Three noble principles

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Three noble principles (Tib. དམ་པ་གསུམ་, dampa sum, Wyl. dam pa gsum) — there are three things that make all the difference between your practice being merely a way of bringing temporary relaxation, peace, and bliss, or of becoming a powerful cause for your enlightenment and the enlightenment of others. They are:

  • good in the beginning: arousing bodhichitta as a skilful means to ensure that your practice becomes a source of merit for the future
  • good in the middle: maintaining the view of the nature of mind, the attitude of non-grasping free from conceptualization, that secures the practice so that the merit cannot be destroyed by circumstances, and
  • good in the end: sealing the practice properly by dedicating the merit, which will ensure that it continually grows ever greater.

The three are referred to in a popular quotation from Longchenpa:

"Begin with bodhichitta, do the main practice without concepts,
Conclude by dedicating the merit. These, together and complete,
Are the three vital supports for progressing on the path to liberation."

Alternative Translations

  • three excellences
  • three goods
  • three supreme methods
  • three supreme points
  • three-fold excellence (Andreas Kretschmar)

Oral Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Sogyal Rinpoche

  • Lerab Ling, 17 October 2009
  • Barcelona, 10 June 2007, pm
  • Bhutan, 31 March 2007
  • Lerab Ling, 12 August 2006, pm
  • Lerab Ling, 22 July 2006
  • Dzogchen Beara, 28 June 2006, am
  • London, 14 January 2006
  • Paris, 17 September 2005, pm
  • Paris, 30 April 1998
  • Lerab Ling, 21 April 1998
  • Paris, 10-11 January 1998
  • Paris, 11 October 1997

Edited Audio-Video Teachings

  • Rigpalink November 2007, The Essence of the Simple Formula, Part 5: The crucial point of mind—The Three Noble Principles: View & Dedication (CD/DVE705)
  • A Treasury of Dharma (Rigpa, 2005), CD1, track 14

Other Teachers

Further Reading

External links