by Sarah, Aric, and Bianca
Our dear teacher arrived on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 10th. As a joyful group of sangha members drove to the airport to greet Rinpoche, a beautifully vibrant rainbow appeared, marking his arrival to Colorado. After settling into the local accommodations, a group of sangha members gathered to have a cozy dinner and happy conversation about Dharma practice and the upcoming teachings.
On Thursday morning after breakfast, Rinpoche began offering private interviews to the local practitioners. The interviews continued through the late morning and again in the afternoon after a light lunch break. All those in attendance were so grateful to Rinpoche for his inspired and caring guidance.
Thursday evening was Dakini Day Tsok. The sangha joined together in celebration, filling the beautiful shrine room that was so generously hosted by Aric and Leela. Rinpoche offered the oral transmission of Yumkha Dechen Gyalmo (Yeshe Tsogyal) with its associated tsog. He gave pointed explanation of different aspects of the tsok practice as well. After the transmission and teaching, we all worked through the text together as a group, filling the shrine space with the blissful energy of our practice. An abundant feast was offered as well as resonant vajra songs. Rinpoche also kindly answered questions about the six paramitas and commented on the complexities of maintaining joyful and mindful relationships with significant others as well as the community as a whole. It was a truly beautiful evening of practice with our dear teacher.
Friday morning Rinpoche requested to visit the Flatirons, a beautiful stretch of red rocky peaks that edge the city of Boulder, CO. A small group of sangha members joined Rinpoche on the brisk morning hike and enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings and spacious views of the mountains as well as the city below. After lunch, Rinpoche again generously offered private interviews to community members before having dinner at a local restaurant and preparing for the evening of teachings.
The Uncommon Kurukulle Empowerment was offered at the beautiful Dharma Ocean space to a dedicated group of practitioners. Bountiful red offerings and beautiful thangkas filled the space, as Rinpoche inspired all in attendance, speaking about the significance of receiving empowerment, the importance of dedicated practice, and about the noble Kurukulle. Rinpoche took time to remind us of the inherent Buddha nature of all sentient beings and inspire the generation of Bodhicitta in all who were in attendance. The beautiful evening of teachings came to a close with the reminder to carry that pure energy with us into the following day of empowerment.
Saturday Morning Rinpoche bestowed the empowerment of the Eight Medicine Buddhas, and in the afternoon that day, he spoke from his own experience on Tibetan Medicine. He focused his lecture on the qualities a doctor should have, the Importance of bodhicitta and the spiritual energy one must have as healer. Rinpoche also covered the basics of the tradition such as the three humors, and other foundational concepts to Tibetan medicine. Saturday evening the retreat practitioners were invited over for a potluck, and a meeting to go over ground rules before we started the following day. There was a powerful excitement from everyone, as they knew they were entering into something quite special.
The following morning we started the retreat, a truly amazing display of powerful blissful energy and compassion. While there were eight members of the sangha that had previously done a three day Kurukulle retreat under Rinpoche’s direction, this was our first retreat with Rinpoche physically present. The fourteen dharma clad practitioners, and Rinpoche’s leadership was a powerful occasion. It really motivated us to accumulate mantra together as a sangha, and more importantly, helped as a reminder that guiding all sentient beings to forever reside in sorrowless bliss is a task we are deeply fortunate to take on. Three days of sitting followed by a fire puja and daily lavish feast offerings made for an auspicious circumstance. We have such devotion for our generous teacher! May the dharma flourish in Boulder, Tibet, and throughout the universe.