by Kim Abbey
On Sunday, April 15, 2018, the Nalanda Institute of Olympia was very blessed to receive the Medicine Buddha Empowerment and teachings on Healing Meditation at the Nalanda Gonpa.
The highly trained Lama, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche of Heruka Institute in Seattle was welcomed by a group of eighteen practitioners. Rinpoche offered to come to Olympia several months ago, and finally we selected the auspicious date of the 30th day of the 2nd month in the Tibetan Lunar calendar, on the New Moon.
Those attending came with open heart and open mind on this cool and cloudy day, no rain! Rinpoche taught that we must begin with Refuge and Bodhicitta, not only performing the task of the recitation of prayers, additionally we must truly feel the depth of our vows within our hearts. Taking refuge, with faith and confidence, in the ‘unseen beings’, the buddhas, protectors. Taking refuge also in their teachings, the dharmas. Taking refuge also in the community of practitioners, the Lamas and nuns who uphold the doctrines, the sangha. Rinpoche stated the importance of visualizing theses refuges, feeling with a loving heart. The recitation of the bodhicitta vow also must be heartfelt, Rinpoche taught. Repeating this reminder to ourselves that the effort to master the six perfections to achieve awakened Mind, for the benefits of all beings, sets our intention to receive the Empowerment.
Rinpoche led the group through the Four Immeasurables, our commitment, again heartfelt, to wish for happiness for all beings, reduce suffering, abandon jealousy, and remain in the Middle Way, equanimity.
Rinpoche then taught us about the blessing of taking in Amrita, blessed water, poured from the sacred urn, to cleanse the body and mouth, like a cleansing shower before receiving the Empowerment of the Medicine Buddha Deity’s Body, Speech and Mind. He taught us the importance of Deity yoga, the merging with Medicine Buddha by visualizing. Rinpoche read to us the mantra of Medicine Buddha:
Teyata Om Bekanze Bekanze Mahabekanze Radza Samud Gate Soha, sending thoughts and visualizations of Healing through our palms and out to all, including ourselves, in need of recovering from illness of body, mind, and spirit.
In the afternoon, Rinpoche talked about how to practice regularly with motivation. Thinking of the kindness of one’s past mothers, he asked us to become ‘half vegetarian’ to spare the lives of beings. Meaning every other day or every other week we should abandon meat eating.
The entire day was a time for our little sangha to enjoy being together, taking walks and making acquaintances and friends. Many people had an opportunity to have personal time with Rinpoche, and to have some of their personal items blessed by Rinpoche, people brought necklaces, malas, and singing bowls for a blessing to connect them to Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche.
At dinner later, at a Thai restaurant, our server and cashier had the delight to have Rinpoche offer a rice blessing to all the Buddha statuary in their place! Spreading loving kindness, we offer our thanks for this wonderful day.