Rinpoche Teaches in Ojai


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Rinpoche Teaches in Ojai

Written by Heruka Ojai

H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche from Seattle, WA, was graciously hosted by Heruka Sangha, Ojai, CA March 30-31. Teachings were hosted at the Mandala Restaurant and the Secret Place Yoga Center.

We received teachings about mediation, Buddhanature–the fundamental nature of all beings– and about the true transformative power and inspiration of female and male Buddhas, including the deeply venerated Tara, Saraswati, and many others.

The teachings were accessible and understandable, yet very profound. Rinpoche’s joyful nature, lovingkindness, and compassion truly touched our hearts.

Everybody was very happy. After the last evening teachings, he shared an inspiring film about his life, growing up in the Tibetan highlands, receiving education as a monk and receiving teachings from many precious masters. This reflected the tremendous depth of the wisdom transmission he has received.

We are truly fortunate!

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H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche Returns to Homer

Written by Skywalker

You’ve heard the saying, “the teacher arrives when the student is ready” or “the answer comes when you’re ready to hear it.” That was the experience of two of Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche’s students in Homer, Alaska on May 18, 2019, receiving teachings enriched with the energy of the full moon.

One student was wondering about the limited images and knowledge of the feminine buddhas and dakinis. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche’s morning teaching was a slide show of 25 female sacred beings, including individual women and groups such as the Five Wisdom Goddesses and the 21 Taras.

Rinpoche shared his insight and stories about female yidams, gurus, Dharma Protectors, and historical figures. One student admitted she’d done a practice with a protector unaware the protector was female.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Machig Labdron, Saraswati, Ekajati are names familiar to Vajrayana practitioners. In this class Rinpoche deepened our understanding and appreciation for the wealth of precious female guides and protectors.

You can find more information about Buddhist female buddhas and bodhisattvas here – http://lhamo.tripod.com/9deity.htm

In the afternoon, the reality of change and the suffering of attachment became clear. With gentleness, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche spoke of death and loss. He explained how we can reduce our suffering. Acceptance of constant change is the foundation to reduce suffering. Recognition of your attachments be it people, things, or ideas leads to reflection and examination on how fear of loss leads to suffering.

He also stressed that compassion is not just for human beings but you must feel and practice compassion for all sentient beings. Even ants suffer, let alone the animals humans kill to eat.

After the teaching, one of the students asked Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche and others to pray that she could find her dog. It had disappeared just the day before. Her dog was returned. She thanked everyone for their prayers but she thanked Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche for making her aware of her attachment to her dog.

She said, after acknowledging her fear of losing the collie she’d grown to love, she surrendered, to whatever would be. But she was all smiles that her pet was found and returned.

Learning continued after the scheduled classes and a potluck dinner. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche shared his life story, “The Nomad Lama,” with a slide show and his live narration.

Knowing everyone’s story begins with your Buddha nature, so does his story. It continues to tell not only the life of Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche but also a brief history of Buddhism in Tibet and specifically the Amdo region where he was born.

Through slides we met Rinpoche’s family, friends, and teachers. He explained his lineage and gave us a personal telling of the effect of China’s cultural revolution on the people in Tibet. With suspense, we walked with Rinpoche, then a young monk, walking from Tibet into Nepal.

This was the first time any of us heard how Rinpoche’s fate and fatigue protected him from the New York explosions in 2001. He explained why he left New York City but accepted Seattle. The last many slides show Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche’s sanghas around the world from Hanoi, Viet Nam to Boulder, Colorado, to Hawaii, and to Homer, Alaska.

Our nomad lama’s humble beginnings in the Amdo Valley of Tibet were a seed. That seed has grown into a great tree shading the halls and temples of sanghas around the world with the leaves of the Dharma teachings on wisdom and compassion.

This retreat visit ended with a small group joining Tulku Rinpoche at Mariner Park on the Homer Street. Beneath dark clouds and high winds, they held a string of prayer flags and statues as Rinpoche blessed the water and all of the animals in the water with mantras repeated by the group with him. When they finished, clouds parted to reveal a clear blue sky.

The evening concluded with a talk and meditation at Many Rivers. Tulku Rinpoche talked about compassion for all sentient beings. Regarding meditation, he stressed the importance of concentrating on being in the present moment. When meditating let go of the past or the future. He stressed to keep returning the mind to your breath and the present moment.

We are grateful for all the wisdom and knowledge Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche shares so freely. After Rinpoche left Homer, a beautiful rainbow graced Kachemak Bay.

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Wisdom’s Mirror

White, Yellow & Black Manjushri
Weekend of Teachings w/ Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
on behalf of Heruka Boulder written by Yeshi Pema

Namo Gurubye! Namo Buddhaya! Namo Dharmaya! Namo Sanghaya!

