Innate Kalacakra empowerment and teachings by HE Garchen Rinpoche in Portugal, 4th- 7th October.

Hot of the press! One of the greatest living Buddhist masters (and Kalacakra masters), HE Garchen Rinpoche will be giving the Innate Kalacakra empowerment and teachings at the Instituto Changchub, Portugal between 4th to 7th October. This teaching will be part of a European tour of teachings and empowerments Rinpoche will give in September and October 2018.

Translation into English by an amazing oral translator, wisdom dakini, Ina Bieler (Trinley Wangmo). For now put these dates in your diary. Details will be published here as and when they become available.

The programme is here:


Rejoicing at this wonderful opportunity!

Vajravega empowerment and the Greatness of the Kalacakra Vajra-Yogas on 9-12 August 2018, Ontario, Canada.

Khentrul Rinpoché (of the Tibetan Buddhist Rime Institute) will be travelling to Toronto, Canada at the request of the Terma Foundation. Rinpoche will give a series of teachings starting with the Greatness of the Vajra Yogas of Kalachakra. This will be followed by teachings on Bringing the Bardo into Kalachakra Practice and concluded with a Vajravega Empowerment.

The program for Rinpoché’s visit to Toronto will be as follows:

Teachings on the Greatness of The Vajra Yogas of Kalachakra
9 August, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Bringing The Bardo Into Kalachakra Practice
10 August, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
11 August, 9:00 AM – 12:00PM and 2:00 PM – 5:00PM

Vajravega Empowerment
12 August, 2:00PM – 5:00PM

All events will be held at:

40 Shields Court, UN 101 Markham, Ontario L3R 9T5, Canada

If you would like to contact the organisers, please use the following:

Jack Xu: +1 416-275 8222

History of the Jonang and other Tibetan Buddhist lineages- teaching by HE Khatog Rinpoche

Khentrul Rinpoché invited His Eminence Kathog Rigzin Chenpo to TIbetan Buddhist Rimé Institute in Belgrave, Melbourne Australia a few days ago to teach the rich history of Tibet’s five major Buddhist traditions – Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Jonang and Gelug.

There is a link to the live video recordings of the teachings on the Jonang lineage. It is interesting to hear about Khatog Rigzin Chenpo’s own strong connection to the Jonang and his childhood friend in Tibet, a Jonang tulku.

HE Kathog Rigzin Chenpo taught in Tibetan and Khentrul Rinpoché translated into English. Some pictures of the event:

The teachings were broadcast live on the Tibetan Buddhist Rimé Institute Facebook page and are still available for viewing on the page.

The video of the first day of teaching on the Jonang lineage can be viewed here.

13th Annual Meeting on Shentong Madhyamaka in Golok, Tibet and Khenpo Ngawang Ngodrub

Here are some recent photos and videos of the 13th annual Shentong Madhyamaka debate happening at the Jonang monastery, Golok, Tibet.


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Jigme Dorjee Rinpoche meeting Jonang master Khenpo Kunga Sherab Rinpoche

ne of the scholars attending this important debate for Jonang is a Khenpo called Ngawang Ngodrub. My attention was drawn to this Jonang Lama by a monk from the Dzamthang monastery. He is considered to be a great scholar who spent a lot of time not only practising Kalacakra but also studying Buddhist Philosophy in India.

Khenpo Ngawang Ngodrub

Here is a short video of Khenpo la arriving at the monastery for the meeting and of the debates taking place.

I am in the process of translating a short biography that was sent to me about him and will post it on this website when it is complete.

May the teachings of Shentong Madhyamaka and Kalacakra flourish!


Taranatha’s Lion-faced Dakini text now available in English

I am happy to announce that Taranatha’s Lion-Faced Dakini Sadhana text (seng gdong ma’i lzog pa) is now available in English (with Tibetan and phonetics) for the first time.

For anyone experiencing obstacles, psychic attacks, obstructions, harmful influences and so on, the Lion-Faced Dakini practise is renowned for eliminating them.

As the practise is only to be done by those who have the necessary empowerment and oral transmission it is restricted access only. Please contact me if you would like a copy and fulfil those requirements.

May it be if benefit!

HH the 14th Dalai Lama on the Jonang Kalacakra Six Yogas and Shentong – English translation

HH the 14th Dalai Lama has been a strong advocate and supporter of the Jonang teachings on Kalacakra and Shentong flourishing in exile. He was good friends with the late, 9th Jetsun Kalkha Dhampa.

jetsun kalkha

HE 9th Jetsun Khalka Dhampa

An example of HH’s support can be read in his beautiful Aspiration for Jonang Teachings composed in 2001.


HH 14th Dalai Lama with Jonang master, Khenpo Kunga Sherab Rinpoche.

Recently, the Jonang Well-Being Association in Exile prepared a compilation of video teachings of HH Dalai Lama talking about the Jonang, the Shentong view and the Kalacakra Six Yogas. This was only in Tibetan.


Jonang Representative in exile, Chokyi Nangwa Rinpoche and Head of the Jonang Well-Being Association, Tsewang, present a copy of their compilation of HH’s teachings on Jonang to Kalon Karma Gelek Yutok in November 2017, Dharamsala, India.

Out of my own interest, and for the benefit of others interested in what HH has to say on this topic, I decided to translate it into English.

In the teachings, HH mentions many times a Jonang stanza by Taranatha that he finds especially inspiring. it is not an easy passage to understand nor to translate, but here is my humble effort, based on HH’s explanations of it. Apologies for any errors on my side!

The naked state of illusory, self-manifesting appearances,

is luminous awareness without reference point;

left remaining the inexpressible sphere;

vividly flickering great bliss.

A beautiful stanza indeed. Here is the Tibetan of it:

སྒྱུ་མའི་རང་སྣང་རྗེན་ནེ་ནེ། །

གཏད་མེད་རིག་པ་གསལ་ལ་ལ། །

བརྗོད་མེད་དབྱིངས་སུ་ཐལ་ལ་ལ། །


Please see here for the complete translation of HH’s teaching on this topic in English.

The Youtube video of the teachings in Tibetan, with Tibetan subtitles is available here. (and see below)


Adele Tomlin, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

New on the website – An Introduction to Shentong

For many, the distinction between ’empty-of-other’ (gzhan stong, pronounced shentong) and ’empty of self (rang stong, pronounced rang tong) is an intellectual debate only that they need not concern themselves with in terms of practice, or one which is simply too high level philosophically to engage with. However, this would be a misunderstanding of the view of ’empty-of-other’ and also why it is important for both Sutra and Tantra teachings and practices.

In fact, ‘the correct view’ as it is called, is an essential part of any meditation or tantric practise. Without the ‘correct view’ (shes rab) then all methods (thabs) are like a bird with only one wing, one cannot really get off the ground. So, here is my humble attempt at a short and accessible introductory essay and reader of what the view of Shentong is and isn’t, and why it is important even in terms of practice.

As Jonang Thubten Bamda Gelek says in his commentary on the Kalacakra practice, The Chariot that Transports One to the Kingdom of the Four Kayas (forthcoming TOMLIN 2018):

The primordial awareness realising emptiness, which is free of the mental elaborations of clinging to reality and things as inherently existing, is alone not the completion stage,  as it is similar to the primordial awareness that arises from bringing the karmic winds into the central channel. In order to accomplish the actual completion stage one needs to realise the view for entering the completion stage.   If one doesn’t realise it [the view], even if one practises the completion stage, the signs [of experience] will not arise in one’s mindstream.

Happy reading folks and don’t hesitate to share or ask questions if you have any. May it be of benefit!

Khentrul Rinpoche teaching on Kalacakra Preliminaries in Moscow, Russia, 20-24 June 2018

Khentrul Rinpoche of the Jonang lineage will be teaching on Kalacakra in Moscow, Russia, between the dates of 20-24 June. The schedule states that he will give the necessary oral transmission and instructions for students to enter the Path of the Kalacakra Preliminaries. For more details see his Facebook page here. (Google Translate the Russian).

