Mandala Offering – A Powerful Method to Accumulate Merits

Dec 4, 2013 | Views: 7,932
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In the Mahayana teachings, in order to take the ultimate essence of our precious human life, we should aspire to achieve full enlightenment so that we can lead all sentient beings out of the sufferings of samsara. To achieve full enlightenment, we need a vast collection of merits. One of the most effective practices that we can undertake for this purpose is to make mandala offerings to the Buddhas.

The mandala is a symbolic representation of the universe and all the precious objects that are contained within it, visualized as completely pure and offered to the Buddhas. According to Buddhist cosmology, our world is flat with a large mountain, Mount Meru in the centre, surrounded by four continents, each of which has two major and many more minor sub-continents. There are billions of such worlds and when we offer the mandala, we imagine holding these billions of worlds in our hands, regarding them as pure lands and offering them up to the Buddhas.

In order for any offering to the Buddhas to generate merits, we must make the offering with the right attitude, free of miserliness and the eight worldly concerns. As mandala offering is made in a visualised pure form, it is easy to make this offering free of such attitudes. Therefore, mandala offering is a very powerful method to accumulate of vast amount of merits.

To appreciate the true value of this practice, we must understand what merit is and how it is accumulated. Good and bad karma come from mental activity alone. If you generate the desire to offer the entire world and all its wealth to the Buddhas, constructing the model of the world and all its wealth in your thoughts to give it a definite order and structure, then such offering would generate vast amount of merits. We should have no doubt that powerful karma can be accumulated through such mental activities.

I have included below a transcript of a teaching on mandala offerings by my first Guru, the Great Seramey Kensur Lobsang Tharchin and a video of my teachings on mandala offering. I hope these teachings will give you a better understanding and inspire you to make mandala offerings. May all your spiritual and mundane endeavours quickly come to fruition.

Please engage in the practice of mandala. Through the accumulation of great merits, one’s virtuous aspirations and prayer will be fulfilled much faster. When we get disappointed or depressed because things do not go our way, instead of sulking, use your energy to do something about it in the form of spiritual practice such as mandala offerings. It is because of our lack of merits due to negative habituations arsing out of grasping towards permanence that we have to suffer so many ill fated situations. In fact, when things turn sour, it should inspire us to do something more to avoid this for the future. Doing nothing about it will not make something better. So why not engage your energy into generating great merits to bring ultimate happiness to yourself and others. Lord Tsongkapa himself engaged in the practice of doing one million mandala offerings in retreat upon which he generated the great cause to have direct visions of Manjushri consistently. From Manjushri’s direct guidance and speech, Tsongkapa was able to gain the highest attainments and finally full enlightenment.  If Tsongkapa engaged in such a practice, it must be very effective. We should have full confidence and engage in this powerful yet inexpensive practice.

 

Tsem Rinpoche


Offering Mandala, Offering EGO

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Transcript for Offering Mandala, Offering Ego by Tsem Rinpoche

 

You offer up your ego, you offer your ego – is creating the causes for you to separate from attachment, to release yourself from ego, to create the causes.  At the same time, when you offer up your ego, the Buddha can never be contaminated by a contaminated offering.  Therefore offering up the ego becomes something that will never contaminate a Buddha. Because people think, “oh we can’t offer meat on the altar”, but by a tantric view, there is no clean and unclean.  From the side of the Buddha, his perception of all objects is clean.  Therefore when we offer up the ego, we are not having it anymore, but right after we make our offering the ego is still with us but we are creating the causes for us not to have it because we are offering it  up to Tara.  Why?  Object is Tara, subject is ourselves, the offering is ego.  So when we offer up the ego to Tara, we create the causes that in future when we do meditation practices, we’re able to separate from the ego. 

How we…only wishing the ego doesn’t happen, we have to study about its nature, we have to offer it up, create the merits and when we offer up…if we offer up gold to Tara, we’ll get wealth.  If we offer up ego to Tara, we’ll get egolessness.  A state of egolessness: Buddha.  Why?  What we offer will be the result.  You say, “Well how come when you offer gold you get wealth, when you offer ego you don’t get a bigger ego?”  Because the object you are offering to doesn’t give you back something double ugly.  Offering ego to Tara means offering up one’s negative qualities.  When one offers up one’s negative qualities, what do we get back?  Positive qualities.  Is it possible to offer negative qualities to a Buddha?  Of course, because no matter what you offer to them, although contaminated, can never contaminate them who are free from contamination. 

So therefore, when we offer up the ego, to Tara in this case, when we offer up to Tara, Lama Tsongkhapa, Manjushri, when we offer up the ego – we create the causes to not have ego in the future.  Therefore, the secret offering is the ego.  The inner offering is irresponsibility, laziness, a sense of senselessness, not motivated, we offer this up to Tara.  

The outer offering is the mandala, representing all of samsara’s delights, such as the animals, our friends and clothes and shopping and money and food and restaurants and the lights and cities and discos and music and videos and all the things we are attached to – is the outer offering.  So when we’re holding the mandala and we are offering it, we are visualising all the beautiful things in the world. 

You say, “But it’s just a visualisation”. Yes, because inherently nothing is owned by anyone in the world.   Nothing.  Even if Koki has ten million dollars, it wasn’t his before he showed up and it will not be his after he dies.  So, inherently it’s not his.  It’s not really his.  So therefore nothing in the world is owned and also, wealth…if you own ten million dollars… I don’t think Koki runs around with it in a bag and then holds it.  It’s represented by a credit card or a cheque.  So if you show someone your platinum card they go, “O-h-h-h!  Wow!” You don’t have to carry around ten million dollars like him and then show everybody.  You open the mouth of the bag and go, “Phe-e-w-w” (whistle sound).  I mean this guy does that, he runs around with bags of money and just goes…if you’re not impressed with him because he’s short and bald, he just goes, “Ph-e-e-w-w-w”, and you go, “Oh I respect you”.  Suddenly he’s tall with hair. 

What’s the joke?  The joke is – it’s represented by a credit card so if you have a credit card and it’s platinum or unlimited, they go, “Ph-e-e-w-w-w!”  You know if you flash your credit card that’s platinum, you go to stores, you go to restaurants, suddenly they’re very nice to you.  I don’t know if you guys have noticed, I’ve had the slight experience before.  Joe and I know what it feels like.  “Ph-e-e-w-w-w!”  You know what I mean?

