Lineage and Teacher

Lineage and Teacher Banner Image
a mala held in a hand

Authentic lineage

Rigpa seeks to continue the practice and transmission of this dynamic, unbroken, living lineage of wisdom, for the generations of the future. To this end, Rigpa supports communities of genuine practitioners who strive to embody the Buddha’s teachings. All traditional aspects of the Buddhist path, including well-established facilities for learning (shedra) and practice and retreat (drubdra) are offered by Rigpa for this very same reason.

The Buddha’s teachings are the core and lifeblood of a spiritual tradition that stretches back for over two and a half thousand years. Generation after generation, people followed these teachings, realized them and became models of conduct and practice for others. Roughly a thousand years ago, this tradition of Buddhism came to Tibet, established primarily by King Trisong Detsen, the great Indian scholar Shantarakshita and the ‘second Buddha’, Guru Rinpoche. They created a vibrant, living spiritual tradition that found expression in every area of human activity. This entire body of teachings remains intact to the present day. It is still exemplified by exceptional teachers, most notably by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Guidance of a Living Dzogchen Master

Rigpa is a Tibetan word, which in general means ‘intelligence’ or ‘awareness’. In Dzogchen, however, rigpa has a deeper connotation, ‘the innermost nature of the mind’. The whole of the teaching of Buddha is directed towards realizing this, our ultimate nature – a truth so universal, so primordial that it goes beyond all limits, and beyond even religion itself.”
Inspired by the meaning of the word rigpa, Sogyal Rinpoche made it the name for his work and also of the communities and centres he has developed to serve the Buddha’s teaching in the West.

From the very beginning of Rigpa’s path of study and practice, the Dzogchen view is brought in. Every step of the gradual path is permeated with the spirit of Dzogchen.

Rigpa is part of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Padmasambhava, who is also known as Guru Rinpoche, in the eighth century, and in particular the lineage of the Longchen Nyingtik and teachings of the ‘Great Perfection’, Dzogpachenpo.


The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
What is it I hope for from this book?
To inspire a quiet revolution in the whole way we look at death and care for the dying, and the whole way we look at life, and care for the living.Sogyal Rinpoche

Sogyal Rinpoche’s acclaimed spiritual classic is widely regarded as one of the most complete and authoritative presentations of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings ever written.

A manual for life and death and a source of inspiration from the heart of the Tibetan tradition, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying provides a lucid and inspiring introduction to the practice of meditation, to the nature of mind, to karma and rebirth, to compassionate love and care for the dying, and to the trials and rewards of the spiritual path.

Over 3 million copies have been printed, in 34 languages, and the book is available in 80 countries. It has been adopted by colleges, groups and institutions, both medical and religious, and is used extensively by nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals.

Get the Book