New Name for Website – All Lineages Included

Many thanks for your interest in following the Facebook Page and website!

Even though the majority of my own translation work and research is predominantly on Jonang Kalacakra and Shentong, I have decided to broaden the scope to include all teachings or activity on Kalacakra and Shentong Madhyamaka from the various lineages. Thus the new name too. Please feel free to post and share anything you think relevant to this.

May it be of benefit!





Karma Kagyu Kalacakra Masters and the Bokar Rinpoche Kalacakra Stupa

Having spent the last ten days in the presence of three great living masters of Kalacakra, HE 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Bokar Yangsi (whose predecessor was the great Bokar Rinpoche) and Khenpo Lodro Donyo Rinpoche at Bokar Monastery, Mirik for the several empowerments and Red Hat Ceremony of Karma Kagyu Heart Son, 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, I was reminded of how the Karma Kagyu lineage have also kept the Kalacakra practises and teachings alive and well.

On the Kalacakra Duchen, two major Karma Kagyu monasteries, Bokar Monastery and Rumtek Monastery performed Kalacakra rituals and creation of sand Mandala and HE 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche gave the Kalacakra empowerment at his Ralang monastery.

Visiting the Golden Relic Kalacakra Stupa of the former Bokar Rinpoche at Bokar Monastery, which was finished in 2006, was an inspiring experience. The Stupa itself has a Kalacakra image at the top and surrounding it are exquisitely painted images of the Kalacakra deity and all the individual deities in the Mandala (see photos below). It reminded me a little of the beautiful Kalacakra temple in Dharamsala, India.

According to the late Edward Henning:

The situation with regard to the Karma Kagyu school is rather odd. That tradition’s Kālacakra practices originally came from the translator Tsami (tsa mi lo tsā ba), and passed through the siddha Ogyenpa (o rgyan pa), and then to the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (rang byung rdo rje). From him it was passed down the Karma Kagyu lineage. However, the use of the practice texts of this tradition, the most notable being written by the eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje (mi bskyod rdo rje), has largely ceased, and the practices of the Jonang tradition written by Tāranātha are now mainly used. But still the maṇḍala is drawn according to the original Karma Kagyu methods (which I will refer to as the Tsami tradition), even though there are some clear, although minor, contradictions between the descriptions given in the maṇḍala drawing texts and the practice texts. These differences have sometimes caused puzzlement to modern Karma Kagyu maṇḍala artists, unaware of the full history of their tradition.

The Kālacakra tradition now practiced in the Karma and Shangpa Kagyu schools is derived from the Jonang tradition and was largely systematized by Jamgon Kongtrul, who wrote the text that is now used for empowerment. The 2nd and 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul (1954–1992) were also prominent Kālacakra lineage holders, with the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul giving the initiation publicly in North America on at least one occasion (Toronto 1990).

The chief Kālacakra lineage holder for the Kagyu lineage was Kalu Rinpoche (1905–1990), who gave the initiation several times in Tibet, India, Europe and North America (e.g., New York 1982). Upon his death, this mantle was assumed by his heart son, Bokar Rinpoche, who in turn passed it on to Khenpo Lodro Donyo Rinpoche. Bokar Monastery, of which Donyo Rinpoche is now the head, features a Kālacakra stupa and is a prominent retreat center for Kālacakra practice in the Kagyu lineage.

Tenga Rinpoche was also a prominent Kagyu holder of the Kālacakra; he gave the initiation in Grabnik, Poland in August, 2005.

Lopon Tsechu performed Kālacakra initiations and built a Kālacakra stupa in Karma Guen buddhist center in southern Spain. Another prominent Kālacakra master is the Second Beru Khyentse.

Chögyam Trungpa, while not a noted Kālacakra master, became increasingly involved later in his life with what he termed Shambhala teachings, derived in part from the Kālacakra tradition, in particular, the mind terma which he received from the Kalki.

Here is a list of contemporary Kalacakra Masters who teach and give empowerments outside of Tibet, many of whom are Kagyu lineage holders: