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General Curriculum of Khenchen Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

«The essence of the Buddha-Dharma is sameness or equality.
Study equality!
All studies and familiarizations should merge into this awareness.»

(Khen Rinpoche) Curriculum

Appearance-emptiness equality

by Khenchen Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
«Not to know the equality of appearance-emptiness
And get attached to appearances alone is delusion.
But to get attached to emptiness alone is delusion too.
If you know the equality of appearance-emptiness
There‘s no need to get caught up in or give up phenomena.
Those appearances and emptiness, -
What you must do is to rest in the spaciousness
Of the equality of appearance-emptiness.»


  1. Lob-rim – Gradual studies of scriptures
  2. Gom-rim – Gradual practices of familiarization
  3. Rig-lam – Path of studies on logic
  4. Lü-jong – Tibetan Yoga
  5. Tibetan literal language studies
  6. Tibetan colloquial language studies
  7. Sanskrit basic studies
The series of steps taken and the study time line depend entirely on the tutor, the students and many other circumstantial factors.

1) Lob-rim – Gradual studies of scriptures

Topic: 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva
Description:    Author: Thogme Sangpo
Duration; 2 months

Topic: Jewel Ornament of Liberation
Description:    Description: Author: Gampopa, The Table of Content in metric (dom-zig/ Wylie: sdom zig) the complete text
Duration: 1.5 to 2 years

Topic: Gradual Stages of Meditation on Emptiness
Description:    Khen Rinpoche emphasises a brief introduction into the stages in order to be prepared for the study of the Mahayanauttaratantrashastra
Duration; 6 months

Topic: The Ultimate Continuum of the Mahāyāna/Mahāyānottaratantrashastra
Description:    Author: Maitreya-Asanga, depending on the level of the students: beginning with the 4th chapter: The Element - Tathagatagarbha or the whole text including the commentary
Duration; 2 years

Topic: A Guide to the Bodhisattava Way of Life/Bodhicharyavatara
Description:    Author: Shantideva, Depending on the level of the students: only chapter 1, 2, 3 and 10 or the whole text
Duration; 1 to 2 years

Topic: The Torch of True Meaning
Description:    Author: Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, Instructions on the Mahamudra Preliminaries
Duration; 6 months

Topic: The Distinction between Phenomena and the Nature of Phenomena/Dharma-dharmathā-vibhāga-karika
Description:    Author: Maitreya-Asanga, the whole text
Duration; 1.5 to 2 years

Topic: The Distinction between the Middle and Extremes/Madhyānta-vibhāga-karika
Description:    Author: Maitreya-Asanga, the whole text
Duration; 1 year

Topic: The Sun of Wisdom
Description:    KhenchenTsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Duration; 1 to 2 years

Topic: Heart Sutra
Description:    Sherab nyingpo, with commentary by Pema Karpo
Duration; 6 months

The Treasury of knowledge She-cha-dzö/shes bya mDzod by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye:
Topic: Chapter 7.2
Description:    Investigation of the Three Dharmachakra in terms of the provisional and definitive meaning
Duration; 1 month

Topic: Chapter 7.3
Description:    Gaining Certainty about the View
Duration; 3 months

Topic: Chapter 8.4
Description:    Stages of Meditation of Shamatha and Vipashyana as the general Basis of all Samadhi
Duration; 3 months

  • by Jetsun Milarepa:
    • Prayer of Solemn Commitment
    • An Authentic Portrait of the Middle Way
    • Distinguishing the Provisional from the Definitive
  • other...

Biography: (nam-thar)
  • The life of Milarepa
  • The life of Marpa
  • The life of Gampopa

  • Arya Bhadra Charya Pranidhana Raja Noble Aspiration for Excellent Conduct
  • Maitreya Pranidhana with commentary by Mendong Tshampa Rinpoche
  • The Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra, the Definitive Meaning by Karmapa Rangjung Dorje

2) Gom-rim – Gradual practices of familiarization

  1. Gradual stages of familiarization related to the relative truth based on the Jewel Ornament of Liberation with Khenpo Rinpoche‘s meditation instructions:
    1. General introduction to Shamatha practice
    2. Familiarization with:
      • precious human existence
      • impermanence of conditioned phenomena
      • the truth of dukkha, six realms, Karma - cause and effect
      • disgust in order to remedy attachment
      • six breath meditations
      • twelve links of interdependent origination
      • loving kindness
      • compassion
      • equalizing oneself and others
      • exchanging oneself and others
  2. Gradual stages of familiarization related to the ultimate truth
    1. General introduction to Vipashyana practice
    2. Gradual Stages on Meditation on Emptiness
  3. Vajrayana: Yidam practices
    1. Preliminaries to Mahamudra
    2. Sādhana of Arya Avalokiteshvara
    3. Sādhana of Buddha Amitabha
    4. Sādhana of Arya Tara
    5. Sādhana of Vajrasattva from the Cycle: The Heart of Secret Bindu (Sang.thik dorsem)
    6. Sādhana of Milarepa Guru Yoga
    7. Sādhana of Chöd
    8. other...

3) Rig-lam – Path of studies on logic

Topic: Classifications of mind (science of mind), lo-rig/blo rig
Description:    provides the most important definitions, classifications and functions of valid and nonvalid cognition
Duration; 8 months

Topic: Classification of reasons, tag-rig/rtags rigs
Description:    presents correct and faulty reasons in the context of logical proofs as well as their implications
Duration; 8 months

Topic: The Essence of the Ocean of Texts on Reasoning
Description:    by KhenchenTsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, with emphasis on the 2. chapter: "Delineation of the necessary distinction between mind and mental events"
Duration; 8 months

Topic: Rig.Dü.pa, The mirculous key, ‘phrul gyi de mig
Description:    by KhenchenTsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Duration; 8 months

Topic: Collected topics, dü-dra/bsdus grva
Description:    provides basic buddhist terminology in connection with formal logic
Duration; 8 months

4) Lü-jong – Tibetan Yoga

Practice manual

5) Tibetan literal language studies

  1. Grammar studies of the literal Tibetan language based on the text:
    37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Thogme Sangpo
  2. Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa:
    Topic: The Table of Content in Metric
    Description:    dom.zig/sdom zig
    Duration; 1 month

    Topic: The Condensed Version
    Description:    by Khen Rinpoche dü-dön/sdud don
    Duration; 8 months

    or as an option:
    Topic: Ocean of Sutra Quotations
    Description:    Karma Lekshey Ling / Dharma download (excerpt of all quotations in the Jewel Ornament of Liberation)
    Duration; 8 months

6) Tibetan colloquial language studies

Topic: Appearance of Prajna
Description:    sherab nangwa
Duration; 3 months

Topic: Opening the door to Prajna
Description:    sherab go-che
Duration; 3 months

7) Sanskrit basic studies

reading, writing, pronounciation, basic grammar, basic exercise of translation on verses
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