Category Archives: Tibetan Buddhism

Benefits of the Festival of the Tenth Day

Taken in part from the Lotsawa House website:

guru rinpoche

On each one of these successive tenth day festivals, the specific benefits of observing the practice follow in this order:

In the sixth month, all kinds of illness, döns, and obstructors are pacified, and lifespan, merit and prosperity are increased.

In the twelfth month, happiness and sharpness of mind are accelerated and confidence increases, so that humans and non-humans are brought under your power.

In the first month, power, position and wealth will grow, and earth-lords and guardians obey you like servants.

In the second month, harm and damage caused by the lord of death and the eight classes of gods and spirits are pacified, discipline is purified, and unlimited wisdom blazes.

In the third month, you are untouched by harm from inauspicious conjunctions of planets and stars, and from enemies and thieves. At home and abroad, auspiciousness, peace and goodness increase everywhere.

In the fourth month, you will be immune to harm from earth-lords, nāgas and nyens, and dharmapālas and guardians will accomplish whatever activity you have entrusted to them.

In the fifth month, all harm from obstacles, enemies and döns is pacified, and the objects of your wishes are brought under your control.

In the seventh month, chronic ailments, weaknesses of the immune system and the like are purified, the body is healthy, the mind is happy, your entourage and wealth increase, and your aspirations are fulfilled.

In the eighth month, obstacles of the year, month, day and time, as well as evil signs and the like, are all pacified, and any decline in wangthang or lungta is restored.

In the ninth month, sickness and döns caused by the eight classes and jungpo demons, untimely death and fatal accidents all are pacified, serious curses are eliminated, you are freed from sorcery and psychic attacks, and your own body becomes vajra.

In the tenth month, wrongs and downfalls of the three vows such as disrespecting sacred objects, and breakages and impairments of samaya are all healed, and your mind stream is purified.

In the eleventh month, sudden misfortune, such as untimely death, will not occur, and as soon as we transfer from this life, we are born in the pure land of Lotus Light before Guru Rinpoche himself.

Not only are the benefits of observing the tenth day absolutely limitless, but for concentrating on the various practices of gathering merit and making prayers, these occasions are praised as extraordinarily special.

Composed by Jikdral Yeshe Dorje, Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche

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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


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

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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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.


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.


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

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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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. 


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!

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Lhabab Duchen

I received this in an email.  And it is a good reminder for everyone as it is a special Dharma Festival day.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Descent from Tushita Heavens by Shakyamuni Buddha which lands on November 13th, 2014.


Migyur Dorje Stupa

“Thursday the 13th of November (22nd day of the ninth month according to the lunar calendar) marks the anniversary of the day that Shakyamuni Buddha descended from the Heaven of the 33 back to earth to teach.

When the Buddha became enlightened, he was able to see his mother, Queen Mayadevi, had gone to this desire god realm when she had died six days after his birth.  To repay his mother’s kindness, the Buddha vowed to liberate her and gods inhabiting this realm.

After he stayed three months in this heavenly realm, Buddha’s students on earth begged him to return through the offering of lights.  To make this return possible, the gods Indra and Brahma constructed a ladder of gold, silver, and precious gems.  The Buddha descended from heaven and arrived in the town of Kashi (modern-day Varanasi).  This is considered to be one of the eight great deeds of the Buddha, marked by one of the eight kinds of stupas entitled “Stupa of Descent from the God Realm.”


Completed Migyur Dorje stupa

This is a day that the merit of our actions is multiplied one-hundred-million-fold.  One way to generate merit particularly on this day is to offer lamps.  These outer lights symbolize the inner light of our own practice, cultivated through our meditation.

Light symbolizes the expelling of ignorance, strengthening the clarity of mind, and the generating wisdom and compassion.  And by offering lights, we are praying that the inner light of all beings is joined with infinite light.  We are in this email offering two lights for you, dear friends!”


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the Omniscient Guide

On the Ignorance of the Learned

by Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima

In general, the precious teaching collections of the Omniscient Guide are to be learnt; they are the fundamental scriptures with which we should be acquainted.  For bodhisattvas, studying these texts brings with it an increase in the causes of all-seeing wisdom and a mastery of the methods for bringing those of diverse inclinations to spiritual maturity.

