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Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative
Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet
Lotus Born Sangha
A Message From Rinpoche
Greetings to our Dharma support group members, Your support to the monastery's dharma activities has benefited us a lot. Therefore, we would like to thank you. I also would like to request you to continue your support to our activities in Shedra, Drupdra, school, temples, building statues, and the drashags outside the monastery. We always remember your kindness and pray for you.
students study major Buddhist texts. Extreme rains destroyed over 50 monastic houses this summer. Here the methods of cultivating wisdom and compassion are taught. The Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet ." The Tibetan word ‘shedra’ literally means “centre for teaching. Restoration of murals and carved wood beams in the old temple has been completed. Over the course of a nine -to twelve. train in the wisdom traditions. compassion and insight arose that has been taught for generations in the Tibetan shedra.year study program. Students develop the splendor of their own inner knowledge and wisdom to pacify the external suffering that surrounds them. Basically. "generally speaking. a sophisticated understanding and knowledge base of how to cultivate love. Following the teachings of the Buddha. many shedras were established at the major monasteries and from these an enormous number of accomplished masters have appeared. subjects that span Tibet’s intellectual tradition. and acquire ancillary skills in Tibetan arts and medicine. In Tibet. As Rinpoche describes it.” A shedra is a monastic university where monks."These days it is universally acknowledged that an education is the most important thing to pursue. Tibetans consciously chose to follow a cultural course emphasizing wisdom and compassion. Here one learns to know what is or isn’t the perfect truth. Shedra Program Beginning in the 8th century." ~Rinpoche Monastery Update The Ani druptra is almost ﬁnished. Education provides an insight into one’s own. All the positive developments that we have experienced in recent times in the world have all stemmed from an education. New ones are currently being built. all beings want to be happy and an education shows us how to actually bring this about. Murals in the Dorje Trollo temple have been completed. students study a wide variety of topics. a shedra is a place where one can study the essence of the Buddha Dharma in its entirety. Building of the monk druptra has begun. This Tibetan style "university" combines intellectual learning with experiential training that leads to a profound understanding of the nature of consciousness. and another’s predicament and this opens up one’s vision of the world. Under the guidance of learned scholars and living masters. like a lake overflowing. nuns and serious pracitioners are trained in all facets of meditation and the cultural arts. They still need the 3 statues that are traditionally placed on top of the roof and to furnish it.
Previously. the shedra system is the heart and circulatory system of the Tibetan society. so much of our culture is being lost. Losan is studying Tibetan grammar. the art of debating. but it is to benefit others. I want to help benefit Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet . skills in the arts such as thanka and sand mandala painting. dance and theater are taught. Coursework in traditional Tibetan medicine is offered as well.Monastery Update A library is in the planning stages and will be built right behind the old temple. Students are encouraged to foster values such as kindness. And a new structure has been built which safely stores electricity from the main electrical grid. graduates become certified teachers whose influence can be felt throughout Tibet. Currently. When asked why he is studying. stone was carried by hand from this area. A person who has gone through the shedra program will have a comprehensive understanding of the Buddhist Teachings. These provide a crucial basis for the understanding and practice of Tantra and Dzogchen which follow. compassion. It is considered difficult to attain accurate knowledge from meditation training without having the basis of learning and reflection. Students in a typical shedra will study Stutra texts for as much as four and six years before beginning their studies in Vajrayana. a 26-year-old monk. students will enter 3 year retreat for an experiential understanding of the teachings. sculpting. A 3000-meter road extension to the monks thogyal druptra was completed. unselfishness. bronze casting. poetry and advanced meditation teachings. It begins with the study of texts sacred to Rinpoche’s tradition. and respect for all life. They become the vessels that hold the lifeblood of the Tibetan people. This knowledge is not only for oneself. he says. metal smithing. openmindedness. non-violence. Additionally. Shedra Continued education will start from a primary level and go on to the higher Buddhist studies. Those who have that knowledge will be able to directly benefit others by helping them actually bring about and reveal the way to engage in virtuous activity and realize a state of peace. Sutra texts include the study of the four schools of Buddhist philosophy. After years and years of study. and the study of the different categories of mind and of reasoning. about 50 nuns and 35 monks are actively engaged in the shedra curriculum. Lots of improvements have been made to existing structures. Here is the voice of Losan. For this reason. There is now a gas station at the monastery. Rinpoche has over 1000 potential shedra students. "I want to help preserve Tibetan Culture. A new 2000-meter road was built to a new rock quarry. Upon completion of their training. all students receive training in pedagogy so they will be prepared to teach others. Finally. woodcarving and carpentry.
