Teaching Issue

Volume 9, Number 8 / September 2009


  • “Heart Advice” – excerpts from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s book “Healing With Form, Energy and Light”
  • Special Invitation for Powa Retreat Participants
  • Coming Soon: Live Internet Teaching With Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
  • Upcoming Retreats at Ligmincha’s Serenity Ridge Retreat Center

“Heart Advice” – excerpts from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s book “Healing With Form, Energy and Light”

Everyone in samsara has problems. That is the nature of samsara. Practice will not make anyone problem-free as long as one is in samsara, despite what many Westerners seem to believe. People often ask me if people who always abide in the natural state get ill. Even people who abide continuously in this state – if they have a body! – will become ill if they live long enough. The rent still has to be paid, the car needs gas, food must be bought, relationships have difficulties, and finally the body dies.

Though practice will not remove all the difficulties of a life, it will lead the practitioner to better ways to deal with problems. This is a much bigger statement than it sounds, because in the practices the emphasis is on how to be rather than on the problem. Most people don’t know how to be with a problem and often don’t have a good method of working with difficulties. Instead, they have the pervasive idea that problems have substantial causes and that the resolution of problems lies there.                                                

In psychotherapy it’s common to think that problems begin at a certain point in life as a result of certain situations, and that the particular time and situation must be dealt with in order to remove the problems. This may be so for particular problems, but suffering begins long before childhood, long before birth. No matter how perfect the childhood, everyone will still have problems.

As practitioners, we are taught to think about the gift of the precious human body. We have been born in places where the dharma is taught, at a time when teachers are accessible and where transmission is obtainable. We live where there is the political freedom to follow our spiritual paths. Our living conditions are good and we have the leisure to practice.

What we often lack is the recognition of the gifts we have already received. Sometimes we remember how good our lives are when we are brushed by tragedy, but then, caught up again in our normal lives, we forget. We are driven away from gratitude and appreciation by dark and negative forces, by habitual dissatisfaction and constant stimulation. When others have more than us, we feel envy, but in a world where so many people have less than us, we often don’t recognize how fortunate we are.

The teachings often focus on view, meditation, and behavior. What this means is that the way we see determines how we feel and think. And how we feel and think determines how we act. When we look from a dualistic viewpoint, we see an imperfect world and we live as troubled, imperfect beings in that imperfect world. When we see the world in its perfection, just as it is, we are buddhas, living in a pure land, surrounded by other buddhas.

Until we have pure vision and realize the perfection of the world and the beings in it, it is helpful if we can accept the imperfections of the world as a natural part of life, as the material with which we can work. When we turn away from any aspect of the world, we turn away from parts of ourselves. By opening to the world and accepting it as it is, we open to deeper dimensions of our own being. Complete acceptance is the end of hope and fear, the end of fantasies of the past and future. It is living entirely in the present, in what actually is.

[Editors' Note: Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's book "Healing With Form, Energy and Light: The Five Elements in Tibetan Shamanism, Tantra, and Dzogchen," published by Snow Lion Publications, 2003, is available from Ligmincha's Bookstore. Visit www.ligminchastore.org, or call (434) 263-6305.]


Students who register for the fall Powa retreat (Oct. 7 – 11, 2009) with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche are specially invited to make the most of their retreat experience by extending their stay at the Serenity Ridge retreat center. Students may arrive up to three days early and stay up to three days after the retreat to engage in self-directed meditation practice and participate in optional guided practice sessions. This is an opportunity for serious practitioners to deepen their retreat experience amid the inspiring environment of Serenity Ridge.

For further information please visit: https://www.ligmincha.org/news-releases/special-invitation-to-powa-retreat-participants.html


 Oct. 11, 2009, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time (New York time)

'Healing Through Love and Wisdom': The Sherap Chamma Practice
With Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
More details will be posted soon at www.ligmincha.org; click on “Retreats” to learn more.


The retreats described below will take place at Serenity Ridge, Ligmincha Institute’s retreat center in Nelson County, Va. To register or for more information, please visit www.ligmincha.org and click on “Retreats”; or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or our new telephone number, 434-263-6304.

Sept. 25 – 27, 2009
Vital Breath: Harnessing the Healing Power of Movement and Sound
The Tsa Lung Exercises and the Five Warrior Syllables Practice
With Marcy Vaughn

Oct. 7 – 11, 2009
Powa: The Transference of Consciousness
Annual Fall Retreat at Serenity Ridge
With Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Nov. 12 - 15, 2009
Tibetan Yoga
The Contemplative Physical Movements of Trul Khor, From the Oral Transmission of Zhang Zhung
With Alejandro Chaoul-Reich
Dec. 27, 2009 – Jan. 1, 2010

The Experiential Transmission of Zhang Zhung, Part 2
Annual Winter Dzogchen Retreat with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
To register for any of the above retreats or for more information, please visit www.ligmincha.org and click on “Retreats”; or contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 434-263-6304.


Dear Readers,
We are excited to let you know that Ligmincha’s new format for the VOCL newsletter is in the works and nearing completion! You will soon be receiving the Voice of Clear Light email newsletter in a new, colorful, picture-filled format, easy to read and to print out, including new features and clickable links to teaching videos, Internet articles, Ligmincha’s Tibet Shop, and more!
Final details are still being worked out by a team of dedicated, wonderful people at Ligmincha, whom we would like to thank: Polly Turner and Mary Ellen McCourt, Ligmincha’s communications directors; Sue Davis-Dill, manager of Ligmincha’s Bookstore and Tibet Shop; David Liden, computer consultant; and of course most importantly, our teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, whose message is always the heart of our work.
And thanks to all of the folks who have expressed to Rinpoche all over the world how much you appreciate the VOCL, for all your love and support, which is why we do this heart work and love it so.
Please, stay tuned for more great teaching excerpts and the latest videos, news and information from Ligmincha – look for the brightly ornamented, new clothes of VOCL in the weeks to come!
Aline and Jeff Fisher
Editors, Voice of Clear Light

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