“In the three lower realms and even in the three higher ones there is not an instant of absolute happiness. I will avoid the root cause of my samsaric existence and practice the excellent path of peace to Enlightenment.” From The Preliminary Practices of the Incomparable Drikung Kagyu
“To all holy Lamas, I bow down! These days, I don’t care for riches. I’m not into acquisitions,
So I’m not miserable trying to get things at first, And I’m not stressed out trying to protect things in the middle, And I’m not wretched trying to hold on to things in the end.
Ownership is no fun: I’m happy without!
These days, I don’t care for relations. I’m not into emotional games,
So I’m not miserable with possession at first, And I’m not stressed out by arguments in the middle, And I’m not wretched from separation in the end,
Emotional games are no fun: I’m happy without!
These days, I don’t care for pride. I’m not into celebrity,
So I’m not miserable trying to get famous at first, And I’m not stressed out trying to keep in the spotlight in the middle, And I’m not wretched from fear of losing the attention in the end.
Celebrity is no fun: I’m happy without.
These days, I don’t care for countries. I’m not attached to one place over another,
So I’m not miserable with narrow chauvinism at first, And I’m not stressed out with patriotic fever in the middle, And I’m not wretched from defending the homeland in the end.
Attachment is no fun: I’m happy without!
From “What’s a King?” Milarepa, Songs on the Spot, p.81-82 Translated by Nicole Riggs, Dharma Cloud, Eugene, Oregon, 2003
“So we need to discuss suffering, but human nature is not to want to talk about it. But, spiritually we have to discuss what suffering is. The first noble truth talks about suffering. Until we understand clearly the nature of suffering, we don’t see that we can’t be free from suffering no matter how much we wish. So there is something here to study and meditate on… Humans have the opportunity to think about suffering and its causes and conditions. So there is a small chance to become free of suffering “
Yogi Lama Gursam, “Compassion” August, 2007 Susquehanna Yoga Center,Talks online at lamagursam.org
“When we sound the fourth note in this arpeggio of the mind, we remember the inadequacy of all egocentric life states, including being a god, king, billionaire, star, whatever it is we think it would be great to be…we recognize that our individual struggle with the rest of the world and all other beings will always be a losing struggle. It will always lead to suffering. Samsara is the suffering cycle of life based on self versus other, on the false habit of absolutizing the self, thinking “I’m it, I’m the one. So the fourth note is the deep acknowledgement that all states, even the seemingly highest states, are inadequate, are fundamentally suffering compared to the happiness of enlightenment and the wisdom of selflessness.”
From p.108, The Jewel Tree of Tibet, by Robert Thurman, Free Press, New York
“Understanding that samsaric activities are empty of meaning, with great compassion, you strive only for the benefit of others. Without attachment to samsara or nirvana, you act according to the Great Vehicle. Peerless Teacher, at your feet I bow.”
From p. 61 “The Defects of Samsara”, Words of My Perfect Teacher, by Patrul Rinpoche, Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, California, 1998
“The eight worldly concerns are like a snare. Exhausted by meaningless effort, we end our lives in dissatisfaction. Meditate well on renunciation. This is my heart’s advice.
As taught by Nagarjuna, the eight worldly concerns are
- Gain and loss
- Pleasure and pain
- Praise and blame
- Fame and disgrace
In Samsara, we involve ourselves with these notions. As a matter of fact, these are the concerns that we spend most of our energy on in this life. We make great effort to gain things, experience pleasure, win praise, and become famous, and then we have to protect what we have. We also make great effort to avoid loss, pain, blame, and disgrace. This is not just a Buddhist view of things – the entire world is driven by these eight concerns, and so we suffer here helplessly. We are trapped in the snare of these eight worldly concerns.” From p.88, A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path, by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen, Snow Lion, Ithaca, NY, 2009
Exercise One: The Sufferings of Samsara in General – Patrul Rinpoche
Activities done only for this life are like a moth drawn into a flame. Deceiving oneself in this way is only a cause of suffering. Abandon attachment to samsara. This is my heart’s advice.
From “The Jewel Treasury of Advice, One Hundred Teachings from the Heart”, by Drigung Bhande Dharmaradza in A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path, by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen
The Context of Contemplation on Suffering of Samsara
1. We have a life endowed with freedoms and advantages which are so difficult to find
2. Our life will not last long : we will soon fall under the influence of impermanence and death
3. Rebirth: If we just died like water evaporating, everything would be over but we are forced to take a new rebirth based on our passed thoughts and actions.
