Category Archives: Masters

Kilaya Drupchen


Kilaya Retreat 2017

Padmakilaya & Vajrakilaya 

with Lama Padma Gyatso

Feb 20th – 26th

Padmakilaya Empowerment: February 20th
Padmakilaya Practice: February 21st – 23rd
Vajrakilaya Practice: February 24th – 26th


Kilaya rituals are traditionally practiced during the final lunar month of the Tibetan calendar to dispel obstacles before the coming year begins (Losar). Rigdzin Ling will practice three days of Padgyal Lingpa’s terma of Padmakilaya, followed by three days of H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche’s terma of Vajrakilaya, The Razor That Destroys at a Touch. 

Padmakilaya is a revelation of the great terton, Padgyal Lingpa, who initially transmitted it directly to Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. It became the wrathful guru practice that Rinpoche practiced exclusively for decades. It was then passed on to Tulku Sang-Ngag Rinpoche who bestowed it several times at Rigdzin Ling, authorizing Lama Padma to uphold and propagate it.

For those who wish to attend this retreat but have not received the empowerment for Vajrakilaya, there will be a blessing-permission given on the first day of the Vajrakilaya practice.

If you are unable to attend the event but would like to participate,
we encourage you to offer butterlamps and tsog

Dedications will be read during the event.

Click here for more information.

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Pilgrimage to Tibet


pilgrimage

Message from Dechen Yeshe Wangmo:

Dear Sangha,

Today, on Dudjom Rinpoche’s 30th Parinirvana Anniversary, I’m happy to announce my July 2017 Pilgrimage to Tibet! This year, we’re returning to Lhasa, Tsogyal Latso and Samye but then we’re venturing west to Everest, Kailash and Lake Manasarovar!

Everything’s in place for a sacred 19-days in Tibet for 12 pilgrims, including myself and Dechen Chodon, pilgrimage manager and trip leader.

Everything’s on the website at www.sangha-journeys.com

Everything’s ready to assist you in making this journey if it’s right for you!

Where are we going?
Lhasa (Jokhang, Ramoche, Potala, Lukhang), Tsetang Tsechu Stupa, Samye, Tsogyal Latso, Yamdrok Turquoise Lake, Gyanste Kubum Stupa, Shalu, Rong Puk, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash (3-day circumambulation), Manasarovar Lake and Guge Kingdom!

Don’t delay. There’s early bird pricing!

Head-on over to the website and let us know if we can be of assistance

Tashi Delek!
Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo
PS: Don’t miss the Full Itinerary —detailed descriptions and photos to enjoy!

 

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The Essential Journey


It was the fifteenth day of the eleventh month of the Fire Tiger Year, January 14, 1987, when His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche said to his wife and those close to him, “Now I have completed everything.”

dudjom-rinpoche

Usually he would do all his regular practices, and meditate and pray for people who requested his prayers in many directions, but on this day he said:

“I have completed everything, every prayer that has been asked of me.  Now I am going to leave.  Please be careful in the future to pay attention.  Karma can be very subtle and tricky.  We might think something is no big deal, but it may turn out to have serious consequences, so pay good attention to the karmic process.” — Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

He continued, “This is what every practitioner needs to pay attention to — even those with the highest realization. I’ve done my part.”

Upon hearing this, many of those present didn’t believe him.  They thought he was making some casual statement, but soon afterwards he got sick and passed away.  This is how great ones move.

Excerpt taken from Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches:  “The Essential Journey of Life and Death“, Volume 1 (page 159)

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Virtual Stupa Walk


The summer of 2015, in upstate New York, the Migyur Dorje Stupa was finally completed at our retreat center.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube and now you can listen and meditate while visualizing yourself doing Korwa (circumambulations) around the stupa to generate a limitless supply of merit.

