30. juni 2009
Ja, så er et igen blevet tid til sommerlejr på Næsset, og som I jo nok har bemærket, er det noget vejrguderne glæder sig over. Vi andre glæder os også, bla. over alt det, der er sket her på Gomde med både bygninger og omgivelser.
De første par dage her står Erik for undervisningen, og han har berettet om overførslen af Buddhas lære, linien hvorigennem, den er blevet overført, og ikke mindst har han påbegyndt en gennemgang af Atishas 7-punkts sindstræning. Heri opsummeres et træningsprogram, hvorigennem man kan ændre ens sindstrøm i retning af at blive et bedre menneske til større gavn for både en selv, og i særdeleshed til andres gavn
De oprindelige 7 punkter kan koncentreres til 5 punkter, eller 5 kræfter,hvormed man vender skuden og skaber forudsætninger for et videre arbejde med sindet i retning af en stadig større ro, kærlighed, medfølelse, hengivenhed og klarhed.
Af de 5 kræfter har vi foreløbig gennemgået de 3 første, som er Viljens Kraft, Vanens Kraft og De gode Frøs Kraft. Viljens kraft er den. der ligger i at beslutte sig for at blive anderledes, at ændre sig i en positiv retning. Vanens Kraft er den, der ligger i at træne sig selv i ændrede adfærdsvaner, at vænne sig til at handle på nye måder. Endelig er De gode Frøs kraft, den kraft der ligger i at gøre “gode gerninger” og derigennem skabe forhold som befordrer udviklingen af og en styrkelse af de nye adfærdsmønstre.
Foruden alt det ovennævnte blev der selvfølgelig også tid til adskillige pujaer med Ani Dekyi og et lærerigt foredrag af Antonia, som fortalte om forholdet mellem buddhisme og vestlig psykologi.
Lige nu,efter aftensmaden, glæder vi os så til i aften at høre om de sidste to kræfter, samt selvfølgelig til imorgen, hvor Rinpoche kommer.
28. juni 2009
A gathering of ca 20 students listened as Erik spoke about the transmission of the Dharma, emphasizing that what is of main importance is that actual understanding takes place and how the purpouse of the spoken transmission is to facilitate this.
27. juni 2009
Please notice: There is a change in Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche's arrival time for the Gomde Denmark Summer Camp.
He is now scheduled to arrive at Arhus Airport (AAR) at 9 am Wednesday July 1st.
The welcoming procession will therefore be between around 9.30 am.
Please be here well in time, wear nice clothes and bring flowers and incense.
Your Gomde DK hosts
We received this email from him.
Dear Gomde DK students,
I am so sorry to have delay my arrival to Denmark. There has been a problem with the USA visa that forces me to come 2 days later. I am really looking forward to being at our beautiful Gomde together and practicing.
Now I will arrive on Wednesday July 3 AM to Copenhagen and will follow the program from Wednesday evening onwards. Please follow the same schedule you had planned on Tuesday exactly. I request Erik Pema Kunsang to teach you all.
Much love and will see you soon,
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
26. juni 2009
Benchen Karma Geleg Dargye Ling i Odense kan hermed annoncere den glædelige nyhed, at vi afholder sommerkursus med Tenga Rinpoche den 12. og 13. juli 2009.
Søndag den 12. juli vil der være program med indvielse og undervisning. Mandag den 13. juli er der ikke noget program, men Rinpoche vil være i centeret.
Tenga Rinpoche giver indvielse til Guru Dragpo og til Vajra Brynje mantraet. Guru Dragpo er et aspekt af Guru Rinpoche og indvielsen stammer fra Dordje Lingpas terma. Endvidere vil Rinpoche give undervisning og instruktioner i praksissen.
Om Vajra Brynje mantraet
Fra den Lotus-Fødte Padmasambhavas uendeligt mange metoder til at hjælpe væsener til at opnå lykke, frigørelse og den endelige buddhatilstand, hører Vajra Brynje mantraet specielt under metoderne til at fjerne både kendte og hidtil ukendte sygdomme. Før en kriger drager ud i kamp tager han først sin brynje på, så han er usårlig overfor fjendens angreb. På samme måde vil den daglige recitering af Vajra Brynje mantraet hjælpe til at fjerne angreb fra alle de 404 slags sygdomme – enkeltvis og i deres mangfoldige kombinationer. Det er ét mantra som kan modvirke alle sygdomme på en gang. Vajra Brynje mantraet er en skjult terma-skat af Padmasambhava, som blev fundet af den tibetanske mester Dorje Lingpa i det 14. århundrede.
Tenga Rinpoche har sagt om dette mantra, at det er specielt gavnligt imod alle de nye sygdomme, der viser sig i vores tid og som der endnu ikke er fundet nogen kur imod.
Oversættelse: Der vil være oversættelse til dansk og til engelsk.
Tid: Søndag den 12. juli 2009 kl. 14.00
Sted: Kurset finder sted på adressen:
Odense Toldkammer st. th.
Østre Stationsvej 43
5000 Odense C
NB! I bedes medbringe egne puder eller lignende, da der kun er trægulv i kursuslokalet.
Kursuslokalet er centralt beliggende, lige ved siden af Odense banegård. Når man kommer ud af banegårdens hovedindgang, går man 400 meter til højre. Bygningen ligger på samme side af vejen på det første hjørne ved lyskryds nummer to fra banegården. Arrangementet afholdes i stueetagen.
Der er gode parkeringsmuligheder for dem, der kommer i bil.
Pris: 200 kr.
Tilmelding er påkrævet! Da der er et begrænset antal pladser, er det en god idé at tilmelde sig i god tid. Man kan tilmelde sig på email@example.com
Kontakt Odense Turistbureau på tlf. 63 75 75 20. De vil være behjælpelige med overnatningsmuligheder i alle prisklasser. Eller klik ind på adressen www.visitodense.com og se under overnatning. Der kan man f.eks. booke bed & breakfast til to personer for 550 kr. For samme pris kan man overnatte på Danhostel lige ved siden af banegården.
Benchen Karma Geleg Dargye Ling
Dronning Olgas Vej 1
5000 Odense C
Tel.: 70 20 90 73
Info: Kontakt os på firstname.lastname@example.org
23. juni 2009
Dear friends and participants,
The summercamp at Gomde Denmark is getting really close, and we are delighted to offer you a truly great summer with wonderful teachings with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and his lamas.
This e-mail is a request to those of you who plan to attend the SummerCamp but are in habit of registering on arrival.
The Chief Cook is about to order kitchen provisions and would appreciate knowing how many people will enjoy her tasty meals.
So to lighten the work on the Gomde end, please register online as soon as you can on this web address:
Since the earlier email, two extra programs have been added.
Section 9: Padmasambhava retreat program. Practice, instructions and feast offering
Section 10: Intensive Ngondro retreat and Sangcho (fire puja)
Looking much forward to seeing you all,
With warmest wishes,
your Gomde hosts.
PS: We do have a credit card terminal, but it has a mind of its own, so to save yourself having to travel to the nearest bank (which is quite far) please EITHER pay by bank transfer / web bank no less than 3 days before your arrival, OR pay by cash at check-in.
21. juni 2009
Last month yet another great master, Kyabjé Penor Rinpoche, passed into paranirvana. What a loss for the world! And what a loss for those of us who have a connection with him!
For me, his passing has brought home the troubling realization that, while many great masters are still alive and with us, from the point of view of our own impure perceptions, they are no longer young, and sometimes appear to be quite frail. This worrying reality should inspire in all of us a real sense of urgency.
During the past few years, I myself have noticed that, quite suddenly, many of my friends are being attacked by terminal diseases, like breast cancer and brain tumours. Although I know I shouldn't be surprised, I always am because I have such a tenuous acquaintance with the concept of impermanence. Actually, people all over the world are dying every second, yet it's only recently that I've started noticing it happening to people I know personally, and every time one of my friends dies, a big part of me always asks, "Why is this happening to me? To us?"
