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Instructions of Gampopa:  A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path
Teachings and Oral Transmission with Khenpo Karten Rinpoche
Saturdays until completed
9:00am – 10:30am
Pacific Time (time updated as of 11/27/2021)
Online via Zoom, link below
All welcome to join at any time
Free of charge, but donations always welcome

Although he lived long ago, Gampopa is someone who can relate to the suffering and turmoil of modern times. Gampopa, a medical doctor of his time, lived through a pandemic in Tibet, losing his son, daughter, and his wife. In his intense suffering, he sought relief by becoming a monk, and studying the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni). He entered the Kadampa order, learning many texts and becoming well versed in the Dharma, but it was Milarepa, the fully enlightened yogi of Tibet, who became his root guru.  Under Milarepa’s teachings, he learned the visualization practice of tantra.  He combined the step-by-step, graduated path and logic of the Kadam master Atisha, with the tantric practice of Milarepa, and founded the “practice lineage,” the Karma Kagyu.

“Gampopa, the father of the Kagyu tradition in Tibet, wrote a number of commentaries on Buddha’s teachings. The most notable are The Jewel Ornament of Liberation and A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path. In A Precious Garland, Gampopa gives precise instructions on what is needed to develop one’s understanding, meditation and conduct on the spiritual path. Gampopa succinctly outlines in twenty-eight categories what we need to know in order to perfect our spiritual practice*.”

This is the fourth text by Gampopa that Khenpo Karten Rinpoche has taught at the Manjushri Dharma Center. Previously he taught the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, and next he taught on his succinct commentary called the “Excellent Path Of Freedom, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation in Brief,” and most recently he taught on the Four Dharmas of Gampopa.   In the Four Dharmas of Gampopa, one line says:  “May the Dharma become the Path.”   The Precious Garland of the Supreme Path addresses the many facets of turning the Dharma into the Path:  bullet points for right actions and intentions.  In addition, the text includes many inspiring and poetic descriptions of the ultimate nature of mind and reality.   The text will be shown on the screen, and resources to purchase or download a free version are below.  There will be time made for questions and answers at the end of the class periodically.   Please join us for the this precious series of teachings!

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About Venerable Gampopa Sonam Rinchen:

“Gampopa lived from 1070 to 1153. He was born in Central Tibet and trained as a doctor. At age 26, when his family succumbed to an epidemic, he promised his wife on her deathbed that he would become a monk and devote his life to Buddhism. He eventually met the great yogi Milarepa and became his foremost student. He founded the system of Mahamudra which combines the tantric teachings of the great siddhas of India with the graduated path teachings of Atisha.*”

*Note:  The general description of the text and Gampopa’s life is credited and quoted from Shambala Publications: https://www.shambhala.com/snowlion_articles/the-instructions-of-gampopa/

About the Venerable Khenpo Karten Rinpoche

Khenpo Karten Rinpoche is an accomplished teacher and practitioner of the Karma Kagyu Lineage and is also trained in the Nyingma Lineage of Buddhism. He was born in the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas of Tibet.  At the age of twelve, he was ordained at Ja-pa monastery, where he began his formal education of reading, writing and ritual practice. At the age of fifteen having completed the basic studies, he furthered his studies in the Sutra and Tantric texts under the accomplished master Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche and Pema Tsewang Rinpoche for eight years. Subsequently Khenpo Karten Rinpoche went to the hermitage of anther accomplished teacher, Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche and completed five years of retreat under the great master. In the retreat he completed the practices of the Naropa’s six yoga, Mahamudra and many others.  In recognition of his achievements, Sangye Tenzin Ringpoche bestowed upon him the title, Khenpo Karma Lekshe Tharchin in 1994.

In 1996, he left Tibet and traveled to Dharamsala, India to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Upon His Holiness’ advice, he spent another two years doing retreat. H.H Dalai Lama also recognizing his achievement, bestowed upon him the title Khenpo Rinpoche. After his retreat, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche was requested by H.E Tai Situ Rinpoche to go to the monastery of Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche, to teach the young monks there.

Khenpo Karten arrived in the United States in 2008, and taught in the Monterey Bay area for the first time in September of that year. After meeting a group of prospective students and seeing the hills of Big Sur which remind him of Tibet, he returned in 2009 to make the Monterey Bay his permanent home. Since then, Rinpoche has established the Manjushri Dharma Center (MDC) in Pacific Grove, California, which has become his main teaching location and his home residence.  With unflinching faith in the precious Buddha Dharma, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, now a U.S. citizen, bestows sacred teachings to thousands of people all over the world, with weekly teachings and events.

About the Text

Instructions of Gampopa:  A Precious Garland of the Supreme Path was written roughly 900 years ago, and there are many translations in many languages.

  • Here is a Tibetan version of the text, and please email rachelmdc2016@gmail.com for an English version.
  • An English version, translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso and Laura Roth, can be purchased from Snow Lion publication, with commentary by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche.  Shambala Publications has an e-book, and it was originally published in 1996 as a paperback.
  • There is a free, downloadable PDF version of the text in both Tibetan and English, translated and edited by Dr.Konchok Rigzen of the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh-Ladak, India.   It includes an extensive introduction, description of Gampopa’s life,  and detailed footnotes.

Accompanying Texts:

Recordings from Past Sessions

Written Transcriptions of Each Session

Through the kindness of Florence Lee,  written transcriptions of each session are being compiled.  They will be uploaded here as they become available.


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