This is where it began: some of the earliest recordings the Archive has of Ringu Tulku and his first teachings in the West.
At the direct request of Akong Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku journeyed to the West for the first time in 1989 and commenced teachings on Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé’s The Treasury of Knowledge ( ཤེས་བྱ་ཀུན་ཁྱབ་མཛོད་, Sheja Kun La Khyabpé Dzö, Wyl. shes bya kun khyab mdzod or simply Sheja Dzö) — Jamgön Kongtrul’s encyclopedia of Buddhist wisdom and knowledge; one of The Five Great Treasures —at Kagyu Samye Ling in Scotland.
Ringu Tulku had been awarded the titles of Khenpo in 1975, and the title of Lopön Chenpo (Great Master) in 1983, having completed his treatise The Ri-mé Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great on 27/2/1983; published in Tibetan in 1985, and later published in English in 2006, by Shambhala:
Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé ( འཇམ་མགོན་ཀོང་སྤྲུལ་བློ་གྲོས་མཐའ་ཡས་ 1813-1899) – was recognized by all schools of Buddhism in Tibet as one of the greatest masters of the Ri-mé (ecumenical) movement, and is also known for writing and compiling one hundred volumes of teachings. Born in the hidden valley of Rongyap in Kongpo, East Tibet, his father, was Tendzin Yungdrung of the royal Khyung clan of accomplished practitioners, and his mother was the yogini Tashi Tso.
From the age of ten, he began to study on an enormous scale and without sectarian bias, receiving teachings from many spiritual guides of various traditions, including Gyurme Thutob Namgyal of Shechen Monastery, Tai Situ Pema Nyinché Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. He dedicated his whole life to teaching and spreading the Dharma, by giving empowerments, instructions, advice and reading transmissions for both sutra and mantra, kama and terma, old and new translation schools, without any sectarian bias.
He composed and edited the ninety volume collection of texts universally renowned as the Five Great Treasures, of which The Treasury of (Encyclopedic) Knowledge is the first: which brilliantly reveals the ground, path and fruition for the whole of sutra and mantra, from the paths of the common sciences all the way up to Dzogchen Atiyoga, the culmination of the nine vehicles.
Kalu Rinpoche (1905 -1989) requested that this encyclopedia be fully translated into English: the project was completed in 2012 with all volumes translated and published by Snow Lion; 23 years after Ringu Tulku commenced his commentary in these recordings.
Part One: The Teacher’s Path to Awakening
Part Two: The Buddha’s Enlightenment
Part Three: The Buddha’s Twelve Deeds
Part Four: Enlightenment’s Bodies and Realms
||Part One: What Are the Sacred Teachings?
Part Two: Cycles of Scriptural Transmission
Part Three: Compilations of the Buddha’s Word
Part Four: Origins of the Original Translations’ Ancient Tradition (Nyingma)
||Part One: Buddhism’s Spread in India
Part Two: How Buddhist Monastic Discipline and Philosophy Came to Tibet
Part Three: Tibet’s Eight Vehicles of Tantric Meditation Practice
Part Four: The Origins of Buddhist Culture
||Part One: A Presentation of the Common Fields of Knowledge and Worldly Paths (Snow Lion, 2012)
Part Two: The General Topics of Knowledge in the Hinayana and Mahayana (Snow Lion, 2012)
Part Three: Frameworks of Buddhist Philosophy (Snow Lion, 2007)
Part Four: Systems of Buddhist Tantra (Snow Lion, 2005)
||Part One: Gaining Certainty about the Keys to Understanding
Part Two: Gaining Certainty about the Provisional and Definitive Meanings in the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, the Two Truths and Dependent Arising
Part Three: Gaining Certainty about the View
Part Four: Gaining Certainty about the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind
||Part One, Two: Shamatha and Vipashyana; The Stages of Meditation in the Cause-Based Approaches (Snow Lion, 2012)
Part Three: The Elements of Tantric Practice (Snow Lion, 2008)
Part Four: Esoteric Instructions, A Detailed Presentation of the Process of Meditation in Vajrayana (Snow Lion, 2008)
||Part One: The Paths and Levels in the Cause-Based Dialectical Approach
Part Two: The Levels and Paths in the Vajrayana
Part Three: The Process of Enlightenment
Part Four: The Levels in the Three Yogas
||Part One: The Fruition in the Dialectical Approach
Part Two: The More Common Attainment in the Vajrayana
Part Three: The Fruition in the Vajrayana
Part Four: The Fruition State in the Nyingma School
NB Book One (“Myriad Worlds”) is not taught as Akong Rinpoche specifically asked RT to start at Book Two: The Coming of the Buddha “ The Light of the World”. Any students wishing to follow the text alongside Rinpoche can find it published here (“Buddhism’s Journey to Tibet”) from page 44:
“Amongst infinite numbers of victors, guides of this world; of this fortunate kalpa’s thousand Buddhas, one was praised like a white lotus: the incomparable King of the Shakyas!”
Those of you who remember pre-digital audio cassettes will recall that C-90 tapes contained around 1h 35 min recording time over 2 sides. Therefore the majority of these thirteen 1989 recordings have been edited to last just over 90 minutes, to allow students to historically listen to them over two 45 min cassette tape sides. Recording quality varies sometimes according to microphone, room echo, and ambient noise factors, however the majority of these recordings are clear and now available in this digital format, thanks to the work of Lorna and Bill at Samye Ling in 1989.
In the first of these precious recordings:
Rinpoche describes the life of Jamgon Kongtrul till 33:54. From 34:17 Rinpoche starts Book 2.
36:22 Q. Jamgon Kongtrul only left his retreat on 3 occasions: 1)to teach/receive teachings; 2)for community practice/Drupchen puja; & 3) if there was a great crisis?
39:08 Q When Jamgon Kongtrul died he reincarnated in more than one reincarnation: in 5 forms? Can you talk about them: what exactly is it that reincarnates? (The 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul of Palpung was alive, and residing in Rumtek, at this time.)
45:28 Is there a continuum?
47:25 Do tulkus have conscious access to their previous memories? (historical 1989 tape glitch)
49:33 Is the wisdom sometimes there but not in the conscious mind?
50:46 Are there cases where a being awakens and has access to deep teachings?
Pause 51:21. Resumes 51:58 A short period of microphone adjustments occurs. 53:44 tape pause. New mic set up to record Peter Roberts. “Can you hear from the backside?”
“The Text that Covers All Knowledge”
Translator Peter Roberts joins alongside to assist Rinpoche with terminology if required.
55:37 starts discussion of the text. Rinpoche teaches on the root text.
All subsequent 12 sessions follow Ringu Tulku’s commentary on the text with extensive opportunities for students to ask questions.
Subsequent years of teachings are also available in the Archive here:
Texts that complement these recordings: