Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche visits Jam-Tse-Ling in Helena,MT
Written by Yeshi Tsomo
It was a glorious experience in samsara under the Big Sky this past weekend. We had a little bit of everything – some rain and some sun, singing meadowlarks and a majestic golden eagle, walks through the city park and around mysterious megaliths, gatherings with friends old and new – all coming together to celebrate and receive the teachings of our beloved Rinpoche as he brought the Dharma to the beautiful Helena valley. Our community was blessed with several days of teachings. Rinpoche led our Center’s weekly practice on Thursday night, infusing our practice and shrine room with his energy and joy. Friday brought inspiration through Rinpoche’s contemplation on the 6 Perfections. The explanation and instructions on cultivating generosity, ethics, patience, effort, concentration, and wisdom provided all of the students an opportunity to reflect and renew our commitment to transforming how we live and connect with each other.
Saturday’s Vajrasattva empowerment and instruction took our practice to a new level of dedication and possibility. Rinpoche’s truly beautiful transmission of the Vajrasattva empowerment conveyed the power and humility of recognizing and purifying the negative karmic imprints of our lifetimes. Several of our Tibetan friends joined us from Butte for the initiation, and their energy and chanting combined with Rinpoche’s to deepen an already very sacred experience.
On Sunday, Rinpoche led 5 intrepid students through a light and chilly rain on our traditional morning of walking meditation around Spring Meadow Lake. The lake reflected our visualized Buddha, the geese honked overhead as we made our way around the pond, and we imagined creating a mind as calm as the surface of the placid, turquoise water. That afternoon, Rinpoche introduced Buddhism and meditation to some new (and old) students in a session on “how to meditate.” In between the teachings we were fortunate to enjoy sustaining food, nurturing friendship, and a few impromptu excursions! One such excursion was to the Giant’s Playground, an amazing site of megaliths. Rinpoche taught, “The Sanskrit word paramita means to cross over to the other shore. Paramita may also be translated as perfection, perfect realization, or reaching beyond limitation.”Rinpoche spoke of the ancient Tibetan knowledge of the different Beings that had built civilizations here on Planet Earth in the distant past. He recounted his reoccurring dreams of passing through a doorway in a rocky mountain area and through passageways down into chambers and what he experienced there. After meditation Rinpoche exclaimed that if this holy place were in Tibet that thousands of people would make a pilgrimage here.
It has been a truly fantastic blessing to have this connection with Rinpoche, and we hope that it continues to grow and expand for a long time to come. Thank you to the Lewis & Clark Library for hosting our sessions, and to the small but mighty sangha of Jam Tse Ling for making the weekend possible. Most importantly, thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing your wisdom, inspiration, peace, and joy with us. Until we meet again.
“Giant’s Playground” Megalith photos by Julie Ryder