Book Study: Rongzom's "Establishing Appearances as Divine"

Book Study: Rongzom's "Establishing Appearances as Divine"


NB: The first discussion is available only as video or audio recordings but you can attend the upcoming discussions live or by recording.

Establishing Appearances as Divine, by the 11th-century master Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, walks us through the logic that proves we are deities and our environments, pure lands. Such an understanding not only validates deity yoga meditation but also enables us to practice with deeper conviction and justifiable confidence. In general, it helps clarify the ultimate Buddhist understanding of true nature of reality which reaches its zenith in the inseparability of the two truths, relative and absolute. As Rongzom replies to an imaginary opponent inquiring as to why Madhyamaka does not set forth such a view of inseparability, Rongzom is emphatic that as long as one believes both truths to be true, one will never succeed in discarding the dualistic mindset. 

"This concise treatise...sets out to prove the provocative point that everything that appears is actually deity manifest. Many books on Tibetan Buddhism address the important themes of mind training, compassion, and proper conduct, but this book goes beyond that in its aim to bring the reader face to face with his or her divine and pure nature." Shambhala Publications

The translator, Heidi Koppl "makes the seminal work of Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo newly accessible to the modern reader. . . lead[ing] readers to a direct encounter with their own primordial goodness." —John Makransky, Associate Professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology, Boston College

The book consists of four chapters and a conclusion authored by Heidi as well as her annotated translation and the text in Tibetan. "[Heidi's] notes to the translation clarify even the most difficult portions of the text. . . A truly masterful work." —José Ignacio Cabezón, XIVth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Book Study Format:

Four in-real-time video group discussions (accessible from any device) facilitated by Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo and a private discussion forum for sharing resources, reflections, questions and commenting on topics posted by Lama.

Recordings for download and streaming provided.

After registering, you will be given a personal account at The Tsogyal Center's online platform. This is where you’ll access the reading assignments, Lama's posts, resources and the Discussion Forum.

This platform will email when there is activity on the Discussion Forum and you will receive schedule reminders from The Tsogyal Center.

Video Discussion Dates: 

  • Saturday, March 24, 6 PM Pacific
  • Saturday, April 7, 6 PM Pacific
  • Saturday, April 21, 6 PM Pacific
  • Saturday, May 5, 6 PM Pacific


Establishing Appearances as Divine (snang ba lhar bsgrub pa), Collected Writings of Rongzom, pgs. 125-151.


    Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo

    Cost: $50

    Apply for 50% scholarship here.


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