written by Yeshi Nyingma in Trulsik Ling Sangha, Vietnam

Trong tuần vừa qua, từ ngày 31/10 đến ngày 09/11, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, thầy của tôi đã có chuyến hoằng pháp tại miền Bắc Việt Nam. Đây là lần thứ 2, Thầy tôi tới Việt Nam thăm và thực hiện các hoạt động giảng pháp cho Tăng đoàn Trulshik Ling của Ngài. Chúng tôi đã trải qua 4 ngày đầu tiên tại một tịnh thất nhỏ ở Thị trấn Tam Đảo, Vĩnh Phúc, Việt Nam. Tại đây, Ngài đã thực hiện các lễ quán đảnh, lễ cúng hương bạt trừ chướng ngại và các ban các bài pháp thoại vô cùng quý giá cho chúng tôi – các học trò của Ngài.

Trong ngày đầu tiên, ngày 1/11/2017:

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, Thầy của tôi đã dành thời gian nói về lịch sử, ý nghĩa, con đường thực hành của 3 thừa phật giáo: tiểu thừa, đại thừa, kim cương thừa. Sau đó, Ngài hướng dẫn các Phật tử đi thiền hành. Trong lúc đi thiền hành, Ngài hướng dẫn chúng tôi cách đón nhận nguồn ân phước gia trì từ Chư Phật, Bồ Tát trong khắp không gian. Bằng cách quán tưởng, năng lượng ban phước của chư Phật, Chư Bồ Tát sẽ đi vào khắp châu thân ta qua mỗi bước chân chạm đất. Đây là điều mà chưa vị Thầy nào dạy chúng tôi trước đó. Bằng nhiều cách, Ngài luôn cố gắng giúp chúng tôi có thể nhận ra rằng chúng tôi là một phần tử được gắn kết chặt chẽ với vũ trụ bao la này. Chúng tôi không thể tồn tại độc lập mà không có sự gắn kết với các đạo hữu của mình, với Tăng đoàn, với Chư Phật và trái đất này. Nhờ vậy, chúng tôi thêm yêu và trân trọng mọi thứ hiện hữu xung quanh mình. Đó cũng là cội nguồn của lòng từ bi phải không các bạn?

Ngày thứ 2, ngày 2/11/2017:

Trong buổi sáng, Ngài giảng về bồ đề tâm, hạnh bồ tát, trao truyền giới bồ tát cho các thành viên mới. Tôi nhớ trong bài giảng của Thầy, Thầy đã nói “ muốn hạnh phúc thì hãy gieo nhân hạnh phúc”. Nếu trong trái tim và tâm thức của chúng ta luôn tràn đầy tình yêu thương và sự từ ái đối với tất cả chúng hữu tình. Thì từ nơi chúng ta sẽ tỏa ra một năng lượng tích cực khiến cho tâm của chúng ta và tất cả các chúng sinh xung quanh chúng ta luôn được an lạc. Một ví dụ điển hình, đó là khi chúng tôi được ở cạnh Thầy mình, được nhìn thấy ánh mắt, nụ cười, khuôn mặt hiền từ của Ngài. Trái tim chúng tôi tràn đầy niềm hạnh phúc, sự hỷ lạc mà Thầy mang lại cho chúng tôi.
Buổi chiều, Ngài giảng về cuốn sách “Handbook for Half Buddhas”, một trong những cuốn sách tâm huyết nhất của Ngài. Đó là những kinh nghiệm đúc kết lại sau 30 năm trên con đường thực hành Kim Cương thừa của Ngài.

Ngày thứ 3, ngày 3/11:

Trong ngày thứ 3, Ngài tiếp tục dành thời gian giảng về cuốn sách “ handbook for a half Buddha”. Cùng với đó, Ngài ban quán đảnh Đức Liên Hoa Sinh Phẫn Nộ và cách thực hành Turmo. Tôi sẽ không kể về nhiều về quán đảnh. Vì đó là điều bí mật. Tôi chỉ có một gợi ý rằng bạn nên tìm cuốn sách “ handbook for a half Buddha” để đọc.

Ngày thứ 4, ngày 4/11:

– Sáng: Ngài trao giới Ngakpa, Ngakma và cách thực hành pháp Chod
– Chiều: Ngài ban quán đảnh Mahakala hộ pháp
Có khoảng 14 thành viên mới của Tăng đoàn Trulshik Ling đã trở thành các hành giả Yogi, Yogini trong ngày hôm đó. Họ đã rất tự hào và hạnh phúc vì điều này.

