Tag Archives: Longchenpa

An auspicious day


Today is an auspicious day that not many people may know about.  It is the parinirvana date of the great scholar, master and vidhyadhara Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364).  Longchenpa was a major teacher within the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.

He is well kLONGCHENPA1nown for compiling the essence of Buddhism within his works known as the Seven Treasures.  Most know that our late Holiness Penor Rinpoche was a manifestation of Vimalamitra.  He was also considered to be an emanation of Longchenpa too.

Longchen Rabjampa was born in Central Tibet.  Longchenpa’s parinirvana occurred on the eighteenth day of the twelfth lunar month of the Water-Female-Hare year.  This year it happens to fall on January 30th.  In the eastern culture it is common to go by the lunar calender, so every year it will be different.

The Kalachakra Tantra of Holding the Qualities of the Lama teaches:

The merit accumulated by making offerings on the anniversary of one’s lama will dispel negative karma and obscurations accrued for countless eons, like the rays of the sun dispelling darkness.

Making offerings or preparing a tsok feast is one of the most meritorous actions one can do on this special occasion.

New Year:

At the end of each year the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism hold a Drupchen to accumulate merit and purify the karmas of the passing year.  Ayang Rinpoche is a Drikung Kagyu lama who holds both Nyingma and Drikung lineage.  I received an email stating that their monastery will be performing a special Drupchen as follows:

Bylakuppe Monastery
Annual Guru Drakpo (Wrathful Guru Rinpoche) Drupchen
February 2-8, 2013

At the monastery, the wrathful practice of Guru Dragpo is performed on the final days of the year.  All the negative activities, bad fortune, and undesirable circumstances of the old year are burned and cleansed, and illness and obstacles are pacified.

Through this practice, all positive circumstances increase and Dharma activities can be accomplished in the new year.

You can sponsor 1 day/full 7 days for the benefit of ourselves and the world:

Meals for 280 monks – $30/$210
Offering materials – $10/$70
108 Butterlamps – $5/$35
Tsok – $15/$105
Offerings to monks, khenpos, Loppon, Chant master – $35/$245
Full Drupchen – $95/$665

Click here to access the Amitabha Foundation to donate.

Many Blessings,
Neo

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Two ways of growing


Thirty Pieces of Sincere Advice

by

Longchenpa

From the infinite sky of your pristine awareness, the totality of experience, and the great clouds of your aspirations and prayers  warm rays of compassion and showers of elixir stream down, ripening the three forms (1) in the fields, your students’ minds.  I bow to you, my teacher, my protector, supreme among the Three Jewels.  With stronger aspirations I might have joined the practice lineage.  I didn’t make the effort and now enter the twilight of a meaningless life.

I intended to follow the ancient masters, but I’ve given up and I see others like me. 

So, I’ll outline these thirty pieces of sincere advice to evoke some determination in me:

Too bad!  You’ve built up a large following, one way or another.
You look after a large institution where all the right conditions are present.
But it’s all just a basis for conflict and ideas like “This is mine.”
Live alone – that’s my sincere advice.

In public ceremonies you heal children or subdue demons.
You give your capabilities away to the crowd.
Because you really want food and money, your own needs cloud your judgment.
Tame your own mind – that’s my sincere advice.

You collect a lot of pledges from the poor
And use them to build big monuments, help the needy, and so on.
The good works you do cause others to live badly.
Goodness must be in your mind – that’s my sincere advice.

You’ve taught the Dharma to others because you wanted to be famous.
You cleverly keep a large circle of admirers around you.
To take these to be real is the seed of pride.
Limit your projects – that’s my sincere advice.

You earn money by trading, charging interest, cheating or other dishonest ways.
Although you make large offerings with your accumulated wealth,
Good actions based on greed lead to the eight conventional concerns (2).
Cultivate non-attachment – that’s my sincere advice.

Although you think you’re serving the welfare of beings
By acting as a guarantor, witness or advocate to help settle others’ disputes,
Your own opinions will inevitably assert themselves.
Don’t be concerned – that’s my sincere advice.

Your political power, wealth, connections, good fortune and reputation
May spread all over the world.
When you die, these things will not help you at all.
Work at your practice – that’s my sincere advice.

Managers, assistants, directors, and such
Provide the infrastructure for both communities and religious institutions.
But your involvement in such matters gives rise to worry and concern.
Limit your business – that’s my sincere advice.

