Patrul Shechen

Patrul was an enlightened master and one of the most illustrious spiritual teachers of the nineteenth century. As a wandering practitioner in the ancient tradition of vagabond renunciants, he was revered in Tibetan history for his wanderings, teachings and scholarship. As an author he shared the Buddhist teachings in ways that all levels of practitioners could understand. As a wanderer, Patrul Rinpoche, spent much of his life roaming mountains, caves, forests, and remote hermitages. Occasionally, he would seek shelter at unsuspecting students houses. As one who shied away from attention, he left patrons houses and towns when they discovered the truth of who he was. In the quiet of the wilderness, he cultivated bodhichitta through his meditation and wished for all beings to be free of suffering. Patrul advocated for simplicity in living, free of extraneous matter. His life was as inspiration. 

Patrul passed to parinirvana in his late seventies. His few possessions included The Root Verses on the Middle Way and The Way of the Bodhisattva, a begging bowl, a red wool pouch holding his yellow monk’s shawl, a prayer wheel, his walking stick, and a metal pot for boiling tea.

Patrul’s teachings

Nine Considerations and Criteria for Benefiting Beings.

  1. Consideration of the benefit to both oneself and others
  2. Consideration of the status of beings
  3. Consideration of the number of beings
  4. Consideration of this and future lives
  5. Consideration of the vows and non-virtue
  6. Consideration of the pros and cons of generosity
  7. Consideration of the beings’ various levels of devotion
  8. Summary
  9. Consideration of the pros and cons for one’s own dharma practice

“Perfectly stay in the natural flow,
There is no other concentration.
Perfectly realize the natural state,
There is no other wisdom.”

~Patrul Rinpoche

Patrul Rinpoche was a prolific writer during his life writing his own treatises that were later collected into six volumes of work. The most celebrated being The Words of My Perfect Teacher. Other works included: A Brief Guide to the Stages of Visualization, A Garland of Scriptural Transmissions of the Aural Lineage, Heart Treasure of the Saints, Self-Liberating Meditation, Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King and The Brightly Shining Sun.



Having seen the bewildering scope of never-ending activities,
All so unnecessary and frivolous,
Within delusory perception of this world, this city of saṃsara,
Abu’s attention turns to the solitude of the mountains.[2]

Having seen the constant frenzy of activity,
The futile clamor of busyness and distraction
In the dealings of the monastic community,
Abu’s attention turns to the solitude of the mountains.

Anyone I look at is inexorably approaching death;
Anything I consider involves a denial of mortality.
Having seen such disenchanting extravagance,
Abu’s attention turns to the solitude of the mountains.

Any friends I make increase my attachment and aversion;
Any form of interaction involves dishonesty and deception.
Having seen how companions lack the conditions for virtue,
Abu’s attention turns to the solitude of the mountains.

Throughout the three realms, the hostile kleshas go on deceiving;
Among the six classes, the wheel of distraction continues to turn.
Having seen these means of engendering further suffering,
Abu’s attention turns to the solitude of the mountains.

O Guru, unfailing protector, and Three Jewels,
When I reach a place of retreat, inspire me with the fortitude to remain there.
Grant your blessings and enable me to settle in the solitude of the mountains,
Somewhere that provides physical and vocal isolation,
And thereby inspire a true solitude of the mind.

Masters Series: The Teachings of Patrul Rinpoche

Over 5 hours of recorded commentary by Kevan Gale on this extraordinary yogi

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