Recollections Of Boulder Retreat 2017 སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་ཡེ་ཤེས་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་ཁ་ལི་ར་སྒྲོའི་སྦོལ་སྒྲེར་ས་གནས་ཀྱི་གསུང་ཆོས་མཛད་རིམ།

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Home June 2017

Recollections Of Boulder Retreat 2017

Written by Sarah Hampton

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche has just returned to Seattle from five days of teachings in Boulder, CO. The sangha is so full of joy and inspiration after this retreat. Rinpoche has been incredibly kind to offer many days of precious teachings, loving guidance, and profound explanations.

Rinpoche arrived to Denver International Airport on June 16th, a sunny Friday afternoon. A dedicated group of sangha were there to greet him at the airport and accompany him to an early dinner before teachings began. Friday evening was full of anticipation as thirty students arrived to the beautiful Boulder Valley Ngakpa House to receive the Orgyen Menla empowerment. Rinpoche gave an inspiring talk about the meaning of receiving empowerments as well as the importance of rigorous practice of the preliminaries with an emphasis on infusing all practice with deep compassion. His transmission and explanation of the Orgyen Menla empowerment left all the students in a state of bliss and inspired devotion.

Saturday morning began with a homecooked breakfast, restful conversation, and refreshing walk with a view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Teachings began at 10am and the full day was devoted to a text of Dzogchen teachings by the Tibetan master Patrul Rinpoche. The name of the text was “Herein dwells that which is called the “Self- liberating Mind”, The profound skillful means which is the Buddhahood of the Great Perfection”. Rinpoche spoke in depth on the importance of developing Bodhicitta, as well introducing and giving explanation about the practices of Trekcho and Togal. He gave very insightful explanation of the text and instruction about overcoming obstacles to meditation practice. The students all appreciated his loving guidance and were so happy to receive these incredible teachings. For two hours following the day’s teachings Rinpoche generously held private interviews which were then followed by a home cooked meal with sangha.

Sunday morning at 10am we were blessed to receive the Guru Rinpoche Empowerment from our beloved teacher. His incredible devotion could be felt by everyone in the room as he transmitted the empowerment. The afternoon was filled with the transmission of healing mantras of many different deities. Rinpoche transmitted these mantras and gave explanations about how they could be used for healing various ailments of body and mind. These were followed by the oral transmission of the text from Patrul Rinpoche as well as the Orgyen Menla and Guru Rinpoche empowerments. Sunday evening was wrapped up with private interviews and a long walk in the refreshing summer air.

Monday morning began out in the fresh morning air with light conversation over coffee & tea. Preparations were made for our pilgrimage journey to Crestone and after a lovely breakfast we began the four hour journey over the pristine Colorado mountains. We made a couple brief stops for coffee and at a lookout where Rinpoche pointed out a three peaked mountain that was a stunning representation of Guru Rinpoche and two Dakinis. We arrived in Crestone around 1:30 pm and went out for lunch at a local café before returning to the retreat home for a rest. After a quiet reprieve, bustling preparations began for the Dakini Day Tsok. Our dear sangha member Tenzin blessed us with a delicious meal of Tibetan thanthuk before we sat down to learn and celebrate. Rinpoche began with an oral transmission of the “Longchen Nyingthig Root Sadhana of the Mother Tsogyal, the Queen of Great Bliss”. After receiving this beautiful transmission, we began the practice as a group, joining voices with great joy and devotion. The Tsok was abundant and blessed by celebratory song, dance, and music. Our celebration continued into the evening both inside and under the beautiful desert sky. Everyone felt the great gift of spending this devotional time together.

On Tuesday morning, we all woke to a beautiful day and Rinpoche felt it was an auspicious time. Breakfast was shared and we immediately began preparing to visit the local stupas. We left around 8:30am to visit Tulky Urgyen’s Enlightenment Stupa. The bright white and gold of the stupa stood out gleamingly against the desert tones. After offering prostrations, incense, and circumambulations, Rinpoche pointed out a beautiful rainbow around the sun. There, in front of this blessed place, Rinpoche gave the transmission of the Manjushri Namsamgiti followed by generously offering Bodhisattva and Ngakpa vows to the sangha. Everyone was greatly inspired and experienced a renewal of great devotion and dedication to the path. We did circumambulations and reflected on the teachings and vows we had just received. Next we drove up to Tashi Gomang, the 16th Karmapa’s Stupa. This stupa stands up on the edge of the mountain where you can look out over the vast valley, ringed by snow-tipped mountains. Rinpoche offered some stories about the 16th Karmapa before we began our practice. We sat facing outwards over this incredible expanse of blue skies and earth as we received instruction and sat in meditation generating Bodhicitta. There was a light wind sending the rings of prayer flags flying and mirroring the great energy and joy of each student’s heart. On our drive down the mountain we stopped briefly to pay homage at a small Naga shrine next to a rushing stream. The mosquitos urged us onwards and we soon set off to our next destination. Our last visit of the day was to Choying Dzong; Gangteng Tulku’s Gompa. It was a welcoming and peaceful retreat center with a very beautiful shrine space. Rinpoche pointed out the abundance of precious Dharma texts that reside there. We lingered there for several minutes, offering prostrations at the shrine and resting in reflection. As we left this incredible retreat space and drove towards the house we were filled with inspired thoughts of a future space for Heruka’s Boulder/Denver sangha. We stopped at our retreat house once more to have a light lunch followed by a flurry of packing and preparations for the journey home. The drive home was gifted with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valley, and a distinct sweetness that accompanies leaving such a precious spiritual space. We arrived back in Boulder around 6pm after which Rinpoche joined sangha members in a dinner out for Pho. Afterwards, Rinpoche had the pleasure of visiting a virtual reality center where he created stunning 3D mantra paintings. The remainder of the evening was spent in rest and preparation for the next mornings flight home to Seattle.

