Softening the Heart, Awakening the Mind

With venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Bodhicitta, the mindset of awakening, has two aspects. With the practice of relative bodhicitta, we soften our hearts; with the practice of absolute bodhicitta, we awaken our minds. Relative bodhicitta begins with contemplating the four immeasurable qualities: equanimity, loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy. From here, we naturally develop the aspiration to devote our lives to attaining enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. This supreme aspiration serves as our foundation for all our dharma practice, culminating in absolute bodhicitta, in which we gain insight into the true nature of our mind and phenomena.


dzigar kongtrul rinpoche

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche was born in Northern India, shortly before the Tibetan community settlement at Bir was established by his father, the third Neten Chokling Rinpoche. His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche recognized him as an emanation of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche grew up in a monastic environment and received extensive training in all aspects of Buddhist doctrine. In particular, he received the teachings of the Nyingma lineage, especially those of the Longchen Nyingtik, from his root teacher, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche also studied extensively under Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, and the great scholar Khenpo Rinchen.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche moved to the United States in 1989 with his family and began a five-year tenure as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at Naropa University (then Institute) in 1990. He founded Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization dedicated to furthering the practice of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage. He established a mountain retreat centre, Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, in southern Colorado, where he spends much of his time in retreat and guides students in long-term retreat practice. He is also an avid painter in the abstract expressionist tradition.

Supporting Lerab Ling and Dzogchen Beara

Rigpa is offering a number of programmes free online through a number of our centres and social media platforms (Facebook and YouTube). However, for this event and several other online events in 2020 we do request a financial contribution. The income from this event will go to supporting Rigpa’s two main retreat centres: Lerab Ling in France and Dzogchen Beara in Ireland which have been especially affected by programme cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are aware that many people are facing similar financial difficulties so there is an option to pay a reduced contribution for all events.

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