Tsongkhapa Retreat Instructions

Apr 9, 2010 | Views: 16,450
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FOR A POWERFULLY BLESSED TSONGKHAPA RETREAT


1. PREPARE

  • Buddhist Swastika
  • Kusha Grass (from a brand new broom). The kusha grass must be placed in the centre of the Buddhist Swastika.

Place the stem of the long kusha grass inwards with the tassels facing outwards and place the short kusha grass horizontally.


2. SITTING LOCATION

  • Locate a spot where you would be most comfortable.
  • Place the cushion at the position you have chosen and do not move it from its original position for the entire retreat.
  • Then place the Buddha Swastika with the kusha grass on the spot (under the cushion).
  • Be Mindful not to step on and cross over the other participants’ cushions.


3. TORMA

  • Purchase a clear glass bottle and fill it with biscuits (white area of the diagram). Place it on a place and fill the empty space in the plate (brown area of the diagram) with sweets, candies, etc.
  • At the beginning of every prayer session, add some sweets and candies to the torma, and a few drops to each sensory offering and water offering, visualising that you are renewing the offerings.
  • The tormas for Tsongkhapa and Setrap should be similar size (large) while the torma for the entourage should be smaller.


4. OTHER OFFERINGS

  • Offerings such as milk, yoghurt, candles, cakes, fruits, etc. are strongly encouraged.
  • It is wonderful to have additional offerings of incense and candles concurrently with the retreat session.
  • Names or photographs of people whom you want to pray for or help can be put in a sealed envelope, on a plate or in a box between the mandala and torma (see below). These people may be your parents or your friends, or someone who is sick. They may also be those who have been kind to you in the past or have previously helped you.


5. ETIQUETTE

  • After toilet breaks, you are advised to wash your hands and rinse your mouth before resuming your prayers.
  • Talking during the break is not encouraged.
  • During mantra recitation, if you have to cough or burp involuntarily, go back on your mala beads -7 beads.
  • You have to restart all of the mantras if you fall asleep.


6. Do not move the statues until you have finished the retreat.


7. Do not move the torma until you have finished the retreat – everyday, add a little bit of offering to the ‘base’ of the torma, visualising that you are adding it to the torma as a whole.


8. Do not have prayer sessions at 6AM/PM and 12AM/PM. Sessions are usually from 3-6AM, 7-11AM, 2-5PM and 7-11PM (you can do as many or as few sessions as you like, with a minimum of one session per day).


9. If you are doing a group retreat, everyone must do the same sessions and same number of sessions each day.


10. Each retreat for a particular deity requires at least one statue of the deity and/or a picture representation of the deity (e.g. a thangka, poster, postcard). This instruction is for the benefit of those who are unable to afford statues. Additional representations of other deities may also be placed on your altar to be blessed – after all, a blessing is a blessing!


11. OTHER THINGS TO OBSERVE

  • 5 precepts: Do not kill, Do not steal, No sexual misconduct, No lying, No alcohol
  • Mahayana vegetarian meals: no meat (including seafood), no onion, no garlic, no eggs, no dairy products (cheese, milk etc)
  • Water offering and prostrations are encouraged during the retreat period – do as many as possible during the retreat
  • Minimise entertainment, or too much travelling – The purpose of a retreat is to clear obstacles, and hence this purification can cause obstacles to arise, hence unnecessary travelling should be minimized.


12. PRELIMINARIES

It is recommended to recite the multiplying mantra, followed by a good motivation and mantra of blessing the feet daily at the beginning of the day, before starting the retreat.

Multiplying Mantra: It was stated in the Sutras that when you recite this mantra seven times (7x) in the morning, all the virtuous actions performed by you during the day, including recitation of mantras, will be multiplied by a hundred thousand times.

OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG

OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG (7x)


Blessing the feet Mantra: When you recite this mantra three times (3x) and then spit on the soles of your feet, it ensures that you do not create the negative karma when you inadvertently step on and kill any living creature, e.g. ants, during the course of the day. It also helps the sentient being to have a good rebirth.

OM KHE TSARA GHANA HUM HRI SOHA (3x)




 

PRAYER TEXT FOR TSONGKHAPA RETREAT



REFUGE

NAMO GURU BEH
NAMO BUDDHA YA
NAMO DHARMA YA
NAMO SANGHA YA (3x)

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha (3x)


SANG GYE CHO DANG TSOG KYI CHOG NAM LA
JANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHI
DAG GI JIN SOK GYI PAY SO NAM KYI
DRO LA PAN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOG (3x)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practicing generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings (3x)


FOUR IMMEASURABLES

May all living beings be endowed with happiness and free from suffering.
May they never be separated from the state of happiness,
and may they always remain in a state of equanimity.
(Thus meditating on the Four Immeasurables)


PURIFYING THE PLACE

TAM CHE DU NI SA ZHI DAG
SEG MA LA SOG MAY PA DANG
LAG TIL TAR NYAM BAR DU YE
RANG ZHIN JAM POR NAY GYUR CHIG

Everywhere may the ground be pure,
free of the roughness of pebbles and so forth.
May it be the nature of lapis
and as smooth as the palm of one’s hand.