4. We will still be in Samsara, and nowhere else!
The Definition of Samsara
“The term SAMSARA, the wheel or round of existence, is used here to mean going round and round from one place to another in a circle, like a potter’s wheel, or the wheel of a water mill. When a fly is trapped in a closed jar, no matter where it flies it cannot get out. Likewise, whether we are born in higher or lower realms, we are never outside samsara.
The upper part of the jar is like the higher realms of gods and men and the lower part like the three unfortunate realms. It is said that samsara is a circle because we turn round and round, taking rebirth in one after another of the six realms as a result of our own actions which, whether positive or negative, are tainted by clinging.
We have been wandering since beginingless time in these samsaric worlds in which every being, without exception, has had relations of affection, enmity and indifference with every other being. Everyone has been everyone else’s father and mother. In the sutras it is said that if you wished to count back the generations of mothers in your family , saying, “She was my mother’s mother; her mother was so and so…” and so on, using little pellets of earth as big as a juniper berry to count them, the whole earth would be used up before you had counted them all. As Lord Nagarjuna says:
We would run out of earth trying to count our mothers
With balls of clay the size of juniper berries.
Considering Past Lives – Some Points from Patrul Rinpoche
Please consider the following points about yourself:
1. There is not a single form of life that we have not taken throughout beginingless time.
2. Our desires have led us innumerable times to have our head and limbs cut off – limbs lost when we were ants and insects, if piled high would be higher than Mount Meru
3. The tears we have wept from cold, hunger and thirst when we were without food or clothing, had they not all dried up, would make an ocean larger than the great ocean surrounding the world
4. Even if we were fortunate enough to be born as wealthy as a king, we would not be able to postpone death, and we would have to experience life in lower realms.
5. In our present life, what advantages we have of power, wealth, good health might fool us for a few days, months or years, but when the effect of good actions is exhausted, we will experience lower realms of unbearable sufferings.
6. Our happiness in worldly things is like a dream, it will not last forever, as long as we are cycling in Samsara.
“So do not put your trust in the apparent joys of samsara. Resolve that in this very life, you will free yourself from the great ocean of its sufferings and attain the true and constant happiness of perfect Buddhahood. Make this your thought and practice, using the proper methods…”
The Three Fundamental Types of Suffering
1.1.1 The Suffering of Change
This is the suffering we feel when a state of happiness suddenly changes to suffering:
- a. We are fine after a good meal, and suddenly we have violent stomach spasms .
- b. He are happy one moment and someone steals our wealth or live stock.
- c. We suddenly are stricken with illness.
- d. Our house burns down.
- e. We receive some terrible news.
1.1.2 Suffering Upon Suffering
We experience suffering upon suffering , when before one suffering is over, we experience another:
- a. We get leprosy, and then we break out with boils too, and then we get injured also.
- b. Our father dies and our mother dies soon afterwards.
- c. We are pursued by enemies, and a loved one dies .
“No matter where we are reborn in samsara, all our time is spent in one suffering on top of another, without any chance of a moment’s happiness.”
Patrul Rinpoche , Words of My Perfect Teacher, p.79
4.1.3 The Suffering of Everything Composite
“Now some of us might think that things are going quite well for us at the moment, and we do not seem to be suffering much. In fact we are totally immersed in the causes of suffering.”
- Our clothes , our food, our homes, the adornments and celebrations that give us pleasure are all produced with harmful actions.
- Consider Tea:
- a. Grown in China, small animals are killed in planting tea
- b. Small animals are killed when the leaves are picked
- c. Porters have to carry heavy loads that wear away skin from use of head bands around foreheads
- d. Dzo, mules, yaks carry heavy loads that break their backs
- e. Bartering for tea leads to many broken promises
a) Consider Tsampa
- a. Barley fields are plowed – worms and insects die
- b. Oxen strain to plow fields
- c. Irrigation water has animals live in it, who are later stranded on dry land.