Eventually, of course, I remember that death is simply one inevitable aspect of being human. Then I feel foolish for not having seen that, for me and everyone of my age, such losses are unavoidable; that, in fact, as we get older, we will have to face the deaths of those we love more and more frequently.
What is the human body, after all? Little more than a bunch of pathetically fragile components that have been cobbled together without the proper glue or strong enough nails. Is it any wonder that, sooner or later, we all fall apart? Yet, every time it happens, our ignorant minds are constantly surprised by death and illness, and everything that goes with it.
Over the years there have been so many tragic deaths, but the most tragic of all is the death of someone young. Personally, I am always saddest when someone younger than I am dies, and I think that for almost all human beings, the idea that young people die is somehow unacceptable and unfair--this is how we think.
In reality, though, death doesn't have any preferences; it doesn't strike according to the age of its victim. And as Buddhists, we've been told about the uncertainty of death so often, we really can't complain that we haven't been warned--Shantideva alone repeatedly dedicated whole chapters to the subject. Nevertheless, we still complain--it happens all the time.
So, what is the purpose of this message? For those of you who are "over the hill", like myself, please take refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and Guru, Deva and Dakini, because we all need protection from bad health and all manner of disasters. After all, who knows what's in store for any of us? I'd also like to emphasize that one of the main causes of our weakness and vulnerability is the sheer weight of our karmic debt, and in order to repay and clarify these debts it is important to practise Riwo Sangchö.
Of course, when you practice--whichever practice it is that you like to do, Refuge, Bodhicitta, Riwo Sangchö, whatever--always take a good look at your motivation. Doing any kind of spiritual practice because you think it will ensure a long life--perhaps even that you'll live forever--is like trying to freeze a bubble of soap in time; it's just not possible. All you can do is practise with the wish that you remain alive long enough to become better acquainted with the Dharma. Even one second longer in such a life is extremely precious.
Ultimately, of course, we should say prayers and do practice in the hope that one day we will be free from the agony of time, and from the agony of the separation of all the transitory elements that, in our deluded minds, we have pieced together so convincingly. Most of us are so lost in our delusions that we actually believe them to be permanent, and when the illusion we've created reveals itself in its true colours, we suffer the most unbearable agonies. And it is from this kind of delusion that, ultimately, we need to free ourselves.
A short note from someone pretending to do retreat.
Bir, 12 April 2009
20. juni 2009
19. juni 2009
Buddhism In The West
by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
My thoughts on Buddhism in the West have actually changed over the years. At this point I feel very positive and optimistic; not that I was skeptical or doubtful in the past, but one becomes more sure over time. There seems to be greater possibility for the roots of buddhism to be established in the West. I have become much more certain of this from personal experience—certain to a certain degree. ...
18. juni 2009
SummerCamp ekstra programmer fra d.26.juni-27.juli 2009
26.juni kl. 14.00: Ankomst af Kumari deltagere.
28.juni kl.10.00 - 29.juni: Hvordan Buddhas lære overføres, med Erik Pema Kunsang
29.juni: Velkomst til Rinpoche om aftenen
29.juni - 11.july kl. 06.45 - 07.30: Tara puja og meditation med Ani Dekyi Chodron på tibetansk/engelsk
29.juni - 11.july kl. 07.30: Spørgsmål og svar med Ani Dekyi Chodron
30.juni – 4.july kl. 17.00-17.45: Kilaya puja med Ani Dekyi Chodron på tibetansk/engelsk
30-1.juli kl.14.30-16.00: Meeting point between Buddhist and western psychology med Antonia Sumbundu
2.juli - 3.juli kl. 14.30-16.00: Undervisning i Tara og Chö af Ani Dekyi Chodron
30.juni - 9.juli kl.13.30: Qigong træning med Göran Jacobsen
4. juli kl. 14.30: Forklaring til Ocean of Amrita med Lama Tenzin Sangpo
4. juli kl. 17.30: Anvisning til Pujamedhjælpere med Ani Dekyi og Tara Trinley Wangmo
5-16.juli kl. 17.00-17.45: Kilaya med Lama Tenzin Sangpo
3-10.juli kl.19.00-19.30: Undervisning/historier/
6-8.juli kl.14.30 – 16.00: Lama Tenzin besvarer spørgsmål om Ngøndro
9-10.juli kl.14.30 – 16.00: Lama Tenzin besvarer spørgsmål om Yidam praksis
11 - 15.juli kl. 06.45 - 07.15: Buddha Shakyamuni med Lama Tenzin Sangpo på tibetansk/engelsk
11-15.juli kl. 09.00 - 20.00: Padmasambhava retreat program. Praksis, instruktion og feast med Lama Tenzin
16.juli - 24.juli kl.06.45 - 07.30: Morgen chant med Tara Trinley Wangmo på engelsk
16- 22.juli kl.08.00 – 20.00: Intensive Ngøndro retreat og Sangcho (ildpuja) med Dorje Gyurmey
23-25. juli kl.08.00 - Yogi gåtur rundt om Helgenæs med Dorje Gyurmey
27. juli SummerCamp 2009 Slut
Alle deltagere er velkomne til at være med i de forskellige ekstra programmer.
15. juni 2009
14. juni 2009
I have been coming to gomde.dk for quite a few years, on and off, but this time, I had been away for more than a year. On my way up here, I decided to look at everything with completely fresh eyes. And lo! At the end of the long winding road there was a wholly new gomde. Or whas it I who had changed? The first thing that struck me was the neatly kept lawns, but even as I entered “the holy of holies”, a new statue of Buddha Shakyamuni greeted me ceremoniously. Or was it I again? The various improvements on the property are obvious. Just think that a few years ago the meditation hall had hardly been conceived of! If one of the pure lands are of this world, surely it must be gomde.dk.
uffe nagel (karma tendzin nyima)
12. juni 2009
"A former American convert to Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years speaks her mind. Her viewpoint is that, although American Tibetan Buddhists have made the decision to adopt traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs because they seem authoritative and reliable, this decision has been a mistake. First, she finds that Tibetans themselves suffer from ethnocentrism and cultural arrogance that blinds them to the virtues of Western culture and predisposes them to favor all things Tibetan. Second, she finds American students far too willing to abandon the advantages of our intellectual training and democratic culture of equality in favor of medieval concepts still espoused by Tibetans due to their cultural backwardness. The solution, this student says, is to abandon Tibetan cultural belief systems, stripping Buddhism to its core values of straightforward inquiry and insight into appearance and emptiness, supplementing these values with Western virtues of optimism, creativity, and the scientific method. Such a change in spiritual approach can lead to real cause for optimism and freedom from outmoded notions that merely lead to psychological subjugation."
For years, Tibetan lamas have won the hearts and minds of many in the west, mainly because of the sophisticated wisdom of the Buddha that they embody, but also because many of them appear gentle and easily amused. The fact that they are an endangered species helps too, and there is always a handful of genuine masters that can always be put up as window dressing. But the initial infatuation is coming to an end; moreover, some westerners are beginning to realize that there is a big difference between Buddhism and Tibetan culture.
As societal attitudes change, aided by modern media, the scrutiny of public figures and scepticism towards so-called spiritual paths has intensified. For the first time, Tibetans in general and lamas in particular have been forced to savour the bittersweet taste of free society. For some, it’s becoming a painful realization that popularity and success come at a price. Also, reluctantly, Tibetans are accepting that attempts to impose what they see as a superior way of living are not working. But like many in the East, Tibetans still clutch firmly to all of their culture as the ultimate answer to everything, including some of it that they could beneficially do without. As if that were not enough, many have insisted that their western followers adopt the whole cultural package along with Buddhism. It is this hotchpotch of Tibetan culture and Buddhism that many are having a hard time digesting.
Even basic Buddhist teachings such as refuge are now being taken theistically because of inadequate explanation. When we chant prayers like "I take refuge in the Buddha," we barely mention – and we therefore ignore - its essential meanings such as knowing that one’s ultimate nature is the Buddha. Given this, it is little wonder that the author of the article refers to the Gurus and Sangha as her "captors" instead of her liberators. Because lamas have the role of bringing the Dharma to West, they have a bigger responsibility for the teachings than western students who are interested but unfamiliar with them. However, instead of making the teachings accessible, the Tibetans have created a huge divide with westerners through a combination of their superiority complex, their fundamental lack of "respect" towards Westerners and an inadequate interest in western thinking. The classic Buddhist analogy of patient, doctor and treatment states that for different patients with different problems, doctors should apply the appropriate cures. Yet if Tibetan lamas ridicule the culture and habits of their western students as a "total waste of time," how will the remedy ever take effect? Are they really suggesting that westerners should be given the same teachings as illiterate Tibetan nomads? This lack of respect towards westerners by Tibetans is not something recent; they have a long-held assumption that westerners are barbaric. Even before 1959, many visitors to Tibet were denied entry simply because they were foreigners. One could even argue that Tibetans themselves are mostly to blame for the loss of their country because of their extreme xenophobia, and their disdain and rejection of everything foreign as unholy. Despite this, many westerners are charmed by Tibetan hospitality, politeness and friendliness, little knowing that they originate more from social obligation than sincerity. Behind most of those smiling faces, there is still the underlying reality that you are a westerner. The few smiles that are sincere could well originate with the hope that you could be a sponsor or, more recently, to help obtain a green card.
Another of the author’s remarks, which can’t be dismissed, is that "the lamas’ complaint is so familiar that it invokes a yawn." Besides seeing the western pursuit of Dharma as "superficial and fickle," Tibetans regard it as merely testing the waters, forgetting that this analytical attitude is encouraged by the Buddha himself. The more you examine Buddhism, the more you will discover its greatness.
Moreover, for Tibetans to label westerners as "materialistic" is more than a little ironical, since material pursuit has become one of the top priorities among Tibetans in general and certain lamas in particular. Big Tibetan settlements compete over everything from the largest monasteries to the latest and most prestigious brands of car. If some high lamas were just to sell their gold and silver teacup holders, it could feed hundreds of starving Ethiopians for days.
It is true that Tibetans think that westerners "shop for Dharma," and they can’t keep the tantric teachings secret, but are they to blame if the "lamas themselves turned the Dharma into a travelling show," including performances such as the sand mandala and the lama dances.
It would be better if we could discover all these downfalls of the Tibetans sooner rather than later. Because otherwise we might become disillusioned and that might be a reason for giving up the Dharma. But detecting these downfalls is no easy task. Generations of experience in being hypocritical have left lamas rather subtle and sophisticated. One example is how many westerners fall for the almost annoying theatre of the lamas’ humility, little seeing that behind the curtain is a fierce fight for who gets the highest throne. It has gone to the extent of some lamas being willing to sit at the same level or higher than their own teachers. This manoeuvring becomes especially dramatic when the occasion involves a large crowd, and even more so if there are potential big donors present, especially those from Taiwan who seem to judge the value of lamas solely by their rank or how many letters "H" precede their name.
The image of Gautama with a begging bowl and bare feet walking humbly on the streets of Maghada seems to have become a mere myth. The lamas’ influence and dominance in Tibet have not only "weakened" many secular aspects of Tibetan life such as art, music and literature, in which the lamas have little interest, but in some cases degraded the Dharma as well. If it were not for
Buddhism’s fundamental view of non-theism, the rule of the more narrow- minded lamas could be as tyrannical as that of the Taliban.
Despite their emphasis on an ecumenical attitude, many lamas encourage sectarianism by guarding their Tibetan disciples possessively and discouraging them from studying teachings from other traditions. Of course, they have a convenient excuse: their students will become too confused if they do this. Thus many Tibetan students from one school have absolutely no idea of the other traditions; but that doesn’t seem to stop them slandering the others. As if it were not enough that they are doing this with Tibetans, the lamas have also coached westerners in this sectarian game and they have been shockingly successful. They have also jealously guarded their Dharma centres in the west, although many are merely vehicles to generate financial support for the lamas and their Monasteries back home. Supporting those westerners who are genuinely pursuing the Dharma, or facilitating their studies, is not their primary interest.
So, is Tibetan Buddhism ever going to "work" in the "barbaric" west? Of course it will. The fact that Buddhism could be imported and flourish in then - barbaric Tibet proves that despite the many misdemeanours of its personalities and its alien culture, Buddhism can and does still work for all kinds of nationalities, genders and cultural backgrounds. Discarding Buddhism, as the author seems to have done, merely because of the misbehaviour of a few Tibetans or their seemingly "complex and colourful way of life" does not seem wise.
It is important to remember that it took many decades and generations of courage and devotion to firmly establish Buddhism among Tibetans. Why should we expect that it would be any different in the west?
Moreover, measuring the value of Dharma from a materialist perspective or judging it with the arrogance of a so-called objective view is dangerous. It may be obvious that planes fly and boats don’t sink, but who is to say whether a person is enlightened or not? Similarly, we should be cautious when comparing social systems. The author’s comment that the "social governance of the U.S." is "far superior to that of King Trisong Detsun’s" is ill judged. During his reign, the U.S. had yet to massacre thousands of Native Americans, let alone have a sense of "social governance." By contrast, King Trisong had the vision to see the social value of Buddhism. He brought it to Tibet from India, a country with which Tibet has little in common, and despite countless hardships such as hostility from the sacrifice loving Bon religion. Were it not for his initiative, Tibet might have adopted the bloodthirsty life style of the local tribes or the so-called civilisation of sycophantic Confucianism from neighbouring China.
Furthermore, by asserting that the West has "a very good understanding of what it means to be a Bodhisattva" and comparing this with concepts such as "humanitarianism" or "social activism," the author is completely missing the point. The aspiration of a Bodhisattva transcends mere sympathy for "needy" or "helpless" beings. Having that kind of compassion invariably leads one to become co-dependent, insecure and eventually egoistic, because one ends up defining oneself by the extent to which one has helped. By contrast, Bodhisattvas are not attached to their acts of help or the result. Their aim is to liberate beings from the traps of life and the myth of freedom.
So one might wonder how should a Bodhisattva behave? Gentle? Serene? Humble? Ascetic? It may be easy to condemn the lamas’ materialistic misdemeanours but, believe it or not, it is even easier to fall prey to their seemingly wholesome simplicity. Such hypocrisy is a universal masquerade. I can’t help but feeling utterly hypocritical on many occasions, as I can easily see myself as the type of lama the author was disillusioned by. Despite having written this, I know that I will not give up any of my perks, whether high thrones, branded shoes, or even 49 Rolls Royce automobiles if someone gave them to me.
