right of the shot? (click on photo to enlarge)

Kalu Rinpoche on “the essence of the lama”

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

This quote is from one of the final teachings by Kalu Rinpoche, who was one of the first teachers of Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl.

Kalu Rinpoche, one of Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl's first teachers

“What we call the Buddha, or the lama, is not material in the same way as iron, crystal, gold or silver are. You should never think of them with this sort of materialistic attitude. The essence of the Lama or Buddha is emptiness; their nature, clarity; their appearance, the play of unimpeded awareness. Apart from that, they have no real, material form, shape or color whatsoever-like the empty luminosity of space. When we know them to be like that, we can develop faith, merge our minds with theirs, and let our minds rest peacefully. This attitude and practice are most important.”

– Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989)

From “Dzogchen Essentials: The Path That Clarifies Confusion” Marcia Schmidt (Rangjung Yeshe, 2004)

Books in Diamond Way Centres: Recommended reading Pt.1

Monday, April 12th, 2010

In the first of a series of blog entries, we present Buddhist books from the “recommended reading list” for students of Diamond Way Buddhism by various authors, together with links to a reliable UK-based supplier, Wisdom Books. These books are also available, for example, in the libraries of many of our UK groups and centres. This first group of books cover general topics in Buddhism.

The Way Things Are – A Living Approach to Buddhism for Today’s World

Lama Ole Nydahl

In this new and updated edition, Lama Ole Nydahl asks: What is Buddhism today? How do the Buddha’s teachings utilize the full potential of our being? Through which practices may we experience mind as limitless space and bliss? How can one use the daily joys and difficulties of one’s job, family, or partnerships for spiritual growth? A very good introduction to Buddhism in General and the Diamond Way in particular.

O Books Publishing (2008) ISBN: 978-1-84694-042-2


The Dharma That Illuminates All Beings Impartially

Kalu Rinpoche

A complete manual of the Buddhist path. This collection of teachings by the late renowned Kagyu master Kalu Rinpoche, one of the main teachers of Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl, were given in America in 1982 and cover a wide range of topics, including the Four Dharmas of Gampopa, accomplishments, women in Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, the Bardo, mandala offerings, taking refuge, commitments and the levels of (more…)