This is followed by evening meal with noodle soup. We stay in our cell and do our practice in silence. _______________________ those fortunate to attend. If there is no work assignment in the morning. which consumes up to two and half hours easily. At 6:00PM the prayer bell rings and all the sisters gather for evening prayer. really our studies are never completed. and misunderstanding and doubt. After lunch. I will meditate to gain experience of the knowledge I’ve learned and find work in which I will benefit beings. clean myself and then join with other sisters for prayer. I usually do my guru yoga practice at that time and I am able to produce virtuous results at this time. At that time we do our offering and rituals. and to gain a correct and exact comprehension of the Buddha’s flawless words. we go to sleep. including practicing guru yoga and reciting auspicious verses. engaging in preliminary practice. this provides a good facility for our practice.A Day in the Life of Ani Ngawang Chodron Druptra Retreatant I spend all my time training my mind on the path and to see all phenomenon as impermanent in nature. These are reasons why a shedra is so important. allowing these individuals to offer their gifts to others. At dawn." The impact of a proper shedra is to remove the veils of lack of understanding. graduates provide basic support to the Tibetan community by sharing their skills and knowledge. CO beings and practice the Dharma. we have our morning tea and then dedicate our prayers to end the prayer session. I feel this is the most meaningful part of my life. If there is monastery work in the morning." Losan said. Kathy Gervasi Pagosa Springs. thus preserving a rich tradition of compassion and wisdom. At 11:30PM. we would have about 40 minutes to rest. After the daybreak. We have no problem engaging in this practice in daily basis in the dark without the sunlight and it gives our body a sense of bliss and clarity to our mind. when the break bell rings. When the lunchtime comes. We do our deity yoga practice. At 3PM the teaching session ends and we have to go back to our afternoon retreat session. we would stay in our bed and carry out our meditation practice. At 11:30AM. so much of our culture is being lost. the individual group unit leaders will ring the bell to urge the practitioners to engage in morning retreat session. I put on my holy robe. we dedicate our practice and then carry out our daily domestic tasks. Sometimes we have to work for a whole day. When the night bell rings. This practice is carried out before daybreak. _______________________ I want to help preserve Tibetan Culture. The shedra provides a valuable education for all Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet . all the sangha members spend their time between 9 and noon to accomplish our work task. the Dharma King (the teacher) will bestow the students with profound teaching. and sadhanas for protectors during this session. We spend about two hours on generating perfect motivation. Around 1:40PM. But after I complete most of my studies. partial understanding. we have our group lunch. "For monastics. In addition.
He is presently in Chengdu and will be heading back to the monastery soon. Recently she has been taking care of thank you letters for donations made this year.” Tulku-la was at the monastery all summer studying texts. Compassion is the source of all peace in the world. He is working on getting pictures of monastery activities. He is directly involved with every project at his monastery which just represents a small piece of his activity as a whole. He has been giving daily teachings on Words of My Perfect Teacher. Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet . Mere study will not sufﬁce. and also finishing the office above the apartment. She is one of the main contacts for Rinpoche and all his students in Tibet and China. This is not easy to do. One should feel compassion no matter the circumstance. just like it is not enough to know the alphabet to pass the exam.We need natural and spontaneous compassion which is ever-present and has the correct attributes. it is not enough to feel sorry for someone. It is important to develop compassion in the right way.Lama Updates Rinpoche has been at the monastery since June overseeing all the new construction. The venerable sister has been in Chengdu since June. Without compassion the world would destroy itself. There was damage from the earthquake to the Chengdu apartment and she has been working on getting the repairs done. Compassion alone is not enough for one's practice. She is the liaison for Rinpoche and his Chinese students fulfilling their prayer requests. Everything good stems from compassion. and continuously giving interviews. Words From Our Perfect Teacher “Now more than ever compassion is important in our lives. For example. and also teaching at the druptras. teaching at the festivals.
If they’re practicing in many other places in the United States even. one per room. The right environment is required to complete the practice. they don’t have those conditions. Susan Purcell interviewed Lama Tsultrim Allione about the druptras and the practice of Thogyal. I imagine that it probably did. Because the stabilizations and the development that happened in the three-year retreat would then Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet . I have the impression that our teacher is doing something unusual in building druptras for the practice of Thogyal. that you would do the three-year retreat first and then go into the Thogyal druptra. For example. I think that Thogyal in itself is unusual. It would be sort of like the graduate school from the three-year retreat.Thogyal Druptra: Rainbow Bodies At Work Our teacher is creating two Thogyal druptras. If you’re practicing Thogyal. Many people are not in the position to have those conditions. they don’t have those conditions. SP Lama Tsultrim. There will be eight practitioners in each druptra. I’ve never heard before of a Thogyal druptra. Thogyal is the practice that leads ultimately to Rainbow Body. and clear skies. or your nature of mind practice. It’s a very high practice. And that’s unusual. it means that your Thekchod. Also it’s unusual to practice Thogyal because it is a very high practice. one for nuns and one for monks. setting sun —ideally. Is it unusual to be doing this practice as a group rather than in solitary retreat? L Ts Well. So just the fact that they have those conditions where they are is unusual. you have to have long views—rising sun. It has to be stable or there’s no point in doing Thogyal. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t existed in the past or that it didn’t exist in Tibet. and you have to have certain conditions. is stable. For example if someone is practicing in Kathmandu.