Benefits:

Guru Rinpoche states:

If there is a man who offered melody music to the great stupa, shall be able to propagate the sound of dharma throughout the ten directions.  If there is a man who offered drum and melody sounds, shall obtain vast wisdom and prosperity.  If there is a man who offer the sound of bell, shall obtain a soft and harmonious voice, which is the voice of brahma.” — The Legend of Maha Buddha Stupa

From the book “Crystal Mirror 12” by author Elizabeth Cook states:

  1. Whoever offers prayers finds immediate fulfillment of his wishes for both himself and others.
  2. Whoever offers flowers to the Great Stupa obtains ease and contentment, prosperity and health.
  3. Whoever offers incense achieves pure action.
  4. Whoever offers lamps has the darkness of unknowing illuminated.
  5. Whoever offers perfume is freed from anxiety and suffering.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama states:

“It has long been the tradition that wherever the teachings of the Buddhas have been revered and practiced, communities of followers have built reliquary monuments known in Sanskrit as stupas and as chörtens in Tibetan.

And wherever they have been built, they have been regarded as sacred, for like religious images and scriptures, they represent aspects of enlightenment.”

The Sutra On The Merit of Bathing The Buddha states:

At that time, the World Honored One uttered these verses:

After my death
You will be able to honor my relics
Some will build stupas
Or images of the Tathágata.
At the place of the image or stupa,
One who anoints that spot of ground
With various incenses and flowers Scattering them over its surface
Uses pure, beautifully scented water
To pour onto the body of this image,
Offers it various flavorful drinks and foods,
Fully maintaining it with oblations,
Eulogizes the virtue of the Tathágata,
Which is endlessly difficult to conceive;
Through the wisdom of skillful means and the supernatural power of the Buddha
Such a one will quickly reach the other shore of Nirvana.
He will obtain the diamond body
Complete with the thirty-two marks of a great person
And the eighty minor signs of excellence.

Video:

Artist: Caitlin – Laxmi’s Dream
Song: Om Mani Padme Hum (track 5)

Video Produced with CyberLink PowerDirector 13:

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Lama Dance


“When a powerful yogi performs the lama dance, he can directly affect the body, speech, and mind of the viewers. All sentient beings have buddha nature, but it is hidden by obscurations. The lama dance is a way to purify these obscurations. Through the samadhi of the three vajras, the expressions of the body, speech, and mind of the deity purify the dancer’s mental continuum.

Just by seeing the Karmapa perform the Lama dance, one can attain the vajra body — Gyaltsap Rinpoche.

If the spectators, imagining and meditating on themselves as the deity, are also able to view it not as ordinary experience but as an expression of the deity, they will receive the blessings of the wisdom deities—it is no different than if the deities themselves actually came. Seeing the dance implants the seed of liberation within the viewer’s being.

According to the Hevajra tantra, the dance eliminates the outer and inner obstacles of the dancers themselves as well as those of the spectators. The dancer gains influence over the world because all that appears and exists is sealed with the stamp of the deity.

It is also said that one will easily accomplish the recitation of the deity’s mantra.”

Summer Retreat:

I posted three different Lama Dances on my Youtube channel.  The one below is the third and final Lama Dance at the Palyul Summer Retreat back in 2015. This one is known as the ‘Deer Dance’.

When we watch these lama dances then SEEDS of enlightenment are planted within one’s mind-stream. Obstacles are also “cut-through” and positive spiritual blessings are spread throughout the environment.

In the beginning of the video, you hear our teacher, Khenchen Tsewang giving a short commentary. He is sitting next to Dragmar Tulku on his left and Mugsang Tulku on the right. Also in the audience are the other “Heart Sons”: His Holiness Karma Khuchen Rinpoche and Gyangkhang Rinpoche.

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Stupa Restoration


News-Flash
December 2016

From the Chagdud Gompa Foundation email:

The Stupa Restoration project continued with great progress in 2016, its eighth summer. We’re narrowing in on the completion of five of these Eight Great Stupas with our enthusiastic crew and volunteers. By the end of summer in 2017, we plan to complete stupa two, the Stupa of Heaped Lotuses, stupa three, the Stupa of Many Doors, and stupa four, the Stupa of Miracles, as well as begin the masonry work on stupa eight, the Parinirvana Stupa.

“If offerings are made to stupas on behalf of the sick, troubled, or deceased, these individuals will benefit wherever they are. Life can be extended, effects of harmful actions purified, obstacles pacified, and positive qualities enriched. Such blessings do not diminish over time.”  — H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, an expert in stupa creation, said of stupas: “The oldest of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s students were getting on in years, and had arthritis in their fingers. Yet they couldn’t wait to get to the [stupa] work site. They’d run out there and help in any way they could, scooping up concrete with their bare hands and plastering it on because they were so happy to take part in the work.

We are delighted to announce that through the commitment and generosity of several donors, we have a matching fund of $4,000. This means that every dollar donated up to $4000 will be matched and the project will then have $8,000.

One of the interesting features of stupas is that it’s hard to feel possessive of them. They don’t exist for any other reason except to benefit. With other projects, there may be some vested interest. But a stupa is just a stupa. It’s not something you can personally profit by. It’s a representation of enlightened mind, sitting there, waiting for beings to see, touch, or remember it. In Tibet a lot of the stupas were built at crossroads on high mountain passes, places where nobody would ever go except on their way somewhere else.

“If one participates in a stupa’s construction or honors the completed stupa with an altruistic resolve to benefit all beings, then the blessings are such that the Buddha himself could not describe them.” —  Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche

Tibetans knew that no matter what stupas looked like on the outside, they contained incredible blessings. Just to see them was a blessing. To touch them was a blessing.To hear the sound of the wind blowing around them was a blessing. And that was why they built them–for the blessings, just the blessings.”

Many people visit and are struck by the beauty of Rigdzin Ling, the stupas and the Guru Rinpoche statue and fountain. Whether or not they realize it, they are all touched by powerful blessings, the fruit of Chagdud Rinpoche’s vast intention to benefit beings. Since stupas are the very expression of enlightenment itself, they continuously convey these blessings to all beings. To make any connection with stupas is to make a connection to enlightenment. The merit of this draws one closer to one’s own awakening.

How amazing it is that we have the good fortune to be able to participate in perpetuating Rinpoche’s vision here at Rigdzin Ling. We deeply rejoice that the participation and dedication of hundreds of volunteers and donors, past and present, have made this possible.

Join us! We invite you to participate in this meritorious project by contributing financially and/or by volunteering your time and energy next spring and summer.

Donate to the Stupa Restoration Fund

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Festival of Lights 2015


Every year at the Root Institute in Bodhgaya they create one of my favorite types of offerings to the triple gem.  On July 20th is a special day where the merit we create is multiplied by 100, 000. 

It is on the same day that Shakyamuni Buddha gave his first sermon which we call the “First Turning of the Dharma Wheel” which happens to be on July 20th of this year.

From the flyer that I received in email:

Festival of Lights

“Those who offer one thousand lights will be reborn when Maitreya Buddha shows the deed of gaining enlightenment and receive his first Dharma teaching.” — Arya Maitreya Sutra

  • 50,000 lights – $500
  • 25,000 lights – $250
  • 10,000 lights – $100
  • 5,000 lights – $50

Click here to help sponsor this event and bring some wondrous light it into this dark world:

Root Institute

Thanks,
Neo

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a zen teaching


Huáng Po is perhaps one of Zen Buddhism’s most brilliant Zen masters.  One of the sample teachings (below) from Huang Po’s dialogues brings to light Zen Buddhism’s most esoteric theme concerning Buddha Mind.  Much more vast than the Western concept of mind, Huang Po reveals the transcendent nature of Buddha Mind which traditional Zen Buddhists believe is the source of all things.

Huang Po quote

Brief Bio:

Huáng Po (d. 850) was noted for his outlandish manner of teaching, which incorporating hitting and shouting to awaken his students.  There are a number of instances in the record of Huáng Po slapping students.