It may appear sacrilegious and corrupt to see supposedly renunciant lamas dwelling in luxury and enjoying every imaginable privilege. Similarly it doesn’t look right when a supposedly compassionate and skilful master manifests as tyrannical and narrow-minded. But one must be aware that an appearance of simple living can be deceptive. It may sound ironical but just as some would find it hard to give up worldly goods, other could be frantically worried about losing their carefully constructed image of being a simple, renunciant and couldn’t care less crazy wisdom guy. Isn’t it fruitless and painful if one forgoes worldly pleasures just to keep up an image of humility and simplicity? Not only is one not advancing on the spiritual path, but also in the process, one is missing out on a lot of worldly delight. Given this, we should not condemn the few lamas or practitioners who are seemingly worldly, if when it comes to benefiting beings, they display little or no selfishness. We should venerate and emulate their absolute indifference towards others’ opinions, such as praise for their simplicity or scandal at their worldliness, and their lack of concern about gaining disciples by being humble or losing them for misbehaviour. At least we should admire them for not being hypocritical. Unlike them I feel that I am far from overcoming this hypocrisy of false humility and attaining a genuine indifference. For me, renunciation, humility and non-worldliness are still the guiding principles for my path, but not because I have seen the futility of worldly life. It is only because I am a "Tibetan Buddhist lama", and this is what the masses think it is right for a lama to do. And what people think still seems to matter to me. Yet, no matter how often we judge, it is always in vain. This is not to say that being judgmental is morally or politically incorrect, but simply that subjectivity is at the very core of all judgement.
— D.J. Khyentse
©2009 Dharmashri Foundation, Mindrolling International, All Rights Reserved
11. juni 2009
Teachings on the Ngakso Drubchen
Spoken by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
at Nagi Gompa, December 1984
Please listen to this teaching with the proper motivation of bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment, and with the intention of putting the teaching into practice for the benefit of all sentient beings who have been our own mothers.
Today’s topic is the drubchen called The Group Assembly of Great Accomplishment. In accordance with the Vajrayana system, this practice consists of three stages: development, recitation, and completion. Moreover, it incorporates the four aspects of approach, full approach, accomplishment, and great accomplishment. Among these four, the word drubchen refers to the great accomplishment.
The drubchen we are engaged in now is called Ngakso or Ngakyi Sojong which means Vajrayana Mending and Purification. In the title Ngakyi Sojong, the word so (gso) means mending, reviving, restoring, or increasing merit. Basically, it is a Vajrayana practice of mending and purification (gso sbyong) though it also includes mending and purification practices in accordance with all four vehicles, namely the Hinayana (consisting of the two vehicles of shravaka and pratyekabuddha), the Mahayana and the Vajrayana systems.
What we are mending are the pratimoksha precepts, the vows of individual liberation, in accordance with the Hinayana system, the bodhisattva trainings in accordance with the Mahayana system, and the samaya commitments, in accordance with the Vajrayana system. By this practice these commitments are restored.
The word jong (sbyong) means purification. What we purify are breaches of our Hinayana vows, faults in our Mahayana training, and violations of our Vajrayana samayas.
When we practice a drubchen we should imagine that the outer vessel - our world - is a celestial palace and that the inner contents - all the inhabitants in this world - are pure beings. All males are dakas and all females are dakinis. All sounds, whether animate or inanimate, and all voices, whether human or animal, are the resounding of mantras. Moreover, our own thoughts, emotions, and mental movements, as well as those of all sentient beings, are the inconceivable wisdom of Vajra Mind. In short, all that appears, exists and resounds in this world, all male and female beings, all our thoughts and emotions, should be considered as only pure wisdom without any impurity whatsoever.
The main principle of Vajrayana practice is pure perception or sacred outlook - this is the Vajrayana path. However, we are not imagining or superimposing something unreal onto things. We are merely regarding things to be what they actually are. Why? Because everything is primordially the nature of the Three Vajras. However, these three, Vajra Body, Vajra Speech and Vajra Mind, have been obscured by our habitual patterns of thinking, “This is my body, this is my speech, this is my mind,” and so forth. The indestructible Vajra Body has been obscured so that now we perceive a body of flesh and blood, the unceasing Vajra Speech has been obscured into our ordinary voice and the changeless Vajra Mind has been obscured by our constant conceptualizing.
The five elements of the outer world: earth, water, fire, wind and space are actually the nature of the five female buddhas. They are known as the spaces of each of the five consorts. The five major elements exist externally as our world, while the five minor elements exist internally as the constituents of our body. In principle these two are the same in that the flesh and bones of our body are the earth element, the blood and liquids are the water element, the body heat is the fire element, the respiration is the wind element, and the body’s cavities are the space element. It is said that the earth element is the female Buddha Lochana, the water element is the female Buddha Mamaki, the fire element is the female Buddha Pandaravasini, the wind element is the female Buddha Samayatara and the space element is the female buddha Dhatvishvari. Therefore, since the very outset, these five elements have, in fact, been the five female Buddhas.
Similarly, sentient beings, who are the inhabitants of the world, are composed of the five aggregates. These five aggregates are originally pure because the aggregate of forms is Buddha Vairochana, the aggregate of sensations is Buddha Ratnasambhava, the aggregate of conceptions is Buddha Amitabha, the aggregate of formations is Buddha Amoghasiddhi, and the aggregate of consciousnesses is Buddha Akshobhya. Primordially, all sentient beings are of the nature of the five male buddhas.
This is ‘regarding things to be what they actually are.’ The reason why we have continually wandered throughout samsara until now is because we have not recognized how things really are. Confused and bewildered, we are constantly engaging in deluded experience.
Our body, which is the mandala of the Buddhas, is called ‘the mandala of the three bases of completeness’, meaning that the qualities of these three bases already exist within ourselves.
The first base, the aggregates and elements, acts as the basis for the male and female Tathagatas. As mentioned above, our five aggregates are the five male buddhas and our five elements are the five female buddhas. The second base, the sense bases or ayatanas (lit. avenues for experience), acts as the basis for the eight male and eight female bodhisattvas in that there are eight groups of consciousnesses and there are eight objects of these consciousnesses. These are, in their pure aspect, the sixteen male and female bodhisattvas. The third base, called the views and times, acts as the basis for the male and female wrathful gate-keepers. The four views are the view of permanence, of nothingness, of ego, and of conceptions. The four times are the past, present and future and the ‘timeless time.’
We also have what are known as the six poisons, the negative emotions of greed, attachment, aggression, jealousy, delusion and arrogance, but in their pure aspect they are called the six munis, or sages.
We possess the tathagata-garbha, the enlightened essence which is like pure gold, but we have fallen into confusion which is like gold becoming tainted by impurities. This is what needs to be purified on the Path. Similarly, possessing the deities of the three bases of completeness is like possessing pure gold, but not recognizing it as such is similar to our gold being concealed by impurities.
So what must we do? We need to clear away the impurity that conceals the gold which is possible through practice. If we weren’t already endowed with this pure gold, but instead possessed mere brass, we could polish and clean as much as possible, but the brass would never turn into gold. Nevertheless, since we already have a divine nature, then if we engage in the development, recitation and completion stage practices, which act like a polish, we can realize what we actually are.
If we have a piece of wood and we clean and polish it, will it ever turn into gold? No, that is called ‘regarding something to be what it is not.’ Here, we are talking about regarding things to be what they actually are. Since we already possess the enlightened essence, if we practice on the path of development, recitation and completion, then we will definitely purify our obscurations and truly realize the dharmakaya.
If we don’t mistake the first day of the lunar month, then when we arrive at the fifteenth the full moon will appear complete and round in the sky. But if we mistake the first day to be the second, then when we reach the fifteenth it will actually be the sixteenth and we will have been wrong the entire time.
This ritual practice was first hidden as a treasure by Guru Rinpoche for the sake of future generations. Chokgyur Lingpa rediscovered this teaching, and in a vision of Guru Rinpoche he received instructions on how to arrange the ceremony. So the perfect oral instruction for this practice is still intact. It is said to be of great benefit for beings of the future.
The Vajrayana system has many techniques, few difficulties and is meant for people of higher capabilities. Because each of us possesses the enlightened essence, when many people participate in a drubchen, or great accomplishment practice, then many enlightened essences are gathered together in one place. Hence, practice will be more effective. If we have recognized and realized our enlightened essence, then circumstances will be perfect. Even if we have not, if we participate in the practice and stay within the environment, there will be great benefit. The Vajrayana system has many techniques and skillful means.