Nevertheless, there are some these days who pursue study and yet the more they learn, the more arrogant they become.  They think: “Now I have studied widely.  I know the scriptural approach.  I am learned in the various collections.”  And when they see others who have not amassed comparable learning, regard them with contempt, thinking: “These people are fools, dullards, simpletons, befuddled and uneducated.”

Even when reading texts by fellow scholars, they lack due reverence and devotion for the sacred Dharma, and no sooner have they opened the covers of the book than they are wondering, “What have we here?  How is this written?”

Unstable in their understanding, as if their intelligence were laid out on a bed of reeds, they point their fingers accusingly and gesticulate like drunkards.  Encountering a particular claim, they think: “This doesn’t accord with the Pramāṇa texts on logic and epistemology.”  Confronted with another assertion, they think: “This doesn’t fit with what is taught in the Abhidharma.”  Reading of some further proposition: “Oh, this can be refuted by such and such a line of thinking.”  Critiquing a text in this way, they reach the end with no clear idea of what it contains or maintains, no notion of what it asserts or posits.

Such scholars think: “When others debate with my own system, they will say such-and-such, so I must reply as follows…But then the opponent might counter with such-and-such a response, so what would be the best reply?”  Constantly preoccupied with such thoughts, they feel no pleasure during the day, while sleep evades them at night.  Even if sleep should come to them, as they are consumed by these matters even in their dreams, their minds will be perturbed from the very first moment of waking.

Dismissing the works of the profound path, such as the progressive stages of meditation on bodhichitta and compassion, as too easy to understand, they prefer works of sophistry, and when they come across them think, “Oh, now this I must study!”

Opening up a volume, they immediately muster all their intellect and inquire: “What is the meaning of this?  Now this is a mere illustration.  Is this a refutation?  Is this a valid proof?  Does this follow logically from the premise?  Is there a logical contradiction here?”  Scribbling notation about such hair-splitting points, they pass the best part of the afternoon, with pulse racing and breath uneven.

From the very moment you focus on such topics as the ‘conceptual isolate’ (ldog pa) of “buddha” or the ‘universal substance’ (rdzas spyi) of sentient beings, all faith and renunciation diminish and disappear.  Eventually, at the time of death, all that you have studied will be exposed as nothing more than dry and empty words; all the analysis and research as amounting to nothing more than hollow ideas; and all that you have read garnering little more than false suppositions—all on the basis of squandered opportunities.  It will be plainly obvious that all this analysis and categorizing into matter, consciousness and anomalous factors has been nothing more than casting stones in the dark.

If you really thought about it, you would see that the path of logic is intended to dispel incorrect patterns of thought.  Yet once such patterns have been dispelled, it is necessary to set out upon the genuine path, and, having set out upon this path, to make manifest the wisdom of perfect liberation.

To be learned in the Dharma does not mean merely to have heard a lot of teachings. “The one who, on the basis of learning, feels disenchantment for the three realms—such a person is truly learned,” says the Abhidharma.  One ought, therefore, to examine any pretensions of learning based on knowing a few words about this and that.

The Sutra Requested by Bhadramayakara teaches that the essence of being learned is to practice whatever Dharma one has heard and to benefit others by explaining it to them well.  So we must be wary of presuming to uphold the lifestyle of the learned while following only a limited, superficial approach to logical reasoning that does not espouse genuinely purposeful objectives.

Although my own education resembles nothing more than the watery traces of a silkworm upon a lotus, I have some experience in these matters, and so I, the crazy beggar Jigme, offer this mad talk for those who might be in a similar position.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2014. With many thanks to Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, who kindly explained some difficult phrases. And with apologies to William Hazlitt for borrowing the title

Click here to download: Ignorance of the Learned

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Rinpoche on offering

Here is a short quote from Dzongsar Khyentse that will easily remind us of the whole path towards enlightenment.

“By offering no more than a single flower petal to the Buddha we accumulate merit, and if that merit is then dedicated to the ultimate happiness of all sentient beings, it is multiplied billions of times over. 

flower3 If we then apply the wisdom of emptiness by considering the flower (the offering), the Buddha (the one to whom the offering is made), and ourselves (the one making the offering) to be nothing more than illusions, not only do we accumulate an enormous amount of merit, but also tremendous wisdom.  And this is how offering a single flower petal can lead us to wisdom.” — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

What to Do at India’s Holy Places Free download of complete text here in English, Spanish, or French.

Many blessings!

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