OFFERING PRAYERS

LHA DANG MI YI SHO PAY DZAY
NGO SU SHAM DANG YI KYI TRUL
KUN ZANG CHO DRIN LA NA MAY
NAM KAY KAM KUYN KYAB GYUR CHIG

May the offering substances both human and divine,
those actual and those which are emanated,
unsurpassed Samantabhadra clouds of offerings,
fill the entire space.


OFFERING CLOUDS DHARINI

OM NAMO BHAGAWATE BENZA SARA PRAMADINYE TATHAGATAYA ARHATE SAMYAK SAM BUDDHAYA TAYATA OM BENZE BENZE MAHA BENZE MAHA TESHA BENZE MAHA VIDDHYA BENZE MAHA BODHICHITTA BENZE MAHA BODHI MANDROPA SAM KRAMANA BENZE SARVA KARMA VARONA BHIKSHU DANA BENZE SOHA


POWER OF TRUTH

KON-CHOG SUM-GYI DEN-PA-DANG
SANG-GYE-DANG JANG-CHUB SEM-PA
TAM-CHE-KYI JIN-GYI-LAB-DANG
TSOG-NYI YONG-SU DZOG-PAY
NGA-TANG CHEN-PO-DANG
CHO-KYI YING NAM-PAR DAG-CHING
SAM-GYI MI-KYAB-PAY TOB-KYI
DE-ZHIN NYI-DU GYUR-CHIG

By the force of the truth from the three Jewels of Refuge
By the firm inspiration from all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas
By the power of all the Buddhas who have fully completed
Their collections of both good merit and insight
By the might of the void
Inconceivable and pure
May all of these offerings be hereby transformed
Into their actual nature of voidness


JE TSONGKHAPA’S YOGA – GANDEN LHA GYAMA

(Invocation)

GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-ZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden Devas (Maitreya Buddha) emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt. Atop sits Tsongkhapa all-knowing, King of Dharma; we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.


(Prostration)

DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion throne, lotus and moon cushion. His body is white and he smiles blissfully. Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith, and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.


(Praises)

SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent. His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil. His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration. To Lama Tsongkhapa, whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.


(Offering)

YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great merit field, Tsongkhapa, beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense, butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings, vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.


(Confession)

DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind, which I have accumulated over a measureless period, especially actions contrary to the three vows (Vinaya, Bodhisattva, Vajrayana), I regret extremely and from the depths of my heart, and reveal each and every such action.


(Rejoice)

NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord, who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence, who abandoned the eight worldly objectives and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.


(Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma)

JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you Holy Gurus, unerring in conduct, may you precipitate a rain of realization of Bodhicitta and Sunyata from the clouds of all-knowing compassion, which fills the Dharmakaya sky, providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.


(Requesting to remain)

NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PAR SHUG

May the Vajra body created from the purity of clear light, free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form, stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.


(Dedication)

DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others, beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and enduring.


MIG-TSE-MA MANTRA

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHEN-RE-ZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONG-KHAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB (21x)

(*Actual retreat mantra – recite thus, as many as possible)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown Jewel of the holy masters of the Land of Snows
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Dragpa, I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.


TORMA MANTRA

OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIWARA IDAM BALINGTA KAKA KAHI KAHI (3x)


OFFERINGS

OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA ARGHAM PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA PADYAM PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA PUPE PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA DHŪPE PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA ALOKE PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA GANDHE PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA NAIVIDYE PRATĪTSAYE SVAHA
OM AH GURU BENZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI SAPARIVARA SHABDA AH HŪM SVAHA

(Thus making offerings)


SETRAP MANTRA

OM MAHA YAKCHA TSA SO HA
(One mala or more)


SERKYM OFFERING

Golden drink offering – black tea, milk or yogurt. Composed by H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche

OM AH HUM (3x)

HUNG NGO DRUB CHAR BEB LA MA YI DAM LHA
TRIN LE DRUB TZE KA DRO CHO KYONG SOG
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO (T)

Those who pour down the attainments, Gurus, yidam deities,
Performers of activity, dakinis, Dharmapalas, and so forth
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Never waver in your protection! (T)


HRI KYE PAR GYEL WAY TEN PA SUNG WAY TSO
SE YI TRAB CHEN KOR DANG CHE NAM LA
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO (T)**

HRI! Especially, principal guardian of the Conquerors’ Teachings,
Setrap Chen along with entourage to you
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Never waver in your protection! (T)**


KU YI TRUL PA MI ZE MUN PAY ZUG
NEU LU TREN YANG TRUL PO NYAR CHE
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO DANG WAY DRA WO TSE NE CHO (T)

