Love is the Sunlight of the Mind

with Garchen Rinpoche

Milarepa Teachings with Garchen Rinpoche

This very special weekend will begin with Rinpoche’s 6:30pm Friday talk, “Love is the Sunlight of the Mind.” These preliminary teachings about how to transform suffering into love and compassion will help us set a proper altruistic intention for receiving the Saturday and Sunday teachings.

In his Saturday and Sunday teachings, 9am-12pm & 2-5pm ”Songs of Milarepa,” Rinpoche will intimately acquaint us with the profound dharma teachings of the great eleventh-century yogi, Jetsun Milarepa (1052-1135). Milarepa’s preferred, special method of transmitting his deep spiritual insights was through his spontaneous dharma songs. These lovely and profound songs are cherished by all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

Milarepa’s spiritual journey began in the aftermath of his killing thirty-five people in revenge for the theft of his mother’s home, property and freedom by a dishonest uncle. When he realized the terrifying consequences this act would have for his future lives, he embarked upon a desperate quest for enlightenment.

Milarepa was fortunate enough to find his true guru, Marpa Lotsawa (Marpa the Translator, 1012-1097), a spiritual master who had repeatedly crossed the Himalayas to bring advanced Buddhist teachings from India to Tibet. Marpa realized that Milarepa had to purify his negative karma before he could receive such teachings. He subjected Milarepa to a brutally difficult apprenticeship in order to accomplish this.

Once Milarepa’s negative karma was finally exhausted, Marpa gave him full transmissions of all the teachings Marpa had received from the Indian masters. Milarepa then practiced these teachings for many years in isolated mountain caves.

Through these single-pointed efforts, Milarepa eventually attained enlightenment in just one lifetime. He gained undying fame for his incredible perseverance in practice, and for his frequent singing of spontaneous songs of realization. His life teaches us the vital lesson that no matter how low we sink, we can still dig ourselves out.

Each of Milarepa’s densely packed songs encompasses a complete form of the Buddhist path.  In this weekend’s teachings, Garchen Rinpoche will use his vast experiential connection with Milarepa and his deep realizations of Milarepa’s songs to illuminate the essence of our true nature. Be prepared to undergo a profound, life changing spiritual experience!

January 12-14, 2018

Friday:  $15.

Saturday & Sunday:  $50. each day
Entire Event:  $115.


All sessions will be held in the Great Room.

This event is sponsored by the Garchen Buddhist Institute (, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Chino Valley, AZ. People of all spiritual traditions are warmly invited to attend.  

Garchen Rinpoche then spent twenty years in a Chinese forced labor camp. It was there that he met his root lama or main spiritual teacher, the Nyingma lineage master Khenpo Munsel with whom he practiced in secret, ultimately realizing his wisdom mind. Amazingly, these two spiritual masters were able to treat their time in prison as an extended meditation retreat.

Since his release in 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has worked tirelessly to rebuild his monastery in eastern Tibet and to offer Dharma teachings throughout the world. In his teachings and daily life, he embodies the intense devotion, depth of spirit, freedom and spontaneity that arise naturally from the mind of selfless love and boundless compassion for others.

In acknowledgment of Garchen Rinpoche’s major contribution to our world’s spiritual wellbeing, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, recently composed a special long life prayer for Garchen Rinpoche’s benefit.

About Garchen Rinpoche:

Garchen Rinpoche is a senior lama in the Drikung Kagyu lineage descended from the great yogi, Jetsun Milarepa. He is one of the outstanding Tibetan Buddhist masters featured in the 2002 movie The Yogis of Tibet. His extraordinary life is also the subject of the stirring 2013 documentary film For the Benefit of All Beings.

Garchen Rinpoche was born in eastern Tibet in 1936. At the age of seven, he was recognized by the head of the Drikung Kagyu lineage as the reincarnation of a holy being whose emanations are known as far back as thirteenth century Tibet and ancient India. He then studied Buddhist teachings, practiced meditation, and administered the Lho Miyalgon monastery until he was imprisoned at the age of twenty-two during the political upheaval of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.