“All the factors we now see as constituting happiness – food we eat, clothes we wear, and whatever goods and materials we can think of – are likewise produced through negative actions alone. The end result of all those things can only be the infinite torments of the lower realms. So everythingthat seems to represent happiness today is, in fact, the suffering of everything composite. Patrul Rinpoche , Words of My Perfect Teacher, p.80
4.2 The Sufferings of Birth, Old Age, and Death
1.2.1 The Suffering of Birth
a) For human beings , birth is from the womb.
b) The consciousness from the intermediate state has to interpose itself into the union of the father’s sperm and the mother’s blood.
c) It then experiences the pains of various embryonic stages: limbs, appendages, and sense organs are formed, trapped inside in the dark. If the mother eats hot food, the fetus suffers as if burned… etc.
d) If the pregnancy reaches full term, the fetus is turned head down. The baby is pushed down to the cervix, as against a wall. Both mother and baby experience painful events during delivery with constant fear of potential loss of life.
e) The baby at delivery feels discomfort: being cleaned of slime, and possibly their first experience, outside the womb, is being spanked to encourage crying and therefore active use of lungs.
f) As we approach youth, each day we approach death, but each day we experience life’s undertakings one after another non-stop. If all these actions are all based upon negative, self-centered survival needs, they lead to negative actions and lower rebirths.
1.2.2 The Suffering of Old Age
a) As we busy ourselves with these inconsequential and ever-unfinished worldly tasks, the suffering of old-age creeps up upon us, unnoticed.
b) The body loses its vigor. Our strength declines.
c) We have trouble with digestion of foods we like.
d) Our hearing and sight begin to fail. Our teeth fall out. Our body loses its heat.
e) Our memory begins to lapse into confusion and forgetfulness
Jetsun Milarepa sings:
One, you stand yourself up as if pulling a peg from the ground;
Two, you creep along as though you were stalking a bird;
Three, you sit down like a sack being dropped.
When these three things come together, granny,
You’re a sad old woman whose illusory body’s wasting away.
One, from the outside your skin hangs in wrinkles;
Two, from inside protrude bones where flesh and bones have shrunk;
Three, in between you’re stupid, deaf, blind, and dazed.
When these three things come together, granny,
Your face frowns with ugly wrinkles.
One, your clothes are so ragged and heavy;
Two, your food and drink is insipid and cold;
Three, you sit on your mat propped up with skins on four sides.
You’re like a realized yogi being trampled by men and dogs.
f) We lose our mobility in old age. We need to use our hands to get up from sitting.
g) Our flesh wastes away and we become wrinkled and have wrinkles on top of wrinkles.
h) We feel so heavy that it is difficult to do anything.
i) Unable to bear the sufferings of old age, we want to die, but in fact the closer we get to death the more terrified we are.
1.2.3 The Suffering of Sickness
a) When the four elements that make up our body become imbalanced, all sorts of illnesses – those of wind, bile, phlegm, and so on arise, and sensations of pain and suffering afflict us.
b) Whenever the first painful twinges of illness strike – however young and strong we might be – we crumple like a bird hit by a stone. Our strength evaporates. We sink into the depths of our bedding. Any movement ,however slight, is difficult.
c) We try lying on our right side, then on our left, on our back, or on our belly, and we can not get comfortable.
d) We lose our appetite for food and drink, and can not sleep at night.
e) Sick people are unable to look after themselves. Their illness makes them short tempered, and they always find fault with what others do for them. They become more fussy and critical.
1.2.4 The Suffering of death
a) As death approaches you collapse in bed and can no longer gave the strength to get up.
b) You have no desire for food or drink.
c) You feel tormented and depressed by the sensations of dying. Your time has come.
d) Your friends and family gather around, but there is nothing they can do to delay your departure. You need to go by yourself, all alone.
e) Perceptions begin to fade away, and death is suddenly here.
f) “Watch an evil man dying; He is a teacher demonstrating to us the effect of our actions. “
g) There is no guarantee at all that our moment to leave this life, naked and empty handed, will not come today. When that happens, the only thing that will truly help us is the Dharma. There is no other refuge.
4.3 Other Human Sufferings
4.3.1 The Fear of Meeting Hated Enemies
Jetsun Milarepa says:
In the beginning wealth makes you happy and envied;
But however much you have, it never seems enough.
In the middle miserliness tightens its knots around you:
You can’t bear to spend it on offerings or charity.
