Physical warmups (optional)
This is totally optional and dependent on your time. If you only have 20-30 minutes per day for Fully Being, we recommend using your time for the course itself. If you have a little more time or feel very tight and unable to sit comfortably for 20-30 minutes, a physical warmup may be helpful. We have created gentle but effective physical warmup routines especially for Fully Being — videos are on the Physical warmups page. The silent guided version takes about 10 minutes.
Opening (a few minutes)
Begin a session by generating a warm-hearted intention to benefit yourself and others by engaging in Fully Being. Then briefly reflect on the good fortune of having a human life — the ability to learn, to meditate, to love and to journey to freedom.
Main part (most of your time)
For the main part of practice, work with the practice materials on each page of the course. Begin with the Prompt questions and then watch the video teaching. If it’s a guided meditation, meditate with Rinpoche. If it’s a theory teaching, watch and listen and soak it in. Rinpoche teaches with gestures, tones and humor. Open your heart in an attentive, relaxed manner and don’t worry about a word or term that you may not be familiar with. It will come with time. After watching the video, read the Key points to help essentialize and internalize the content. If relevant and useful, look through the exercises and pick one or more to work with.
We recommend writing your favorite Daily Mantras on Post-It notes or flashcards and putting them around your house, car and office spaces. They are meant to be used in daily life as reminders of the teachings you’re working with.
Conclusion (a few minutes)
Conclude a session by sitting quietly for a few minutes, just resting in what you’ve done and learned. Seal the practice by dedicating it to everyone — all living creatures you know and don’t know. You can also make your own personal prayers and aspirations, such as wishing to embody the teachings, to heal and awaken so you can be of great benefit to others. It can be as simple as wishing Aunt Mildred gets well soon, the kids stop fighting and all wars cease. You can make any general or specific prayers you like. To make heartfelt aspirations in your own words is best.
Please read through our FAQ section to clarify basic questions about the course.
Here are more detailed instructions on the Fully Being course:
How to use this course
We recommend using the course just as it’s designed. This means starting at the beginning, the first section called Dropping, and progressing slowly and steadily through each of the 8 sections to the end. Practically, several days or more can be spent on each teaching page. Begin with reading the prompt questions, then watch the video teaching and finally engage with the remaining written materials — key points, exercises, and daily mantras.
This course can be experienced in many different ways. If you are a long term practitioner, then the sequence of Fully Being teachings is helpful to ground and embody the teachings you have already received. If you are new to these kinds of teachings and practices, then this is a good way to start on a rich path that creates a firm foundation for higher learning. If you are somewhere in the middle of these two situations, you can ground what you have already received and also build a solid foundation for the future.
There is a range of material in Fully Being. Some of the video teachings are guided meditations, some lectures, some stories and some answers to questions. The videos also vary in length, so we recommend following the ebb and flow of the course. The exercises provide ideas for internalizing the teachings. If some of them are useful, wonderful. If not, just sitting and meditating on Rinpoche’s instructions is also a great way to move through the course.
This course is meant to be a deep and experiential approach to spiritual practice for all levels of participants. Tsoknyi Rinpoche has been intimately involved in planning and developing these materials, and sincerely requests all interested folks to go through the whole course from beginning to end at least once. Once someone has completed the whole course, the materials can serve as a toolbox for all aspects of life — physical blockages, emotional challenges, confusion, doubt, conflict, tension or stress.
Pacing and timing
The course is self-paced, so there is no fixed timeline for moving through the content or completing the course. As a general estimate, considering a minimum daily commitment of 30 minutes, the course will take about 64 weeks (16 months) to complete.
Fully Being is designed for a range of schedules, lifestyles and priorities. Certain practices will be easier or more difficult for particular folks, so people will move through the course at different speeds. This is perfectly fine. We recommend relating to the course as a delightful journey of discovery, rather than a burden which leads to feeling bad or stressed if we miss a day or even a week.
We recommend spending 2 – 7 days with each teaching page. If a teaching is rich and challenging, you may well want to spend a week studying and absorbing it. In these cases, we recommend watching the video at least once each day and reading through the materials at the same time. Maybe pick a different exercise each day to focus on during daily practice. Other teachings will feel easier and more straightforward. For these you might spend two to five days on an individual page. The whole course has about 140 teaching pages, so it could take anywhere from 6 months to two years to complete the entire course. We think an average time might be around 16 months.
Rinpoche has suggested a basic structure for daily practice. Many people doing this course will already have a framework. If that’s the case, just integrate the teachings and practices of Fully Being by watching, reading and learning into whatever structure you presently have.
If you are newer to spiritual practice and meditation, that’s fine too. You can use this basic framework to learn how to structure a daily practice. We’ve based the recommendation on a daily 30 min session, but you can scale it as per your schedule.
For practical guidelines, see the “Daily Practice” instructions on the opposite side of the page.
There are two basic aspects to commitment. The first is to commit to yourself to finish the course. The second is to commit to trying to practice every day.
The first is a commitment to work on your spiritual path in a holistic and balanced way. It is a commitment to really heal and to deepen your meditation, insight and ability to benefit others. It is valuable to reconnect with and reassert this commitment frequently because that builds consistency, courage and will also give a boost when you feel bored, tired or uninspired. It’s inevitable that inspiration waxes and wanes, but practicing consistently through these waves is really the most important thing.
Rinpoche recommends a minimum commitment of 30 min per day. Of course, if you can give more time everyday, or occasionally, that’s great. And if you can only do 15 or 20 min most days, that’s fine too. Better something than nothing. In general, consistency is more effective than binge-practice. Consistent practice can chip away at negative patterns more efficiently than doing an hour on a weekend here and there.
For existing practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism
Tsoknyi Rinpoche often says that Fully Being will be very helpful for existing practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism, whether beginner or experienced. The issues addressed in Fully Being are supportive to all levels of practice. The healing, grounding, connecting with essence love, subtle body work and calm-abiding and insight teachings contained here will help deepen and integrate any level of practice. Whether engaging in preliminary practices (ngondro), bodhicitta trainings, sadhanas (deity yoga), mahamudra or dzogchen, the Fully Being course will be beneficial.
Rinpoche often says he doesn’t want us trying to practice traditional dharma from a “distorted relative” perspective, meaning an ungrounded body, a wounded heart and a scattered cloudy mind.
Practically, Rinpoche advises students to continue with whichever practice commitments or samayas they have, and to incorporate Fully Being teachings as a central part of practice. Then the more traditional practices will be more effective and liberating. Fully Being is conceived both as an independent approach to embodied spirituality and as a preparation and enhancement for the path of liberation which involves more traditional Buddhist techniques.