Ngày thứ 5, ngày 5/11: Ngài ban quán đảnh cộng đồng Dược Sư

Ngài đã chia sẻ rằng việc thực hành và trì tụng tâm chú Dược sư rất lợi lạc. Khi chúng ta trì tụng tâm chú Dược Sư mỗi hơi thở của chúng ta đều mang lại lợi lạc cho tất cả các chúng sinh xung quanh chúng ta. Và bởi Đức Phật Dược Sự là vị phật ở phương đông là biểu tượng của sự bắt đầu. Mỗi ngày, chúng ta nên bắt đầu bằng việc trì tụng tâm chú của Ngài 21 lần, 108 lần hoặc nhất nhất có thể.

Ngày thứ 6, ngày 6/11: Ngài ban quán đảnh cộng đồng Green Tara

Ngài cũng chia sẻ rằng Đức Tara Xanh là vị Phật mẫu đã gắn bó với cuộc đời Ngài từ khi Ngài còn bé. Đức Tara Xanh giống như người mẹ hiền từ của Ngài. Và trong bắt kì hoàn cảnh nào Ngài cũng nghĩ tưởng và cầu nguyện đến người mẹ hiền từ này. Ngài khuyên chúng ta nên thực hành cầu nguyện và trì tụng tâm chú của Đức Tara Xanh hàng ngày để có được sự gia trì, ban phước từ Ngài.

Ngày thứ 7, ngày 7/11: Ngài cùng Tăng đoàn Trulsik Ling đi thăm Tràng An – Bái Đính.

Vậy là trong chuyến đi lần này, chúng tôi đã cùng Thầy đến thăm một vài thánh tích ở đất nước tôi. Tôi muốn kể với tất cả đạo hữu về hành trình khi chúng tôi tới thăm khu du lịch Tràng An – Bái Đính. Lý do, chúng tôi đến thăm Tràng An là vì có một thành viên trong Tăng đoàn Trulshil Ling đã mời Ngài về thăm địa điểm này trong chuyến hoằng pháp tại Việt Năm năm 2016. Nhưng do năm ngoái, Ngài chưa thể về thăm và năm nay đạo hữu đó tiếp tục mời Ngài nên chúng tôi đã có mặt ở Tràng An. Một vùng đất linh thiêng, huyền bí của Việt Nam. Tôi có thể mô tả ngắn gọn rằng đây là một quần thể gồm núi non và sông nước. Để đi vào thăm các ngôi đền và hang động. Chúng tôi phải đi bằng thuyền. Nhưng đó là quãng thời gian rất thú vị. Bạn có thể thiền định, ngắm cảnh, tụng thần chú.

Tại đây, khi chúng tôi dừng chân trước một ngôi đền ngự dưới chân một ngọn núi. Thầy tôi, Đức Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche đã nhìn thấy hình ảnh Đức Liên Hoa Sinh gần đỉnh ngọn núi đó. Ngay khi Thầy chỉ lại cho chúng tôi, tôi là một trong thành viên trong tăng đoàn có thể nhận ra hình ảnh Đức Liên Hoa Sinh sớm nhất. Các bạn còn nhớ, tôi từng đề cập đến lý do mà Thầy tôi, Đức Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche là một vị Thầy vô cùng quan trọng đối với tôi. Bởi tôi luôn có sự kết nối mạnh mẽ đến Đức Liên Hoa Sinh, tôi luôn nhận ra sự hiện diện cũng như các dấu hiệu của Ngài. Và đó chính là mối liên hệ sâu sắc giữa tôi và Thầy mình. Chúng tôi cùng có sự kết nối mãnh liệt tới Đức Liên Hoa Sinh, đó là lí do tôi đã đang đi theo dấu chân của thầy tôi, Đức Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche trong các đời quá khứ, trong đời hiện tại và trong cả các đời tương lai cho đến khi tôi thành tựu Phật quả giống như bậc Thầy của mình.

Ngày thứ 8, ngày 8/11/2017:

Chúng tôi ghé thăm rừng quốc gia Cúc Phương. Có 1 hang động được gọi là động người xưa, nằm trên một ngọn núi rất hiểm trở. Ở trong động này, Thầy hướng dẫn chúng tôi thực hành thiền định trong bóng tối. Tôi đã thấy nhiều linh hồn bám vào chân tôi cho tới tận khi chúng tôi rời khỏi khu rừng đó.Nhưng tôi không sợ bởi tôi biết họ đến để nghe Thầy tôi giảng. Trước khi leo núi, Tôi đã nói với Thầy tôi rằng tôi sẽ ở dưới chân núi không lên động này, vì tôi sợ mình sẽ ngã. Thầy tôi đã nói với tôi rằng, con đừng sợ đã có ta che chở cho con. Và mặc dù, tôi vẫn rất sợ ngã, nhưng tôi vẫn đi lên và đi xuống an toàn.

Ngày 9/11/2017, Ngài về nước

Chuyến hoằng pháp của Sư Phụ tôi rồi cũng đến ngày kết thúc. Chúng tôi muốn giữ Ngài ở bên cạnh thật lâu. Nhưng vẫn còn rất nhiều các Pháp hữu khác trên khắp thế giới cần đến Thầy tôi. Chúng tôi hoan hỷ với điều này.

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written by Yeshi Nyingma in Trulsik Ling Sangha, Vietnam

A few days ago, from October 31st to November 9th, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, my dear master had his Dharma Journey in North of Vietnam. This is the second time he has visited Vietnam and taught Dharma lectures for his Trulshik Ling Sangha. We ( Trulshik Ling Sangha and Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche) had already spent the first four days in a small temple in Tam Dao Town, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam. While there, he gave empowerments, offered Sang Rio, and taught Dharma. These were extremely valuable to us, his followers.

Day One • November 1, 2017

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, my dear master had already spent much time talking about the history, meaning and practice of the three Buddhist schools: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. He then instructed his Sangha to meditate. During walking meditation, he guided us to receive the blessings from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout the space. By visualizing, the blessing energy of the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas goes inside our body through every our step touching the earth. No other Lama had taught us about that before. In many ways, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche tried to help us realize that we are an element that is closely linked to this vast universe. We cannot live independently without bonding with our Dharma friends, with the Sangha, with the Buddhas and this earth. As a result, we add love and respect to everything that is around us. Might that also be the source of compassion?

Day Two • November 2, 2017

In the morning, he taught about bodhicitta, the bodhisattva path, the bodhisattva vow and gave bodhisattva precepts to new sangha members. I still remember in his lecture, he said that, “If you want a happy life, you need to sow causes of happiness.” In our deep heart and our nature mind there is always love and compassion for all beings. If we always treat them with love and compassion, from our body will show positive energy to make our mind and all sentient beings around us to be peaceful. As a typical example, when we were beside our dear master, we could see his eyes, his smile, his gentle face so full of compassion for us. Therefore, by this image of Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, Our hearts were filled with happiness for the joy that he brought to us.
In the afternoon, he lectured on his book, “Handbook for Half Buddhas.” These are his experiences from thirty years of Vajrayana practice.

Day Three • November 3, 2017

On the third day, he continued to lecture from “Handbook for Half Buddhas.” In addition, he gave the empowerment of Guru Dorje Drolo and taught the practice of tummo. I will not talk much about the empowerment because it is a secret empowerment. But I suggest that you look for the book “Handbook for Half Buddhas” to read.

Day Four • November 4, 2017

In the morning, Rinpoche gave Ngakpa and Ngakma vows and taught us how to practice chöd. In the afternoon he gave the Mahakala empowerment. About fourteen new members of Trulshik Ling Sangha became Yogi and Yogini practitioners that day. They were so happy and so proud about that.

Day 5 • November 5, 2017

He gave the community Medicine Buddha empowerment. He had already shared that practicing and reciting Medicine Buddha Mantra is very beneficial. As we meditate on the mind of the Medicine Buddha, each of our breaths benefits all sentient beings around us. And by the Buddha of Medicine is the buddha in the east is also the symbol of the beginning. Every day, we should begin by reciting Medicine Buddha mantra twenty-one times, 108 times or as much as we can.

Day 6 • November 6, 2017

He gave the community Green Tara empowerment. He also shared that Green Tara was a Buddha who had been attached to his life since he was a child. Green Tara is like his kind mother. And in any situation he always thought and prayed to this gentle mother. He advised us to practice praying and reciting Green Tara mantra daily to obtain blessings from her.

Day 7 • November 7, 2017

He accompanied the Trulsik Ling Sangha on a visit to Trang An – Bai Dinh. At this time, we had visited some of the relics in my country with Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche. I would like to tell all our Dharma friends about our trip when we visited Trang An – Bai Dinh. The reason we visited Tràng An is because one of the members of Trulshik Ling Sangha had invited my dear master to visit there in 2016. But last year my dear master was unable to visit. So that, this year that person continued to invite my dear master again. That is why we were in Trang An, a sacred land, a mystical land in Vietnam. I can briefly describe this as a mountain and river complex. To visit the temples and caves, we had to travel by boat on the river. It was such a relaxing time to sight see or meditate and recite mantras while in sitting on the boat.

When we stopped in front of a shrine at the foot of a mountain, my Guru, Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche, saw the image of Guru Rinpoche on near the top of that mountain. As soon as he pointed out to us, I was one of the members of the sangha who could recognize the earliest image of Padmasambhava. Remember, I mentioned the reason that my master Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche, was a very important Root Guru to me. Since I always have a strong connection to Padmasambhava, I always recognize the presence and the signs of him. And that is the deep relationship between me and my master. We had a strong connection to Padmasambhava, which is why I was following in my master’s footsteps in many of my past lives, my present life, future life, and until I attain buddhahood as my master Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche .

Day 8 • November 8, 2017

With Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, we visited Cuc Phuong National Park. There is a cave called the ancient human cave, located on a very rugged mountain. In this cave, he instructed us to practice meditation in the dark. I saw many souls clinging to my feet until we left the forest. But I was not scared because I knew that they had come to hear my master’s teaching. Before we began to climb, I was so afraid that I would fall. My master consoled me, saying, “Do not be afraid, I’m here to protect you.” And though, I was still afraid of falling, I still went up and down safely. Because my master had blessed me to be stronger.

Day 9 • November 9, 2017

Finally, my master’s Dharma Journey came to an end. We wanted to keep him by our side for a long time, but there are still many other Dharma friends all over the world who need our dear master. We are happy to share with them.

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Heruka House Sangha Celebrates Rinpoche’s Birthday

On Saturday, October 14, Heruka Institute sangha members gathered to celebrate Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche’s birthday. The fun began early in the day with preparations (we worked together joyfully) and a delicious vegetarian luncheon at Amorn Thai, our favorite local Thai restaurant. As the day progressed, more sangha members arrived, bringing beautiful food offerings including 3 exquisite cakes. We played a board game called, “Rebirth: The Tibetan Game of Liberation,” that had us laughing really hard because several of us couldn’t seem to break out of the lower realms. Rinpoche gave a short speech, reflecting on his journey to America. When he first arrived, he knew no one. Fourteen years later, Rinpoche has a large number of treasured friends and Dharma students. There were about 25 of us at Heruka House on Saturday; a very diverse group including Americans of European, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Latin American descent, plus Native Americans and Mongolians. After dinner we made small clay Buddha statues together, which was like a calming meditation as we focused on trying to do our best, but feeling a little clumsy with the clay. I think we all came away with a greater respect for sculptors! It was so much fun and Rinpoche seemed very pleased with his students’ hand-made offerings. I think everyone left the party feeling a little happier and lighter. Even though many of us met for the first time on Saturday, all felt warm and familiar.

I’ve noticed that I feel stronger after spending time with sangha members, perhaps because of their pure motivations and compassion, but also because of the wisdom of their experience. Rinpoche reminds us that everyone has a unique gift of experience and there are different kinds of wisdom. He encourages us to be patient with one another and to see the best qualities in our fellow sangha members. This has been a very useful practice for me, as I’ve learned the more patient I am with others, the less I have to regret. I’m grateful to be part of this community and thankful for our teacher who has attracted so many wonderful members to the Heruka Institute sangha. Happy Birthday, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, and thanks to everyone who joined the celebration!

~ Written by Yeshi Tsomo

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We want to express joy and thankfulness for another wonderful Guru Rinpoche Bumtsok that was held this past weekend. This was a collaborative effort put together by Sakya Monastery, The Tibetan Association Of Washington , and Heruka Institute. It was so great to think about this being the 4th year in a row that we have come together to pray devotedly to Guru Rinpoche in this way. With so many natural disasters happening around the world, it was wished that this powerful practice is able to benefit all beings both near and far. We are so grateful to be able to practice Guru Rinpoche Bumtsok at the beautiful Sakya Monastery. Our Guru Rinpoche Thangka that we were able to purchase from generous donations looked glorious inside the Temple and helped people practice with great inspiration. The Tibetan community members worked tirelessly to prepare for this Retreat and provided everyone with delicious and nourishing food throughout our practice together. This truly couldn’t have been done without their devotion. We look forward to coming together again next year in this auspicious manner!