Your wealth attracts enemies and negative forces,
And everything you’ve gathered gets used up by others.
In the end, wealth’s a demon that puts your life in danger.
How frustrating to just look after wealth for your enemies!
I’ve cast off this millstone which drags us down into samsara,
I want no more of this devil’s lure.
a) Our sufferings are in direct proportion to the extent of our possessions.
1. If you owned a horse, you would have to worry about it being carried off by an enemy or stolen by a thief.
2. You would have to wnder if it had enough hay to eat?
3. You would need to see if it needed new shoes.
4. You would need to maintain its stable, saddle, stirrups, etc.
5. Its health would have to be a continual concern – veterinarian fees
6. Possible over use injuries could arise from riding too much, or too little, etc.
7. Can you buy “horse insurance”?
4.3.2 The Fear of Losing Loved Ones
Although we suffer so much from this dread of being separated from the friends and the family we love, we should think about this carefully. .. They do whatever they can to help us, and give us all kinds of things of which we have no need. Burt should we fall upon hard times, although we have done them no harm at all, they treat us like their enemies and return with malice any kindness we show them.
In the beginning, your son is a charming little god;
You love him so much that you cannot bear it.
In the middle he ferociously demands his due;
You give him everything, but he is never satisfied.
He brings home someone else’s daughter,
Pushing his kindly parents out.
When his father calls him, he doesn’t deign to answer.
When his mother calls, he doesn’t even hear.
In the end, he is like a distant neighbor.
You destroy yourself nourishing a swindler like that.
How frustrating it is to beget your own enemies!
I’ve cast off this harness that tethers us to samsara.
I don’t want any of these worldly sons.
In the beginning a daughter is a smiling little goddess,
Imperiously monopolizing all your best possessions.
In the middle, she endlessly asks her due;
She openly demands things from her father,
And steals them from her mother on the sly.
Never satisfied with what she’s given,
She’s a source of despair to her kindly parents.
In the end, she’s a red-faced ogress:
At best, she’s an asset to someone else,
At worst, she’ll bring calamity upon you.
How frustrating she is, this ravaging monster!
I’ve cast off this incurable sorrow.
I don’t want a daughter who’ll lead me to ruin.
In the beginning friends meet you joyfully, they smile
And the whole valley rings with “Come in!” and “Sit down!”
In the middle they return your hospitality with meat and beer,
Item for item, exactly one for one.
In the end, they cause strife based on hate or attachment.
How frustrating they are, those evil friends with all their quarrels!
I’ve given up my dining companions of easy times.
I don’t want any worldly friends.
4.3.3 The Suffering of Not Getting What One Wants
There is not one of us in the world who does not want to be happy and feel good; and yet none of us gets what we want.
a) A family builds a house, to be comfortable, but it collapses and kills them.
b) A person eats to satisfy hunger, but the food makes him ill and endangers his life.
c) Soldiers go to battle hoping for victory, and immediately get killed.
d) A group of merchants go on a trading expedition, hoping for high profits, but are attacked and reduced to beggary.
No matter how much effort and energy we expend in the hope of becoming happy and rich in this life, unless the actions of our past lives have created that potential we will not be able to satisfy our immediate hunger. All we will do is make trouble for ourselves and others. The only result we can be sure of achieving is not to be liberated from the depths of lower realms. That is why a single spark of merit is worth more than a mountain of effort.
“Now that we know the difference between what we should do and what we should not, let us stop putting great hopes in samsaric enterprises that will never be accomplished – and practice instead the true Dharma, in which accomplishment is certain.” Patrul Rinpoche, Words of My Perfect Teacher, p. 89
4.3.4 The Suffering of Encountering What One Does Not Want
You would like to stay with family and loved ones
Forever, but you are certain to leave them.
You would like to keep your beautiful home
Forever, but you are certain to leave it behind.
You would like to enjoy happiness, wealth and comfort
Forever, but you are certain to lose them.
You would like to keep this excellent human life with its freedoms and advantages
Forever, but you are certain to die.
You would like to study Dharma with your wonderful teacher
Forever, but you are certain to separate.
O my friends who feel deep disillusionment with samsara,
I, the Dharma less beggar, exhort you:
From today put on the armor of effort, for the time has come
To cross to the land of great bliss whence there is no separation.