Similarly, if your wealth can be represented by a platinum card, why not your wealth represented by a mandala?  Why not?  You guys understand it’s all just how you want to visualise it, how you want to look at it.  So therefore when you offer your mandala it’s definitely possible, it’s definitely possible that it represents the wealth of the planet, the universe and the sun and the moon and all the planets and the stars… you offer up to the Buddha and that’s wonderful. And then you offer up the inner offering, which is visualised, your..your inner obstacles and the secret offering is ego, then you offer it up, then you recite –

SA ZHI PO KYI JUG SHIG ME TOG TRAM

RI RAB LING ZHI NYI DAY GYAN PA DI

SANG GYE ZHING DU MIG TAY UL WAR GYI

DRO KUN NAM DAG ZHING LA CHO PAR SHOG

IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALAKAM NIRAYATAYAMI

And we think that Tara has accepted it and when you do that, it’s very powerful, because Tara does accept it.  That’s one.  Two, she has the power to accept.  Three, although what you offer up is imaginary, visionary, just the vision, just the imagination – everything you receive in your life now is an imagination.  I’m sure when Koki was young he said, “When I grow up, I’m going to marry a beautiful lady and have a family”.  Well, it came true, he visualised it first.  When I was a kid I visualised myself teaching the dharma, wearing robes, “When I grow up, I’m going to do dharma work” and that’s what I visualised.  All the time. And that’s how I played with my cousins, that’s how I pretended.  Well, it came out true somewhat. 

So what I’m saying is what we visualise…so if we sit there visualising all day  – “I’m lazy, I can’t do it, I don’t want to do it, I don’t have to do it” – then it’s going to be like that.  It’s going to be just like that.

So, similarly now, the education department, you’re presenting me all of this and I looked through it very quick and I basically know what’s going on… and I think you guys did a wonderful job.  What I want to say is that I want to offer today, all of you, a bigger vision,  a wider vision.   A vision that doesn’t just educate ourselves.   

All of you in this room are pretty firm, you guys are pretty firm spiritual practitioners.  You’re going to be with me probably until I’m dead.  All of you are pretty firm, there’s nothing here to convince… you see, I don’t talk to you and say “Buddhism is good.   Buddhism is real”.  That’s not how I talk to you guys.  So you guys are pretty much ok.  No problem at all. 

Even Shin, everybody’s alright, everybody understands.  You’re the only person with Brunette hair and blonde roots.  When I throw a joke,  JP is cackling away, when I’m teaching dharma, he’s struggling away.  Funny how our karma works.  Now, oh, on cue.  No, no, relax, relax.  And then…give me a cushion […].   Because you know when you sit on this for a long time, no I want it under me, when you sit on this for a long time, it sinks deeper and deeper and deeper and I feel like I am going into a chasm.  Oh and the monster’s here.  He wants to mate with you.  What else could it be?  He’s scenting out the pheromones…what’s that…pheromones?   Very strong pheromones.

Ok now, what I want to give everybody […] what I want to give everybody is a larger vision.  A bigger vision.  Create the causes for us to bring benefit to people globally.  We don’t have to have hundreds of centres, we can have one and go online.  Correct?  We can go online.  Why?  Our motto is not to bring people to our centre. Our motto is for people to find the centre and find the Guru – that’s our motto.  Isn’t that beautiful?  I like that very much. 

So if they belong to NKT, encourage them.  If they’re nearby NKT centre, go.  If they’re near an FPMT centre, go.  If they’re near His Holiness’s centres, go.  So what we are trying to encourage is for people to find their centre, find their teacher, find their path, not come to our centre.  Why?  Because we like to go out for movies and relax and have a good time and kind of just…go for walks.  So if all these people start coming to our centres, we’re going to lose our personal freedom.  How are we going to practise Boddhicitta and compassion if we lose our personal freedom? 

So, now, that’s our motto.  We want to bring Buddhism to everybody globally, but not through us… to educate them.  Hence the book Gurus for Hire, Enlightenment for Sale.  Hence that book, it’s very important.  We should highlight on that book.  We should highlight it.  We should take parts of it and make it into brochures.   We should take parts of it and make it into pamphlets.  Or we should extract things from it to make it condensed small to give to people to attract them.  Because sometimes big books are quite tantalising and scary.  Not tantalising, quite intimidating… intimidating.  So we should extract important parts from that book and make it into pamphlets and say – inter-centre harmony. Why?  And pass it to people, all over the place, to create this.  Why?  We want people to stay with their Gurus, find their Gurus, find their centre.  Whatever they practice is good.  Good.  How can we have the arrogance to think that we’re the only one.  Cannot., cannot. And I like that very much.  That’s kind of my method, my mode.  More universal. 

 

Proofread by Sean


Offering of the Mandala by Kensur Lobsang Tharchin

We should praise the qualities of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. This is said to be for the purpose of generating faith towards the Three Ratnas by recalling their virtues.

Even though we may not have the true, genuine Bodhi Mind within us naturally, we must nevertheless try to change our very attitudes in such a manner that our motivations will correspond as closely as possible to those of the real Bodhisattvas. The way to accomplish this is to reflect that both of your parents, mother and father, of this life, have protected and cared for you out of love and kindness. All sentient beings, likewise, have been your mother and father in one of the infinite lives you have assumed in samsara; therefore, they have all extended the same love and also the same kindness to you.

Recalling such kindness, you should generate the wish to do something in return to repay that kindness; not through a small or insignificant act, but through providing to all sentient beings the highest benefit of all – that of establishing them all in the state of Perfect Enlightenment. Thus, you should give rise to the supreme aspiration of desiring to achieve Buddhahood yourself in order that you might gain the ability to establish all sentient beings in Enlightenment.

This is the attitude which one should have in listening to the Mahayana Teachings of the Lord Buddha. If one is able to generate such a feeling, then one does hold the attitude of a Bodhisattva, even though it might have been produced artificially and only with some degree of effort. If the Spiritual Teacher presents the Teachings with an attitude of Bodhi Mind and the listeners maintain that attitude also, then the virtue which results from such an endeavor, if it were transformed into some physical form, would be too great to fit into the entire universe.

Therefore, it is of tremendous benefit for you to give rise to this attitude, before you undertake any activity. There is a widely followed practice in Tibetan Buddhism which is called the Four Preliminary Activities. This practice is the accumulation of 100,000 prostrations, 100,000 acts of refuge, 100,000 Mandala Offerings, and also 100,000 recitations of the one~hundred syllable mantra of Vajrasattva. This practice has been performed innumerable times in Tibet and is still being practiced daily by a great many Buddhists in India. I am reasonably sure that it is even practiced by a number of persons in this country as well.

I have discussed at great length the practice of performing prostrations, in the past, and so I have chosen today to speak about the practice of the Mandala Offering.

Many people in the west have a keen interest in the subject of Mandalas. I have often been asked numerous questions about this subject by many different people, but until now, I have not been able to find the proper occasion to give a reply.

The Sanskrit word Mandala signifies “to take something of essence.” The lowest level is to assume a human birth in a future life. The next level is that of achieving Nirvana. And the level above that, or the ultimate goal, is the attainment of Perfect Buddhahood. Further, there are two ways in which one can achieve this goal of Buddhahood: one is according to the path of the Sutras, while the other way is according to the path of the Tantras.

Thus, these three goals involve four different levels of practice and they also represent the types of “essence” one might possibly choose to strive for. The particular level one would pursue would depend upon the individual’s capacities.