Because there are 100 peaceful and wrathful deities, no less than 100 people should participate when performing a drubchen of these deities.
Each morning, we always begin our practice with the lineage supplication and so forth, but the main point is the taking of refuge which embodies all the Hinayana teachings. Following this, we always arouse bodhichitta, or the mind of enlightenment, which embodies the Mahayana teachings. In such a practice, all three yanas are incorporated simultaneously. We should never think, “This is only Vajrayana,” or that Hinayana and Mahayana are omitted. This is not the case.
After refuge and bodhichitta, we arrive at what is called the obstructer’s torma, or gektor, in which a torma is sent out to the obstructing forces. Obstructing forces are fabricated by our own dualistic concepts. When we have dualistic concepts, which are confusion resulting from ignorance, then we have already fabricated demons and negative forces. In order to appease these, a symbolic torma is sent out first in a peaceful way, then in a commanding way and finally in a subjugating manner.
After this, what is-called ‘bringing down the splendor of wisdom blessings’ is enacted in order to consecrate the offering articles, environment, practitioners and so forth. Afterwards, offerings are made. The offerings refer not just to the few articles, such as water-bowls and so forth, placed on the shrine. These would not be very effective. By means of emanating countless offering goddesses, each of these articles must be multiplied to fill the sky.
The inner offerings are ‘medicine,’ namely amrita, rakta and torma. These are symbolic representations of the three poisons of aggression, passion and delusion. By offering our three poisons, we empty samsara because the three poisons are what creates samsara. Finally, the secret or ultimate offering is the experience of our enlightened essence.
Furthermore, the preliminaries include the act known as ‘drawing the boundary line for the retreat’. This boundary has outer, inner and secret aspects.
The outer boundary is formed when the lamas walk around and erect the four poles with inscriptions. These inscriptions remind the four Guardian Kings that, at the time of Lord Buddha, they promised to protect the teachings and the future practitioners. We are prompting and requesting them to guard and protect this place of practice.
The inner boundary is formed when a hole is dug in the ground in front of the monastery. A torma is thrown into it, covered with earth and stepped on. Ignorance, our lack of recognition of the enlightened essence, is symbolized as a demonic force that is now subjugated and pressed down into a state of oblivion until all thoughts and dualistic concepts have ceased. When emerging from that state, the first thought is that of the awakened attitude, bodhichitta. We make the wish that this demonic force be reborn in the first assembly of the Enlightened One. An event like this, even though it might appear wrathful, is actually an expression of compassion.
The third boundary, known as the ‘secret boundary’, is the liberation of Rudra. Rudra is symbolic for the negative force that obscures our Vajra Body, Speech and Mind. These are sometimes called the apparent Rudra of body, the semi-apparent Rudra of speech, and the invisible or non-apparent Rudra of mind. These three are what should be liberated which means our ignorance is freed into the expanse of wisdom.
In the Vajrayana system, there are always three aspects: symbol, meaning and sign. So, there is a lot of symbolism that we must try to understand.
When the boundary is completed, the preparatory ritual follows. First, the celestial palace is erected. On the left side of the shrine-room, there is a platform upon which the vajracharya measures out lines. Square plates with colored powder are set down representing the celestial palace of the deities. This part of the ritual is called the deity preparation.
Usually, there are three kinds of mandalas. Of these three mandala representations, the best is composed of colored sand, the next best a drawing on canvas, and third best is heaps of grain and so forth. Colored sand or powder is used to symbolize that the phenomenal world was first created from atoms, or dust particles.
Following that, is the vase preparation where we visualize the entire mandala with its celestial palace of the deities inside the vase, itself.
Thirdly, there is the article preparation which is a consecration of the articles that are used for the four empowerments of Vajrayana: the vase, secret, wisdom-knowledge and word empowerments. There is also a consecration of the articles that represent Body, Speech and Mind.
Next comes what is called ‘bringing down the splendor of blessings’. After which, the ceremony will be brought to an end for the day. The next day, the main part of the practice will begin. Eight such days will follow.
The main part of the practice, the visualization of the celestial palace and the deities, begins with the three samadhis. The first, the samadhi of suchness, is emptiness and dharmakaya. The second, the all-illuminating samadhi, is compassion and sambhogakaya. The third, the seed-syllable samadhi, is nirmanakaya.
Imagining that everything in the universe, including all beings, dissolves into emptiness is the first samadhi, the samadhi of suchness. Giving rise to the thought of compassion for all sentient beings who have not realized this nature is the second samadhi, the all-illuminating samadhi. Since this emptiness and compassion take the form of a seed-syllable, in this case the white letter hrih, this is the third samadhi, the samadhi of the seed-syllable. From this seed-syllable, the whole mandala with its deities unfolds and manifests.
From the same seed-syllable, the different letters representing the five elements of space, wind, water, fire and earth are sent out, one after another, to create Mount Sumeru. At the summit of Mount Sumeru, we visualize the celestial palace and the deities within it. This is called the ‘self-visualization’, meaning you visualize yourself in the form of the deity - in this case as Guru Rinpoche.
This seed-syllable first turns into a golden vajra and then that becomes the form of ourselves as Guru Rinpoche.
Inside our skull, is the bone mansion with the mandala of the fifty-eight blazing wrathful deities. In our throat-center, are the five pure vidyadharas, or knowledge-holders, with their consorts. In our navel-center, is black Vajra Yogini also known as Tröma Nagmo. In our secret-center, we should visualize Vajra Kilaya.
While keeping this visualization of our body as a pure mandala of deities, we emanate offering goddesses who bow down and present offerings to us. They also render praises and so forth before dissolving back into us. All of this, up until the rendering of praises, is called the development stage.
Next, is what is known as the recitation stage. As mentioned earlier, there are four aspects, which are called approach, close approach, accomplishment, and great accomplishment. Here, we are mainly practicing the great accomplishment aspect. Symbolically, this is like a beehive breaking open, meaning there is a constant buzzing everywhere. Metaphorically, this represents the idea that all over the world beings, sounds, thoughts and so forth are actually the continuity of the pure wisdom that goes on uninterruptedly. So, this practice will continue, without interruption, for nine days.
This practice is called the guru inseparable from the peaceful and wrathful ones. In connection with the practice of the peaceful and wrathful ones, there is the four-part apology - the four parts being Body, Speech, Mind and their combination - and the four elements of mending whereby we mend, the samayas by means of four elements which we already possess within ourselves. We already have blood, which came from our mother, embodying attachment; the white bindu, which came from our father, embodying aggression; their combination, flesh, embodying the darkness of delusion; and finally pure awareness. Attachment is symbolized by the rakta, aggression by amrita, ignorance by the torma, and our pure awareness is symbolized by the flame of the lamp. When we make offerings to repair the samayas, these four are symbolized by the torma and the lamp.
The purpose of offering amrita, rakta and the torma is to purify the three poisons. The purpose of offering the flame of the lamp is to signify recognition of self-existing wisdom. Included in this ritual is something called sojong, or the mending and purification of the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana vows, which we do one after the other.
In our body, we already possess the habitual patterns of the six realms of samsara which take the form of the seed-syllables, a su nri tri pre du located in six different places in the body. By means of the wisdom-syllables for fire, wind and water, ram yam kham, and the wisdom-syllables for enlightened Body, Speech and Mind, om ah hung, we completely burn away these habitual patterns for samsara. This is called the internal purification. The three syllables, ram yam and kham, are the wisdom aspects of fire, wind, and water respectively. They completely burn, scatter and wash away all our negative actions, evil deeds and obscurations. After purifying all our habitual patterns, we are then blessed, or consecrated, with the three syllables om ah hung. According to Vajrayana, this is called the actual purification.