Body emanation of irresistible dark form,
And your emanated messengers, mongoose, and ‘tsen’,
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Cut down hateful enemies! (T)


SUNG TRUL DU KYI ME CHE YO WAY GAR
TRO TUM DRAG SHUL TSEN GO PO NYAR CHE
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO LOG TAY DE PUNG CHAM LA POB (T)

Speech emanation dancing like fire of time’s end’s flames,
And messenger, wild ‘tsen’ with expression of fierce wrath,
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Banish forces with distorted views completely! (T)


BUM TRAG TON DA TSEG PAY LANG TSO CHE
TUG KYI TRUL PA LHA RIG PO NYAR CHE
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO MI TUN BAR CHE ZHI WAR TZO (T)

With graceful beauty of hundred-thousand-fold autumn moons,
Mind emanation and messenger of deva family,
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Pacify negative interferences! (T)


SI SUM YI WANG YE KYIL DUNG GI DRE
NYO JE JE YI GYEL PO PO NYAR CHE
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO TEN YO LEG TSOG WANG DU DU (T)

Crazer of the three realms’ beings’ minds with sounds
Of right-spiralling conch, and messenger, King of lords,
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Powerfully attract all goodness of animate and inanimate worlds! (T)


LHUN DUG GANG RI DUM BU KYO PAY NYAM
YON TEN TRUL PA TER SUNG PO NYAR CHE
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SI ZHI GE TSEN GYE PAR TZO (T)

With expression shaking the atoms of massive snow mountains,
Quality emanation and messenger, Guardian of treasures,
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Increase all samsaric and nirvanic excellence! (T)


DUG CHEN TRAG GI SHER WAY SIN PO ZUG
TRIN LE TRUL PA TSEN GO PO NYAR CHE
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO NEL JOR LE LA TSEL MA ZHEN (T)

In form of a raksha, wet with vicious beings’ blood,
Activity emanation and messenger, wild tsen
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
In yogic activity be not weak of power! (T)


ZHEN YANG LHA LU TSEN DU A TSA RA
MON PA JIG RUNG DREG PAY MAG TSOG NAM
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO GEL KYEN SOL LA TUN KYEN DRUB (T)

Furthermore, devas, nagas, ‘tsen’, maras and tantrikas,
Tribal natives, and fearsome proud army forces,
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered;
Dispel contrary conditions and provide all facilities! (T)


(At the verse below, pour tea till finished:)


GYEL TEN SHE DRUB CHO ZHIN GYE PA DANG
DE TZIN LA MAY KU TSE TRIN LE PEL
NO PAY GEG DOG DANG DRA ZHOM PA DANG
CHOL WAY LE KUN TRIN LE YI ZHIN DRUB

Increase Buddhist Teaching and Practice in accord with Dharma,
Augment life span and spread activities of Gurus who uphold it,
Stop harmful obstructers and conquer hateful enemies,
And accomplish all requested aims with activity as wished!

Note: (T) – Pour tea once (T)** – Pour tea 21x or 108x (as instructed)

(End of black tea)


DISSOLUTION

(Dissolving Je Rinpoche into Ourselves)

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat atop the head of myself and the other beings, and in your great kindness please remain with us. Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.


PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us. Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success and for the supreme attainment.


PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us. Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of ENLIGHTENMENT.


100-SYLLABLE MANTRA

[OM BENZASATTO SAMAYA MANU PALAYA / BENZASATTO TENO PATITA / DIDRO MAY BHAWA / SUTO KAYO MAY BHAWA / SUPO KAYO MAY BHAWA / ANU RAKTO MAY BHAWA / SARWA SIDDHI ME PAR YATSA / SARWA KARMA SUT TSA ME / TISHTAM SHRIYAM KURU HUM / HA HA HA HA HO / BHAGAWAN SARWA TATAGATA / BENZA MA MAY MUN TSA / BENZA BHAWA MAHA SAMAYA SATTO / AH HUM PHET]

(Recite the 100-syllable mantra to stabilise the recitation)


COMPLETION DEDICATION

JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Bodhi-mind
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.


TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious emptiness
Where it is born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.


DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others
Beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma
and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa,
become clear and enduring.


KYE-WA KUN-TU YANG-DAK LA-MA DANG
DRAL-ME CHO-KYI PAL-LA LONG-CHO CHING
SA-DANG LAM-GYI YON-TEN RAP-DZOK NA
DORJE CHANG-GI GO-PANG NYUR-TOP SHUG

In all my rebirths, may I not parted from perfect Gurus,
Let me enjoy abundance of the Dharma!
Perfecting the qualities of the stages and paths,
May I quickly attain the rank of Vajradhara Buddha.


GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG

By this virtue, may I quickly
Realize Guru-Buddhahood
And transfer each sentient being
Into that Enlightened state.


CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

May all conducive conditions arise
And all obstacles be pacified
In order to increase infinitely
The doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.


DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYR CHIG

By the merits of the three times
Of myself and others
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa
Blaze forever.


