THE MARTSANG LAM RIM

The Martsang Kagyu tradition is an 853-year-old, unbroken order of traditional Tibetan Buddhism of which His Holiness an accomplished Master, practitioner and professor of the Dharma is the current lineage of the thirty-eighth generationholder. 

What is the Martsang Lam Rim?

"The word ‘Mart’ in ‘Martsang’ means ‘profound essence’, and ‘sang’ means ‘a treasure chest’, together they translate to mean ‘a treasure chest containing the profound essence" ‘Lam Rim’ means the ‘great stages of the path to enlightenment,’ and is a collection of teachings that explain how we can liberate ourselves from samsara.

In short, the Martsang Lam Rim is a collection of precious and profound teachings that will ‘illuminate the mind’ of the practitioner on the complete path to enlightenment. The Martsang Lam Rim teachings, theory and practice cover the complete teachings of Buddhist original theory instructed in the Buddha’s Mahayana Buddhism and the main parts of Theravada Buddhism. 

The teachings of the Martsang Lam Rim are instructedin three main parts:

1. The Basis; ground/reality how things are. 

2. The Path; the three paths to obtaining liberation and four philosophies.

3. The Fruit; freedom from cyclic existence.

Part 1. ‘The Basis’,covers Buddhist epistemology and investigative methods, Buddhist psychology-science of mind, nature of consciousness, mind body relationship, nature of the person, Buddhist theories of matter, nature of time, subtle bodies and energy among other subjects, as foundation to understanding the way to engage on the path. 

Part 2. ‘The Path’,

The Path details the 3 paths to liberation and four Buddhist philosophies. The 4 Nobel Truths, and the 12 links of dependent arising and instructions on ways to engage with conventional and ultimate Bodhicitta, from both Nagarjuna’s and Maitreya’s authentic lineage, provide the motivation to attain enlightenment. 

Part 3. ‘The Fruit’- explains the results that can be achieved in this and future lifetimes.

Where did the Martsang Lam Rim come from?

The Martsang Lam Rim originated from Buddha, Mahasiddhas and the practice experiences of masters of Martsang Kagyu tradition including the founder Choje Marpa Sherab Yeshe. His Holiness Gangri Karma Rinpoche synthesized the vast sutras and their commentaries into a methodical summary that explains the philosophy and practices in an accessible and gradual manner.

Who is the teacher?

The lessons are taught by His Holiness Gangri Karma Rinpochewho is the thirty-eighth-generationlineage holderof Martsang Kagyu tradition, an 853-year-old, unbroken order of traditional Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness is an accomplished Master, Mahasiddha, author and professor of the Dharma.

How is it taught, what can I expect on the course?

The course is taught in small groups, which meet twice a month, for about 4 hours per lesson includes a break time. The course will run for approximately three years and covers the complete teachings of Buddhism originaltheory and practice specific to the Martsang Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is split into 4 sections with each section being a pre-requisite for the next. It is during the second year, that all main type of teachings on meditation is introduced to students. 

Lessons are well structured and written materials are provided, but they are also highly interactive, and questions are encouraged. Furthermore, it includes His Holiness’s own unique view to understanding essential aspects of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy such as ‘emptiness’. While ‘emptiness’ is not always easy to grasp, under the guidance of His Holiness, a clear and quick understanding will be achieved due to his extraordinary knowledge and skill in delivering these precious teachings. The way to engage with the content is through hearing, thinking and contemplating.

Following the traditional path, the course ends with an exam and a friendly debate with fellow students to test the students’ knowledge and improve their skills. 

Although it takes about three years complete, if you are unable to commit to this schedule, it will be possible for each section to be taken separately as and when you are available. However, certification will only be given to those who complete the entire course and pass the exam.

Once you have completed and passed the exam you will receive a certificate according to your result. The 3 achievable marks are pass, merit and distinction. 

Who are the teachings meant for?

Anyone with a strong interest in Buddhism and a commitment to study. There are no pre-requisites and the gradual but wide-ranging nature of the teachings make them applicable both to beginners and experienced practitioners alike.


Why should I study?

If one has the wish to break the cycle of samsara and achieve bliss by way of enlightenment, it is necessary to follow a path that offers ‘step by step’ instructions from beginner to advanced level with an experienced guide.  Studying the Martsang Lam Rim with His Holiness provides this opportunity, and can be of great benefit to your daily life in the following ways:

  • Teachings that help you make sense of yourself, and your experiences.

  • Receive detailed instruction and guidance on meditation practices set out in the gradual path of meditation system, directly from an accomplished Master.

  • Practices for calming the mind, reducing stress and improving your health and faculties.

·      Tools to increase happiness and joy, while reducing pain and suffering.

  • Ways to develop true compassion, wisdom and improve relationships with others.

  • Acquire a thorough understanding and knowledge of Buddhist theory, philosophy and logic.

  • Meet like-minded people and learning in a supportive, friendly and interactive environment.

  • Experience a deeply satisfying learning experience.

What other opportunities for Dharma study are there after Martsang Lam Rim?

Following the successful completion of the Martsang Lam Rim it is then possible to study with His Holiness in the Dechen Nyur Lam Rim, the Preliminary Mahamudra, and Mahamudra of Martsang Kagyu.

It is also possible to take a ‘Meditation Teacher’ training class and a ‘Buddhist Philosophy’ teacher training class. This is only available to those who obtained the required level of certification in Martsang Lam Rim.

The complete teachings and methods of Martsang Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism can possibility carry the student from the foundations of Buddhism to enlightenment.

New Class:

The course is available in English and Mandarin. The English class will commence on Saturday and the Mandarin class on Sunday. Booking in advance is required.

Venue: Martsang Kagyu London Buddhist Centre,

85 Kingate Road, London, NW6 4JY

Consultant Fees: apply

If you are interesting in this diploma course, please contact Ms Dolma Sherab by Email: london@martsangkagyu.org for more information.

Refund and cancellation policy

Full refunds are available for cancellations, providing notice is given at least 14 days prior to course commencement. Unfortunately cancellations requested after this time are not refundable.