Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 72 – Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 72 - Tsoknyi Rinpoche

For episode 72 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon speaks with one of her longtime teachers, Tsoknyi Rinpoche.

Recorded live in Louisville, KY at the 2018 Festival of Faiths, this conversation touches on the theme of the 23rd annual festival ‘Sacred Insight-Feminine Wisdom’ as well as the topic of basic goodness and compassion.

For over 25 years, Tsoknyi Rinpoche has been teaching students worldwide about the innermost nature of mind in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Rinpoche is one of those rare teachers whose lighthearted, yet illuminating style appeals to both beginners and advanced practitioners alike. His fresh insights into the western psyche have enabled him to teach and write in a way that touches our most profound awareness, using metaphors, stories and images that point directly to our everyday experience. Rinpoche ’s activity greatly contributes to the preservation of the Buddha Dharma in the East, while nurturing its growth in the West. His personal warmth and compassionate attention greatly enrich and enliven the depth of our learning experience. Learn more at

Show Notes

The Subtle Body (Opening) – Tsoknyi Rinpoche shares what he has learned in his many years of practice around love and suffering. He discusses the concept of the “subtle body” in Buddhist tradition and examines the disconnection between the head and the heart that he sees in Western society.

“Two things have been lost, the warmth of love and clarity in the head.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Basic Okayness (11:05) – It might be hard to see the basic goodness in all beings, Tsoknyi Rinpoche teaches us that it might be easier to see the “basic okayness” in all beings instead. He looks at the suffering that arises when we spend too much time comparing ourselves to others.

Teaching Integrity (33:00) – Rinpoche discusses his work in education, particularly his efforts in educating young women and the challenges that came with bringing modern and traditional teachings together.

“In Nepal, I am bringing a basis of modern education together with Buddhist education. That was not easy in the beginning, many people say that bringing in any modern education is not so good but now they have started to appreciate it.” – Tsoknyi Rinpoche   

For a conversation about combining modern education with Eastern traditions here in the West, check out Susan Kaiser Greenland’s chat with Lama Surya Das on Ep. 30 of the Awakening Now Podcast. 

Let It Go (40:10) – The conversation closes with Rinpoche leading a short guided meditation in his tradition directed towards letting go of attachment and fear.


Photo via Tsoknyi Rinpoche