NYIMO DELEK TSEN DELEK
NYIME GUNG YANG DELEK SHIN
NYITSEN TAKTU DELEK PEL
KON CHOK SUM GYI JIN GYI LOB
KON CHOK SUM GYI NGOR DRUL TSOL
KON CHOK SUM GYI TRA SHI SHOK

At dawn or dusk, at night or day
May the Three Jewels Grant us their blessing
May they help us to achieve all realizations
And sprinkle the path of our life
With various signs of auspiciousness.


(Dedication for the Guru’s Long Life)

JETSUN LAMA KU TSE RABTEN CHING
NAMKAR TRINLEY CHOG CHUR GYE PA DANG
LOBSANG TENPE DRON ME SA SUM GYI
DRO WE MUNSEL TAKTUR NE GYUR CHIG

May the holy teachers have a long life
May the enlightened activities be fully displayed in the ten directions and
may the brightness of the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa continuously dissipate
the veil of darkness covering the beings of the three realms.


(Dedication for the Long Life of H.H. The Dalai Lama)

GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUNG WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG

In this Holy Land surrounded by snow mountains
You are the source of all benefit and happiness
May your lotus feet, O powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso
Remain in this world until the end of existence.


(Thus making prayers of dedication and auspiciousness)



 

THE KING OF PRAYERS
(Upon completion of the entire retreat)

I bow down to the youthful Arya Manjushri!

O lions amongst humans,
Buddhas past, present and future,

To as many of you as exist in the ten directions
I bow down with my body, speech and mind

On waves of strength of this king
Of prayers for exalted sublime ways,

With bodies numerous as atoms of the world,
I bow to the Buddhas pervading space

On every atom is found a Buddha
Sitting amongst countless Buddhas’ spiritual children,
I look with eyes of faith of the victorious ones,
Thus filling the entire sphere of phenomena

Of these with endless oceans of excellence
Endowed with an ocean of wondrous speech
I sing praises of the greatness of all Buddhas,
A eulogy to those gone to bliss

Garlands of flowers I offer them,
And beautiful sounds, supreme perfumes,
Butter lamps and sacred incense
I offer to all the victorious ones

Excellent food, supreme fragrances
And a mound of medicinal substances as high as Mount Meru
I arrange in a special formation
And offer to those who have conquered themselves

All peerless offerings I hold up
In admiration of those gone to bliss
With the strength of faith in sublime ways,
I prostrate and make offerings to the conquerors

Long overpowered by attachment, aversion and ignorance,
Countless evils I have committed
With acts of body, speech and mind.
Each and every one of these I now confess

In the perfections of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas,
The arhats, training and beyond,,
And in the latent goodness of every living being,
I lift up my heart and rejoice

O lights into the ten directions,
Buddhas who have found the passionless stage of enlightenment,
To all of you I direct this request:
Turn the incomparable wheel of Dharma

O masters wishing to show parinirvana,
Stay with us and teach, I pray,
For as many eons as there are specks of dust,
In order to bring goodness and joy to all beings

May any small merits that may have amassed
By thus prostrating, making offerings, confessing, rejoicing
And asking the Buddhas to remain and teach the Dharma,
Be dedicated now to supreme and perfect enlightenment

May my offerings be received by all past Buddhas
And by all those now abiding in the ten directions.
May all the Buddhas who have not yet come
Quickly perfect their minds and reach Buddhahood, the state of supreme full awakening

May all the Buddha realms of the ten directions
Remain forever vast and completely pure.
May the world be completely filled with Buddhas who have attained illumination under sacred trees,
And may they all be surrounded by bodhisattvas

May all living beings in the ten directions
Always abide in health and joy.
May they live in accord with the way of Dharma
And may their every wish be fulfilled

By my living in the ways of enlightenment,
May I remember my past lives in all my reincarnations;
And in all cycles of death, migration and rebirth,
May a sensitivity for truth be ever strong in me

By my following in the footsteps of the Buddhas,
May I utterly perfect the sublime ways of the bodhisattvas,
And may I practice the faultless, undegenerating, stainless
And pure ways of self-control

May I master all languages that exist,
Including those of the gods, yakshas, spirits and varieties of humans,
As well as all forms of communication of living beings,
That I may be able to show the Dharma in every way

Striving thus and in the transcending perfections,
May I never forget the bodhi mind,
And may I totally cleanse from within my mindstream
All negativities and mental veils

May I gain freedom from karma, delusion and karmic maras
To be able to live in the world unaffected by its stains,
Like an unstained lotus grows in the mud,
And like the sun and the moon shine without obstruction in the sky

For as long as there are Buddha fields and directions
May I strive to quell the misery of the lower realms,
May I place all living beings only in happiness
And bring them only happiness and joy

May I strive to complete the ways of enlightenment
And to abide in ways harmonious with the world.
May I expose to others the ways most sublime
And myself abide in them throughout all future eons