Next, a torma offering is presented to the Dharma protectors. Afterwards, a ganachakra, or feast-offering takes place whereby we present a feast to all the deities, buddhas and bodhisattvas. When we eat something ourselves, it is not just to please ourselves, it is actually an offering to the dakas, dakinis, and male and female deities in the mandala of our own body. Therefore, food is offered in the manner of a fire puja.
Finally, there is the empowerment. As part of the ceremony, we receive the four Vajrayana empowerments. There are three kinds of Vajrayana empowerments: ground empowerment, path empowerment and fruition empowerment. In this ceremony, we receive the path empowerment which we visualize and bestow upon ourselves. The ground empowerment is received from a master and the fruition empowerment is received after having practiced the bodhisattva path to its end. At that time, you receive blessings, in the form of light rays, from the ushnika, or protuberance on top of the heads of all the tathagatas in all the ten directions, you are then empowered to obtain complete enlightenment. With that, the last trace of conceptual obscuration vanishes.
The first of the four empowerments is the vase empowerment. By visualizing the deities in their celestial palace within the vase, and drinking the vase water, we receive this first empowerment. The second, or secret empowerment, and the third, or wisdom-knowledge empowerment, are both conferred by means of the skull-cup. This points out the nondual bliss and emptiness of the union of the deity and consort. The fourth empowerment, or word empowerment, is the pointing-out of self-existing wisdom which is the actual practice.
Since we already possess the enlightened essence, if we practice then we should be able to obtain complete enlightenment, however obstacles do manifest while on the path. One of the main obstacles, during the Vajrayana path, are breaches that damage our commitments and samayas. Therefore, a practice which purifies all of these is a very important factor for the short path of Vajrayana. If we can practice without the hindrance of obstacles, purifying our habitual patterns and mending our samaya breaches, then we will quickly progress on the path of development, recitation, and completion and attain the fruition of dharmadhatu, self-existing wisdom, from which we have never really been separated for even an instant. For this reason, this sadhana is extremely important and bestows great blessings.
The Buddha mainly gave two kinds of teachings, extensive and profound. Usually, the extensive are characterized as Mahayana or the ‘greater vehicle’ teachings while the profound teachings are characterized as Vajrayana. This doesn’t mean that some teachings are superior and others inferior. It means that because there are different kinds of people, the Buddha gave different teachings in order to suit their different capacities. Nevertheless, one path is said to take a longer period of time to traverse, while the other path is shorter and more profound.
In the Vajrayana system, Mahayoga and its development stage is combined with Anu Yoga and its completion stage. Anu yoga is combined with Ati yoga, the Great Perfection. Ati yoga is connected with the ritual or practice, and the ritual is connected with the application of it. According to Mahayoga, you visualize your environment as the mandala. According to Anu Yoga, you visualize your own body as the mandala. According to Ati Yoga, the mandala exists within your mind. Each yoga is connected with the other, but they are successively more profound. The Ati Yoga mandala should really be connected with the sadhana, the actual practice text. The practice should be connected with the application, which is what we see when we look at the lamas with their bells and damarus.
The deities are not pleased if we make pujas and offerings and so forth nor are they sad or depressed if we don’t. This ritual is to purify our own evil deeds. In Vajrayana practice, means and knowledge, prajna and upaya, should be practiced as a unity. This is the method for obtaining enlightenment. That is why we must practice both the development stage, which is the skillful means aspect, and the completion stage, which is the knowledge aspect. Means and knowledge should always be combined.
Many people insist that deities are just our mind, and because the mind is empty there are no deities. But, if there were no deities, then there would be no sambhogakaya. Dharmakaya is like pure empty space. Sambhogakaya is like the sun and moon in the sky. The sun and the moon are never apart from the sky - they are beyond meeting and parting. Likewise, the empty aspect of mind essence is dharmakaya, but this empty aspect is naturally luminous. This luminosity is sambhogakaya and these two kayas are never apart.
Dharmakaya is self-existing wisdom and sambhogakaya is the natural expression of dharmakaya. The sambhogakaya luminosity manifests in the form of deities. So how can we say there are no deities? If there were no sky or space, would there be a sun and moon? Can the sun and the sky be separated?
Moreover, the dharmakaya is like a crystal while the sambhogakaya is like the rainbow light shining from the crystal. This is what we call ‘the great mandala of appearance and existence abiding as ground nature’. In this way, the empty aspect is dharmakaya, and the luminous, or manifest, aspect is sambhogakaya, the deities. Because these are always a unity, this is the real deity. How can we say that deities don’t exist?
There is a lot of discussion about what happens after death in the intermediate state called the bardo. At that time, the deities are said to manifest in different ways and forms. These deities are not concrete because they do not have flesh and blood. They are actually the manifest aspect of the enlightened essence. Since the emptiness is naturally manifesting we cannot say that they don’t exist. They are spontaneously self-present.
Right now, we are embodied within the structure of a physical body composed of aggregates, elements and so forth. This obscures the Vajra Body, Speech and Mind. In other words, our physical body conceals our Vajra Body, our conditioned speech conceals our Vajra Speech and our conceptual thoughts conceal our Vajra Mind. Just like when a house is dismantled or falls apart, its contents are unveiled and evident, when the body, speech and mind fall apart and separate from each other at the moment of death, then the so-called deities manifest. But they are not coming from outside to either frighten us or to help us. That which is already spontaneously present within ourselves is simply revealed. These deities have been there all the time and simply become evident.
When that which obscures, the conditioned body, falls away at the time of our death, we are faced with the forms of these deities. We will hear their sounds and the naked self-existing wisdom will also arise. If we are not prepared for this experience through our present practice, then we will panic and be terrified. Therefore, it is extremely important that we practice now, so that when the time comes we can recognize these things as they naturally are.
Like one-hundred thousand suns shining simultaneously, the deities who manifest after death are endowed with tremendous splendor and radiance. They are quite overwhelming. Their forms range in size from the immensity of Mount Sumeru down to the minuteness of a mustard seed. The sounds are like one-thousand simultaneous thunder cracks. Right now, we are not frightened by someone shouting, but a huge thunder crack terrifies us. What would it be like if one-thousand such thunder peals occurred simultaneously? Moreover, the rays of light, the colors and so on are like the rays emanating from one-hundred thousand suns shining upon us. If we are totally unprepared, we will suffer tremendously from our fear.
First, there is the misery of having to acknowledge that we have died. Feeling completely lost, and in a state of great despair, we wonder, “What can I do! Now I am dead. What should I do?” This experience is very overwhelming and almost unbearable, but we have to deal with it somehow. It can be dealt with best by practicing in this life. The best help is if you have already had the view pointed out, recognized it and gained some stability in the recognition through your practice. The next best help is if, at that time, you can think that all these colors, light rays and sounds are your own manifestation. You think, “These are my own deities, they are myself. These are my own sounds, and these are my own light rays.” Then you will not be afraid of your own self. The panic and misery will then simultaneously dissolve.
This is the crucial point: the deities, their colors, lights and sounds truly are yourself. If you can remember that, then the fear and panic will diminish. They are empty forms, empty sound and empty light rays. We should understand this vital point.
In the ritual itself, there are different sections of the recitation, the presentation of offerings and praises, and the seven branches of prostrating, making offerings, reciting praises and prayers, rendering apology and so forth. These have great significance to them.
If you can read Tibetan and follow the text, you should do so. If you can’t, then it is sufficient to chant the mantras of the peaceful and wrathful ones: om bodhi chitta maha sukha jnana dhatu ah and om rulu rulu hung bhyo hung. For the longer version, first the Guru Rinpoche mantra and the mandala of the kayas is recited. You will learn that very easily because it will be sung. Your Dharma friends can help you write it down. But if you feel that this is too elaborate, then you can just say the short Vajrasattva mantra ‑ om vajra satva ah. That would be sufficient, also.
