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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Rinpoche in Atlanta

Our Heruka Atlanta Sangha’s group have invited Heruka Institute master Tulku Yeshi  Rinpoche from Seattle Washington to offer us teachings and practicing Lamrim (Tsongkhapa Guru) and Phowa sleeping meditation (Amitabha’s Pureland) as well as voluntarily of students’ Bodhisattva vow. Firstly, the Master ensured us to understand the value of Lamrim. Then by joyfully and patiently doing the meditations we shall gradually experience the fruits of Lamrim’s practice.Eventually we shall attain freedom from all suffering and the remain equanimity and happiness of enlightenment. The schedules for February of 2019 are as follow:

Friday 22nd – Buddhism taking refuge ceremony
Saturday 23rd and 24th – Bodhisattva vow and The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim)
Sunday 24th – Amitabha Amitayus Phowa teaching, guided meditation, and explanations of benefits to take Bodhisattva vow and final ceremony for remaining students.

These teachings includes our reminders of daily practices such as:
Guru YogaThe 6 Perfections Buddhism and the cultivation of characterRecognize our precious human lifePrepare for our deaths and impermanenceThe sufferings from lower realms rebirthRefuge practice and prostationsIn-depth understanding karma (causes and their effects)Develop renunciation for samsara and state of persistently equanimityConstruct our loving kindness minds that all living beings are our mothersAlways kindness to all sentient beingsEqualizing self and othersRecognize disadvantages of egoistic and advantages of altruisticShare our knowledge with others and develop our compassionConsistently practice Great Compassion (Avalokiteshvara) and develop our wisdom (Manjushri)Practice the Four ImmeasurablesPractice of Prostrations to the 35 BuddhasDaily incantations of (Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Ah Ra Pa Za Na Dih, Om Ami Dewa Hrih)
Overall, we were immensely enjoyed all the fruitful sessions of teachings Lamrim and practicings Phowa meditation from our Master Tulku Yeshi  Rinpoche. Our Sanghas believe these courses teachings we pertained from our Master were extraordinarily excellent. We would hope to reconvene with the Master next year again for Heruka Atlanta Sangha’s group to receives Empowerments from Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri Buddhas. We will always remember our Master emphasizes and practices the 4 significant key words such as Harmony, Equality, Balance, and finally Peaceful. 
Gratefully and thankfully to our master Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche,
Heruka Atlanta’s Sangha,
Yeshi Rangrig

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Rinpoche Returns to Heruka Long Beach

