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!