Heart Nectar: H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche Teachings and Empowerments in Boulder, Colorado

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Home June 2018

June 22-24, 2018
by Alexandra Rose on behalf of Heruka Boulder Sangha

Once again, Heruka Boulder sangha was blessed and overjoyed to receive teachings and empowerments from our beloved Vajra Master and root teacher, H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche this past weekend. Throughout the course of the 5-day visit, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche provided insight and instruction in the Vajrayana tradition, and effortlessly planted seeds of buddha dharma and fierce compassion within our hearts and the growing mandala of Heruka Boulder Sangha.

On the day of Rinpoche’s arrival, bright rainbows auspiciously appeared in the sky and strong winds blew across the mountains, as if the dakinis of the land and sky were warmly welcoming Rinpoche’s arrival and presence. Joyous sangha members greeted Rinpoche at the airport with flowers, smiles, and open hearts on Thursday afternoon, June 21, 2018. Later that evening, Heruka sangha gathered and held a Medicine Buddha practice and potluck with Dearest Rinpoche’s guidance and blessing. It was an intimate and beautiful celebration, and a favorable foreshadowing of the weekends teachings and sacred empowerments.

The following day, Rinpoche gave an introduction on the Longchen Nyingtik, the view of Longchenpa and Dzogchen lineage of the Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse. As vast as the sky and the activities of the lineage masters, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the teachings Rinpoche shared provided immeasurable depth, insight, and inspiration. Rinpoche tenderly spoke about his karmic heart connection with the Longchen Nyingtik terma cycle and Patrul Rinpoche, and referenced Patrul Rinpoche’s, Words of my Perfect Teacher, and shared precious teachings regarding the dzogchen preliminary practices, which was a very special gift to receive. Rinpoche then spoke of the fundamental importance of maintaining our precious samaya; with our Guru, our Dharma Brothers and Sisters, and the three Vajras of Body, Speech and Mind. Rinpoche taught us about the 3 Pillars and emphasized the importance of renunciation, bodhicitta, and pure-view, in order to maintain pure samaya and to cultivate virtuous action. Rinpoche explained renunciation in a sense of moral conduct by creating more ‘space’ between oneself and samsara, bodhichitta as immersed in the Four Immeasurables, and pure-view as relating to the essence of all things as they are free from concepts, holding emptiness as the sacred precept.

On Saturday, Rinpoche gave an elaborate and comprehensive teaching on the Yuthok Nyingthig, and bestowed a very special and elaborate empowerment for this sacred healing tradition. Rinpoche graciously gave transmission for ngondro and outer guru yoga preliminary practices, as well as the Medicine Buddha and Medicine Rishis and Dakinis of the Yuthok Nyingthig. Throughout the day, Rinpoche spoke of transforming the 5 afflictive poisons, or root kleshas (ignorance, attachment, jealousy, anger, pride) that keep us in cyclical suffering within samsara, by applying the antidotes (discipline/wisdom, selflessness/impermanence,  loving-kindness/joy, patience & generosity) that allow the fruition of transcendent awareness and enlightened compassionate activity. Following the empowerment, we enjoyed an abundant and vibrant tsok in celebration of Guru Rinpoche day. We then went on a hike together where Rinpoche discovered self-arising handprints and footprints embedded in the rocks and mountains. Rinpoche also found sacred writings, passages, and dakini nectar (water) on the top of a mountains edge. He expressed how auspicious these mountains are, and how they are blessed by Guru Rinpoche and the essence of Vajrayogini.