In every act we undertake, we are impelled by a specific motivation. It is very important to be aware of what one’s motivations are, because they are, in fact, the determining factor with regard to the consequences or results which follow from any given act. For example, if one offers the Mandala with a motivation that is the desire to assume a human birth in a future life, then this act will be a cause for bringing about that result. Similarly, if one offers the Mandala with a motivation which is a desire to achieve Nirvana, although the act itself is identical, the motivation will direct that same act to become, then, a cause for the attainment of Nirvana.

Regarding the two forms of Mahayana practice, that of the Sutras and that of the Tantras, the ultimate goal of both is exactly the same. The only difference between them, then, lies in the methods which are used in pursuit of that goal. According to the Sutras, it is necessary that one accumulate merit for a period of Three “Countless Kalpas.”

On the other hand, according to the Path of the Tantras the same quantity of merit can be accumulated, at the very longest, within the comparatively short period of sixteen human lifetimes. The above was stated explicitly by Buddha, in one of the Tantra scriptures.

In fact, it is possible to achieve Buddhahood in much less time than that. Specifically one can achieve Buddhahood immediately after one’s death while in the Bardo state. Or it is even possible that one might be able to achieve Buddhahood within this very lifetime prior to one’s death.

Many great beings have been able to accomplish this, both in India and Tibet. I’m sure that most of you have heard of the Saint Milarepa who, although he had accumulated great sin during the earlier years of his life, was still able to attain Perfect Enlightenment in the later part.

In more recent times, a Tibetan Lama named Trehor Kyorpon, who escaped Tibet the same year as the Dalai Lama, was able to attain Perfect Enlightenment during his lifetime. This Geshe from Drepung Monastery passed away only a few years ago in Dalhousie.

Also, presently living in Dharmsala, India, is His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is the reincarnation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezik). With him are the Senior Tutor of the Dalai Lama, Ling Rinpoche, who is in his actual nature the Buddha Yamantaka (Shinie She), and the Junior Tutor Trichang Rinpoche, actually the Buddha Chakra Samvara (Khorlo Dompa). So there are really such people alive in the world today. Because we cannot see the actual nature of their wisdom through looking at their appearance we are not aware of this. They are living examples of what we can aspire to; for through our own sincere efforts we, too, can achieve Enlightenment within this very lifetime. Further, it is even possible to attain this goal in the short period of twelve years. Also, it is possible to attain Enlightenment within an even shorter period, of three years and three months. In fact, there is even a practice for achieving Enlightenment by determining not to rise from your meditation posture until your goal is attained. If you entertain doubts about whether it is really possible to achieve this ideal, you need not have that uncertainty, because through your own determination and efforts you can achieve Perfection in any of these ways.

The latter methods of practice I have discussed involve the Path of the Tantras. However, no matter what path you follow, the only way that you can actually achieve Enlightenment is through accumulating merit, and the Mandala offering is one very good way for you to do this. Indeed, it is one of the most effective practices which one can undertake for this purpose.

There are many unique properties about the Mandala offering. For instance, if one offers one’s own material riches to the Three Ratnas for the purpose of paying homage to them, regardless of what the face value of the offering might be, it is most important for one to make the offering without feeling the slightest reluctance or unwillingness. However, it is usually the case that in the making of any such offering, there usually does arise a degree of reluctance. Or, if you do not experience such a feeling, you quite possibly will feel some degree of attachment to fame. That is, you might be thinking of yourself, as you are making the offering: “This is, indeed, a wonderful thing that I am doing. How virtuous other people will consider me for making this valuable offering!” Due to such an attitude, what would otherwise have been a truly virtuous act becomes robbed of much of its worth.

However, in making a Mandala Offering, you will hardly be able to experience an ungenerous thought. And there is actually no reason for feeling any desire for fame, either. When making an offering of material riches one must do so in such a way that this offering will not lead to the accumulation of a bad deed. Not only is the manner in which you make this offering important but, also, an object being offered should not have been acquired through any devious means, such as by theft. Here too it is not actually possible for a Mandala Offering to have such a fault.

These are a few of the unique qualities of this practice which make it especially valuable. The Mandala Offering is, also, very easy to practice because there is very little physical effort required to perform it.

In any description of the many benefits of the Mandala Offering, one usually is told the story of the Bikshuni Padma. She had been an Indian princess before she became a nun and, through the practice of the Mandala Offering, she was able to meet directly the Bodhisattva Arya Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezik), as clearly as we can see one another here in this room. And by asking for and receiving instruction from this great Bodhisattva she, as a result, was able to attain Enlightenment.

Also, the great Tzongkapa was able to meet many Buddhas by practicing the Mandala Offering. In particular, this practice was extremely helpful to him in his efforts to realize in a direct way the most profound of all meanings, the Shunyata Nature of all things.

Another illustration of the great importance of this practice is the story about a meeting between two of the disciples of Atisha. Atisha’s closest Tibetan disciple, who was an Upasaka named Dromtonpa, one day visited the place where another disciple, named Gonpawa, was staying. It happened that the latter’s ritual instrument for practicing the Mandala Offering was covered with dust, as it had not been used for some time. Dromtonpa asked the reason why he had not been practicing the Mandala Offering. Gonpawa answered, “I spend all my time meditating so I have not been able to find time to offer the Mandala.” Upon hearing this, Dromtopa criticized him strongly saying that even Atisha, their guru, whose spiritual development was vastly greater than Gonpawa’s, and whose meditation was much more profound than his, offered the Mandala three times every day. After this, Gonpawa practiced the Mandala Offering more assiduously and so as a result the depth of his understanding was greatly furthered.

These accounts are mentioned for the purpose of inspiring you to take up this practice of the Mandala Offering.

The proper motivation that one should have for making the Mandala Offering was mentioned earlier. The practice consists of the ritual offering of the world, and all its wealth, to the Object of Refuge as an act of veneration. The Mandala itself is a symbolic representation of the world and the most valuable things that are contained in it. There are actually three forms to the practice: the Offering of the Outer Mandala, the Offering of the Inner Mandala, and the Offering of the Secret Mandala. The last of these is a practice that is done by followers of the Tantra Path.

First, I will describe to you how to perform the Practice of the Outer Mandala. To begin with, the base of the Mandala, called the Vajra Bhumi, or Indestructible Ground of Gold, is held with the left hand. It must never be held with an empty hand. Therefore, you must also have some grain in your hand as you hold it. At the same time, holding some more grain in your right hand, begin alternately sprinkling grain on the surface of the base and wiping it with your right forearm. At first you should rub the base in a clockwise direction, quite a few times.

