Emptiness is difficult for beginners to understand so we have go through the preliminary practices

Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche [1]

Dharma Talk 10



“There are those who primarily meditate on the Dzogchen luminosity, which teaches that on reaching the limit of the practice of the subtle mind, there is said to not be “mind”, and a distinction is made between mind and intrinsic awareness.” I think, this is not the time to discuss this in details right now but that’s what Buddha taught. Buddha taught many teachings and many Dharmas, but we have to bring it into some like categories, some levels. So, the highest level, the most profound level, the most correct Dharma is the practice of Dzogchen, the practice on the Rigpa and the instructions on how to realize and meditate on the intrinsic awareness. Of course, the whole book is for that purpose and it has many levels and many steps. But at the end, the goal of all these practices is to realize one’s awareness, the Buddha nature in one’s mind. We talk about many steps and practices: the outer ngondo, inner ngondro, Guru Yoga… Why do we need to do this? Because we though this kind of conditions, this kind of preliminary practices [can succeed]. It’s very difficult to understand or to realize a truth or the genuine realization of one’s nature, therefore, we need to go through these steps and these practices. The blessing of these practices will bring the realization into you, into oneself. The purpose of this book: to help practice all of these practices.

“In that way, there are many different stages of meditation according to the differences in the capabilities of individuals.” That’s the reason for the Buddha to teach so many levels of Dharma, since some people do not have the capability to receive, to understand, to realize the Buddha nature. Sometimes we say it Emptiness. Emptiness is not easy to understand and for most people, Emptiness is not good thing to talk about, because they misunderstand, and it doesn’t help them, even creates bad karma. Due to their very limited mind, very narrow minded, very weak mind in trying to understand the reality, the Buddha nature and the Emptiness are not often heard easily and openly. Of course, because there are some fortunate people who are very smart and faithful, they have wisdom to understand the reality, whatever it is, [they can] hear the teachings like Dzogchen teaching.

That’s the reason we have to understand: “Oh, Buddha was so calm, so kind and so smart that through his wisdom, that through his compassion, he did not reject anyone; he always had a way not to reject anyone, who ever has some interest in his teaching but doesn’t have a very great wisdom to realize the profound subject but something that very simple, like the Four Truths. The Buddha had that kind of a way to teach and bring them into the path. Eventually, the Buddha’s will or Buddha’s wish that everyone who’s practicing the Dharma finally comes to practice Dzogchen. Because if you do not come to this kind of stage, then you do not see the real nature of Buddha nature. Therefore, this is the important place everyone has to come. But before that, people have to go through different ways and check different paths and sometimes people have to go far and around. But some people, luckily, they can go straightly and take a shortcut, [while] some other people have to go around and take many years. So, this is not the Buddha’s problem, this is the problem of individuals. But the Buddha always try to keep them in his compassion and wisdom, and he will definitely bring them together into this category and to this Buddha nature. This is his wish under his power.

So, “The ultimate distinction between mind and intrinsic awareness accords with the true nature.” I said this is not the time yet to, how to distinguish between mind and intrinsic awareness but this is also for us to be able to make the distinction between these two things. Otherwise, we will not understand the real nature, Buddha nature. Just how the Dzogpa Chenpo mentions some parts here: “To the extent that there is a nature of mind, to that extent there will be dualistic appearances. This is because the mind is composed of subject and object.” That’s true as long as there is a mind and there’s a subject and object always needed. The mind cannot be independent. The mind has to depend on things always. Therefore, it’s not a real nature. Nature is independent, but mind cannot be like that. It depends on a lot of conditions, thus it’s not a real nature. Because of that, no matter how subtle the mind is, it still needs depend on many things. Therefore, it’s not a genuine or a great nature of wisdom. What is Dzogchen teaching [about] the genuine nature of wisdom? There are such different ways [to dustinguish] between these two things, but it’s very difficult to understand for the new people, for the beginners. And because of that, we need to accumulate a great merit so that we will have a sort of naturally realization. That great merit will bring us the realization. That’s the purpose, the reason for us to go through these practices that I’ve mentioned earlier.