then yiddam practice. a vibration of rainbow light and luminosity. which is the highest practice. that individual consciousness.________________________________________________ put you in the position to focus on Thogyal. it would be traditional that many of his students would reach the Rainbow Body. that not only one or two but quite a few of them could reach Rainbow Body. The real point would be that they have reintegrated into their true condition. One goes from the place of knowledge. which is luminosity. what could people who have reached Rainbow Body accomplish for themselves and other beings? What kind of siddhas would there be? Is it being able to fly in the sky or digest rocks? L Ts The point is not flying in the sky or those kinds of siddhis. That consciousness can move between dimensions. SP Would they have a huge.. we don’t have the physical body. When we die. I don’t think he’s setting up a situation where he thinks that people reach Rainbow Body together particularly—you know. then that would mean that Druptra The Tibetan word druptra literally means "place of accomplishment. druptra. to the place of accomplishment. Chod is typically done every night throughout the three years. But the actual true condition of our being when clinging is completely released is luminosity.view? I’m trying to Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet . They would be out of the limitations that we find ourselves in.. They’re not the real point. followed by dakini practice.” the practice that preceeds Thogyal. they would be able to help a lot of beings. Three-Year Retreat A typical three-year retreat would go something like this: Ngondro. yogic energy control. And therefore free to benefit sentient beings in innumerable ways. one can lend one's full attention to the task at hand: deepening one's realization of the nature of reality. if they’re doing Thogyal retreats. We think that our true condition is density and the coarse physical body. shedra. They would have the omniscience to benefit beings in lots of ways. But the consciousness is still present. we don’t have that limitation. and meditation. One uses visualization. all at once—because the process of Rainbow Body really happens at the time of death. And so. SP Because they wouldn’t have the limitations of the physical density? L Ts Not only the limitations of the physical body but they would have an illuminated state. it is likely that they would have the signs that it might be possible. Usually there will be six months of breath practice and Longchen Nyingthig yogas. But with a great teacher like ours.12 years) remains purely theoretical. From that sort of state. has omniscience. But the actual true condition of our being when clinging is completely released is luminosity. Without a druptra facility. ____________________________________ they would be free of the bonds of Samsara. And so if a being has returned to their true condition and has the technology—it really is a kind of technology or a methodology—to reach the Rainbow Body.” In the ideal environment. Sometimes there may be a long-life practice inserted for a few months. Thekchod “Cutting through. and so on. because we’re still caught in Samsara. but that doesn’t mean we can help others. so knows that another being’s suffering. We think that our true condition is density and the coarse physical body. It’s almost like the vibrational field has been changed and elevated into a higher vibration. followed by Guru Yoga. Those are more by-products or signs along the way. SP The other question I had was. the extensive education of the shedra (8. And it is the special method to reach Rainbow Body.
what that experience would be like. we attune to that field of energy. It’s really May I be a boat. So when we practice something like Guru Yoga. doing these kinds of practices—that level of practice will affect the this. That it is occurring on the planet at possible. SP Is there anything else you would like to say about Thogyal and the druptras? L Ts To have the number of people that our teacher would like to put in these druptras indicates that he already has many students at a very high level of practice. As they say. SP On a bit different thread. is the practice of Thogyal universal among Buddhists? May I be a guard for those who are protectorless. and celebrate the link to the beings who are at this extremely freedom won by living beings from the round of refined level of consciousness. you have a direct karmic link with making it possible. a raft. our supporting these druptras allows for this extraordinary level of practice to happen. A practitioner practicing in the conditions that are this time changes things. you have a direct karmic link with making it whole world. may I be a guide for those who journey on the road. And therefore. L Ts It’s almost inconceivable._____________________________________________________________________________________ Anyone who participates in supporting this. I think. ~Shantideva Susan Purcell Pagosa Springs. understand omniscience. So it’s a very direct gaining the enlightened state. But then it’s also true that the faith of sentient beings in those illuminated beings facilitates their being able to help. which really has a worldwide significance. CO Tibetan Cultural Preservation Initiative Helping to Preserve the great wisdom traditions of Tibet Robert Olander Chairman Kathryn Gervasi Secretary Mac McCarty Council Members monastic coordinator Renee Pitts Treasurer Jim Boal Jody Deychen . a bridge for all who wish to only practiced in the Nyingma and Bon traditions. we can’t receive the signal. the blessings of the one who supports someone in retreat are equal to the I rejoice in the virtue that creates the cause of blessings of the one in retreat. cross the water. to be able to tune in to anyone at any point. And that’s an extraordinary connection to make. And anyone who participates in supporting there at this monastery. So our practice is really “turning on the TV” so that we can receive the signal from that level of consciousness. It’s like…if we don’t have our TV on. pain. L Ts It’s unique amongst Buddhists.