On Sunday, Rinpoche bestowed a Protector Empowerment of White Mahakala and granted us the transmission and sadhana for practice. We learned that Mahakala is the inner aspect and semi-wrathful emanation of Chenrezig, or Avolikteshvara, the Supreme Bodhisattva of Great Compassion. Rinpoche provided us with rich imagery and detail for visualization and contemplative practice, which supported our meditation tremendously and helped open our understanding and hearts to receive the blessings of the Dakinis and Protectors. We learned how Mahakala is a Dharmapala that supports and protects students of the Vajrayana path, and is responsible for creating good conditions by averting inner and outer obstacles that prevent or hinder the attainment of spiritual realizations. Rinpoche explained that Mahakala’s crown of five skulls represents the 5 Buddha families and the transmutation of the five poisons into virtuous and transcendent qualities. By visualizing Mahakala with six arms which signify the successful completion of the six perfections (Generosity, Discipline, Patience, Joyful Endeavor, Meditation/Concentration, Knowledge/Awareness), we young students of the Vajrayana path have the ability to relate deeply with the activity of the deity.

On Rinpoche’s last day in Boulder, Colorado, he was so kind as to have interviews with his devoted students and sangha. Dearest Rinpoche happily answered our questions, and it was a beautiful and special time shared together. Following this, Heruka Boulder sangha gathered and held another abundant and powerful tsok, in celebration of our precious teacher, each other and our happy dharma life and practice. This final night together was blissful and infinitely healing, and ignited boundless benefit and compassion for all beings in all worlds. Our time spent with Rinpoche went by so quickly, and was and always will be, profound and incredibly magical. May you continue to plant the seed of Dharma in the hearts of all beings, and come back over, and over again!

May the supreme jewel of bodhicitta
That has not arisen arise and grow
And may that which has arisen not diminish
But increase more and more!

Sarva Mangalam

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By Julie Ryder

On Friday June 15, 2018 Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche  arrived in Helena, Montana.  We slipped between the rain clouds all the way to the Goddess Dolmen and Animal Rocks which are positioned on a major earth energy grid line of the Montana Megaliths.  Rinpoche climbed up to the top of Titanic Rock to view alignments.  

Goddess Dolmen area was covered in wildflowers in full bloom.  Nearby Rinpoche requested we stop the car as he saw another megalithic structure in the forest.  After exploration of the stone structure he named it Dog Dolmen.  

The pouring rain continued.  The plan on Saturdaywas for the Rinpoche to teach at Giant’s Playground however the venue was changed to the JAML Library.  JAML is a library and meeting place where Dr. Richard O’Connor has sponsored meetings to educate people about UFO and related subjects.  Rinpoche presented teachings about the ancient  Tibetan traditions and told stories of his own experiences.

On Saturdayafternoon we retreated to Deb Thorpe’s home where Sarah Margaret soothed us with a Tibetan Bowl concert and Nicole Masters performed a Maori Fire Dance.  Julie Ryder presented her website photographs of the Montana Megaliths, experiences with two ancient crystal skulls, ancient glyphs in Montana and the connection of the world wide ancient language to cymatic frequencies.  Maps demonstrating that the Montana Megaliths are positioned on a major earth energy grid line generated conversation about harmonic frequencies and the healing energy of electromagnetic beams that are generated here.  

On Sunday thirty  people strolled  through Giant’s Playground as a light rain gifted the plants and trees.  A spotted baby deer fawn hidden beneath a tree slept quietly.   Everyone crowded into the Evergreen Dolmen where the Rinpoche sang ancient chants.   

We viewed the Robotic Watcher and the Tower Dolmen. Rinpoche taught at the Bennu Bird and again at the Pink Vault.

The rain stopped when we arrived at the stone  Silver Skull where we we filmed the Rinpoche on video teaching about the Tibetan Kings connections with the large hats that possible covered their elongated skulls.

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Written by Nga Pham Drime Jampa

Once again our Toronto Buddhist Terma Foundation (BTF) Sangha was blessed to have H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche returned for more teachings and empowerments this summer. Within five days, from June 7 to June 11 inclusive, Rinpoche provided us the Preliminary Great Perfection teachings and bestowed us with the Yamantaka and Mahakala empowerments as well as the Fire Puja of both of these deities.