One time, the future emperor of China, hiding in the Chan community as a novice monk, received many slaps from Huáng Po for questioning why Huáng Po was bowing to an image of the Buddha.

Another instance was when Linji Yixuan was directed by the head monk to question Huáng Po on the meaning of Buddhism after he had been practicing hard in the monastery for three years without an interview. Three times Linji went to Huáng Po and three times the only answer he got was a slap.

Classic Text:

From “The Zen Teachings of Huang Po”:

“Now we are getting towards the end of the third period of five hundred years since the time of the Buddha, and most students of zen cling to all sorts of sounds and forms.  Why do they not copy me by letting each thought go as though it were nothing, or as though it were a piece of rotten wood, a stone, or the cold ashes of a dead fire?  Or else, by just making whatever slight response is suited to each occasion?

If you do not act thus, when you reach the end of your days here, you will be tortured by Yama.  You must get away from the doctrines of existence and non-existence, for Mind is like the sun, forever in the void, shining spontaneously, shining without intending to shine.  This is not something which you can accomplish without effort, but when you reach the point of clinging to nothing whatever, you will be acting as the Buddhas act.

This will indeed be acting in accordance with the saying: ‘Develop a mind which rests on no thing whatever.’  For this is your pure Dharmakaya, which is called supreme perfect Enlightenment.

If you cannot understand this, though you gain profound knowledge from your studies, though you make the most painful efforts and practice the most stringent austerities, you will still fail to know your own mind.  All your effort will have been misdirected and you will certainly join the family of Mara.  What advantage can you gain from this sort of practice?”

many blessings!
Neo

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the two paths


It’s always nice to come across any type of work by the great Zen Master Bodhidharma.  His truth hits home because he effortlessly sums up the whole path in a condensed and simple manner.  Here is one such teaching:

Bodhidharma2

MANY roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice.

To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn’t apparent because it’s shrouded by sensation and delusion.  Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who meditate on walls, the absence of self and other, the oneness of mortal and sage, and who remain unmoved even by scriptures are in complete and unspoken agreement with reason.  Without moving, without effort, they enter, we say, by reason.

To enter by practice refers to four all-inclusive practices:  Suffering injustice, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and practicing the Dharma.

First, suffering injustice.  When those who search for the Path encounter adversity, they should think to themselves,

 “In Countless ages gone by, I’ve turned from the essential to the trivial and wandered through all manner of existence, often angry without cause and guilty of numberless transgressions.

Now, though I do no wrong, I’m punished by my past.  Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear its fruit.  I accept it with an open heart and without complaint of injustice.  The sutras say “When you meet with adversity don’t be upset because it makes sense.”  With such understanding you’re in harmony with reason.  And by suffering injustice you enter the Path.

Second, adapting to conditions.  As mortals, we’re ruled by conditions, not by ourselves.  All the suffering and joy we experience depend on conditions. 

If we should be blessed by some great reward, such as fame or fortune, it’s the fruit of a seed planted by us in the past.  When conditions change, it ends

Why delight in its existence?  But while success and failure depend on conditions, the mind neither waxes nor wanes.  Those who remain unmoved by the wind of joy silently follow the Path.

Third, seeking nothing.  People of this world are deluded.  They’re always longing for something-always, in a word, seeking.  But the wise wake up.  They choose reason over custom.  They fix their minds on the sublime and let their bodies change with the seasons.

All phenomena are empty.  They contain nothing worth desiring.  Calamity forever alternates with Prosperity!

To dwell in the three realms is to dwell in a burning house.  To have a body is to suffer.  Does anyone with a body know peace?  Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and stop Imagining or seeking anything.  The sutras say, “To seek is to suffer.  To seek nothing is bliss.”  When you seek nothing, you’re on the Path.