Here is the entire mantra:
om amarani dzivantiye svaha
om mani peme hung hrih
om ah hung benza guru pema siddhi hung
om ah hung benza guru pema tötreng tsal bwnza samaya dzah siddhi phala hung ah
om bodhichitta maha sukha jnana dhatu ah
om rulu rulu hung bhyo hung
om benza sato ah
In short, the main focus of the practice is that the world around us, whatever appears and exists, is a celestial palace while the male and female sentient beings are all dakas and dakinis. All sounds are mantra, and all thoughts and emotions are pure wisdom. This is the key point of this drubchen, the great accomplishment - pure sights, sounds and awareness. This means whatever we see with the eyes is the pure form of the deity, whatever we hear with the ears is the sound of mantra and whatever we think, all thoughts and mental activity, is actually the enlightened Vajra Mind, the self-existing wisdom. This is what we should keep in mind.
If we chant correctly the purity of recitation is said to increase the merit one-thousand times. While maintaining purity of concentration - keeping the correct frame of mind - multiplies the merit one-hundred thousand times.
The dharmakaya mantra is the Buddha of Limitless Light, Amitayus’ mantra: om amarani jivantiye svaha. The sambhogakaya mantra is Avalokiteshvara’s mantra: om mani padme hung hrih. The nirmanakaya mantra is Guru Rinpoche’s mantra: om ah hung vajra guru padma siddhi hung. Finally, for the twelve manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, there is one combined mantra: om ah hung vajra guru padma thotreng tsal vajra samaya dzah siddhi phala hung ah.
In our heart-center are the forty-two peaceful deities, and their combined mantra is: om bodhichitta maha sukha jnana dhatu ah. The essence mantra of the fifty-eight Herukas, the wrathful deities in our crown-center is: om rulu rulu hung bhyo hung. And the essence mantra of all the other deities combined into one is om vajra satva hung, or more commonly: om vajra satva ah.
When we come to the recitation part, this song will go on day and night for eight days without any break. People will take turns reciting the mantra, so there will be a one-second break at that time, otherwise the mantra recitation will continue non-stop. The lama will sit with the dharani cord, a five-colored string tied to a vajra, held at his heart-center. The cord is attached to the vase at the center of the mandala. The five colors of the dharani cord represent the five-colored light of the five wisdoms. Through this dharani cord, the lama should imagine the emanation of light rays which make offerings, carry back blessings and so forth, incessantly. Finally, the rays of light radiating from your own heart-center while chanting the mantra make offerings to the Body, Speech, and Mind of all the buddhas in the ten directions, and gather back the blessing of Body, Speech, and Mind into the vase and into yourself. Again rays of light emanate to purify all the six kinds of sentient beings relieving them from all their sufferings, evil deeds, obscurations, habitual patterns and so forth and gathers back the blessing of this purification. In between, you radiate light which subdues and tames all the negative and demonic forces and so forth.
Although the accommodations and food here are not very special, I am very pleased that you could all come here and attend this practice. I think that this is enough for today, so we will conclude the talk by dedicating merit and making good wishes.
This is a Dharma gift from Rangjung Yeshe Gomde, Denmark.
Translated by Erik Pema Kunsang.
Edited by Michael Tweed February 1996.
© Rangjung Yeshe Translations & Publications 1995
9. juni 2009
Homage to the spiritual teacher of sages and gods,
Whose Buddha-mind renounced deceitfulness many aeons before,
Who one-pointedly loves living beings with kindness and compassion,
And who attained the supreme level of accomplishment through the direct path!
O Compassionate Teacher,
You who have manifested the abiding nature of all that can be known,
Through pristine cognition that perceives without obscuration or corruption,
Skilled in teaching the disposition of dependently arisen phenomena -
Turn your enlightened intention towards this very time!
Now when the elements of the physical world and its inhabitants have degenerated
Due to bad habits born of greed and aversion, with regard to mundane prosperity,
And through the production of various man-made chemical substances,
The time has come for you to love us even more with your compassion!
At this juncture when the world and its inhabitants near dissolution,
As life forms, snow mountains and continents are degraded
By the excavation and ravaging of elemental resources,
By the polluting fumes of some electricity generation technologies,
And by various contagious diseases, harmful to living beings,
We pray with fervent devotion
To the Lake-born Lord, sole refuge of this degenerate age,
To Avalokitesvara, most sublime being of compassion,
To Tara, Mother of the Conquerors, who protects from the eight fears,
And to all the ocean-like hosts of the Three Roots and oath-bound protectors:
Do not renege on your compassionate pledges to protect us
(Just by calling your faces to mind)
From disharmony, degradation and the like,
Caused by engaging in negative actions!
Grant your blessings that the world might enjoy the glory of peace and happiness
And that all living beings might swiftly and without obstruction
Accomplish all their aspirations that accord with the sacred teachings, just as they wish!
At the persistence of Monlam Gyatso (Dr John Stanley), a scientist from Ireland, who is an actual student of the previous Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, I, Sangye Pema Zhepa, who has been given the name Dudjom Tulku, composed this aspirational prayer on the 26th of March, 2007. May virtue prevail!
An interview with Dudjom Rinpoche III:
JS: Rinpoche, what distinction should we make between the relative and absolute dimensions when it comes to such an unprecedented crisis as global climate change?
DR: Of course if one is a follower of either Mahayana or the Great Perfection, then it is fine to rest in the view of Emptiness or the view of the Great Perfection, in which everything is complete and perfect. That is excellent. On the other hand, on the relative level, we are people who have taken birth. And the reason we took birth was basic ignorance. So once we are already in the whole machinery of samsara, where we are born and subject to the environment we live in, then of course we need to pay respect to that, and take care of it.
To do so, it is important to investigate what is happening. Scientists should investigate and establish the causes and reasons for global warming and ecological degradation. Then, as much as we are able to rid ourselves of all the pollutants concerned, we should actively try to solve this crisis. We are products of the world and we live in interdependence with the world, so it is very important from the relative perspective to be engaged in solving environmental issues.
JS: Science has identified the root cause of global warming as 200 years of humans extracting coal and oil from under the earth - which is hundreds of millions of years old - and burning them in all kinds of combustion engines for transportation and to generate electricity. The residual gas from that has seriously contaminated the atmosphere. That is the chain of causation. The situation is maintained and worsened through the profit motive, through greed.
DR: Many highly realized masters of the past prophesied that events could occur in the Kaliyuga such as the melting of great mountain snow caps and glaciers, and other disasters involving the four elements. Peoples’ activities in general have been changing in ways that bring about an outcome like global warming. In the relative dimension, that is indeed the case. The environment has been polluted, underground water is drying up, ancient ice and snow mountains are melting. And human beings are the cause of such things happening.
JS: The most powerful sector of the world economy is the fossil fuel sector. Their purpose is to continue ‘business as usual’. Yet if they do, there is tremendous danger to the world’s climate. It is no longer just about sentient beings, ‘the contained’. Even the container itself is now beginning to break. This has never happened before in human history. In China and India, industrialization is based on coal, the worst form of carbon pollution. Yet they have huge possibilities to use wind or solar energy for electricity generation instead. How can we, as Buddhists, influence this situation?
DR: Future energy sources will be environmentally benign—wind and solar. If such innovations are applied, and can be enforced, it will help everybody. It can be established whether renewable energy is sufficiently viable or cost-effective. We should ask why our societies continue to use coal and other dirty energy sources. If there are viable ways of using solar and wind energy, everyone should concentrate on putting them into use. There needs to be more of a push towards renewable energy.
JS: In Europe they plan to get 20% of total electricity in this way by 2020. The idea that renewable energy is not viable is fossil fuel industry propaganda. If we do not change course, now and over the next decade, frankly it may become too late. We may end up with a climate breakdown that makes half of all animal and plant species extinct by 2050.