“If there is a mind that is dependent on there being a perceiver and something perceived, whether that is subtle or obvious, it does not transcend conceptual elaboration.” It is true. Nature does not really depend on anything but mind, any kind of minds, has to depend on many things as mentioned before, it’s not a real nature. “The omniscient Mipham Rinpoche” – a very great scholar in Nyingma tradition. He was the manifestation of Manjushri who beautifully adorned the teachings of luminosity. Mipham Rinpoche, who is between 1846 and 1912, was born in Kham area, very close to Golog. His “Collection of Mipham Rinpoche” is a very valuable and reliable because he was a manifestation of Manjushri. And he sees the reality without making any mistakes or wrong view.

So, Ju Mipham – also his family name is Ju and Mipham is his name – was a very famous scholar, from whom we’ve studied a lot. His collections are the best, very important, very clear and also everyone in Nyingmapa uses them to study and try to solve problems with the correct view, try to understand what the middle way or the Dzogchen view is. He said that the mind is somehow dualistic, by nature deluded. It’s because the mind, as I said earlier, always has to depend on something. It’s deluded, but it’s also the same I mentioned earlier that it’s difficult to understand what I’m saying, probably. Whatever it perceives cannot be the truth. We have to carefully think and study of this thing, and take time to understand. Other ways, it’s not easy to understand.

Thank you very much everyone to participate to attend the teaching. I appreciate for your interests and devotion to attend. I think everyone is trying hard to attend those teachings and probably not pretend. Also sort of naturally want to attend.  I think there’s something good. It’s important sometimes to push oneself. It’s hard to be diligent. Otherwise, the diligence cannot naturally arrise in our mind. But I think if you have to push yourself every day, every Sunday and “Oh, yes or no?” “Oh, yes or no?”, maybe that’s too hard, that’s too much. So, I think you have to have some sort of like a natural or it’s easy, naturally easy [way] for you to attend, to make times and to make the time to attend this, and easy for you to release other things. That’s very important.


(Rinpoche exchanged information and talked about the Monastery’s activities).

How is everybody?

(We are doing good – many answer).

Everyone is happy?

(Yes, we are happy – many answer)

Everyone generally happy or pretending? (Laugh)

(- Some true happy and somebody pretend/- We just pretend to be happy …)

Really? Why?

(- We missed the teaching for two weeks …)

Because of that you pretent to be happy?

(- We are so happy when we received your text, Rinpoche…)

I tried to be here, I tried, and tried. I was supposed to go to Beijing today but then I tried to postpone.

I want to see everyone truly happy and smile

So I hope everyone is physically good, mentally good, economically good (laugh), also especially virtue good. So four goods together is very good. That’s my wish to everyone for the day.

Usually, I give a specific teaching during the Winter Retreat, but this year, because of Covid, the whole situation in the whole world is rough, we did a lot of prayers for the World peace and happiness. As I mentioned earlier, before the beginning of the Winter Teachings we practiced 100 million Om Mani Padme Hung recitations and the Sur ceremony for those demons or beings who cause problems for the world and for the people. So, we practiced Avalokiteshvara to bring peace to the world, to the mind of people.

We also practiced Guru Rinpoche and recited over 100 million Guru Rinpoche mantras. Then I taught the importance of the Guru Rinpoche practice for this time, and for the Dharma and for the peace and happiness of the people in the world. Many prophecies say that it’s very important to practice Guru Rinpoche, to pray to Guru Rinpoche for the world, and especially for Tibetan Buddhism, for whoever is practicing Buddha Dharma, especially practicing Tibetan Buddhism. It is very important to pray to Guru Rinpoche to remove obstacles to one’s practicing, to one’s life and many other things.  I told you this before, but I think it’s important to [help you to] remember this.