May my ways and the ways of a bodhisattva
Always go together hand in hand
In body, speech and mind
May I attune to their sublime ways

May I never be separated from the good friends
Who reveal the path of the sublime ways
And who wish only to benefit me;
May I never disappoint them even for a moment

May I constantly envision the perfect Buddhas,
The protectors who are surrounded by bodhisattvas,
And in the future may I never weary
Of devoting myself to them with all my strength

May I forever uphold the holy Dharma of the Buddhas
And illumine the sublime way of enlightenment,
May I practice throughout all future ages
The ways and deeds of the sublime path

Circling in the various realms of existence
May I amass inexhaustible goodness and wisdom,
And may I become an unending treasure of qualities
Such as methods, wisdom, samadhi and the experience of a bodhisattva

In every atom are Buddha fields numberless as atoms,
Each field is filled with Buddhas beyond conception
And each Buddha is surrounded by a myriad bodhisattvas,
To all these dwellers in sublime ways I turn my attention

Thus all atoms within the directions
Abide within the space of a single hair
An ocean of Buddhas within an ocean of Buddha fields
Performing enlightened activities for an ocean of eons

Each Buddha, with perfect speech, releases
An ocean of sounds with every word that is said
To satisfy the infinitely diverse tendencies of beings,
Thus does the speech of a Buddha constantly flow

All these conquerors past, present and future
Continually turn the methods of Dharma wheels;
With all the powers of my mind I listen
For the inexhaustible sound of their words

All future eons that could possibly be
Manifest within me in a single instant,
And I myself in a fraction of a moment
Enter into all these eons of the three times

All past, present and future lions among humans
I envision with the instantaneous wisdom
And by the power of the bodhisattvas’ examples
I focus upon the objects of their experience

I manifest Buddha fields past, present and future
Upon one single atom of existence
And then I transform every single atom
Of existence into a Buddha field

By this, when the future lights of the worlds
Eventually gain bodhi, turn the Dharma wheels
And reveal the passing to nirvana’s supreme peace,
May I take rebirth in their very presence

Then may I attain the ten powers:
The power of instant magical emanation,
The power which is a vehicle with every door,
The power of excellent activity,
The power of all pervading love,
The power of constantly positive energy,
The power of passionless wisdom,
The powers of knowledge, method and samadhi,
And the power of enlightenment itself

May I purify the power of karma,
May I crush the power of delusion,
May I render powerless the powerful negative forces
And may I perfect the powers of sublime ways

May I purify an ocean of realms,
May I liberate an ocean of sentient beings,
May I see an ocean of truths,
And may I realise an ocean of wisdom

May I perform an ocean of perfect deeds,
May I perfect an ocean of prayers,
May I revere an ocean of Buddhas,
And may I practice untiringly for an ocean of eons

Through my practice of the sublime bodhisattva ways,
May I gain the enlightenment of Buddhahood
And then fulfil the enlightened and sublime aspirations
Of the Buddhas, past, present and future

In order to match the ways of the sage
Called Samantabhadra, the always sublime one,
Chief amongst the awakened ones’ spiritual children,
I now dedicate all virtues that I possess

Just as the sublime sage Samantabhadra,
Dedicated all pure practices of body, speech and mind
To the attainment of a pure state and pure realms,
So do I now dedicate the fruit of all my efforts

In order to engage in all sublime virtues
I offer the prayer of Manjushri;
In the future may I never become faint
In striving to perfect the exalted bodhisattvas’ way

May my deeds never reach a limit,
May my qualities of excellence become boundless
And by abiding in immeasurable activity,
May I find Buddhahood, the state of limitless manifestation

Limitless is the extent of space,
Limitless is the number of sentient beings
And limitless is the karma and delusions of beings,
Such are the limits of my aspirations

One may offer supreme ornaments of the Buddha fields
Of the ten directions to the conquerors
And also offer the highest joys of humans and gods
For eons numerous as atoms of the world

But to read or hear the King of Prayers
With eyes looking towards supreme illumination
And faith shining in one’s heart for even an instant
Gives birth to far more superior merit

Should anyone recite this aspiration of sublime ways,
They will pass beyond all states of sorrow,
Will rise above all inferior beings and gain
A vision of Amitabha, Buddha of Infinite Light

Even in this very lifetime,
All sublime joys will be theirs,
The experiences of the all sublime Samantabhadra
Without obstructions, will quickly be theirs

Merely by giving voice to these aspirations
Of the sublime ways of a bodhisattva,
The effects can only be known by an omniscient Buddha;
Therefore doubt not that it leads to enlightenment

In order to follow the excellent examples set
By the wisdom of the bodhisattva Manjushri,
And the always sublime Samantabhadra,
All virtues I dedicate to their peerless ideals

All conquerors passed into the three times
Have praised as supreme this peerless dedication;
Therefore I also surrender all roots of my activities
To the sublime goals of a bodhisattva