DR: Buddha taught that all the causes and outcomes are created through our own thinking. If we could control our negative thinking, everything would proceed on a more constructive level. If the cause is good, the effect is that you yourself will be benefited. The great teachers have pointed out that the world is not changing, peoples’ minds are changing. Since peoples’ negative thinking is increasing, that creates all the kinds of negative outcomes society is experiencing at this time. Buddhism recognizes that the world environment has not changed by itself - it has been changed by human error or greed. With respect to the role of fossil fuels and the energy industry, we need to combine the latest scientific facts and figures with the way of thinking of the Buddha to bring about a good resolution. That would be very useful.
JS: There will be a big struggle. The fossil fuel economy is characterized by extraordinary greed. Presently this is the decisive influence on our societies. If we are Buddhist, even if we are just decent human beings with a heart, it seems we have no choice but to oppose activity that has such negative consequences for all sentient beings.
DR: Well, then it seems renewable energy is possible, but the negative forces who seek to continue excessive use of fossil fuels are still too strong. It would be very difficult to change all these things at once. If we want to climb upstairs, we have to go step by step. If we build a house, first we lay foundations, and that takes time. Scientists and others should work together to progressively establish the benefit of new, harmonious energy sources. We have to make real effort to achieve the benefits of renewable energy. It is probably not possible to change everybody’s attitude immediately. But I think, cooperative, progressive efforts can lead to better results in the future.
JS: Would it be possible for example to arrange or compose a sadhana that certain monasteries could practice, say over the next, critical 7 years, and then we could raise money to fund this? I am referring to a specific activity that Buddhists could support, as a positive energetic contribution in the invisible realm, so to speak.
DR: Yes, there would be great benefit if we could do such pujas. We place our confidence in the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and there is definitely great positive benefit in this. At the same time, everything depends on individuals. The individual person has to improve their own way of thinking. Buddha said ‘I have shown you the path that leads to enlightenment, but you yourself have to use that path’. Let’s say we ignore the path. At the time of death, we experience a completely confused and disturbed state. Although we appeal for help to be taken out of it, even a Buddha cannot do so because our own negative karmic deeds have brought about that suffering. So there are these two aspects. Individuals have to improve their way of thinking. And without doubt, if we could practice pujas like Drollo, Phurba or Jinseg [Burnt Offering], they could benefit the whole world now.
This world evolved on the mandala of the 4 energies. Accordingly, in the Kaliyuga there is the possibility of destruction by the elements of heat, water, and wind. We are living in a kalpa that ultimately will come to an end. We believe that, because great masters have prophesied it; it is all in our texts. We cannot specify the time frame. This world’s existence has gone on for billions of years, so to pinpoint an end-phase exactly is not possible. I think that science and Buddhist philosophy go together. Using them together, not harming sentient beings or the living world – this will benefit beings and be really positive. If we can establish the facts correctly, and change the general attitude towards the living world and renewable energy, that could benefit all beings, not only humans. It is a worthwhile, noble cause. I am happy to support it.
Interview by John & Diane Stanley,
Bodh Gaya, India & Bodnath, Kathmandu, Nepal; March 2007
Dudjom Rinpoche III, Sangye Pema Zhepa, is the reincarnation of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche [d.1987]. He was born in E. Tibet [Qinghai] in the Iron Horse year of 1990. His father was Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche’s son, Dola Tulku Jigmed. He was recognized by Khandro Tare Lhamo and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. He was enthroned as Dudjom Tulku in 1994 by Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche, the most senior disciple of Dudjom Rinpoche, who is also his root teacher.
7. juni 2009
Greeting to everyone who are or have been connected to Gomde on Helgenæes.
We are pleased to announce that Gomde celebrates its 14th birthday June 7th, Sunday.
As usual, it coincides with the full moon day - the enlightenment day of Buddha Shakyamuni.
We will assemble in the temple hall at 10 am for a Shakyamuni practice and a silent sitting period.
Afterward we will enjoy a vegetarian lunch in the dining hall.
Everyone is welcome, young or old.
Lunch is 50 kr.
In between you can take a stroll in the Gomde deer park
Warm wishes, your Gomde hosts.
PS. Our wish for a birthday present is either the large or the small: http://www.bambuspflanzen.de/shop/index.php?cat=c1093_.html
The shipping address is:
Gomde Buddhist center
Tel: +45 86356835
6. juni 2009
Efter et herligt ophold på Gomde, er jeg blevet inspireret til at at starte en karma yoga blog. Jeg har fulgt lidt med på hjemmesiden og med glæde set lidt af den aktivitet der er foregået. Men virkeligheden overgår langt mine forestillinger, Erik og Tara’s kærlighed og hengivenhed til vores elskede Rinpoche er så nærværende at det virker som om mayas slør er visket bort. Denne glæde ved at opleve Rinpoche’s kærlighed så intenst og Dharmaen så nærværende har givet mig lyst til at dele den med sanghaen.
Jeg kan også se er der er flere opgaver end vores dejlige værtspar kan håndtere og vil derfor gerne opfordre mine sanghabrødre og -søstre til at komme og give en hånd med.
Jeg har derfor fået lyst til at dele nogen af mine oplevelser om karma yoga med jer. Jeg håber at fokus på denne praksis vil få det til myldre med glade praktiske yogier.
Jeg har været interesseret i yoga vejen siden jeg var 16 år gammel og føler en stærk tiltrækning til Jhan yoga, filisofiens vej. I starten gav det mig mange turbulente oplevelser indtil det gik op for mig at jeg blev nød til at praktisere karma yoga før jeg kunne betræde den vej jeg ønskede så stærkt. Siden har jeg hver gang det har været muligt givet mit beskedne bidrag ved at stille mit svendebrev til rådighed for Dharmaen.
På et tidspunkt mødte jeg en Lama i Indien der ønskede min faglige hjælp til at ombygge hans hus efter vestlige normer. Jeg kunne desværre ikke blive derude under hele projektet, så jeg måtte instruere indiske håndværkere så de kunne forberede det afsluttende arbejde. Den sidste gang jeg var derude fandt jeg ud af elektrikeren havde snydt på nogle ledningstræk. Så installationen var ulovlig efter dansk standart og potentiel farlig. Jeg prøvede at forklare Rinpoche sagens alvor men har virkede ikke som om det bekymrede ham så meget. De følgende dage blev jeg mere og mere vred og gik og surmulede for mig selv. Det blev til sidst for meget for Rinpoche og han tog fat i mig og spurgte om ”det var mit hus”. Med det samme så jeg det spind jeg havde viklet mig ind, jeg blev meget flov over min opførsel og knælede foran ham, sagde unskyld og tak for belæringen.
Det var en kraftfuld oplevelse og den stærkeste karma yoga belæring jeg har modtaget. Jeg har siden forsøgt at udføre mit bidrag til Dharmaen med et så rent hjerte som muligt, jeg siger hvis jeg får en ide og udfører det jeg får besked på. Når arbejdet er slut laver jeg et par glidefald, ofrer fortjenesten til alle væsner i universet og tænker ikke mere på det.
Når jeg har udført på arbejde for Dharmaen på denne måde, har jeg det som efter puja, belæringer eller retreat og jeg kan mærke en direkte afspejling i min praksis.
Kunne Milarepa have opnået fuld oplysning i et liv, hvis Marpa ikke havde givet ham opgaven med at bygge alle de stentårne for blot at rive dem ned?
Jeg håber at dette blog indlæg vil hjælpe flere til at gøre erfaringer indenfor denne ædle yoga kunst, Gomde bliver glad for jeres hjælp og I bliver glade for det løft i jeres praksis I vil opleve til gavn for alle væsener.