This world in which we live confers a particular power on the effects of actions which makes everything – good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, high and low, Dharma or not – highly unpredictable. You should really see for yourself how things are…
Sometimes look at what you perceive to be favorable;
If you know it’s just perception, all you experience will turn out to be helpful.
Sometimes look at what you perceive to be adverse and harmful;
This is vital, making you appalled at the deluded way you see things.
Sometimes look at your friends and the teachers of others;
Distinguishing the good from the bad will inspire you to practice.
Sometimes you look at miraculous display of the four elements in space;
You will see how effort subsides in the true nature of mind.
Sometimes look at your homeland, house and possessions;
Knowing them to be illusory, you will feel disgust at the deluded way you perceive them.
Sometimes look at the wealth and possessions of others;
Seeing how pitiful they are, you will cast off samsaric ambition.
In brief, examining the nature of everything in al its multiplicity,
You will destroy the delusion of clinging to any of it as real.
Some contemporary applications, Some personal considerations
3.1 Advice on the Common Preliminaries
by Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje
“There are many different types of individuals….we first need to purify our beings through the general path by meditating on the dour common preliminaries…You already have a bit of experience with the four common preliminaries. If there is one that you are more familiar with, practice that first. Once you are habituated to it, you will automatically be able to gain familiarity with the other common preliminaries, IT IS SAID. Similarly, it is not absolutely necessary that you go through them in a particular order, such as the precious human body first and then impermanence. It is fine to do the ones that are more familiar to you and easier for you to relate to, and then move on to the special preliminaries.”
Pp. 59-60,in Ngondro for Our Current Day by Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje
3.2 Happiness Comes from Realizing You Are Not “THE ONE”,
By Robert Thurman, Ph.D.
a) “These three steps of thought, the preciousness of human life endowed with liberty and opportunity; the immediacy of death, and therefore, the intensity of the moment; and the interconnectedness of cause and effect of the evolutionary action, the interwovenness of all things, the infinite past, present, and future – all bring us, finally, to the fourth step of thought on the path, the overall suffering of egocentric or unenlightened existence. “ p.85
b) “When the Buddha said, “All this is suffering,” what he meant- and did say in many other contexts in which he was being more elaborate – is that all this unenlightened living is bound to be suffering compared ro enlightened living, which is infinite bliss… What is news is that there is an end to suffering that we can realize, that it is only the unenlightened life that is suffering.” P. 86
c) “We can easily understand suffering. What is the cause of suffering, as Buddha saw it? It is our attachment, the Second Noble Truth, to absolute beliefs. Everyone, here and now, thinks that he or she here and now is it. I think I’m it… He and she may claim to be very friendly and cooperative, selfless and altruistic, but inside they really think, “I am the one.” P. 86
d) “When you think your self is the most absolute thing, the one irreducible thing, what sort of situation does that put you in? I, myself, all alone, am the only one. The whole world disagrees with me. All the other p[people think they are the one. I’m just grist for their mill, fodder for their meal. Naturally, I’m in conflict with all of them. And besides being in conflict with all of them , I am in conflict with time itself. Time eventually comes to me eventually in the form of death , and says, “You’re not the one, you’re dead.” P.87
e) “That is what Buddha is saying to us when he says all this is suffering. He means this struggle of the egocentric person who thinks he is in conflict with the world, and his certainty of identity is suffering. With such an absolutized foundation of egocentrism, his progression through the world will always be suffering. Other people won’t agree with him, he’ll lose his loved ones, he’ll meet his hated ones. He’ll be tortured by others. Death and birth will torture him. He’ll face sickness and old age. “ p. 87 & 88
f) “But, Buddha did look, and he saw through the suffering, and he took up the challenge. He said, ‘Well, if I’m the one, and I put my absolute effort of being the absolute one into finding my absolute self, then I should find it, because the absolute is not to be obstructed, absolute is what is real. Reality will come through if it puts itself out to do so.’ So he looked for himself as ‘the one.’ He put his laser-like, diamond-like, nuclear fission-like energy into finding himself. And you know what? He failed to find himself. He didn’t find anyone. He also didn’t find a failure to find. He didn’t find ‘nothing’ as the one… and not finding the self, courageously sustained, became the realization of the transparent openness of the self, the emptiness of self, and the infinity of self. The self, the sense of ‘the one’, became diffused over the entire, infinite universe, and he realized that he was all of the beings being ‘the one’. He suddenly felt himself as the universe. “ p. 88 & 89