When the moment of my death arrives,
May I remain free from the spiritual obscurations;
May I perceive the face of Amitabha
And transmigrate to Sukhavati, the pure land of joy

Having arrived there, may I fulfil
All aims of this prayer of aspirations
And benefit the countless living beings
Residing throughout the ten directions

In the joyous Mandala of Amitabha, Buddha,
May I be reborn from a beautiful lotus
And may I there have the pleasure of gaining
A pure prophecy from Amitabha, himself

Having won this word of prophecy
By the power of mind, may I fill all directions
With many millions of mystical emanations
And bring limitless benefits to the world

If by reciting this prayer of the sublime ways,
I have amassed a tiny fragment of goodness,
May it work immediately to fulfil
All Dharmic hopes of the living beings


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24 Responses to Tsongkhapa Retreat Instructions

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  1. Fong on Mar 8, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for the comprehensive instructions. It is the one we have been using for our retreats. As it is, I still have to overcome my laziness every year. Have not been able to do 4 retreats a year as yet.

  2. freon on Nov 25, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for the Retreat instruction. Which is very useful for us.
    May many more people involve in retreat.

    With Folded Palm,
    Freon

  3. patriciasnodgrass on May 6, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I’m looking forward to doing this within the next couple of week. <3

  4. Michael C. on May 2, 2014 at 1:41 am

    I want to do this retreat eventually but I want to master the outer preliminaries, complete 100,000 prostrations, and a few other things first. Thank you for providing the text here. As it stands now I don’t feel I have enough diligence to see this retreat through. I am waging war on my laziness & bad habits but the war has not been won yet. This must have taken you all day to type up.

  5. […] Tsongkhapa Retreat Instructions […]

  6. A special day!! | Tsem Rinpoche on Dec 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    […] Tsongkhapa retreat instructions « A cartoon worth watching How Tantric Deities Bless Us? » […]

  7. […] 黎国圆也解释说,宗喀巴大师修持法门包含了许多密续元素,而唯有获得灌顶者才䏻进行修持。值得一提的是,即便没有获得灌顶,我们仍䏻修持此法门。者正是宗喀巴法门的特殊之处。最后,黎国圆也指出,如何设坛、闭关的程序与规则。大家也可以阅读仁波切撰写的博客文章:宗喀巴闭关指示。 […]

  8. So Kin Hoe (Ipoh) on Oct 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the detailed and accurate instructions during the Tsongkhapa Retreat. May all of us have the merits to engage in Tsongkhapa Retreat and transform our mind to be free from all the attachments, free from delusions, free from sickness, free from hatred or anger, free from wrong views and free from samsara by achieving the liberation and Enlightenment.

  9. Wei Theng on Oct 14, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for the instruction and explanation and also have David to share to us.
    The explanation is very clear. Thank you Rinpoche for allowing us to engage in this powerful Tsongkhapa Retreat.
    Will work and prepare on the necessaries so that can engage in this retreat as soon as possible.
    With folded hands..

  10. jerry_sito on Oct 13, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    感恩仁波切的爱

    总是给予我们最好与最适合我们的修持法,并给予我们很多的讲解与分析,让我们有机会修持与把闭关掌握的很好

    宗喀巴大师是我们现代人最需要修的佛,去除我们混沌的思想,平息我们负面的思想,给我们力量,勇气去面对每一天。有机会一定要做宗喀巴大师的闭关,奖励自己,让自己有个开心的每一天。

  11. Janice Kwok on Oct 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting this. i like the suggestions of the torma because it makes it easy for us to setup and do it. It was mentioned in the text that Buddha sat on kusha grass. is there an alternative to this? Why do we avoid praying sessions within the hours mentioned? Thank you.

  12. Soon Huat on Oct 4, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Thank You Rinpoche for being so compassion to share such the beneficial Tsongkapa Retreat procedure with us. The instruction is very detail and flexible. Really hope one day I can do it or Penang group can have one session of it in near future.
    Thank You Rinpoche

  13. James Long on Oct 4, 2013 at 3:23 am

    宗喀巴大师是我们现代人最需要修的佛,去除我们混沌的思想,平息我们负面的思想,给我们力量,勇气去面对每一天。有机会一定要做宗喀巴大师的闭关,奖励自己,让自己有个开心的每一天。

  14. norden tamang on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Is there life after death? If yes how could we say there is life after death? We need some evidence, don’t we?

    • David Lai on Feb 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Dear Norden Tamang,
      There is evidence. There is a growing interesting in Past Life Regression therapy in the west. This is already a legitimate field of study. There are countless cases all over the world where people could remember their past lives.

      This is revealed under hypnosis and the details given are astoundingly accurate and some have even baffled scientists and researchers on the accuracy of the information. On top of that, many of the test subjects are not even Buddhist or Hindu and they have no background in their believe in past lives.

      Rinpoche had blogged many cases all over his blog and here is one recent one. -http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/reincarnation-true-or-false.html Please go in, read and watch the video. There’s just so much evidence that it is impossible not to have at least an intellectual belief in reincarnation.

