Journey Beyond Extremes – Buddha’s Life Part 3

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Ngakpa Seminary, Level 2

With Pema Khandro

November 20, 2019
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study of Vajrayana Buddhism. The five year curriculum focuses on a study of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen. These studies alternate with one on one dialogues with the Lama in phone classes, private […]
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Ngakpa Seminary, Level 1

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November 27, 2019
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study of Vajrayana Buddhism. The five year curriculum focuses on a study of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen. These studies alternate with one on one dialogues with the Lama in phone classes, private […]
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November 27, 2019
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Dzogchen Day Webcast

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December 11, 2019
Guided meditation and discussion with Pema Khandro. This 30 minute online class is free and open to Buddhist Yogis Sangha Members only. Click Here to become a Member Join online for this monthly class to practice meditation and discuss esoteric Buddhism with Pema Khandro. This class is a joyful opportunity to connect with the Buddhist Yogis […]
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Ngakpa Seminary, Level 2

With Pema Khandro

December 18, 2019
The Ngakpa Training offers in-depth study of Vajrayana Buddhism. The five year curriculum focuses on a study of Vajrayana Buddhist history, philosophy and practice, focusing on the Inner Tantras of the Nyingma Tradition, also known as MahaYoga, AnuYoga and Dzogchen. These studies alternate with one on one dialogues with the Lama in phone classes, private […]
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New Years Retreat ~ Vajrasattva

January 20, 2020
Begin the New Year with a Day-long meditation retreat. You will practice Vajrasattva meditation, the practice cherished by Tibetan Buddhists for clearing past karma and restoring confidence and awakening compassion wisdom of your innermost mind. This retreat will be held in Los Angeles, Seattle, Santa Cruz, Grass Valley and Berkeley led by the Buddhist Yogi’s Sangha’s Meditation Instructors and Group Leaders [...]
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Buddhism wasn’t even started by someone who set out to found a religion. Instead, it started with an ordinary person’s search for understanding. That cultivation of understanding, awareness and compassion which characterizes Buddhism all began in India in 400-500 B.C.E. with Siddhartha Guatama, who came to be known as the Buddha and the founder of the Buddhist tradition. Apparently Buddhism may be the fourth largest religion in the world with over 250-500 million adherents. This illuminates the power of an idea. The main theme of Buddhism is the idea of awakening, waking up or showing up. In terms of Dzogchen philosophy in Buddhism, the main theme, is cultivating self-aware presence.

Its fascinating to learn Buddhism through the stories of Buddhist people in India and Tibet. The most widely known is that of the Buddha himself. This is a story that has been told in different ways. Some Buddhists regard the Buddha as a divine being, others regard the Buddha as a human being, a philosopher and spiritual seeker. As with all the diversity within Buddhism, each account of the Buddha’s highlights different principles emphasized by the traditions that tell the story.

Much about his life is not known because written records of his life from that time have not been found. However the oral tradition that developed recorded his life in terms of its major philosophical themes. These themes highlight his privileged youth and elite education, his leaving behind his kingdom in search of answers to the big questions about life, his training in yoga and meditation. Finally, his life story concludes with his insight into the cause of suffering and how to eliminate it.

This video describes the time of the Buddha’s spiritual journey. Comparable to our modern day spiritual supermarket, at the time of the Buddha there were many spiritual seekers, diverse philosophies and religious ideals. On the one had there was the more rigid, orthodox practice of the Brahmins and on the other hand the esoteric religious movements of the sramanas, the people who left behind ordinary society to pursue spiritual insight. The Buddha encountered these practices but kept finding that most of the practices of his time fell short of what he searched for. For example, leading him to altered states, rather than leading him into the unaltered state, the most fundamental nature of what it is to be awake and alive. His teaching came to be known as the “middle way,” because it was not the extreme ascetism, nor self-indulgence, but instead a middle way…

Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at: https://www.pemakhandro.org/pema-khandro-extended-biography/

  1. Thank you again for this story Rinpoche! I love that term ‘the unaltered state’
    It seems to suggest that most of our experiencing is an altered reality and that there’s something unalterable about us. I’ve heard people speak about the soul in similar terms, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what you mean

  2. Hi Khal, yes I have loved that term of the “unaltered state” as well! Its based on the idea of Buddha-nature being our intrinsic state (awareness, understanding, wisdom, knowing-ness) and cyclic existence in mental poisons such as ignorance being the “altered” state, a distortion of reality. Yes, good point about it not being the “soul.” I agree its tricky because Buddhist’s don’t believe in a “soul” when the term is used to mean an eternal static self. Instead the core of the individual is understood as a dynamic state of fresh presence that arises in the present moment. So Buddhist philosophers for years debated on how to talk about Buddha-nature without implying the soul as eternal fixed concrete defined static self.
    Nice to hear from you! Have a great day! Pema Khandro

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