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Welcome to our meditation workshop reflections from our second Tibetan Buddhist Meditation workshop in Sitka Alaska with Tulku Yeshi Gyatso Rinpoche. Friday evening September 1: Buddhist Philosophy and Introduction to Buddhist Meditation, laid awarerness of the four seals of Buddhism. Rinpoche shared a lot of personal life stories of reincarnations and of Tibetan culture. At the end of class was a light mediation on impermanence. Saturday morning September 2 was Vipassana part two. This was an hour and a half deep meditation which was aimed to cultivate positive energy and release the negative. We brought in clean energy with the red light and burned the negative with blue light 100 times. The students received amazing balance benefits from this practice that lasted to the next day. Later in the afternoon, we learned Healing Tibetan Yoga. We learned the five posses of Tibetan Yoga, this class focused on mollifying depression and anxiety that can be more common in colder climates. Sunday morning September 3, Beginning Mantras and Tonglen “Universal Compassion Meditation” we learned the four most common mantras and the history of there lineage. Rinpoche shared stories of the power of mantras. That Sunday afternoon we did a walking meditation by the ocean, which was a new experience for many. We walked mindfully along the ocean around the harbor and meditated on universal compassion. The workshop ended with a lovely potluck dinner at the studio, where we got to share stories and eat big plates of vegetable pancit. Until next time! May peace be with you.

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Third Annual Buddhist Journey Into The Wild

-Written by -Sergio Moreno, Ngakpa Tenpa Dhargye

The third annual Buddhist Journey Into the Wild took place this past weekend. During this retreat, Rinpoche led a small, but vibrant, group of students in teachings and practice in the woods and beaches of Port Townsend and Olympic National Forest. It was a beautiful time for study, practice, and fellowship.

We arrived on the evening of Friday, August 25th to set up the tent and other sleeping accommodations. Our gracious host, Lee Eahrheart, welcomed us into his home tucked away into the woods of Port Townsend. After exploring the property with its many paths and lush plant life, we had a late dinner and settled into the evening.

Morning came quickly as we were awoken by Rinpoche’s blowing of the conch shell. We began our day with the practice of Tibetan Yantra Yoga. Through a series of postures and visualizations, Rinpoche explained the five elements of the body: earth (mam), water (lam), fire (ram), wind (yam), and space (ha). Our group was now well awake and energized for a day of teaching and practice. We worked together in the kitchen and prepared a delicious breakfast to share.

Rinpoche then taught from Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind—a teaching he himself has received many times, from H.H. the Dalai Lama and other masters. These verses are, as Rinpoche said, “a hammer for your ego!” This lojong (mind training) brings us to the realization that with great ego and self-cherishing it is impossible to benefit other beings. It is only by realizing the illusory nature of all phenomena, as the eighth verse states, that we can be liberated from the eight worldly concerns and truly cultivate bodhichitta.

After a brief walk through the woods followed by our midday meal, Rinpoche taught the Diamond Cutting Sutra, which the Buddha gave at Rajagriha, near Bodhgaya. The diamond is a powerful image for its incredible strength. We are taught that with wisdom we can cut through (chöd) ego and break free from the five poisons of attachment, anger, ignorance, jealousy and pride. This is accomplished through the five antidotes, which are the wisdoms of impermanence, compassion, wisdom, rejoicing and respect.

Some of the highlights of our retreat were the times spent in between sessions, whether preparing meals or simply visiting and becoming friends. We took a couple of hours that afternoon to visit the beach at Fort Worden Historical Park. It was a beautiful day to walk mindfully beside the water, looking for interesting stones and taking in the sun and fresh air. Some of us took an opportunity to sit and meditate by the water, basking in the warm glow of sangha.

Following our third and final meal of the day, we settled down to practice the Chöd of Machig Labdrön, for which Rinpoche gave transmission and instruction. This practice, profound in its wisdom and its ability to cut through ego, was a natural progression from our earlier session on the Diamond Cutting Sutra. And with that, we were ready to rest following a full day of teachings, practice, and time spent with precious Dharma family.

Again we were awakened by the sound of Rinpoche’s conch shell. It was our final day together, and he wanted to start early and take us into the wilderness. So, after breaking down the tents and packing up our bags, we gathered for breakfast and set off toward the trails of the Olympic National Forest in Quilcene. We hiked down through thick woods and tightly winding trails, oftentimes holding onto each other so as to not lose our footing. The long and arduous walk was well worth the effort once we arrived at the bottom of the trail and got to sit by the river. The water was cool and refreshing. Only Rinpoche braved the brisk waters and waded in, finding a seat on a rock in the middle of the natural pool.

It was in this beautiful setting, under magnificent trees by rushing waters, that Rinpoche gave us the Yuthog Nyintig transmission. It was a beautiful and meaningful practice for us all as we sat on the rocks around Rinpoche. He instructed us to visualize the water and the trees, everything around us, as precious medicinal substances for healing. And then we set off on our hike back, which took twice as long given our wish to explore a different trail.

Our bodies were tired but our hearts were full. New friendships were forged, social media contacts were exchanged, stories were shared, and —most importantly— our practice was deepened. As we said our goodbyes and went our own ways, I felt an overwhelming awareness of precious human life. How fortunate we are to have found this human form! How fortunate we are to be able to practice the Dharma! And how very fortunate we are to have found such an qualified, compassionate and loving guru in Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche! May his life be long and healthy, may he continue to spread the Dharma everywhere he travels, and may all beings benefit.

Namo Gurube! Namo Buddhaya! Namo Dharmaya! Namo Sanghaya!

-Sergio Moreno, Ngakpa Tenpa Dhargye

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Recollections Of Boulder Retreat 2017

Written by Sarah Hampton

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche has just returned to Seattle from five days of teachings in Boulder, CO. The sangha is so full of joy and inspiration after this retreat. Rinpoche has been incredibly kind to offer many days of precious teachings, loving guidance, and profound explanations.

Rinpoche arrived to Denver International Airport on June 16th, a sunny Friday afternoon. A dedicated group of sangha were there to greet him at the airport and accompany him to an early dinner before teachings began. Friday evening was full of anticipation as thirty students arrived to the beautiful Boulder Valley Ngakpa House to receive the Orgyen Menla empowerment. Rinpoche gave an inspiring talk about the meaning of receiving empowerments as well as the importance of rigorous practice of the preliminaries with an emphasis on infusing all practice with deep compassion. His transmission and explanation of the Orgyen Menla empowerment left all the students in a state of bliss and inspired devotion.

Saturday morning began with a homecooked breakfast, restful conversation, and refreshing walk with a view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Teachings began at 10am and the full day was devoted to a text of Dzogchen teachings by the Tibetan master Patrul Rinpoche. The name of the text was “Herein dwells that which is called the “Self- liberating Mind”, The profound skillful means which is the Buddhahood of the Great Perfection”. Rinpoche spoke in depth on the importance of developing Bodhicitta, as well introducing and giving explanation about the practices of Trekcho and Togal. He gave very insightful explanation of the text and instruction about overcoming obstacles to meditation practice. The students all appreciated his loving guidance and were so happy to receive these incredible teachings. For two hours following the day’s teachings Rinpoche generously held private interviews which were then followed by a home cooked meal with sangha.

Sunday morning at 10am we were blessed to receive the Guru Rinpoche Empowerment from our beloved teacher. His incredible devotion could be felt by everyone in the room as he transmitted the empowerment. The afternoon was filled with the transmission of healing mantras of many different deities. Rinpoche transmitted these mantras and gave explanations about how they could be used for healing various ailments of body and mind. These were followed by the oral transmission of the text from Patrul Rinpoche as well as the Orgyen Menla and Guru Rinpoche empowerments. Sunday evening was wrapped up with private interviews and a long walk in the refreshing summer air.

Monday morning began out in the fresh morning air with light conversation over coffee & tea. Preparations were made for our pilgrimage journey to Crestone and after a lovely breakfast we began the four hour journey over the pristine Colorado mountains. We made a couple brief stops for coffee and at a lookout where Rinpoche pointed out a three peaked mountain that was a stunning representation of Guru Rinpoche and two Dakinis. We arrived in Crestone around 1:30 pm and went out for lunch at a local café before returning to the retreat home for a rest. After a quiet reprieve, bustling preparations began for the Dakini Day Tsok. Our dear sangha member Tenzin blessed us with a delicious meal of Tibetan thanthuk before we sat down to learn and celebrate. Rinpoche began with an oral transmission of the “Longchen Nyingthig Root Sadhana of the Mother Tsogyal, the Queen of Great Bliss”. After receiving this beautiful transmission, we began the practice as a group, joining voices with great joy and devotion. The Tsok was abundant and blessed by celebratory song, dance, and music. Our celebration continued into the evening both inside and under the beautiful desert sky. Everyone felt the great gift of spending this devotional time together.

On Tuesday morning, we all woke to a beautiful day and Rinpoche felt it was an auspicious time. Breakfast was shared and we immediately began preparing to visit the local stupas. We left around 8:30am to visit Tulky Urgyen’s Enlightenment Stupa. The bright white and gold of the stupa stood out gleamingly against the desert tones. After offering prostrations, incense, and circumambulations, Rinpoche pointed out a beautiful rainbow around the sun. There, in front of this blessed place, Rinpoche gave the transmission of the Manjushri Namsamgiti followed by generously offering Bodhisattva and Ngakpa vows to the sangha. Everyone was greatly inspired and experienced a renewal of great devotion and dedication to the path. We did circumambulations and reflected on the teachings and vows we had just received. Next we drove up to Tashi Gomang, the 16th Karmapa’s Stupa. This stupa stands up on the edge of the mountain where you can look out over the vast valley, ringed by snow-tipped mountains. Rinpoche offered some stories about the 16th Karmapa before we began our practice. We sat facing outwards over this incredible expanse of blue skies and earth as we received instruction and sat in meditation generating Bodhicitta. There was a light wind sending the rings of prayer flags flying and mirroring the great energy and joy of each student’s heart. On our drive down the mountain we stopped briefly to pay homage at a small Naga shrine next to a rushing stream. The mosquitos urged us onwards and we soon set off to our next destination. Our last visit of the day was to Choying Dzong; Gangteng Tulku’s Gompa. It was a welcoming and peaceful retreat center with a very beautiful shrine space. Rinpoche pointed out the abundance of precious Dharma texts that reside there. We lingered there for several minutes, offering prostrations at the shrine and resting in reflection. As we left this incredible retreat space and drove towards the house we were filled with inspired thoughts of a future space for Heruka’s Boulder/Denver sangha. We stopped at our retreat house once more to have a light lunch followed by a flurry of packing and preparations for the journey home. The drive home was gifted with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valley, and a distinct sweetness that accompanies leaving such a precious spiritual space. We arrived back in Boulder around 6pm after which Rinpoche joined sangha members in a dinner out for Pho. Afterwards, Rinpoche had the pleasure of visiting a virtual reality center where he created stunning 3D mantra paintings. The remainder of the evening was spent in rest and preparation for the next mornings flight home to Seattle.

We are truly grateful for the precious time spent with Rinpoche studying and practicing under his loving guidance. We look forward to seeing him again soon and send our love to Sangha around the world.

