The Kagyu lineage is especially rich in a genre of Dharma texts known as “Dharma for the Community,” or tsog chö, which record the oral discourses lamas gave to large assemblies of their students. Such discourses were an important means whereby Kagyu masters such as Dusum Khyenpa cared for his communities of disciples. These texts also allow us in later generations to connect as disciples with earlier lamas, even after they have passed. The following is excerpted from Dusum Khyenpa’s Dharma for the Community. 

In all the discourses spoken by the completely enlightened Buddha Shakyamuni, there is nothing whatsoever that was not spoken as a means of taming the mind. It is extremely important to counsel and watch your own mind.In the beginning, it is important to settle the unsettled mind. In the middle, it is important to settle it stably.  In the end, the personal instructions for enhancing that stability are important.

Through the wisdom that comes from learning, you must recognize your afflictions. Through the wisdom that comes from reflecting, you must control your afflictions. Through the wisdom that comes from meditating, you must get rid of your afflictions from their root.

It is not enough to have received personal instructions. Putting them into practice is extremely important. It all boils down to this: when you are lying on your last bed, drinking your last drop of water, surrounded by your relatives, and drawing your last shallow breath, you need to go from light to light, and from happiness to happiness, and to have the yidams and dakinis accompanying you.

It is important that, from now on, we ourselves brush the snow off our own coat sleeves.

Adapted from the book Karmapa: 900 Years.
Published in 2010 by the Karmapa 900 Organizing Committee.- This has been borrowed from the website. This is a teaching from the first Karmapa, Tusum Khyempa. I’ll be posting teachings by the Karmapas on this site.


Also, here’s a link to the bio of Tusum Khyenpa, also from the Karmapa900 website.