There is great significance to these ritual gestures. It might appear that you are doing nothing more than, simply, wiping a round flat piece of metal with your forearm and intermittently scattering grain upon it. However, these acts have great meaning with regard to pursuing the Path. You should consider the dirt and tarnish, which are on the metal base of the Mandala, to be a representation of all the misdeeds of body, speech, and mind which have ever been committed by you, since beginningless time. The seeds of such acts remain within your being, their abiding force obscuring your mind with respect to the understanding of the true nature of reality.

The weight caused by such misdeeds can only be removed by relying upon the proper antidote to them. And of all the many types of antidotes to that bad karma, the one which is by far the most powerful is a mind which realizes the meaning of Shunyata. Thus, consider your right forearm as representing that mind, and the act of rubbing the foundation as symbolizing the application of that powerful antidote to your past misdeeds, thereby effecting a neutralization of their negative force.

Also, the grain that is sprinkled upon the surface of the base should be considered a symbol of the Six Paramitas of Dana (Generosity), Shila (Morality), Kshanti (Patience), Virya (Fortitude), Dhyana (Meditation), and, lastly, Prajna (Wisdom). The practice of these Paramitas, likewise, represents a formidable antidote to one’s bad karma. Thus, these gestures are meant to signify the process of purifying one’s past misdeeds.

The following short verse is a formula for taking refuge and also for generating the Bodhi Mind. It is to be recited while you perform these gestures

Sanggye chudang tsokkyi choknam la
Jangchup bardu dakni kyabsu chi
Dakgijinsok gyipa didak gi
Drola penchir sanggye drubpar shok.

I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
Until Enlightenment is attained.
By these acts of Dana, etc., performed by me,
May I achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings.

After wiping the base of the Mandala numerous times in this clockwise fashion and reciting the formula for taking refuge and generating the Bodhi Mind, you should now do the following: wipe the base three more times, but now in a counterclockwise direction. As you are doing this, you should reflect either that this represents a receiving of the blessings of the body, speech, and mind of all of the Buddhas or that it symbolizes the attainment of all the three fundamental attitudes of the Path: Renunciation,  Bodhi Mind, and Right View.

In addition to the symbolic meaning of the gestures, there is also another most significant reason for this rubbing of the base with the right forearm. It is taught in the Tantras that the human body contains 72,000 channels – or arteries – and that, through these channels (which are hollow in structure), pass vital airs. The nature of the mind is such that it will follow the movement of the vital airs, and the relationship between the two is often described as similar to that between a horse and its rider, the horse representing these vital airs of the body, and the rider representing the mind.

By coordinating the movement of this vital air, one is able to generate nobler attitudes and prevent baser ones from arising with much effectiveness. However, unless one is accomplished at this, the vital airs will not move easily through the proper channels. All these channels are connected to the heart. In particular, the one which has a direct influence on the arising of the Bodhi Mind is known to extend through the right forearm. Therefore, the external stimulus applied to that channel by rubbing the right forearm upon the base of the Mandala can serve to improve the movement of the vital air which flows along that channel and, as a result, one will be able to give rise to the Bodhi Mind with greater ease.

After these preparatory exercises one will at last be ready to arrange the Mandala Offering itself. It is explained in the Buddhist scriptures that – when the earth formed at the beginning of the present Kalpa – Mt. Sumeru, which is the greatest of all mountains, arose in the center. The outer rim of the world is said to consist of a wall-like mountain, which is made of iron.” Thus you should, first, form a thin circular line of grain on the outer edge of the Mandala base to represent the iron mountain, and then place a heap of grain in the center to represent Mt. Sumeru.

Next, in the quarter which is facing you, place a heap of grain to represent the Continent of the Eastern Direction, which is named Purva Videha.“ Proceeding now in a clock- wise direction place another heap of grain in the second quarter, to represent the Southern Continent, Jambudvipa In the third quarter, place another heap to represent the Western Continent, Godaniya and in the final, fourth quarter, place a heap to represent the Northern Continent, Uttarakuru.

Then, in the same order, place one heap on either side of each of the four continents to represent the eight subcontinents.

Each of these four continents also has a special treasure which is its greatest asset. In the Eastern Continent, it is a mountain of jewels,” in the Southern Continent, it is the wish-fulfilling tree,” in the Western Continent, it is a cow which gives an endless supply of gold,” and in the Northern Continent, it is crops which grow naturally, requiring no cultivation.” Thus you should place additional grain on top of each of the heaps which represent the various continents, in order to represent these four treasures.

The next part of the Mandala Offering concerns the wealth of sovereign authority. Traditionally, this is represented by the Seven Ratnas of the Chakravartin,” or the Wheel-Wielding Monarch. The Chakravartin is the monarch of highest sovereignty, and it is said that he appears in the world only during an age of very great fortune. The Seven Ratnas are his possessions, and they are as follows. The first is the Chakra Ratna,” or Precious Wheel, with which the Monarch is able to control the four continents. The second is the Mani Rama,” which is endowed with marvelous properties. Third is the Stri Ratna,” his queen. The fourth is the Parinayaka Ratna,  the Monarch’s minister of state. Next we have the fifth, the Hasti Rama,” which is the elephant of great power and courage. Sixth is the Ashva Rama” the Monarch’s white horse of great stamina and discipline. Seventh is the Grihapati Ratna,” the chief of military forces. These seven Ratnas constitute the most important natural properties of a sovereign. In addition to these Seven Ratnas, the Vessel of Inexhaustible Wealth” is also to be included. Therefore, one should place another eight heaps of grain, in a circular fashion, just inside the circle of grain formed by the heaps representing the continents and the subcontinents.

The next part of the offering consists of the eight goddesses bearing offerings, intended to please the one to whom they are being presented. First is the goddess who performs pleasing gesticulation; second, the goddess who bears garlands; third is the goddess of song,” fourth, the goddess of drama,” fifth is the goddess of flowers,” sixth, the goddess of perfume,” seventh is the goddess who bears offerings of light,” and, lastly, the goddess bearing scented water.” These eight goddesses are represented by eight more heaps of grain, also arranged in the form of a circle forming a ring inside the previous two.

Then, slightly to the right of the center as you face the Mandala Offering, you should place one heap of grain as a representation of the Sun” and another heap on the left side to represent the Moon.” After this, place one more on the far side of the Mandala, as a representation of a jewel- studded parasol and one on the side nearest you, to represent the victory banner symbolizing a triumph over the mental obscurations.

Finally, over the entire Mandala Offering, you should pile still more grain, which represents all the remaining forms of riches and objects of enjoyment found in the world, and indulged in by both humans and deities alike.

If one uses the traditional ritual instrument for arranging the Mandala Offering, then one should complete the offering by adding on the three rings and top ornament to the mound of grain which has been constructed. With the rings, we signify the lower levels of Mt. Sumeru which, it is written, is made up of four levels, which reach to the awesome height of 80,000 Yojanas” On the very top of Sumeru lies the palace of the Lord of Deities, whose name is Shakra. This palace is represented by the crown ornament.