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Rinpoche just completed his yearly visit to the Big Island of Hawaii at Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling. As always, he had an amazing time interacting with many students and was so happy to spend time with everyone once again. For the last four years, Rinpoche has begun his Hawaiian journey by starting at Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary in Captain Cook. He gave a teaching on  the evening of June 2nd entitled, “Meditation On The Luminous Mind”. Many students had inquisitive and interesting questions to ask. That night, Rinpoche stayed at the residence of long time Buddhist practitioners, Russ and Trish Ellis. Russ was kind enough to share his breathtaking Dharma art in the form of one of a kind beaded Thangkas. He learned traditional Lakota rosette beading techniques from renowned Native American artists many years ago and has woven this into his Buddhist practice to share with others with great benefit. Rinpoche was astonished by this art as Russ brought out a Guru Rinpoche Thangka that took over 2,000 hours to create. Before Rinpoche left, Trish kindly offered him a set of a brass bird family of 5. After a refreshing morning swim, the trip up to Wood Valley Temple (Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling) began on June 3rd. Marya and Miguel welcomed Rinpoche lovingly as he arrived. Saturday morning came time for the Orgyen Menla Empowerment, where approximately 40 students came to receive the precious Empowerment from Rinpoche. Afterwards, Rinpoche gave a teaching on how to practice Orgyen Menla. On Sunday morning and afternoon, he gave the commentary information and explained the root text from “Three Words that Strike the Crucial Point” by Garab Dorje. He intermittently wove in beautiful stories about skilled Dzogchen Meditators. On Monday morning and afternoon, Rinpoche gave Orgyen Menla meditation instructions, spiritual advice, and then all of the students meditated silently; looking for their nature of mind. Due to a dream, on Tuesday morning, Rinpoche practiced 16 Arhats and the Nechung Protector Offering Practice. This was for the long life of all Spiritual Masters and the Spirit the Buddha Dharma everywhere around the world. Then, Rinpoche came back to Kona with Nechung Sangha Kerry Wells and his son, Seth. On Wednesday, Kerry took Rinpoche all the way to the highest point, to the Mauna Kea Observatory. Rinpoche meditated and took pictures- it quickly became one of his favorite places. On the way to this destination, we passed Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, with its foggy, dreamlike presence. In the midst of the clouds, Rinpoche walked and reflected on Impermanence. Once on top of the Mauna Kea mountain, he shared his global compassion throughout the universe. Lots of tourists snapped photos of him as he meditated, as seeing him pray in his yellow robe was interesting for them to see! On Thursday morning, Rinpoche was taken to the local beaches that are hard to find. Kerry was able to introduce him to his first experience in snorkeling, which was amazing. Rinpoche also prayed in this setting for the ocean of Samsara to dry up. In the afternoon, the next stop was going all of the way to North Kohala, first visiting Hawi, with its charming stores and art galleries. Then, Rinpoche was pleased to reach the Pololu Valley, with it’s magnificent view. At this point, he loved to look at the fingers of the valley that formed the black sand beach. This whole area of Hawaii was rich with beautiful vegetation, rolling hills and fresh air that was the blessings the Buddha. Rinpoche would like to express his gratitude to Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling, Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary, and all of the students who wholeheartedly contributed to these important Dharma activities and opportunities being able to occur. In conclusion, Rinpoche would like to share an offering given by Dharma student, Andie, that reflects her joy and respect for the precious Dharma teachings given. Andie emailed this writing to Rinpoche shortly after Monday’s teaching:

My heartfelt deepest gratitude for the collective aspirations and accumulated merit that has allowed me to attend such wonderous Dharma teachings here at Woodvalley Temple these past few days. Presented by the utmost humble and knowledgeable teacher, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche . Blessing the environment with graceful Dharmic embodiment in the most simple and friendly form, like a steady current of electric joy radiating from the lineage of Dimond lightning essence .
 Extreme peace befell me as the journey began within the permeated mandala of the Gurus past, present, and future. Many friends and Dharma siblings swarmed like bees to the sweet fragrance of meditational stability exuding throughout the blissful wonders of space.
 Beheld within the heart of our loving teacher who transferred empowerment , bestowed the highest teachings, and endowed priceless pith instruction to those with auspicious past life connections. To which the ground literally shook in excitement as if Vajra Varahi herself was dancing on a sun and moon disk thrilled to spread great resonance of Dharma to all beings throughout the trichilocosm . Compassionately sharing such stillness and wisdom, the sun shone under the blessings of All the protectors at the Nechung center on the big island of Hawaii. So fortunate to dance under the Godly clouds of ever present awareness for momentary and long lasting enlightenment for all beings!
 – Written by Pega Cham in the water sheep month of the fire bird year at the Montana Center of 1000 Buddhas

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Heruka Institute and Tibetan Association of Washington continued their ongoing collaboration today as Rinpoche spoke with the local Tibetan children about his own life in Tibet. Rinpoche kindly and openly shared about what his life was like growing up; what it is like for little monks living in Tibetan Monasteries. The children were very interested and had wise and interesting questions to ask Rinpoche about this topic. Afterwards, Rinpoche led the children in a short Meditation practice. It was easy to see the benefit of this gathering, as the children were captivated by Rinpoche’s storytelling and eager to apply his instructions to practice.

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This past weekend, May 6th-7th, Rinpoche was very pleased to lead an enjoyable and valuable Annual Retreat with the Sangha of The Nalanda Institute, Olympia. This took place at Gwinwood Retreat Center in Lacey,WA. This property is a Christian Center, and it is located on a calm and peaceful lake that was breathtakingly beautiful throughout this sunny and auspicious weekend. The topics were Bodhicitta, Emptiness and the Six Paramitas; i.e. The Bodhisattva Path. Rinpoche organized the teaching to where he would lecture on a specific aspect first, and then give time for the students to meditate on that which was just discussed. This allowed for in depth lecture, especially regarding the Six Paramitas, or Perfections, with a meditation session to accompany each Perfection individually. Rinpoche had a wonderful time spending time with the Sangha in the radiant natural setting.

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