1. How a Buddha Teaches
The Three Types of Miraculous Ability (cho 'phrul rnam pa gsum)
1. sku rdzu 'phrul gyi cho 'phrul miraculous ability of his magical form
2. thugs kun tu brjod pa'i cho 'phrul miraculous ability of his mind of universal communication
3. gsung rjes su bstan pa'i cho 'phrul miraculous ability of his guiding speech
2. How an Arhat Teaches
The Three Pure Factors (dag pa gsum)
1. snyan pa po'i snod dag pa the pure vessel of the listener
2. 'chad pa po'i ngag dag pa the pure speech of the teacher
3. gsung rab kyi brjod bya dag pa the pure topic of the teaching
The Four Causes for Not Knowing (mi shes pa'i rgyu bzhi)
1. gnas kyis bskal pas mi shes pa not knowing because of distance in space
2. dus kyis bskal pas mi shes pa not knowing because of distance in time
3. rgyu thug med kyi 'bras bu thug med mi shes pa not knowing the infinite results that come from infinite causes
4. sangs rgyas kyi chos rab tu mang po mi shes pa not knowing the Buddha's many qualities
3. How a Learned Pandita Teaches
The Five Principal Considerations (rtsis mgo yan lag lnga)
1. mdzad pa po who is the author?
2. lung gang nas btus which scriptures does it draw upon?
3. phyogs gang du gtogs to which category does it belong?
4. dbu nas zhabs su bsdus pa'i don what is its basic theme from beginning to end?
5. dgos ched su zhig gi don du mdzad for whose benefit and for what purpose was it composed?
These considerations were employed by the masters of Nalanda University when commenting upon treatises.
The Three Defects of the Vessel (snod kyi skyon gsum)
1. rna ba mi gtad kha sbub lta bu not paying attention, like a vessel turned upside down
2. yid la mi 'dzin zhabs rdol lta bu not remembering, like a vessel with a hole in it
3. nyon mongs dang 'dres dug can lta bu mixing what you hear with kleshas, like a container with poison inside
The Six Stains (dri ma drug)
1. nga rgyal pride
2. ma dad pa lack of faith
3. don du gnyer ba med pa lack of any interest
4. phyi rol du rnam par g.yeng ba outward distraction
5. nang du sdud pa inward tension
6. skyo ba discouragement
The Five Wrong Ways of Remembering (mi 'dzin pa lnga)
1. tshig 'dzin la don mi 'dzin pa remembering the words, but forgetting the meaning
2. don 'dzin la tshig mi 'dzin pa remembering the meaning, but forgetting the words
3. brda ma 'phrod par 'dzin pa remembering them both, but with no understanding
4. don go log tu 'dzin pa remembering them with wrong understanding
5. gong 'og nor nas 'dzin pa remembering them in the wrong order
The Four Metaphors ('du shes bzhi)
1. bdag nyid la nad pa'i 'du shes the thought of yourself as a sick person
2. chos la sman gyi 'du shes the thought of the Dharma as medicine
3. dge ba'i bshes gnyen la sman pa mkhas pa'i 'du shes the thought of the spiritual teacher as a skilful doctor
4. nan tan nyams su len pa la nye bar 'tsho ba'i 'du shes the thought of diligent practice as the way to recovery


Further Reading

Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher, Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998, pp. 7-19 
Tsong-kha-pa, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment: Volume One, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2000, 55-67



Preliminary Points to be Explained When Teaching the Buddha's Word or the Treatises by Patrul Rinpoche


Notes from Miscellaneous Writings by Khenpo Shenga