In short, this Mandala Offering is a symbolic representation of our world as it is described in the Buddhist scriptures. That entire world, together with all its many riches, is offered then to one’s Guru and the Three Ratnas as a form of homage and worship.

As I mentioned before, the purpose of this practice is to accumulate merit. If we are in fact able to accumulate merit by offering an object as small as a single stick of incense, then an offering of the entire world with all of its riches should certainly accumulate merit of an inconceivably great amount. Since, then, all the riches to be found in the world including both those which are human and also those which are divine could not be measured by the ordinary mind, one can surmise that an offering of such immensely great value would, likewise, result in the accumulation of a correspondingly immense degree of merit.

Some of you may feel uncertainty about the true value of this practice. Perhaps you wonder how it could be of any real value to imagine that a mound of grain heaped up in front of you is actually the entire world. However, such a though reflects a lack of understanding of what merit is, and of how it is accumulated.

All karma, good or bad, is of three fundamental types: karma of body, karma of speech, or karma of mind. The last of these three, or karma of mind, is the strongest, yielding the greatest results.

Thus both good and bad karma can come from mental activity alone. If you should, for example, give rise to the desire to kill every single human being on the face of this earth, with all sincerity, it is easy for you to see how this would constitute a great misdeed even if you did not initiate any physical, or verbal, activity to carry out this desire. If, similarly, through faith and devotion to your Guru and the Three Ratnas, you should generate the desire to offer the entire world and all its wealth to them, constructing a model of this world and all its wealth to give your thoughts a more definite order and structure, then surely such activity would constitute a great virtue. You should have no doubts that a very great amount of powerful karma can be accumulated through such activities.

Not only are you to think that the Mandala contains the entire world; you must also submit it to a process of transmutation, whereby you convert it from a mundane, impure world into a Pure Buddha-Field. By doing so, the amount of merit is increased by 1,000, or even by 100,000 times. After you have done all the above, you will have completed the arrangement of the object to be offered, and are now ready to perform the act of offering it. To do so, first you should invite the Guru and, also, the Three Ratnas to appear before you. Then, holding up the Mandala which you have prepared, recite the following verse:

Sashi pukyi jukshing metok tram
Rirab lingshi nyinde gyenpa di
Sanggye shingdu mikte oolwar gyi
Drokun namdak shingla chupar shok.

This earth anointed with incense and strewn with flowers,
And Mt. Surmeru, adorned by the four continents, the Sun and Moon,
I transmute into a Buddha-Field and offer:
May all beings partake of the Field of Supreme Purity.

Idam Guru Ratna Mandalakam Niryatayami.

Contained in every grain of this offering there is a fertile seed for the attainment of Perfect Enlightenment. This is because of the sincere aspiration for Perfect Enlightenment, which has motivated you to perform the offering.

One strives for Enlightenment in order to become able to benefit all sentient beings in the universe. Thus, as the number of living beings in the universe is infinite, the virtue which is derived from this act is also without limit.

Once the offering has been completed, then you should dismantle it. There are two different variations of how this may be done. One way is to tilt the offering forward away from you, and in doing so, to reflect that those to whom you offer the Mandala have happily accepted it. Or you can, instead, tilt the offering toward you and dedicate the merit to receiving the blessings of your Guru and the Three Ratnas.

This concludes the explanation of the practice of offering the Outer Mandala.

You can see that the instrument which has been used in this demonstration is made from copper and beads and the mound itself is composed of grain.” The one on the altar, however, is made of silver, and in Tibet many Buddhists used Mandalas made of gold, decorated with precious stones.

In making an offering of any kind, you should always keep in mind that what you offer to the Object of Refuge should be of the best quality that you can afford. In doing so, the act becomes more meaningful. However, if you are unable to make the Mandala instrument of precious metal such as gold, silver, or even copper, then it would be adequate for you to use one which is made from ordinary stone, wood, or china. In fact, if you are unable to acquire this instrument at all, you can still do this practice simply be making the symbolic gesture of the Mandala Offering with your hands. The configuration of your hands, then, contains the same meaning as the Mandala just described. The two fingers raised upwards in the center represent Mt. Sumeru. The four corners, formed by interlocking the other fingers, represent the four continents – and you should imagine, as before, that all the wealth contained in the entire world is present in your hands. When the offering is completed, if you would like to visualize those to whom you have offered the Mandala as happily accepting it, then you should proceed to unfold your hands away from you. If, on the other hand, you feel it is more appropriate to receive the blessings of the Objects of Refuge, to whom the offering is made, then you should unfold your hands toward you.

A practice of even deeper meaning than the Outer Mandala is that of offering the Inner Mandala. In this offering of the Inner Mandala, there is no need whatsoever for external movement or symbolic gestures of any kind. The entire practice takes place in the realm of the mind. You make this offering by conceiving of your own body as being, in reality, a complete Mandala of the world.

You would begin by reflecting that the outermost portion of your body, or the external layers of skin, are of the nature of the purest gold. This is the same thing as the Golden Foundation described in the discussion of the Outer Mandala. Then you should focus your attention upon your blood and on the flesh of your body. You should conceive of your blood as a divine ambrosia which covers this Golden Foundation and keeps all impurities down. Your flesh, in turn, should be conceived of as being flowers, such as the ones which you would find in a heavenly garden.

The trunk or main part of your body is to be viewed as Mt. Sumeru, which is not simply a large mountain but is the highest, most majestic mountain of the world, and which is composed of four different kinds of precious materials: Sapphire, Ruby, Gold, and Silver. You should conceive of your four limbs (arms and legs) as being the four continents of the world, and the smaller appendages (toes, fingers, ears, nose, tongue, etc.) as being the subcontinents.

You should conceive of your head as being the mansion of the Lord of Deities, which is located on the peak of Mt. Sumeru. The Sun and the Moon, also included in the Outer Mandala, should be represented by your two eyes. Your heart should be viewed as the most valuable jewel of the entire universe, and the other internal organs – such as the lungs, liver, etc. – are to be viewed as being all of the remaining wealth, or fortune, of both humans and deities.

When you have finally succeeded in completing the above you will have formed a Mandala of the entire world with your body. Once this Mandala has been prepared, you should transmute it into a Pure Buddha-Field and then offer it to your Guru, and the Three Ratnas, by reciting the verse of offering as before. After you have made the offering you should reflect that this act of veneration has brought great pleasure to the Object of Refuge, which in turn results in not only you, but also all living beings, receiving the blessings of the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

The essential difference between the Outer Mandala and the Inner Mandala is the material used to construct the offering. In the Outer Mandala it consists of external objects, while in the Inner Mandala it is one’s own body, or the Rupa Skhanda.

Finally, in the offering of the Secret Mandala, there are ten different levels of explanation to the meaning. As with all Tantric practices, it is strictly prohibited for one who has knowledge of these practices to speak of them to one who is not a “mature” individual. Maturity, here, is not meant in the general sense. Rather, a mature individual is one who is thoroughly proficient in all the basic practices of Mahayana Buddhism which are common to both the Sutras and the Tantras, and is therefore completely qualified – and ready – to enter the Path of the Tantras. Such an individual who is desirous of following this path must first receive the power needed to practice the Tantras, and that is conferred through a special initiation rite.