  15. James Long on Nov 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    我们一生人最好能够腾出一段时间来做闭关。我们照顾身体,却没有照顾自己的心灵。我们会吃好的食物,可是我们的心灵,我们“喂”他吃了什么补品?
    宗喀巴大师闭关是最适合现代的人,尤其是有忧郁症倾向的人。加油!

  16. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    May I have the good fortune to do such retreats in the future. Rinpoche said people who have entered retreats and if they have done it well when they come out of it they are very different. Like they have let go a lot of samsara.

  17. Roy Martinez on Jul 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I have a question regarding the hours. In your teaching “Mirror Mirror on the wall” you say you have to avoid certain hours when doing meditation. Is this just retreat instructions or instructions that people should follow daily?

    • tsemtulku on Jul 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Those were for retreat instructions. Thanks.

  18. Rafael on May 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

    I will start right away on this retreat!

  19. Adeline Woon on May 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Rinpoche, why do we have to avoid praying sessions as mentioned in Point 8, i.e. 12am/pm & 6am/pm?

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  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 06:42 PM
    According to the Buddhist teachings, we all have a unique blend of karma that determines where we are born, the circumstances of our birth and the quality of our life. Naturally, this is due to the actions that we performed in previous lives. Karma also dictates our characteristics and traits that determine how we act throughout our lives, which in turn leads to certain outcomes in this life and a determination of where we will take rebirth in the future.

    Karma, however, is not set in stone. We can change our circumstances through our own efforts – purification of karma and accumulation of merit. Tibetan astrology, based on these Buddhist principles, provides us the methods to ensure success in this life and a good rebirth in the future. Tibetan astrology can also predict what will happen to us in this life and our next rebirth based on the time of our birth.

    Discover your traits according to the Mewa, or Magical Square system of Tibetan astrology below, and find out how to purify your negative karma to improve your life!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 05:24 PM
    Very interesting:


    Radin explained in his book: “For a Western-trained academic, the mere existence of, say, telepathy would be considered supernormal and thus wildly extraordinary. But for an experienced yogi, it’s just a boringly normal minor siddhi [a Sanskrit term for a meditation attainment, or power]. A skeptical scientist, not having the benefit of thousands of hours of practice in yoga and meditation, would require repeatable, rigorously obtained experimental data showing odds against chance of a gazillion to one. The yogi merely requires his own experience.”


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:45 PM
    Its indeed a beautiful place …..away from the city hectic life to visit and could stay over night too.Just to get away from work to relax ,get some fresh air ,do meditation and so forth .At Kechara Forest RetreatI,Bentong is where the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world situated and we can receive blessing,make offering to the Buddhas as well as enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens.I have recomended my friends and relatives to visit such a beautiful place at Bentong.
    Thank you Paul Yap for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:15 PM
    Well…all pendants are beautifully designed,hand crafted to match each and every sacred images on it to suit all occasion for the wearer.I can see a lot of hard work for those involed in desgning and making of it.
    All pendants are very unique, modern, timeless and also sacred ,thats all i could describe it.Hope more people will be wearing these beautiful pendants to get connected with the Buddhas.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Kechara’s Louise Lee for creating Dharma art in in the form of jewelry
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:41 PM
    This Mahasiddha is Kukkuripa (the dog lover). He loved dogs so much. When he meditated in the cave he had his doggie with him. She had kept him company for years in his cave. They shared bedding, food, water and company. When he gained high attainments, the Dakinis came to take him to Kechara Paradise. He was hesitant to go but the Dakinis insisted and he went with them.

    He arrived at Kechara (Paradise/Buddha abode of Heruka and Vajra Yogini) and enjoyed teachings and feasts up there and they asked him to stay longer if not forever…. But he kept thinking about his doggie left alone in the cave. He felt guilty and missed her. Kukkuripa would use his psychic powers to see his poor doggie alone and hungry waiting for him at the cave while enjoying the attention of the Dakinis and feasts. The cave was dark and had no food. The doggie had to go out and find small tiny scraps of food and was getting skinny. Kukkuripa saw this and it pained him. Worried she was not getting enough food. He use to share the offerings of food he would get from people with her. Doggie and him would delightfully eat the food together. Kukkuripa had no attachments to ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ in regards to sharing food with his dog. He had overcome this in his meditations. In ancient India, people would not co-habitate with a dog. It was considered unclean and filthy, but Kukkuripa had cast away those notions and loved his dog as she loved him. But he felt guilty to leave her alone while he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Kechara and could not stop thinking about his beloved dirty smelly dog in his cave alone…so he left Kechara Paradise and all it’s ‘delights’ for his doggie. He couldn’t abandon her. The Dakinis implored him to stay, but he was firm to return. The Dakinis said you will give up this paradise here for a mere dog???!! You can advance further in your meditations if you stay in Kechara and then help the dog later they attempted to persuade him. But Kukkuripa would not stay, he was loyal to his little dog as she had kept him company for many years in the lonely dark cave. She was loyal to him and how can he abandon her now. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t listen to the Dakinis. He left to join doggie. He never forget her companionship and loyalty. All the wonderful things in Kechara could not tempt him against his loyal friend the little doggie. He left everything for her.