Once again, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche visited and blessed Heruka Boulder Sangha with compassionate presence and profound Vajrayana teachings and empowerment’s the weekend of May 10-12th, 2019. Generously bestowing teachings of the Great Wisdom Bodhisattva Manjushri, local sangha and Dharma practitioners from Washington to Florida filled the room with devotion and openness to receive instruction and guidance. Reflecting now on what was an inspiring and powerful weekend, I wish to do my best here to briefly capture the teachings and transparency shared for our remembrance, contemplation and practice. May it be of benefit.

Local sangha greeted Rinpoche as he landed in Colorado Thursday afternoon. Feelings of overwhelming happiness and gratitude arose as Rinpoche gently approached us. We offered flowers, smiles and gifts for his gracious visit and he warmly welcomed our humble offerings. As we drove together from the airport even the sky opened and released tears of joy and gratitude! Elemental blessings of snow, water, and wind poured down as we connected once again with our dearest Teacher. Rinpoche shared about his travels in Nepal and the teachings he received and expressed heart-fully the delight of his journey. Later that evening, sangha greeted Rinpoche for dinner, and we shared a delicious meal together. It was a joyful and loving first day with Rinpoche, which radiated throughout our hearts and the weekend’s profound teachings and blessings.

On Friday, Rinpoche empowered sangha with White Manjushri and gave transmission for Guru Manjushri sadhana practice. Rinpoche explained that in order to study and meditate correctly we need the blessings of Manjushri and Saraswati, the male and female Wisdom Buddhas. The practice of Manjushri, male or female – provides the foundation for wisdom to blossom into perfect understanding. This wisdom of unsurpassable realization is the absolute essence and enlightened activity of bodhicitta. The wisdom of bodhicitta is the seed, root, and flower of enlightenment and with one-pointed devotion, supplication and dedication our opportunity to realize the unfabricated nature of mind is planted and tenderly cultivated. Rinpoche encouraged training this thought by means of sincere practice and motivation to cultivate wisdom and dedicate the merit accumulated for the liberation of all beings. To help our understanding, Rinpoche explained the qualities of the Buddha family and specifically, how these qualities are embodied and actualized through the practice of White Manjushri, which purifies ignorance and karma and increases wisdom and compassion. From AH the essence of pure mind, we meditate upon these perfect qualities or paramitas beyond thought and dualistic concepts. Rinpoche then spoke at length of Manjushri’s power to dispel delusions and ignorance at the root. This inexhaustible quality of clearing and purifying illusory beliefs helps practitioners gain insight and energy to counter false concepts and views which lead to negative actions and karmic consequences (i.e., impure view, anger, attachment etc.). With the wisdom of White Manjushri we have the empowered ability to see through suffering and practice heartfully to develop our wisdom qualities and dedicate these virtuous roots of merit for the enlightenment and wisdom within all beings. Rinpoche said, “Pure view, Pure palace, Pure mind – All is the Wisdom and Essence of Manjushri”.

Rinpoche then gave instruction on Guru Yoga and the importance of studying and practicing the 7-limbed prayer. These seven branches are pillars which support the development and capacity for immeasurable compassion and enlightened activity. Without all seven limbs, how can our practice carry us to liberation? The fundamental nature of the seven-limbed practice (i.e., prostrations, offerings, confession, rejoicing, requesting to teach, requesting to live long, and dedication) is rooted within the practice of Guru Yoga. Rinpoche explained that these practices provide the antidotes to mental obstacles and causes of negative karma (e.g., pride, attachment, ignorance, jealousy). For instance, prostrations help pacify pride, offerings promote generosity and reduce self-cherishing and attachment, and rejoicing for others destroys jealousy; with these antidotes and specific practices we gain the ability to skillfully and mindfully transform personal obstacles into an ocean of perfect qualities. More concisely, the Great Lama and scholar Tsongkhapa asked Manjushri for instruction on how to actualize the direct path to enlightenment and Manjushri replied with three essential practices, 1) The purification of obstacles and accumulation of merit 2) One pointed requests to the Gurus with devotional mind in order to receive their blessings 3) Meditation on the stages of the path. These stages or limbs of practice support and strengthen each other by virtue of our vows & aspirations and is empowered and increased through our diligence and undying devotion as sons and daughters of the Dharma.

