TThe Longchen Nyingthig branch of Buddhism started in the 18th century by a great master known as Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa in Southern Tibet. Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa taught his disciples how to train their mind and how to live in simplicity. He himself did not have a big place or big monastery, but a simple livelihood and simple monastery. One of his most important teachings was that people should live in simplicity. Also at the heart of his teachings was the importance of cultivating compassion. According to Buddhism every being – even the tiniest insect – desires happiness. So Jigme Lingpa very strongly advised people to save the lives of animals. He was totally against killing animals and hurting any person, not just human beings, but even animals and insects. This is the main center of his teachings.
hen the Longchen Nyingthig branch of his teachings became very popular among Tibetan Buddhists. Many lamas of other Buddhist traditions who, although they may not have been known as Longchen Nyingthig followers, nevertheless have been practicing Longchen Nyingthig. Many of them, as you might have heard, when they died, their bodies dissolved, with only their hair and nails left behind. They attained these accomplishments because of the power of the meditation that Jigme Linpa taught.
So the Longchen Nyingthig teachings are very powerful to practice. The benefits of these teachings are not just limited to Jigme Lingpa's particular time in history, the 18th century. The teachings also benefit, perhaps most of all, the people of today. The reason is that his teachings are easy to follow and helpful to make us better human beings – friendly and honest. And when that happens, we will be able to help others and our whole society to live in peace and joy.