You take what you need, images, offerings,
Books, cooking gear, whatever, and stay in solitude.
Right now you have it all together but later difficulties and disputes arise.
Don’t need anything – that’s my sincere advice.

In these difficult times you may feel that it is helpful
To be sharp and critical with aggressive people around you.
This approach will just be a source of distress and confusion for you.
Speak calmly – that’s my sincere advice.

Intending to be helpful and without personal investment,
You tell your friends what is really wrong with them.
You may have been honest but your words gnaw at their heart.
Speak pleasantly – that’s my sincere advice.

You engage in discussions, defending your views and refuting others’
Thinking that you are clarifying the teachings.
But this just gives rise to emotional posturing.
Keep quiet – that’s my sincere advice.

You feel that you are being loyal
By being partial to your teacher, lineage or philosophical tradition.
Boosting yourself and putting down others just cause hard feelings.
Have nothing to do with all this – that’s my sincere advice.

As you carefully go over the teachings you’ve studied
You may think that picking out others’ mistakes is real understanding.
You will just build up a lot of negative fixations.
Keep your perception clear – that’s my sincere advice.

Mindless talk of emptiness ignores causation.
You may think the ultimate teaching is that there is nothing to do,
But when you stop the two ways of growing (3), your practice will wither.
Cultivate these two together – that’s my sincere advice.

You think that you will enhance your practice by taking a partner
And transforming sexual energy in the context of the third empowerment,
But the path of non-retention has snared many great meditators.
Keep to the natural path – that’s my sincere advice.

Giving empowerments to those who aren’t ready,
Or even distributing sacred materials in large gatherings,
Leads to abuse and causes commitments to be broken.
Be precise – that’s my sincere advice.

You may think that you practice deliberate behavior (4)
By going naked in public and shocking people in other ways.
Such actions just cause ordinary people not to trust the Dharma.
Be impeccable – that’s my sincere advice.

You work at being ethical, learned, and noble
So that you will be the best person in your district.
But from this peak you can only fall to a lower status.
Be moderate – that’s my sincere advice.

Wherever you live, in towns, spiritual communities or in isolation,
Don’t seek out special friends.
Don’t be close or at odds with anyone, no matter who is around.
Be independent – that’s my sincere advice.

Maybe you appear deferential and appreciative
To your faithful supporters who provide you with your livelihood,
But in deceiving others you only entangle yourself.
Treat everyone equally – that’s my sincere advice.

Countless books on divination, astrology, medicine and other subjects
Describe ways to read signs. They do add to your learning,
But they generate new thoughts and your stable attention breaks up.
Cut down on this kind of knowledge – that’s my sincere advice.

You stop arranging your usual living space,
But make everything just right for your retreat.
This makes little sense and just wastes time.
Forget all this – that’s my sincere advice.

You make an effort at practice and become a good and knowledgeable person.
You may even master some particular capabilities.
But whatever you attach to will tie you up.
Be unbiased and know how to let things be – that’s my sincere advice.

You may think awakened activity means to subdue skeptics
By using sorcery, directing or warding off hail or lightning, for example.
But to burn the minds of others will lead you to lower states.
Keep a low profile – that’s my sincere advice.

Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

When you focus on practice, to compare understandings and experience,
Write books or poetry, to compose songs about your experience
Are all expressions of your creativity. But they just give rise to thinking.
Keep yourself free from intellectualization – that’s my sincere advice.

When a thought arises, the key is to look right at it.
When you know about mind, the key is to be right there.
Although there isn’t anything to cultivate, the key is to keep cultivating.
Keep yourself free of distraction – that’s my sincere advice.

Act from emptiness knowing the effects of your actions.
When you understand not doing, observe the three vows (5).
With non-referential compassion work to help beings
Keep the two ways of growing inseparable – that’s my sincere advice.

I’ve studied with many learned and masterful teachers and received their profound instruction.
I’ve read some profound sutras and tantras and understood a little of them.
But I don’t practice what I know. It’s too bad. I just fool myself.
So, for me and those like me I offer these thirty pieces (6) of sincere advice.

May the good from writing these verses with this attitude of determination
Guide all beings out of the desolation of existence and bring them great joy.
May we follow the way of the buddhas of the three times, their followers and the ancient masters, And become their great and powerful offspring as well.

Thirty Pieces of Sincere Advice was written by Tsultrim Lodru out of some slight feelings of determination. Ken McLeod translated this work because it spoke to him.

Footnotes

  1. The three forms (three kayas) are the form of what is (dharmakaya), the form of enrichment (sambhogakaya) and the form of manifestation (nirmanakaya).
  2. Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and obscurity.
  3. The two ways of growing are through goodness and through pristine awareness.
  4. A discipline in vajrayana in which you directly test the depth of your understanding.
  5. The vows associated with individual liberation (the five precepts and monastic ordination), the bodhisattva vow, and the vajrayana vows.
  6. There are actually only twenty-nine verses of advice. I don’t know whether this is due to a corrupt Tibetan text or, as is often the case, the whole work is counted as one, too.

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Parinirvana of His Holiness


As some of you may know, on March 27th, 2009 His Holiness Penor Rinpoche passed into parinirvana.  He was considered to be one of the strongest emanations of Longchenpa and Vimalamitra in our time.

The Palyul Clear Light magazine has a special issue (p. 42) with two great quotes about the merits of performing Ganachakra ceremonies or Tsok Feast offerings on this day.

The Kalachakra Tantra of Holding the Qualities of the Lama teaches:

Whatever virtue is accumulated by relatives for the sake of the dead will ripen upon the dead wherever he or she is born, just as a calf follows the cow.

Likewise the offerings devoted disciples make out of sorrow when their master passes away will ripen upon the master, whose wishes will be fulfilled; this will enable the disciple to follow his master’s example.

Whoever marks the date, month and the year of their master’s demise and makes offerings on that day will extinguish negative karma accumulated over many eons.

Achievement of the unsurpassable state will certainly be enabled.

It further states:

This merit is not equaled even by the merit of donating eyes or giving life to all beings in the three thousand world systems who are either blind or whose life is deteriorating.  This merit is not equaled even by the merit accumulated by leading all beings of the three thousand world systems towards arhathood or by making offering to them for eons.  The merit accumulated by making offerings on the anniversary of one’s lama will dispel negative karma and obscurations accrued for countless eons, like the rays of the sun dispelling darkness.

This merit is superior to that accumulated by all beings in the three thousand world systems who gained merit through venerating and serving the Buddha.  Moreover, this merit is greater than the merit accrued by donating eyes, curing disease, and dispelling the sorrow of beings who are blind, ill or tormented by suffering in the hell realms and who are as numerous as the dust particles of the three thousand world systems.

The Tantra of the Protector Crow states:

One who holds ceremonies
During the anniversaries
Of the lama’s passing.
Will attain the irreversible state
And after death will be reborn in the realm of
the Khachod dakinis

Vimalamitra statue:

On November 12, 2009 the Vimalamitra statue was consecrated in honor of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche at Tashi Choling, Oregon.  Dharma artist, Lama Sonam Tsering, worked on the construction of the Vimalamitra statue.  It has been said that His Holiness came to visit the center long ago and the statue now resides exactly where he had sat and gave teachings.

The Shurangama Sutra states:

Mahakasyapa who was present with the bhiksuni Golden Light and others (of his group), then rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha and declared:

“In a former aeon, when Candra-surya-pradipa Buddha appeared in this world, I had a chance of following him and of hearing the Dharma which I practised.  After he had passed away, I revered his relics, lit lamps to perpetuate his light and decorated his statue with pure gold powder.  Since then, in every subsequent reincarnation, my body has been radiant with perfect golden light.”

You can make donations to partake in the supreme merits of creating a statue of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche at this site: http://tashicholing.org/

Ganachakra ceremonies:

For Buddhists, the Ganachakra tsok is a puja or ceremony which includes the recitation of sacred text and mantras.  In addition, there are many abundant offerings of music, candles, food and even wine.  These ceremonies are traditionally based on the Lunar Calender.

Therefore, each year His Holiness Paranirana Day will be celebrated on a slightly different day.  It is important to know, when His Holiness passed away, it was on the First day of the Second month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.  Past dates have landed on:

  1. April 4, 2011
  2. March 23, 2012
  3. March 12, 2013
  4. March 31, 2014
  5. March 21, 2015
  6. March 10, 2016

The next ceremony will be held on:  March 29, 2017

Hope that helps!
Neo

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