(Rinpoche encouraged at least 3x mala rounds of White Manjushri recitations daily. Motivate oneself to think “I wish for wisdom and benefit to flourish with and for all beings without exception – I will practice and generate compassion for others as much as I can”. SAMAYA)

On Saturday, Rinpoche empowered sangha with Orange Manjushri and gave transmission for Guru Manjushri sadhana practice. The blazing Golden Manjushri with wisdom as bright as a thousand rising suns symbolizes the beginning and blossoming of compassionate wisdom and the capacity to accomplish and achieve it. Orange Manjushri embodies the essence of the Ratna or “jewel” family and is connected to the Earth element. The unique and rich practice of Manjushri in this form provides foundation and earthly stability and assists in transforming inner, outer and secret obstacles causing distraction and spiritual hindrance into an ocean of renunciation, wisdom and pure awareness. The sweet and melodious speech of Manjushri brings wisdom, loving-affection and compassion to all activity. Rinpoche explained and expounded upon the powerful essence and courage of Orange Manjushri and the pleasurable and harmonious benefit of practice and wisdom accomplished therein. Rinpoche then spoke of the importance to practice and study both the sutras and the tantras respectively, and to do our best to balance the two paths and practice the middle way. In practice we may examine and meditate upon the meaning of the sutras (i.e., beyond the words, what does the teaching mean?) andactivity of the tantras (i.e., beyond the meaning, how to actualize and embody bliss emptiness). We can also see these paths reflected in Manjushri’s imagery and visualization in which he holds the 100,000 lines of the Prajnaparamita sutras (“The Perfection of Wisdom”; prajna meaning insight and paramita meaning perfection), and in the other hand he bears a sword composed of mantras to powerfully clear and sever disillusionment. Rinpoche instructed to remain positive in mind, body and speech just like Manjushri – and said, “All wisdom is the activity of Manjushri and is within all phenomena – No matter if enlightened or not – there is Buddha Nature, Emptiness, Wisdom & Bliss, All comes from Manjushri. All beings are Manjushri. This is how we practice pure view and perfect samaya”.

(Rinpoche encouraged at least 3x mala rounds of Orange Manjushri recitations daily. If you can, please accumulate 30,000 mantras before next visit in September. SAMAYA)

On Sunday afternoon, Rinpoche was elated to bestow refuge and bodhicitta vows to Heruka sangha practitioners. Rinpoche began by explaining the practice of taking refuge (i.e., the three roots/jewels), developing renunciation (i.e., of samsara/nirvana) and how to increase compassion (i.e., bodhicitta). In taking refuge we provide the landscape for awakening and purifying oneself into the exalted state of the Buddha, the Dharma and Sangha. Through renunciation of samsara and nirvana we find equanimity and spiritual freedom. In compassion, we find our inexhaustible strength and spiritual power. Each practice or stage strengthens the other and builds the foundation for resilient and courageous activity. Rinpoche encouraged sangha to cherish, rejoice and support one another and to apply and practice the 6 perfections, 10 virtuous actions and 4 immeasurables as much as we can. Rinpoche explained that this selfless motivation inherent within the practice of refuge, renunciation and bodhicitta is pristine and so very powerful and cannot be compared to ordinary qualities. Just as an ordinary tree cannot compare to the magical and wish-fulfilling power of the parijataka tree, in a similar way the power of devotion and compassion cannot be compared or conceptualized by dualistic view and ordinary perception.

It was a powerful and auspicious Sunday morning as we sat together quietly in the yurt allowing integration of the vows received and commitments made. Rinpoche was delighted and spoke of the auspiciousness of receiving vows on Mother’s Day and Buddha’s birthday. From this point forward we were ‘different’ from how we entered, now endowed and empowered with responsibility to practice and conduct ourselves in accordance with the most perfect qualities, – as much as possible, Rinpoche sweetly said. Glancing upward Rinpoche was peacefully looking outside, his compassion and wisdom almost tangible. Light filled the room and white cherry blossom petals were scattered perfectly across the ground mirroring the clear sky, as if seeing through universes and lifetimes. Rinpoche then said, “Always walk in mindfulness from now on, Wisdom if your protector”. Following refuge and Bodhisattva vows & initiation, Rinpoche then began empowerment and teachings for Black Manjushri. Rinpoche explained that this semi-wrathful healing emanation is especially powerful in purifying disease and healing deep negative emotions and sickness (i.e., purification of body, speech and mind). Black Manjushri also protects practitioners from the four maras (i.e., afflictions, aggregates, death, ego) that hinder spiritual practice and helps us confront and transform negative emotions, such as anger, jealousy & dullness into an ocean of patience, loving-affection and wakefulness. Rinpoche explained the beneficial effects of Black Manjushri practice, specifically regarding mental and physical health problems as well as skin diseases. For this practice, Rinpoche recommended to practice as needed. Samaya.