After that, we practiced wrathful Manjushri, Yamataka, and we accomplished more than 100 million mantras of the deity. [This is] treasure from Lama Sang. This is a very important practice for this degeneration time [when] people have a lot of problems; especially Dharma practitioners have to face many difficulties and obstacles to their life, to their health and many other things. People change their minds very easily, and they probably change their view towards Buddha Dharma and the path, and they totally become a different person, etc. And Lama Sang taught us many times that you should have a very stable mind. You should not change your view toward Dharma, the faith in Dharma; You should not change under any sort of circumstances, but to keep and to develop your faith. And when bad things happen to you – to the Dharma practitioners – it’s very helpful and blessful if we practice this.

After that, we practiced the Green Tara – more than 100 million mantra OM TARE TUTARE TURE SOHA. Then we gathered for the 14th anniversary of Lama Sang. We chanted very beautiful prayers, practiced Vajrasattva to remember the kindness of Lama Sang, and to repay his kindness.

I think you can get some information from Rinchen Lamp[2] here. And also, a lot of people posted short videos about the anniversary of Lama Sang. I think that’s good about technology. People get information and see what we are doing and they can remember Lama Sang when they watch these videos. And every year we do that, we gather to pray and to make light offering. What we did was good. We feel good. I think we sincerely remember and love Lama Sang, not forgetting Him. And this kind of activities really helps us to remember his kindness, his kind words, his instructions and important activities.

I think it’s the same for everyone. Everyone participates by mentally thinking of what we are doing [here] and joined [the Winter Retreat] with us. Also, everyone gives donations to support our Winter Retreat and all of these activities in the monastery. We dedicate at the end – we shared the merits, the goodness of these activities to all sentient beings and especially to the people who have karmic connections with us. We remember and have to repay [their kindness] through our aspirations and dedications.

And then we did Manjushri practices for five days and Green Tara for three days. We recited at least 100 million mantras of Manjushri, and then we practiced Green Tara – accomplished over a million times of the prayers from the sutras composed by Buddha Shakyamuni. We bought a lot of flowers, and water, and butter lamps, incense and whatever mentioned in the sutras and the texts to offer when we hold a puja. So, that’s what we did during the Winter teachings and what we did for the 14th anniversary of Lama Sang. You have to see it!

As for myself, I did try to accomplish many good actions to repay the kindness of my Gurus, especially Lama Sang. I put the pictures of my Gurus who passed away [on the altar] and make offering, and prayers to them and try to remember what they taught and their words and their blessing, and their kindness. We try to make and offer 100.000 butter lamps every month. And also, we bought a lot of water – good water – and a lot of flowers and many other things. Because our people, our sponsors from all over the world, including Tibet and China, they are [giving] very good supports, we are able to do more things and greater – larger and bigger (laugh). But what I try to say is that we are not wasting your donation and we are not keeping your donation somewhere, never showing anyone [hiding so that] nobody can see it. Something like that never happens! Whatever we have we use 100% – maybe more than 100 % – and we use all of these things for the [right] purpose. We understand it’s not easy for people to donate because it’s a very difficult for anyone to make money. And everyone is trying very hard, very hard to make money for their life, but they try to give some donation for us. So, I think my responsibility is to really use these things for the [right] purpose and to try to make your wish come true through these activities, through using correctly your donations.

I want to say again thank you, everyone – everyone’s support, everyone’s heart. You also achieved a great merit through these activities, through your motivation and your conduct – the conduct of generosity and good motivation to support these activities.


End of teaching on 12.03.2023


Transcript by Tri Minh Tara & Dieu Hue

Excerpt from MP 3 Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche teaching on 12.03.2023:




[1] This is Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche’s 10th teaching on March 12, 23 on the book “The Melodious Sound of the Laughter of the Vidyadhars of the Three Lineages”. English version and the title have been sent to Rinpoche for approval.

[2] wechat page specialized in providing information about Rinpoche’s Dharma activities and teachings