We are truly grateful for the precious time spent with Rinpoche studying and practicing under his loving guidance. We look forward to seeing him again soon and send our love to Sangha around the world.

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Rinpoche just completed his yearly visit to the Big Island of Hawaii at Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling. As always, he had an amazing time interacting with many students and was so happy to spend time with everyone once again. For the last four years, Rinpoche has begun his Hawaiian journey by starting at Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary in Captain Cook. He gave a teaching on  the evening of June 2nd entitled, “Meditation On The Luminous Mind”. Many students had inquisitive and interesting questions to ask. That night, Rinpoche stayed at the residence of long time Buddhist practitioners, Russ and Trish Ellis. Russ was kind enough to share his breathtaking Dharma art in the form of one of a kind beaded Thangkas. He learned traditional Lakota rosette beading techniques from renowned Native American artists many years ago and has woven this into his Buddhist practice to share with others with great benefit. Rinpoche was astonished by this art as Russ brought out a Guru Rinpoche Thangka that took over 2,000 hours to create. Before Rinpoche left, Trish kindly offered him a set of a brass bird family of 5. After a refreshing morning swim, the trip up to Wood Valley Temple (Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling) began on June 3rd. Marya and Miguel welcomed Rinpoche lovingly as he arrived. Saturday morning came time for the Orgyen Menla Empowerment, where approximately 40 students came to receive the precious Empowerment from Rinpoche. Afterwards, Rinpoche gave a teaching on how to practice Orgyen Menla. On Sunday morning and afternoon, he gave the commentary information and explained the root text from “Three Words that Strike the Crucial Point” by Garab Dorje. He intermittently wove in beautiful stories about skilled Dzogchen Meditators. On Monday morning and afternoon, Rinpoche gave Orgyen Menla meditation instructions, spiritual advice, and then all of the students meditated silently; looking for their nature of mind. Due to a dream, on Tuesday morning, Rinpoche practiced 16 Arhats and the Nechung Protector Offering Practice. This was for the long life of all Spiritual Masters and the Spirit the Buddha Dharma everywhere around the world. Then, Rinpoche came back to Kona with Nechung Sangha Kerry Wells and his son, Seth. On Wednesday, Kerry took Rinpoche all the way to the highest point, to the Mauna Kea Observatory. Rinpoche meditated and took pictures- it quickly became one of his favorite places. On the way to this destination, we passed Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, with its foggy, dreamlike presence. In the midst of the clouds, Rinpoche walked and reflected on Impermanence. Once on top of the Mauna Kea mountain, he shared his global compassion throughout the universe. Lots of tourists snapped photos of him as he meditated, as seeing him pray in his yellow robe was interesting for them to see! On Thursday morning, Rinpoche was taken to the local beaches that are hard to find. Kerry was able to introduce him to his first experience in snorkeling, which was amazing. Rinpoche also prayed in this setting for the ocean of Samsara to dry up. In the afternoon, the next stop was going all of the way to North Kohala, first visiting Hawi, with its charming stores and art galleries. Then, Rinpoche was pleased to reach the Pololu Valley, with it’s magnificent view. At this point, he loved to look at the fingers of the valley that formed the black sand beach. This whole area of Hawaii was rich with beautiful vegetation, rolling hills and fresh air that was the blessings the Buddha. Rinpoche would like to express his gratitude to Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling, Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary, and all of the students who wholeheartedly contributed to these important Dharma activities and opportunities being able to occur. In conclusion, Rinpoche would like to share an offering given by Dharma student, Andie, that reflects her joy and respect for the precious Dharma teachings given. Andie emailed this writing to Rinpoche shortly after Monday’s teaching:

My heartfelt deepest gratitude for the collective aspirations and accumulated merit that has allowed me to attend such wonderous Dharma teachings here at Woodvalley Temple these past few days. Presented by the utmost humble and knowledgeable teacher, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche . Blessing the environment with graceful Dharmic embodiment in the most simple and friendly form, like a steady current of electric joy radiating from the lineage of Dimond lightning essence .
 Extreme peace befell me as the journey began within the permeated mandala of the Gurus past, present, and future. Many friends and Dharma siblings swarmed like bees to the sweet fragrance of meditational stability exuding throughout the blissful wonders of space.
 Beheld within the heart of our loving teacher who transferred empowerment , bestowed the highest teachings, and endowed priceless pith instruction to those with auspicious past life connections. To which the ground literally shook in excitement as if Vajra Varahi herself was dancing on a sun and moon disk thrilled to spread great resonance of Dharma to all beings throughout the trichilocosm . Compassionately sharing such stillness and wisdom, the sun shone under the blessings of All the protectors at the Nechung center on the big island of Hawaii. So fortunate to dance under the Godly clouds of ever present awareness for momentary and long lasting enlightenment for all beings!
 – Written by Pega Cham in the water sheep month of the fire bird year at the Montana Center of 1000 Buddhas

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