Gongchig Teachings at Drikung Kagyu Institute: Fifth Week

khen01The teaching of the Gong-chig ("The Holistic Enlightened View”) by Khenchen Könchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche based on the commentary called "The Lamp of Wisdom Illumination" has now completed its fifth week.


This week the presentation of the Gong-chig as one hundred and fifty main ‘vajra statements’, divided into seven sections, has continued. The second and third sections, “Universally Applicable Interdependence” and “Vinaya, Liberation Through Discernment”, have now been completed.

Ven. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen RinpocheThe name of the third section turned out to be an important teaching in itself. ‘Liberation through discernment’ is a translation for the Tibetan “so sor thar pa” (Skt. prātimokṣha) that attempts to
 follow Kyopa Jigten Sumgön’s explanation of how the term should be properly understood and applied. This term is generally understood as “individual liberation”, and the vinaya basket of teachings is usually described as the Buddha’s teachings on taking and maintaining one of eight “vows of individual liberation” that have the goal and result of liberating oneself from saṃsāra. Kyopa Jigten Sumgön taught that this term means something else: “liberation [to nirvāṇa or buddhahood] through discernment [of what is to be practiced and what is not]” and that it applies to all three levels of vowed practice, be it the so-called “individual liberation”, bodhisattva conduct, or secret mantra, with the “what is to be practiced and what is not” specific to each level. Furthermore, the vinaya basket is where this “liberation through discernment” is taught and so practice of the vinaya is accepted by Kyopa Jigten Sumgön as necessary to attaining the desired result of any of the three levels of practice, making the vinaya a vehicle shared by all practitioners of buddha-dharma, the “shared vehicle” of the first vajra statement of the third section.

A translation of the root text for the second and third sections has been completed based on the teachings of this week, click here. This is included as a summary of these teachings.

HH Taglung Shabdrung RinpocheHH Taklung Shabdrung Rinpoche joined us this week for the Gong-chig teachings, having recently completed his examinations in Dharamsala. We are happy to know that he plans to attend the remainder of the teachings.

Today is Ladakhi New Year, and so early this morning HH Taklung Shabdrung Rinpoche and Khenchen Rinpoche lead the community in the practice of the Lama Chöpa puja in which a mandala offering was made to HH Taklung Rinpoche. We are very happy that HH Taklung Rinpoche has blessed us with his presence at this auspicious time.

Winter is now upon us, and the weather has turned cold, wet, and windy, but the warmth of the teachings continues unabated, and so our hearts and minds remain inspired and protected by the Holistic Enlightened View.


The Office of the HH Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang
Acharya Kinley Gyaltsen and Terence Barrett
14 December 2012

The Birth of Buddha
Buddha's Renunciation
In Search of Truth
Turning the Wheel of Dharma
Buddha's Parinirvana
Buddha's Teachings

The Four Noble Truth
Dharma Practice

What is the Mind?
Loving Kindness and Compassion

What is Vajrayana?
Why Practice Vajrayana?
Authentic Vajrayana
Levels of Vajrayana
Attachment and Vajrayana
What to Meditate On
Sitting in Meditation
Preparing for Meditation
The Meditation Session
A Meditation Schedule

The Kagyu Lineage
Meaning of Hung Symbol
Meaning of Drikung
Life Story of Achi
The Three Protectors