Therefore, I can only discuss the practice of the Secret Mandala by touching on a few of the basic concepts which it involves.

The Sutras describe the nature of the Buddha in great detail. In explaining the bodies of the Buddha four bodies are mentioned. However, these four bodies can be considered as two basic bodies which are – first – the mental body, known as the Dharmakaya,” and – second – the form body, called the Rupakaya.

The mental body of the Buddha consists of the Jnyana of Omniscience. This Jnyana can be said to be Transcending Wisdom. If an ordinary person holds a handful of grain in his hand, he can clearly see the shape, the color, size, and amount of grain which he is holding. However, the Jnyana of Omniscience of the Buddha is able to perceive with this same degree of clarity all knowable things which exist in the Universe: mental, physical, neither mental nor physical, permanent, and also those of the past, the present, and the future. And it perceives all of them at once.

The form body of the Buddha, the Rupakaya, is of absolute purity and is luminescent like a rainbow. This body is also adorned with the thirty-two major, and the eighty minor, signs of excellence.

These two bodies are the ultimate goals we are trying to achieve when we strive for Buddhahood or Perfect Enlightenment. And, furthermore, there are two unique causes which are the principal factors for the achievement of each of these two bodies. The body called the Dharmakaya is produced by what is termed the Accumulation of Wisdom and the Rupakaya is produced by what is termed the Accumulation of Merit. The Accumulations are amassed by the development of two specific elements. One is the Bodhi Mind, which accomplishes the Accumulation of Merit and, ultimately, produces the Rupakaya. The other one is Wisdom, which is the direct perception of Shunyata and accomplishes the Accumulation of Wisdom that, ultimately, produces the Dharmakaya body of the Buddha.

These two types of mind are the foundation of the Secret Mandala. Bodhi Mind consists of mind-consciousness, which is accompanied by two aspirations. One is the desire to be of benefit to all sentient beings in the highest possible sense, which means to establish them in the state of Enlightenment. The other aspiration is the desire to attain Perfect Enlightenment yourself, so that you will be able to fulfill the former desire.

The Wisdom which perceives, directly, the meaning of Shunyata is the knowledge that penetrates the true condition of all things – that of being empty of any independent, self-existent nature.

In the practice of the Secret Mandala, one offers the two minds we have just discussed, the Bodhi Mind and the Wisdom which perceives Shunyata, in the form a Mandala to the Object of Refuge. That is, one takes what is in actuality these two minds and, conceiving of them in the form of a Mandala, offers them to the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

Since these two types of mind are the primary causes for attaining the highest goal we could possibly strive for, it is only natural that their true meaning is not immediately evident to us. Nevertheless, we are living in an extremely fortunate age in that it is possible to meet great Spiritual Teachers.

Through their benevolent grace and our own faith and determination, the opportunity for us to achieve the deepest wisdom is very much open to us.

In teaching you these practices of the Mandala Offering I have shown you a very effective practice for accumulating merit. These three forms of the Outer Mandala, Inner Mandala, and Secret Mandala could very easily be included in one’s everyday devotions. Thus, it is my sincere wish that you will not merely have listened to what I said, but that you will also become inspired enough to adopt the practice for yourself.


The Extensive Mandala Offering

Om vajra Bhumi Ah Hum, wang-chen ser-gyi sa-shi,
Om Vajra Reke Ah Hum, chi chak-ri kor-yuk-ki kor-we u-su, rii-gyal-po ri-rab, shar lu-pak-po, hlo dzam-bu-ling, nub ba-lang-chu, chang dra-mi-nyen.
Lu-dang lu-pak, nga-yab dang nga-yab-shen, yon-den danglam-chok-ndro, dra-mi-nyen dang dra-mi-nyen-gyin-da.
Rin-po-chei ri-wo, pak-sam-gyi-shing, du-joi-ba, ma-mu- pa-yi lo-tok.
Kor-lo rin-po-che, nor-bu rin-po-che, tzun-mo rin-po-che, lun-po rin-po-che, lang-po rin-po-che, ta-chok rin-po-che, mak~pun rin-po-che, ter-chen-poi-bum-pa.
Gek-mo-ma, treng-wa-ma, lu-ma, kar-ma, me-tok-ma, duk-pu-ma, nang-sel-ma, dri-chab-ma.
Nyi~ma, da-wa, rin-po-chei duk, chok-le-nam-par-gyal-we gyel-tsen.
U-su hla-dang-mii peln-jor pun-sum~tsok-pa ma-tsang-wa me-pa tzang-shing yi du-ong-wa di-dak drin-chen tza-wa- dang gyu-par che-pe peln-den la-ma dam-pa nam-dang, kye-par-du yang la-ma lo-sang tub-wang dor-je-chang chen- pu hla-tsok kor-dang che-pa nam-la shing-kam ul-war-gyi-o. Tuk-je dro-we dun-du she-su sol.
She-ne-kyang dak-sok dro-wa mar-gyur nam-ke ta-dang nyam-pe sem-chen tam-che-la tuk-tze-wa chen-pu go-ne jin-gyi lab-tu-sol.

Sa-shi pu-kyi iuk-shing me-tok tram,
Ri-rab ling-shi nyin-de gyen~pa di,
Sang-gye shing-du mik-te ool-war gyi,
Dro-kun nam-dak shing-la chu-par shok.

Idam Guru Ratna Mandalakam Niryatayami.

 

Om Vajra Bhumi Ah Hum, adamantine golden ground.
Om Vajra Reke Ah Hum, Encircled by an outer fence.
In the center is located Mt. Meru, king of mountains.
In the easterly direction is the continent called Videha
In the south is Jambudvipa, in the west Godaniya, in the north Kuru.
[A pair of sub-continents straddles each of these continents. They are:] Deha and Videha,
Chamara and Aparachamara, Shata and Uttarmantrina, Kurava and Kaurava.
[Each of the continents has a unique asset. They are:] The jewel-mountain, the wish-granting tree, the cow supplying one’s wants, the crop not needing cultivation.
[Eight articles possessed by royalty are:] the Precious Wheel, the Precious Gem, the Precious Queen, the Precious Minister,
the Precious Elephant, the Precious Horse, the Precious General and the Treasure-filled Vessel.
[The eight offering goddesses are:] the Actress, the Garland Bearer, the Songstress, the Dancer,
the Flower Bearer, the Incense Bearer, the Lamp Bearer, and the Perfume Bearer.
[Also included are:] the Sun, the Moon, a bejeweled umbrella, and a victory banner.
Adding to this all the abundant riches of gods and men – complete, pure, and lovely
I offer this paradise to the Divine Assemblage of the most kind, glorious, holy root and lineage Gurus – especially to the Guru, Great Sumati Munendra Vajradhara – together with their retinue.
In your compassion may you accept if for the sake of all beings.
And, having accepted it, may you in your great love bless all beings, myself and others, mothers equal in extent to space.

