The lineage of Longchen Nyingthik

Longchen Nyingthik

~ The heart essence of infinite expanse, or the ultimate truth of universal openness ~ 

Longchen Nyingthik (ཀློང་ཆེན་སྙིང་ཐིག་) is the collection of tantra and sadhanas revealed by Rigzin Jigme Lingpa(1730-1798) as mind treasure teachings. 

For the three principal reasons, this cycle is called Longchen Nyingthik.

First, they're "nyingthig" (སྙིང་ཐིག་), the innermost essence teachings of Men-ngagde, and were discovered by Jigme Lingpa through the blessings he received in a series of pure visions of Longchen Rabjam (ཀློང་ཆེན་རབ་འབྱམས་)(1308-1363).

Second, they are the teachings that condensed all the "nyingthig" teachings that came through Longchen Rabjam.

Third, they are the teachings on the subject of Longchen, the "great vastness", or the most profound field, and they are the "nyingthig", "the heart (or the innermost) essence" of all the teachings.  Jigme Lingpa (འཇིགས་མེད་གླིང་པ་) writes:


Longchen Nyingthik Mandala (High-Resolution)

Longchen Nyingthik Mandala

High-Resolution for Practitioners.

Commercial Use Strictly Prohibited.

"It is the sphere of great vastness and it is the heart essence"


Longchen Nyingthig teachings are mainly centered on the nyingthig, the innermost essence cycle of the Me-ngagde.  For example, the development stage of the Rigdzin Düpa (རིག་འཛིན་འདུས་པ་) sadhana arises as to the manifestation power (rTsal) of the intrinsic awareness (Rig Pa), and it also marges into the ultimate sphere, the primordial purity in the dissolution (perfection) stage. 

In other anuttara tantra tradition, the practitioner first ripens his mind by the training on the development stage and then enters into the perfection stage. But in the maha-yoga meditations of Longchen Nyingthig, having been introduced to the luminous intrinsic awareness (the true nature of one's own mind) and having realized the inseparability of one's own intrinsic awareness and the enlightened mind of the lama, the meditators contemplates that realized stage and trains on the arising [of the appearances] as the mandala of the deities [the power of the intrinsic awareness,Rig Pa].  So the unique method of Longchen Nyingthig is to train on the development stage and perfection stage in the union.  Also, by employing the unification of one's own mind and the enlightened mind of the lama, the realization of wisdom is awakened by force.

Longchen Nyingthik Teachings

Longchen Nyingthig encompasses a few tantras and many sadhanas accompanied by instructions, commentaries, and supplementary texts, in two (or three) root volumes (rTsa Pod). They were discovered by Jigme Lingpa as a mind treasure. In addition to the two root volumes, the cycle includes the phurpa Gyuluk on Vajrakila in one volume, which is recognized as both a mind treasure discovery and a compilation of tantras. The main Longchen Nyingthig teachings are classified into two categories. They are the original tantras of Nyingthig and the tantric sadhanas and teachings.


The original Nyingthig tantras are the continuum of the absolute nature (Dharmakaya) arisen as the teachings for Jigme Lingpa himself or for his previous incarnations and to which he awakened. While practicing in seclusion for three years at Samye Chimphu, Jigme Lingpa studied the writing of Longchen Rabjam and prayed devotedly, seeing him as a Buddha. He had three pure visions of Longchen Rabjam and received the blessing of his body, speech, and mind. During the third vision, Longchen Rabjam said three times, "May realization of the meaning be communicated to you, and many the transmission of the words be completely accomplished." Thereupon Jigme Lingpa realized the nature of Dzongpa Chenpo(maha sandhi) free from mental analysis and received the absolute transmission(Don br Gyude), and the sacred original tantras of Nyingthig arose in him. These original tantras arose in him as the unified essence of all the three modes of transmission- namely mind, indication, and oral transmissions of the three Buddha bodies and the masters of all the Dzongpa Chenpo lineage, including Guru Rinpoche, Vimalamitra, and Longchen Rabjam.


The tantric sadhanas and teachings of Longchen Nyingthig are the teachings that came to Jigme Lingpa through Guru Rinpoche as a ter(treasure).

While Guru Rinpoche was visiting Tibet, on the second floor of the main temple of Samye Monastery he conferred the Longchen Nyingthig teachings on King Trisong Detsen. khandro Yeshey Tsogyal, and vairochana. Then he entrusted the teachings to them through the means of the naturally arisen dakini, the wisdom, the feminine principle of the three bodies of the buddha. he gave prophetic empowerments by saying that these teachings would be discovered by Jigme Lingpa, an incarnation (tulku) of Trisong Detsen. Yeshey Tsogyal arranged the teachings in symbolic scripts of unforgetting memory on the yellow scrolls of naturally arisen five colors. With aspiration empowerments, they concealed the teachings in the casket of luminous heart treasure(or mind treasure) of the disciples. they entrusted the concealed teachings to the dakinis, the ultimate sphere wisdoms, for the preservation until the right time came to awaken the teachings from the luminous intrinsic nature of the mind of the discoverer.

Drawing of Longchen Rabjam

Drawing of the Jigme Lingpa

So, centuries later, when the prophetic empowerments of guru rinpoche ripened and the favorable circumstances came to fruition, the concealed longchen nyingthink teachings were accordingly awakened in the enlightened mind of Jigme Lingpa as a mind ter(mind treasure).


Jigme Lingpa was a reincarnation of both Vimalamitra himself and king Trisong Detsen, who was the recipient of nyingthik teachings from guru rinpoche and Vimalamitra. so the nyingthik teachings of the two major lineages flowed together in Jigme Lingpa.  Longchen Nyingthik is the essence or embodiment of the two nyingthik traditions, Vima Nyingthik, and Khandro Nyingthik. The scope, language, meaning, clarity and power of longchen nyingthik make the teachings easy to comprehend and powerful to practice, so that in recent centuries the study and practice of Longchen Nyinghtik has become popular among the great number of Nyingmapas in Tibet and Bhutan and many other countries throughout his successive students likewise Dodrupchen Jigme Thinley Woezer, Khedrup Jigme Kundrol, Jigme Gyalwai Nyugu, and Jigme Ngotsar Gyatsho.