    So he finally left Kechara to the Dakinis dismay and went back to his cave to be with his dog so she won’t be alone. Doggie was delighted to see her master and wagged her tail so much!! She licked him and he hugged her! She was skinnier for not eating well these few days he noticed. He fed her and hugged her and loved his doggie…He went back to his routine of meditation, receiving food offerings and sharing his food with doggie. They were happy together. One day, when he was scratching her in her favorite place and she licked him so his eyes were closed, when he opened his eyes she had suddenly turned into a Dakini shimmering with lights! The brilliance of the lights lit up the whole cave in front of Kukkuripa!! Kukkuripa was astonished to behold the splendourous lady in front of him! Of course this Dakini must be the Queen Herself he realized, as Vajra Yogini which was Kukkuripa’s main Yidam he had meditated on her for years in the cave. And She said to Kukkuripa, “Well done, you gave up paradise to be with just a dog..it shows you have given up attachements and projections of pleasant and unpleasant, now your Dakini will give you the final paradise (enlightenment)!”

    Kukkuripa attained full enlightenment blessed by Vajra Yogini by releasing the final subtle attachment to the non-existent self! After enlightenment his fame and name grew and many came to see him and he gave teachings to countless and benefitted many before he finally ascended to Kechara the second and final time. He was forever known as Kukkuripa the dog lover.

    I love him so much!!! This is one of my favorite Mahasiddhas along with Badrapa, Shantideva, Ghantapa and a few others. I wanted to share this story with you. I wanted you to know that there are many great true stories like this one about Kukkuripa that are true and can be applied to our lives. To inspire us.

    Tsem Rinpoche
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:29 PM
    The great and illustrious master Sonam Tsemo at the end of his life was described by an old woman who witnessed Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya area known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. He loved his dog very much. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. It is a sign of a holy being when they can leave their footprints in stone for future generations to witness and make offerings on that spot to collect merits. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen later on. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there. Sonam Tsemo was a powerful practitioner of the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini and at the end of his short life he ascended with his very body to Kechara paradise. He was 40 years old. Kechara is the sanksrit name of the special abode of Vajra Yogini. Those who practice Vajra Yogini to the highest level can ascend her paradise with their very bodies. Sonam Tsemo the great master of sutra and tantra was seen by an old woman flying off holding his beloved dog to ascend Kechara paradise. No one every found his body and his room was empty.
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:27 PM
    Congratulations to Mitra for his first dharma teaching in Nepali to the expats. So glad that Dorje Shugden practise can reach out to many in various languages and to different people. Mitra has done a good job in introducing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and guided them on the benefit and iconography of Dorje Shugden.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and Dorje Shugden practise continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

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.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
15 hours 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
17 hours 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
17 hours 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
17 hours 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week 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 week 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
4 weeks 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!
4 weeks 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
2 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
2 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
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
3 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
3 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    2 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR

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.

  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your question, it is good to see you back and asking more questions. Yes you are right, there are differences in the tunes and chants between the lineages. The differences can vary significantly between the traditions, for example the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its extremely deep throat singing which is very powerful and is characterised by a low, booming voice, in contrast to the other traditions. Even within a particular tradition, there can be slight variations as to the manner in which the chants and tunes are performed. For example those monasteries are which are affiliated with Gyume will have one way of throat singing, where those affiliated with Gyuto will have another. As far as I am aware there is no professional sheet music for the rituals, most probably because the music is actually an integral part of the ritual itself. Therefore the music, tunes, and chants are all taught at the same time the ritual and prayers are. The tunes, and use of the instruments all have specific meanings, because they are considered to be offerings to the deities in the form of sound. The monasteries would not have copies of sheet music either, because sheet music is western practice. The use of ritual music within Tibetan Buddhism is more of one based on memory. In the Kechara organisation, the puja team was trained in such ritual instruments at the same time they learnt the particular ritual from monks from the monastery, such as the puja of Dorje Shugden. From what I saw of the training, the musical tunes, and use of instruments was not written down but taught experientially at the same time as the chanting. I have not come across any other instruments being used in pujas apart from the traditional ritual instruments, because even the instruments themselves have a specific meaning. That is not say that school instruments cannot be used. This is because, as long as the offering is sincere, the Buddhas and enlightened deities will accept it, and in turn you will generate great amounts of merit. Offerings should be made to the best of our ability, therefore if you do not have access to the ritual instruments, or do not know how to play them, but you know how to play other instruments, and use these instruments as offerings to the Buddhas during pujas, the amount of merit you generate will be the same. This is because you are sincere with your offering. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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