This earth anointed with incense and strewn with flowers,
And Mt. Sumeru, adorned by the four continents, the Sun and Moon,
I transmute into a Buddha-Field and offer:
May all beings partake of the Field of Supreme Purity.

[The offering mantra:] Idam Guru Ratna Mandalakam Niryatayami.


Short Mandala of Seven Heaps

Sa-shi pokyi jukshing metok tram.
Rirab lingshi Nyida Gyan-padi
Sangye shingdu mikte ul-war gyi
Drokun namdak shingla chopare shok.


Inner Mandala

Dakki chak dang mongsum Kye-pai-yul
Dral-nyen Barsum Lu-dang Long choc hey
Pangpa me-par Bul gyi Lek She ney
Duksum Rangsar Drol war jin gyi Lob

The objects that rouse from my greed, hate and delusion,
friend, foe and stranger, body and possessions,
I offer without regret so please accept them and
inspire spontaneous freedom from the three poisons.

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11 Responses to Mandala Offering – A Powerful Method to Accumulate Merits

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  1. Wylfred Ng on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Thank Rinpoche for the sharing.

    I do love mandala offering although i still have not done any full mandala offering before.

    Hope that i can do Mandala Offering Retreat in the future.

  2. Uncle Eddie on Dec 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Thanks to the holy teachings of Rinpoche in Mandala offerings, we are able to offer the entire Universe and its contents, which are said “to ripen our minds so that we can extract the essence of realisation from the practice of the graduated Path”! As stated in the verses of the Mandala offerings, we offer mt. Meru, the centre of the Universe, the four continents in the four cardinal directions, the sun and the moon,imagined as Buddhaland, and may all beings partake in the field of supreme purity! We are also to offer everything that belong to us and others without miserliness or attachments, and request acceptance of them with compassion. May we be blessed with great love equal to the extent of all space in the Universe.

  3. Tong sunsun on Dec 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    曼達拉」在顯乘或密乘當中都有提及。一般來說,「曼達拉」是梵文。意思是什麼呢?有「提取精髓」的意思。「供曼達」的意義:獻是供養,曼達是梵文,譯為壇城。如同懺悔時需具足四種
    對治力的訣竅一般,供養時,也應具足三種圓滿的訣竅:第一個圓滿是「所依圓滿」,
    供養的對象是諸佛菩薩。第二個圓滿是「供品圓滿」,供養的物質是圓滿的。意指
    來源正確、非經造業而得、不是使用剩餘的物品…等。第三個圓滿是「出發點圓滿」,
    供養的動機或出發點是圓滿的而且具有菩提心,沒有勉強、不捨、吝嗇、礙於人情

  4. KH Ng on Dec 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    The message is clear. We need to offer away the ego in order to gain enlightenment. Offerings of mandalas is offering all that one perceived to own, plus more, ie samsara, to the merit fields, the Buddhas thus making the connections and creating the causes for enlightenment. The direct results is accumulating vast amount of merits via this practice. This is a practice of selflessness of self and of phenomena which is the direct antidote to the two obscurations.

    Point to note is that Rinpoche is advocating the dissemination of the Dharma via the internet rather then just via people physically visiting the Dharma Center which suit these age. I rejoice and is committed to this.

    Thanks Rinpoche.
    With Folded hands!

  5. jerry_sito on Dec 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    感恩仁波切的开示与教诲

    在佛法的修行路上,与在我们参与佛法事业的时候,常常会面对许多的障碍,更多的时候,其实修习佛法与能听闻佛法及遇见尊贵的上师,是需要很多的福报(功德)来推动的,许多人接触了佛法,遇见了尊贵的上师,然而却没有继续的动力,然后就断然放弃了,或有些人会拒绝佛法,这都是因为恶业盖过了善业,恶业多于善业,就如同乌云密布的遮挡了佛光一样,所以我们一定要累积更多的福德资粮,好让我们能继续的听闻佛法,修习佛法并迈向更高的修持法

    感恩尊贵的仁波切,给予我们这曼达拉供养的开示与教诲,这伟大的曼达拉供养,能让我们快速地累积很大的福德资粮,好让我们能在佛法的路上一切吉祥如意,所以我们一定要用心学习与不间断的做曼达拉供养,感恩尊贵的仁波切您的教导,即使我们阅读的能力不好,然而我们还是可以在youtube上找到您的视频给予我们曼达拉供养的开示与教导

    这一切都仰仗在仁波切您的大爱与加持下保护与教导我们,祈愿您长驻在世,常转法轮

  6. Tara Lama on Dec 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

    It was great opportunity for me to know more about our Dharma.
    Thank you and Looking forward to read more in future.

    Sincerely
    Tara Lama
    USA

  7. pema thrinley on Dec 6, 2013 at 2:30 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    i get nothing to say about your profound teachings……. i just feel like crying… makes me always sad hearing about the impermanence but never want to be away from this sadness, it is like a treasure. thank you rinpoche… i take refuge in you my guru and the three jewels till attain enlightenment.

    pema thinley

  8. Vinnie Tan on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting this teaching and commentary by Rinpoche’s Guru. I have definitely benefitted from this teaching, understanding some points that I have never thought of before. I have never knew that we could offer up our bad qualities to help us improve ourselves, but after watching the video I now know that we could offer up qualities like our ego.

  9. Yoke Fui on Jun 25, 2012 at 6:28 am

    This is one of the pre requisites before a student is eligible for higher tantric initiation.

    It trains us to let go of all our attachments, have an open and supple mind through the extensive visualization and accumulation of vast merits is possible if done correctly with the right motivation.

    Upon completing all his preliminary practices in the millions, Lord Tsongkhapa received teachings from Buddha Manjushri directly. Thus is the power of all the preliminaries combined with perfect Guru devotion of the Vajrayana path.

  10. Jay Jae on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:57 am

    One of the two great collections needed for the attainment of realizations is MERIT and what more better way to accumulate merit like how the saintly Je Tsongkhapa did!

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting this teaching and commentary by Rinpoche’s guru on Mandala offering. This will definitely empower myself and other people in the path of achieving something meaningful in our lives.

  11. Tenzin Pema on Dec 20, 2011 at 8:10 am

    TUKJE CHE H.E. TSEM TULKU RINPOCHE

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  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/wesak-day-special-on-rtm-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:10 PM
    OMG! This is very touching. To see a doggie who never left go of his owner in spite of death. Way more powerful than many who proclaimed “till death do us part.” Just like the human, not all doggies are as loyal as this tear-jerking pet, but I truly believe almost all doggies offer unconditional love to the person who feeds and cares for them. Even when they are stray animals. There was a stray dog who will run two streets from the entrance of the “Taman” until the car stops in front of the house, just to greet me. You can imagine the warm and conviction in my heart that these beings are more than capable of loving than many of us, human! Thank you for this lovely sharing. I miss my doggie, Sherab.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:00 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for this amazing sharing. There is no doubt about the ability of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. His incarnations have been compassionate and taken rebirth to return and spread the dharma so that sentient beings can benefit and learn some dharma in our short life.