In the evenings of June 7th and 8th, Rinpoche gave us the overview of the preliminary Longchen Nyingthig Dzogchen – Ngondro. He began his teaching with a brief introduction of nine vehicles in Buddhism that take our mind to different levels of realization, liberation and enlightenment. We learned that the first three are dealing with basic sutra levels and the later six are dealing with tantra levels. The Sutra Vehicle, or Sutrayana, contains two distinct approaches: the Theravada Traditional Vehicle and the Great Vehicle, or Mahayana. The Theravada tradition includes the Listeners and Solitary Buddhas vehicles which contains the most basic teachings of the Buddhist tradition: the Four Noble Truths, impermanence, and interdependence. The basic mindset of these two vehicles is the same, in that both approaches focus on individual liberation, rather than the liberation of all beings. The end point of the Theravada Vehicles is a lesser level of realization known as the state of the foe destroyer, or Arahat. The Great Vehicle, Mahayana, includes both the Bodhicitta and the Tantra vehicles which expands the view and scope of the foundational vehicle with concepts like bodhicitta and emptiness. In this approach, the outcome of spiritual practice is the attainment of Buddhahood. The core teachings like renunciation and compassion are equally important in all nine vehicles, though they may be expressed in more subtle ways. In the Foundational Vehicle, for instance, renunciation involves leaving behind worldly activities and taking up the life of a celibate monk or a nun, while in the Great Perfection, renunciation means to leave behind all dualistic perception and contrived spiritual effort. Therefore, monastic and lay practitioners alike can achieve Buddhahood through Mahayana or Vajrayana paths without leaving mundane activities.

Rinpoche then introduced the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig lineage of the Nyingma tradition. He began by explaining the word Longchen Nyingthig which we hear of very often but did not quite understand what they really mean before. We learned that Longchen means something that is as vast as space. Nyingthig means the heart essence. When we look upon the sky at night we can see so many stars and how vast space is. Space is the motherland that we can return to if we practice well enough. In the universe, there are many Buddha pure lands that we can be reborn into instead of this samsara. Yet, we continue to choose this “motel” instead of a “five-star hotel” due to our attachment, aversion and ignorance. Rinpoche’s analogy made us laugh so hard and realize how “silly” we have been in so many lives, life after life.

The next evening, Rinpoche went over the preliminary practices of Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro including the common outer preliminaries and the uncommon inner preliminaries. Rinpoche covered the six topics of the outer preliminaries which are: precious human existence, death and impermanence, the shortcomings of samsara, the principle of karma, the benefits of liberation and the principle of a guru. Through the first two topics, Rinpoche encouraged us to contemplate on the reasons why we should undermine the tendency to become obsessed with trivial matters and shortsighted goals such as wealth, fame and fortune, and instead, we should focus on what is more meaningful and long-lasting benefits of liberation. Rinpoche clearly unraveled the next two topics: the shortcoming of samsara and the law of karma. Through these topics that we can realize that no matter anywhere in samsara we are born (god, asura, human, animal, hungry ghost or hell realms) there is no end to suffering. Building upon this recognition, Rinpoche helped us to see the virtues of attaining freedom from confusion and suffering.

Overall, Rinpoche triggered the feeling disenchantment toward mundane activities that most general human beings are usually stuck in ordinary states of desire and attachment. At the same time, we are encouraged to develop a sense of enthusiasm and appreciation towards the state of liberation and enlightenment. While Rinpoche were taking us to the final contemplation of the outer preliminary, the role of the spiritual teacher on the path to liberation, an interesting question was raised “How can we find a realized teacher?” In Rinpoche’s response, he mentioned the most two important characters in a pure teacher that one should find are honesty and compassion. When responding to another question: “As Buddhists, should we eat meat or not?”, Rinpoche stays firm on the choice of being vegetarian instead of omnivore unless we achieve certain level of a Bodhisattva. Rinpoche explained if we eat meat, we would absorb the negative energies of the animals at death experience such as fear, anger and suffering into our bodies. Those energies are the cause to samsara, not nirvana. Finally, due to the time limit, Rinpoche went over the inner preliminaries which are going for refuge, cultivating bodhicitta, offering mandala, the purification practice of Vajrasattva, and Guru Yoga. Tulku Rinpoche stressed the importance of Ngondro practice especially the Guru Yoga practice since they are the doorways to enter further higher tantric teachings.