g) “When you are in the Buddha’s feeling of being the universe, suddenly you realize you are not against the universe, you are the universe. Your universe is specifically other people in the universe. Therefore, when they think they are the one being, you identify with all of them. You feel their feelings as your feelings, and they’re not against you, and your bliss radiates into them as their bliss, and when many of them become blissful it radiates back from them, into a much greater bliss than you individually could even conceive. When we’re imprisoned within the self-enclosure of self-preoccupation and egotism, and seeing the world only from my – the one- perspective, and feeling alienated from the universe and separated from it, any state of existence that we have controlled by that perspective, controlled by that imprisonment of self-preoccupation will be suffering.” P. 89 – 90
h) “The purpose of this theme, the fourth thought step on the path, is to free ourselves from ambition for any self-centered state as a desirable state, as an ultimately desirable state. In other words we give up the ambition to be a god, which we define as a being that is greater than the universe…” p. 90
“As for this egotistic life cycle, intolerable prison, I give up my delusion that it’s a garden of delight; Bless me to educate myself in ethics, meditation,
and wisdom, The treasuries of the jewels of noble beings, And raise aloft the victory banner of
true liberation!”p. 93, Robert Thurman, The Jewel Tree of Tibet
3.3 Considering the Four Notions, by Daniel Brown, Ph.D.
a) “Attachment is the inability to separate oneself from something or someone and is also giving all ones energy to satisfying a desire, taking it as an ultimate goal. This is what is to be abandoned. In relations with people, detachment means realizing the truth of impermanence and the non-ultimate character of human relationships. Having developed detachment , one should be happy to be with others but at the same time be able to adapt to changing circumstances.”
b) “Genuine renunciation is never an impulsive act, but rather a slow transformation in the configuration of mental factors comprising the mental continuum and the karmic actions based on these. Renunciation is the out come of a natural process –the accumulation of moment to moment decisions to ‘abandon and take up nonvirtue and virtue’, respectively. “
c) “Incorporated into the four notions are the first two noble truths, namely the truth of suffering and the causes of suffering (karmic actions and afflictive emotions). The beginner has gone beyond mere intellectual understanding of these truths to direct experience of them in the unfolding mental continuum. At this stage the beginner is now ready to take up the practice more formally by taking refuge in the three jewels.”
pp. 87 – 88, Pointing Out The Great Way, Daniel Brown
Check it out. Don’t just take it, because he, or I , or anyone else says it.
Look deeply for the true essence, and value that with all your heart.
Daniel P. Brown. Pointing Out The Great Way, , Wisdom, Boston 2006
Garma C.C. Chang, The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Shambala, Boston, 1999
H.H. Dalai Lama, Dzogchen:The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, Snow Lion, Ithaca, New York, 2000
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, The 17th Galwang Karmapa, Ngondro for Our Current Day, KTD Publications,Woodstock, New York, 2010
Artemus B. Engle, The Inner Science of Buddhist Practice, Snow Lion, Ithaca, New York, 2009
Lama Gursam on line at lamagursam.org
Khenpo Konchong Gyaltsen “The Preliminary Practices of the Incomparable Drikung Kagyu”,
Vajra Publications, Gainsville Florida, 1994
Khenpo Konchong Gyaltsen, Trans. Gampopa’s, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation,
Snow Lion, Ithaca, New York, 1998
Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen, A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path, Snow Lion, Ithaca, New York, 2009
Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen, Transformation of Suffering, A Handbook for Practitioners,
Vajra Publications, Gainsville, Florida, 2006
Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang. A Guide to The Words of My Perfect Teacher, Shambala, Boston, 2004
Rick Hanson, Buddha’s Brain, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA, 2009
Khandro Rinpoche, This Precious Life, , Shambhala, Boston, 2003
Jamgon Kongtrul, The Torch of Certainty, Shambhala, Boston, 2000
Patrul Rinpoche, Words of My Perfect Teacher, AltaMira Press, Sage Publications, Walnut Creek, California, 1998
Robert Thurman, The Jewel Tree of Tibet, Free Press, New York, 2005
(Any errors are mine, John Wenz – May all beings benefit from the precious dharma! )