    We shall never doubt our Guru; but must see that He is one with our Yidam and Protector, an attained being. Even if our Guru does not demonstrate clairvoyance abilities, we must never contest our Guru, for he holds the key (dharma) that can liberate us from eternal suffering in samsara.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 05:50 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for the illustrated miracle story on how Rinpoche guided Cynthia and Marici away from danger through protector’s practice. The unseen exist, whether we like it or not. Some of them are malicious and have the affinity or karma with some of us. Hence they can cause harm and disturbance. By engaging in Protectors’ practice like Dorje Shugden and Setrap that have been practiced by the high lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, we are protected and guarded against harm.

    Rinpoche is compassionate and only want the best for us. His teachings are not meant to show off the power of the divines but offer us a way out from our desperate samsara conundrum that binds us from engaging in deeper spiritual practice. Rinpoche always teaches us to focus on mind transformation and Tsongkhapa practice. How fortunate we are to have met Rinpoche in this lifetime. We must not let this rare and precious opportunity go to waste.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 04:30 PM
    Miracles do happen,when we have faith and trust in our Guru.What is important is to follow Rinpoche’s advice and do as instructed by our Guru to clear the osbtacles all the way.Angie and Herry were so fortunate to have meet Rinpoche.Its because of Rinpoche ‘s compassion and caring for his student Angie’s life was saved.Infact Rinpoche has helped many people through his intervention, advice and instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing miracles stories which i enjoyed reading.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 02:45 PM
    WOW….interesting a miracles true story. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.Reciting mantras by family members and doing 20 pujas done at the monastery to help the baby. These proved that pujas, which have been done for hundreds of years in the monasteries are very powerful methods for us to overcome difficulties, create huge amounts of merit and for protection, good health and long life.This show us how powerful pujas can help us when we have trust and faith in our Guru.And with Rinpoche divination,the baby was born and now a healthy boy.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 12:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these powerful teachings.Its a privilege
    to do Dharma work to benefits other,do it with motivation and a good attitude when engaging ourselves It will be guide line for me.When we serve others to do Dharma work together at Kechara Forest Retreat ,we will improve ourself , purify our negative karma and to benefit others too.I will be sponsoring to the healings bricks soon and i will cherish every moment in supporting KFR.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/dharma-work-attitude-tdl.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 11:06 AM
    Bigfoot is just another beings living in this world although not commonly seen and live in the deep jungle in high mountains. There were many evidences that people from many parts of the world sighted this beings. Whatever shape they are I think importantly we are all sharing this world and therefore need to have mutual respect and not intervene each others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/its-in-the-scriptures-they-exist.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline sharing this interesting post about Bodhidharma, a great master favoured meditation and introduced the Lankavatara Sutra to Chinese Buddhism.

    Here are a few points I have learned from this post:
    1. Bodhidharma had strong imprints of Dharma from the past and therefore he is interested in Buddha’s teachings and show his great wisdom. at a very young age.
    2. His strong guru devotion and determination in learning and spreading the dharma based on meditation though he confronted with difficulties such as Emperor Wu Di was not impressed by his teachings, being ostracized and rejected and lived as a beggar for many months. Notwithstanding, he continued and never give up to practice meditation in complete silence for nine years in cave wall when he was not accepted by Shaolin Monastery at the beginning .
    3. When Bodhidharma was allowed enter to the monastery, he had put a lot of efforts to help the monks in improving their physical body as well as their mind through the meditation. Then, Bodhidharma continued to develop a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which were printed as Yi Gin Ching (Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic) in 550 CE. It is known as the Luohan (arhat) 18 Hand Movements today which serves as the basis of both Chinese Temple Boxing and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/bodhidharma-the-founder-of-gongfu.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:10 PM
    Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us the many tips on how to care for and maintain our hair. Personal grooming is important because when we care for our appearance, we are respecting the people who have to deal with us. Caring for our hair, making sure that it is neat and clean should be something we need to take care of since young as it is part of personal grooming. The key is not to be attached to our body and outer-images, that results in spending much time and resources just to make ourselves look good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 03:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful and significant photos showed that Kechara Pastors’ tireless efforts to bring dharma to many others and do the blessings whenever is necessary.

    Basically, the pastorship role was conceptualized by our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to preserve the Dharma and to give laypeople an opportunity to commit to benefiting others. Kechara Pastors are fully dedicated and selflessly serving others especially in spiritual growth and therefore this is good for us to support the Pastors so that they can focus and spend more of their time and effort to serve others and most importantly Buddhist teachings can be spread and shared to many others. The supports to Pastors including food, lodging, transportation, items necessary for their work, such as ritual items or spiritual gifts for those in need and many others. (If you are interested to know more about Kechara Pastors, please have a good read at http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/support-the-kechara-pastors.html)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 02:13 PM
    Its such a great blessing for all of us to hear the holy voice recordings of H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche a great master..His profound teachings ,got to take seroiusly,more as an important advice on Dorje Shugden’s practice.H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explaination was very clear before any of the practitioner’s commitment and receive sogtae.They must keep the lineage practice and teachings no matter what ever happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us on the important advice by a great master.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 11:50 AM
    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for your sharing your thoughts and review about the book “Be Happy” written by Rinpoche. It is indeed not easy to be happy as we all have various expectation in every situation and people.

    We may think having a big house, lots of cash and good career is happiness but this is the wrong perception. Being happy is not about material and everything about ourselves. It is only when we can do more for others and focus out that we gain happiness. I never realised this until I joined Kechara. I think we have such a fixed mindset of what happiness is and when our expectation is not met, we are unhappy.

    Rinpoche has pointed out many ways for us to rectify our thoughts and methods to be happy. Now it is for us to take initiative to change and transform our mind if we want to be happy.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/be-happy.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Apr 24. 2017 12:30 PM
    Many people do not believe in reincarnation and only relates it to certain religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there were many instances and signs that proven reincarnation exist. As Buddhist we will believe in reincarnation and karma. It is by understanding that everything has its cause and effect that we should learn to live life in the correct attitude and mindset. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting articles to remind us of karma and the importance of doing dharma practise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 08:29 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your teachings.
    Always be generous and kind in what ever we could do even its little help.It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest happiness. Its between us and our Buddha ,so we would not bother what the receipient thinks and say of us. What ever was said ,should not deter our motivation to do Dharma work.
    (It will change people’s lives in one way or another. It will change your life for the better.)….well said by Rinpoche.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
2 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
3 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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