Fourth, practicing the Dharma.  The Dharma is the truth that all natures are pure.  By this truth, all appearances are empty.  Defilement and attachment, subject and object don’t exist.  The sutras say, “The Dharma includes no being because it’s free from the impurity of being, and the Dharma includes no self because it’s free from the impurity of self.”  Those wise enough to believe and understand these truths are bound to practice according to the Dharma.

And since that which is real includes nothing worth begrudging, they give their body, life, and property in charity, without regret, without the vanity of giver, gift, or recipient, and without bias or attachment.

And to eliminate impurity they teach others, but without becoming attached to form.  Thus, through their own practice they’re able to help others and glorify the Way of Enlightenment.  And as with charity, they also practice the other virtues.  But while practicing the six virtues to eliminate delusion, they practice nothing at all.  This is what’s meant by practicing the Dharma.

 The Great Master Bodhi-dharma’s Teaching on the Two Enterings and the Four Practices  

By Bodhi-dharma
Translated into English by Red Pine, 1987

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Solitary Realizers


I came across this very nice commentary by Chogyam Trungpa.  Trungpa Rinpoche, was one of the great mahasiddhas of the last century (1939-1987) that condensed the essence of many Buddhist teachings in a simple and easy-to-understand manner.  The topic of solitary realizers, otherwise known as pratyekabuddhas, can be a big eye-opener to those that love to study bits and pieces from every religion. 

Beach-Yoga

Since we’ve had so many yogis, authors and charlatans set forth an unprecedented amount of wrong views (in modern times) while simultaneously lacking heartfelt compassion and responsible behavior, this particular commentary can help us differentiate who is an authentic teacher.  

Chogyam Trungpa writes:

“Pratyekabuddhas are referred to as either parrots or rhinoceroses.  That is to say, there is no happy medium of any kind.  In these two approaches, either the person is very sociable or else very individualistic.  But the general tendency of pratyekabuddhas is that only a few are sociable, a lot of them seem to be antisocial people. 

We could relate that with ourselves.  Some people would like to just retreat and go back to their own environment.  They do not want to relate at all with the energy level of the world or the society that exists around them.  Pratyekabuddhayana types of people are arrogant, in the sense that they prefer not to seek a personal teacher or an individual guide.

And also such people could be said to have very little desire, so therefore they are not particularly keen on socializing.  And also they are highly intelligent and intellectual in some sense they do actually discover some sense of reality or some sense of liberation.  So the general assumption of such people, or their general approach to life is the sense that they have their own resources already and that they can do better without anybody’s help.

A pratyekabuddha is intelligent enough to work with his own resources but at the same time he is very arrogant.  He does not want to relate with anybody above and he does not want to be under anybody’s directions.  He would like to search for himself.  It is kind of the selfmade person approach.  So pratyekabuddhas are very individualistic.  Quite possibly such a person would appreciate nature and poetry, and such a person might appreciate hardship, and industrious work.  He or she probably does not like any kind of religion.  He would like to search in his own way, by his own means, basically.  So that is the pratyekabuddha type of person.

 I’m sure you are aware that we have such people within our community.  And such people are always very resourceful and very knowledgeable from the level of how to tie a shoelace efficiently up to how to survive in the wilderness.  They are very intellectual and from that point of view very functional and efficient.  But at the same time they do not particularly want to relate with any hierarchy or organized discipline of any sort.

Such a person might find that entering a meditation hall is somewhat revolting.  ‘Freedom can be discovered from tying one’s own shoelace.  We don’t need this kind of institutionalized setup’ — that would be the logic of such a person.  So that type of person is arrogant in some sense.  But there is nothing that you can do to put that person on the spot because such a person has less tendency to neurosis.

There is the neurosis of his own arrogance, but apart from that there is very little notion of a need for entertainment or any sense of confusion.  Usually we have to talk to somebody to try to untangle our confusion or because we need some kind of companionship.  But in this case, the whole thing is not based on that.”

Click here for the rest of the commentary: CTR Pratyekabuddhas

Good luck on your Quest!
Neo

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