On June 9th and 10th, Rinpoche bestowed us the two precious empowerments which are Yamantaka and Mahakala deities. Prior to the actual empowerments, Rinpoche shared with us the history of the unbroken lineage of Yamantaka that continues to pass down from the two translators Ra Lotsawa and Mal Lotsawa. Yamataka is the wrathful manifestation of Manjushri, the Buddha of wisdom, that can cut through ignorance and conquer all evil spirits, including the Lord of Death, Yama. Mahakala is the protector for Yamantaka’s practitioners. Therefore, we feel very fortunate to receive the empowerments of both these two deities consecutively. During the empowerments, Rinpoche carefully went through the rituals of purification of the sangha place, the creation of the protecting rink, and introduced us to the associated mandala. Rinpoche followed with the purification and transformation of our body, speech, mind, qualities and conducts to the five Buddha families’ natures. Rinpoche’s genuine devotion and concentration in his prayers touched us profoundly. We could feel there were so much blessing came from the associated deities through Rinpoche. At the end of the Sunday as per practitioners’ request, Rinpoche reviewed the technique of dark meditation and guided us through it once again like last year. We were really touched by Rinpoche’s patience and compassion which consistently manifested in his effort to fulfill every single of our wishes.

The morning of June 11th was a pleasant one as well as a meaningful event when all attendants gathered for the Yamantaka and Mahakala’s Fire Puja. Everyone was instructed to write one thing that we wish to achieve and one obstacle that we wish to overcome. Many substances such as oils, beans, seeds, grass, nuts, and woods were used to represent the obstacles that we wish them to be destroyed by wisdom fire of Yamantaka and Mahakala. Some attendants observed the flame of the fire puja and stated that the flame often had the shape of Yamantaka with the two horns of a buffalo. The two split flames could represent the two relative and absolute truths or they could represent the two short-term and ultimate accomplishments that we wish to achieve in this occasion. In that afternoon, the Sangha consists of practitioners with various backgrounds brought their own traditional foods such as Chinese, Vietnamese, and European dishes to share with each other in the potluck lunch.

The five days spent with H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche went by so fast like a flash of light. However, Tulku Rinpoche’s compassion, knowledge, and guidance still linger on and stay with us as a model that we long to attain in a near future. We are looking forward to the next reunion with Tulku Rinpoche next year. During the meantime, we will try our best to practice and apply what we have learned in our daily life.

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Written by Yangchen

In this time when Volcano Goddess Pele is raging on our Island, profound suffering has arisen and amplified on the island of Hawaii. To address this, H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche chose to confer Ushnishavijaya-Namgyälma empowement, Chöd empowerment and 21 Tara empowerment for sustaining our ongoing cultivation during these times. In so doing Rinpoche brought tenacious cheerful mind and wise approach to all situations at hand here.

Rinpoche’s calm, watchful discernment in dealing with the individuals that attended through seeing his fliers and word of mouth conjoined with Rinpoche’s care in coordinating group interaction, generated the stability that gave rise to a cohesive and harmonious feeling sangha that aspires to cultivate these practices together and work toward mantra accumulations both individually and as a group.

Rinpoche brought both soothing and clarity to us each here in this island. While Rinpoche’s focus on this trip was the teachings of the female Bodhisattvas, he shared many keys to facilitate our understanding of Guru yoga overall and increase our accuracy and discernment as practitioners of the Buddhas’ sacred Dharma.

Inspired and focused in our active cultivation we are individually and collectively working toward accomplishing mantra accumulations before Rinpoche’s return for further in person teachings in early January of 2019.

We are grateful for Rinpoche’s turning of the wheel of the holy dharma and determined to
Make something beneficial for others of the time, attention, and energy Rinpoche has here devoted to us all.

Namo Gurube
Namo Buddhaya
Namo Dharmaya
Namo Sanghaya.

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