Introduction to Mādhyamaka, by Lama Rinchen Phuntsok

Thursday 18 January 2024 (18:00 -20:00)
Bangkok Shambhala Meditation Center
A talk on Mādhyamaka, from 6pm - 8pm, Thursday January 18th. Join in person, live, at the Shambhala Center, or by Zoom (see meeting pass-code listed below).

Mādhyamaka ("middle way"), otherwise known as "the emptiness doctrine", refers to a tradition of Buddhist philosophy and practice founded by the Indian Buddhist monk and philosopher Nāgārjuna.

Mādhyamaka also refers to the ultimate nature of phenomena as well as the non-conceptual realization of ultimate reality that is experienced in meditation.

Since the 4th century CE onwards, Mādhyamaka philosophy had a major influence on the subsequent development of the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition, especially following the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. It is the dominant interpretation of Buddhist philosophy in Tibetan Buddhism and has also been influential in East Asian Buddhist thought.

According to the classical Indian Mādhyamika thinkers, all phenomena (dharmas) are empty of "nature", of any "substance" or "essence" which could give them "solid and independent existence", because they are dependently co-arisen.  But this "emptiness" itself is also "empty": it does not have an existence on its own, nor does it refer to a transcendental reality beyond or above phenomenal reality.

"When self or others aspire to attain unsurpassed awakening, the root of that will be the bodhichitta. Stable like the king of mountains, with compassion reaching all directions, this wisdom need not depend upon direction or limit." Madhyamaka’s Jewel Garland

The Venerable Lama Rinchen Phuntsok is a skillfull teacher with a light and joyful manner. He is a scholar and meditation master of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. Born in Tibet, Lama Rinchen began receiving instruction in the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism at the age of six in Tsasum Chokhorling Monastery in Tibet. After he left Tibet in 1958, he studied at Young Lama's Home School in Dalhousie, The Buddhist Monastic School in Rewalsar, Nyingmapa Lama's College in Dehra-Dun, and Zongdog Palri Monastery in Kalimpong. Lama Rinchen graduated from Sanskrit University in Varanasi India where he completed advanced studies in Sutrayana Buddhist philosophy and scriptures, commentaries, logic, literature, history, and the major sciences of the Tibetan curriculum.

To complete his training in Vajrayana Nyingma School studies, he served as private secretary to the late His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, supreme Head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism for over fifteen years. During that time he received all the important empowerments, transmissions, essential instructions, the oral teaching of Nyingma Kama, and the Profound Rediscovered Teachings of Terma of the great Lotus Born Teacher, Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Vajravana Buddhism.

For many years Lama Rinchen was in charge of Zangdog Palri Monastery in India and also Urgyen Dongag, Choling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. In 1980, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche asked him to come to the United States to teach in his New York center where Lama Rinchen was director and resident Lama for four years. Since then he has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe at centers, colleges, and universities.

Lama Rinchen visits his students every year and stays in St. Louis to give teachings and empowerments for several weeks during his U.S. tour. He also has students in New York, California, Colorado, New Mexico, etc., as he continues to spread the teachings of the Dudjom Lineage.

This is a drop-in class.  No previous attendance, registration, or fee is required.  Donations are always appreciated, but not mandatory.

Lama Rinchen is also teaching a few other classes and programs while he's here in Thailand.  For more information, please visit;

Join the meeting by Zoom if you're not able to make it in person:

Meeting ID: 839 1883 8682
Passcode: 771105