Skillful Means

Introduced by Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche to the West in the 1970’s, Skillful Means may be at the heart of Rinpoche’s teachings for daily life. Reaching back to the historical words of the Buddha, Skillful Means was the layman’s way to become enlightened. ‘Simply’ by copying the activities of the enlightened ones, the men and women who were not monks and nuns could walk a path of liberation by following the guidelines of wisdom in action. 

Skillful Means for us can mean becoming a wiser person by to learning through action. Not only by exploring how things work, and learning from our mistakes, but also by discovering for ourselves how refining our inner resources –  awareness, alertness, sense-capacities, energy and taking responsibility—can lead to the realization of our potential, here and now. Our lives are what we make them.

Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche published three books on Skillful Means: Skillful Means —Patterns for Success; Mastering Successful Work, and Ways of Work. Arnaud Maitland, a senior student of Rinpoche has also written a Skillful Means book entitled MasterWork and there is a Skillful Means workbook.  Many unpublished memoranda emphasize that work—action—can be a perfect vehicle for making friends with our own energy, stamina, and inner strength, allowing us to overcome self-imposed limitations, inhibitions, and so-called ‘core beliefs.’  We learn, while being helpful at the same time. 

The Academy offers a variety of Skillful means self-study programs, ranging from introductory to in-depth explorations. You can learn more about Skillful Means here.


Available Skillful Means programs

I. eSkillful Means entitled The Spirit of Life with twelve written lessons, each with a unique topic:
Inner Freedom - Restoring Balance - Mindfulness - Body Awareness - Sensory Awareness - Leadership - Perennial Truths - Core Beliefs and Self-Images - Time to Change - Transforming Emotions - Inner Knowing – Collaboration.

Each session will be introduced by a video clip and include a narrative with some highlights that provide a theoretical basis for the topic, a suggested focus for the week, exercises to practice, and required and optional readings.


II. Line-by-line reading plus commentary on Skillful Means – Patterns for Success

III. Comprehensive video-trainings on Skillful Means Mindfulness at Work:

  1. Transforming Stress into Wellbeing 35 sessions each of 65 minutes 
  2.  Power of Time, 35 sessions, each of 65 minutes 
  3. Blueprints for Success, Entering the Mandala 
  4. Life & Death transitions, 27 sessions each approx. 70 minutes 
  5. Audio Developing Mind for Leadership, 11 sessions each 1 hour

IV. Audio book on Skillful Means - patterns for success