Each night following the teaching and empowerment, Rinpoche and sangha went on hikes and enjoyed time in nature amongst the tall trees and red stones. The weather and conditions were perfect and ripe, and we were happy to follow Rinpoche’s footsteps up the mountain. We sang mantras and offered prayers for all beings as we walked alongside our Sublime teacher. In between recitations Rinpoche shared stories of his youth in Nepal, his mother and family, and his crossing of the Himalayas into India. We loved hearing stories of Rinpoche’s family and life and we deeply appreciated the narratives he shared with us. We wish for this connection to only grow deeper and flourish exponentially. Our weekend with H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche was filled with unimaginable tranquility, insight and appreciation. We are so grateful to Rinpoche for visiting and sharing precious Dharma teachings. May this dharma activity forever be auspicious and supported, I pray these virtues spread like wildfire! I give thanks to the sangha, our beloved Teacher and the perfect teachings, may all beings benefit!

Praise to Manjushri, by Heruka Boulder Sangha & HE Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche

The light of the Sun and Moon
The space of the sky
Innumerable stars
Depth of the ocean
All the beauty of the earth –
Nothing can compare,
I praise you my Lord Manjushri – HE Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche

Nectar of Wisdom, beloved Manjushri
Inseparable and Pure is your body, speech and mind
May your blessings ripen my body, speech and mind
So that the realization of the perfect meaning is attained.
Bless and watch over always,
And guide us to freedom and enlightenment.
All praise to the Wisdom Heart of Manjushri! – Yeshi Pema

I give thanks and praise to Manjushri!
For with her ever compassionate essence I am reminded of my innate nature.
To obtain wisdom and rejoice with compassion is the ultimate recipe of Manjushri,
Embodied! – Yeshi Khadro

Your Blazing orange light rays
warm every Heart.
Blazing sword of mental sharpness
slices through self-fixation and small mind.
Gentle voice singing, like a calm stream.
Lord of Wisdom,
Awaken the goodness of all beings! – Tsultrim Senge

Praise to Manjushri,
Boundless, Limitless Wisdom.
Unfolding from all Buddhas’ Light, Compassion & Strength,
to help liberate and expand all sentient beings from the suffering in samsara! – Kathy McCowan

Glorious Lord Manjushri –
You wield the blazing sword of millions of mantras
And destroy the foe of all ignorance
with your golden flames.
You will all with compassion and wisdom
who come to you,
May all sentient beings be awakened and protected by this,
Your awakened wisdom and unending compassion! – Tenzin Drolma

Wisdom’s light
breaking chains
gently – Jigme Longchen

So much suffering by the mind that cuts in two,
yet we find wholeness by a wisdom sword’s stroke.
From this place – empty – of fixation, comparison plays,
Glorious Lord Manjushri, bless us always in this way.
Without resting in any place, Wisdom shines everywhere
Clearly all realms are seen just as they are,
compassionate play, the only possibility
for us blessed by the Glorious Guru Manjushri – Joel Packard

Your wisdom
Is compassionately liberating all –
So generous you are,
that you are also me.
Lighting the way for all,
to attain you –
the Perfection of Wisdom,
Compassion and Blissful liberation. – Rowan Rigzin

All glories to Manjushri,
the omniscient.
All glories to Manjushri,
the omnipotent.
All glories to Manjushri,
the omnipresent.
All glories to Manjushri,
the embodiment of that which is.
OM HRIM – Adam Dolan

Guru Manjushri, inseparable from Supreme reality,
Oh One – who sees the truth that lies beyond fabrication.
Hail to you who cuts through all false views,
and regards with truth and compassion all that is.
I pay homage to you! – Lise D.

I praise you:
For revealing my petty mind –
For planting space in my heart-brain.
For dissolving my burden of fret and pain.
For bringing the sweet rain of now! – Sarah Duniven

Manjushri, you shine like a mountain of gold
Courageous protector of Wisdom,
your sword cuts through illusion and ignorance.
May I be inseparable from you from this day forth,
and may your blessings shower upon all life,
until there is complete cessation of suffering. – James Martinez

Praise to the Majestic Manjushri,
Source of White Wisdom, Brilliant
Clarity and orange joy.
Protect my heart and intellect
from the harm of their confusion.
Do not leave my mind or being.
May your sword stay sharp! – Barine Duman

Homage to the Ocean of Awareness,
Homage to the whirling fire of Bliss Emptiness,
Homage to Manjushri, dispeller of ignorance.
Please guide all sentient beings to the Dharma without distraction! – Wolfgang Wilmoff

Dearest guide, Manjushri, I bow to the lotus which you are seated upon.
I pray that your wisdom mind may shine to illuminate the minds of all beings,
and after your light has illuminated the minds of all,
May that light guide all beings without exception,
to the path of the highest enlightenment!

Praise and Blessings to Manjushri!
Liquid light of healing knowledge,
Finding me as I merge in light,
infinite emanations of love.
Praise to Manjushri!
Priest of void and stillness –
Darkest night, Brightest Light.
Peace, Peace, Peace – Ullas Morales

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