Written by Yeshi Tenzin

Namo Gurube! Namo Buddhaya! Namo Dharmaya! Namo Sanghaya! Namo Sakya Muni Buddha!
It’s winter time and holidays season again in America but it’s a great time like a double joy for us to welcome our precious Guru, H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche to Southern California again. We, Heruka Long Beach and Heruka Ojai, were so happy and so fortunate to have Rinpoche here for 2 weeks from December 19, 2018 to January 02, 2019.
Heruka Long Beach, mainly consists of Vietnamese American Buddhist followers in Orange County and some from nearby counties. Rinpoche had a two day teaching and empowerment for the group. 
The first day event on December 20, 2018 was at Heruka House, Rinpoche taught and reviewed all three main branches of Buddhism: Hinayana – the original branch, Mahayana – developed or sutra branch, and Tantrayana – the most modern or the highest branch. Rinpoche compassionately bestowed the group refuge vows in the Buddha, Dharma, and Shangha to set the foundation, Bodhisattva vows for the higher part, and Vajrayana vows for the upper part. It was good for all to build the foundation, establish the connection, renew and refresh all vows for daily practices and for the path to liberation. Rinpoche then transferred the Vajrasattva empowerment, a very powerful practice to help practitioners purify obstacles. This also supports the practices of other dharma parts like Phowa and/or Bardo meditation. It’s good for us to receive such precious initiation to, learn and get conection to the 100 deities, including 42 in peaceful forms and 58 in wrathful forms. When we are living this precious human life, 42 peaceful deities are in the heart representing Loving Kindness and Great Compassion; 58 wrathful deities are in the brain representing Wisdom. When we die, at the time of death or during the 49 day Bardo, we will see all these 100 deities (Buddhas and Bodhisattvas) one by one. Each will appear to help save us, liberate us from samsara with different lights and luminosities. At that moment, don’t be afraid, just focus, follow, and dissolve into the brightest light with strongest luminosity.
The second day event on December 21, 2018  was at Ms. Vy Yeshi Wangmo’s residence. In the morning Rinpoche gave the group Amitabha empowerment. This general initiation is very important for us to practice Phowa and Bardo meditation because Amitabha Buddha is the most popular and most favorable deity/yidam in both Mahayana and Tantrayana traditions. In the afternoon Rinpoche taught us about six Bardos or intermediate states: 1. the  natural bardo of this life; 2. the painful bardo of dying; 3. the luminous bardo of dharmata; 4. the karmic bardo of becoming; 5. the bardo of meditation ; and 6. the bardo of dreaming. After learning about this subject, Buddhist practitioners understand different states of mind and the truth of death, of birth ad rebirth, and the true value of liberation from samsara or the end of cyclic existence. We need to cut the root cause of suffering or the five poisons of mind to stop being born again and again. Rinpoche gave oral transmission mantras of Sakya Muni Buddha,  Amitabha Buddha, Medicine Buddha, Green Tara Buddha, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and Guru Rinpoche.
For Heruka Ojai, which is the newest group/sangha to be formed and becomes a parts of the International Heruka family. This new part of Heruka family consists of different people from all walks of life, mostly senior Americans living in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. There are also some members from other counties like Los Angeles, San Bernadino, San Diego, and even from up north San Francisco. Here, Rinpoche had two teaching sessions in the morning of December 29 and December 30, 2018. There are some old members who have attended the two day teaching here in summer 2018. There are some new members who joined the group for the first time. But all were so excited and happy to receive precious teaching by Rinpoche. 
The first day’s session was about Medicine Buddha and Healing Meditation which Rinpoche showed us the true Buddha and power are in our mind. That is the true nature of mind with Loving Kindness, Great Compassion, and Wisdom. The best healing meditation is understanding the truth of reality that is impermanence. All can be free from suffering and be happy if we know, accept, and understand the all things and phenomena come, stay, and go. The second day’s session was on Death, Bardo, and Rebirth. These concepts and philosophies seem to be new with some members of the group but it’s all part of our life, no matter what form we are born in like humans or animals. Death is common that all and everyone of us have learned, known, witnessed or experienced in life. Bardo or the intermediate state is quite new to some people who first have heard or learned about it as this is a specific part in Tantrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. Rebirth is both familiar and new to some people as some have heard, learned, believed, accepted, and recognized. It was an interesting subject for the group so there are many questions to ask or some points to make clear. It seemed to be short for this time’s teaching so there should be another time to teach in details for Heruka Ojai. Rinpoche gave oral transmission the mantra of Medicine Buddha for group.
Along with those important teaching events, Rinpoche had other activities with Heruka members here in Orange County. Concluding two week stay of Rinpoche we, Heruka Long Beach had a long count down new year’s eve with Rinpoche at Yeshi Lhamo’s residence. That was the first time Rinpoche has stayed up late through midnight though it was very cold. The main message Rinpoche wants to send to all Heruka family’s members is that we are Buddhists, practitioners following the same lineage, same Guru, same Buddha, same Dharma, and same sangha. We are born as humans with same suffering in samsara, with same salty tears and red blood. No matter where we are from, East or West, South or North; no matter who we are, Asians or Americans, Tibetans or Vietnamese, we are all equal. So, we all need to respect our Guru, our lineage masters and all masters. We need to take care of our dharma brothers and sisters, love our sanghas and members of each group. We are born to live a happy life, practice dharma for a better life, and be free from suffering when this life ends. 
On be half of Heruka Long Beach and Heruka Ojai, we want to express our deepest gratitude and thanks to our Guru, H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche for your time, compassion, and wisdom to have been here with us. May you live long to spread precious dharma for the benefits of all. We also want to say big “Thank you!” to Christy Namgyal, Ms. Huong Yeshi Lhamo, Ms. Vy Yeshi Wangmo, Ms. Ngoc Yeshi Dawa, Mr.Billy Yeshi Namkha, Ms. Hong, Mr. Nhan Yeshi Chogan, Ms. Than Phuoc-Heruka House, Ms. Thanh Yeshi Wangmo, Dorjee Mandala, Dolkar Tso, Dargyal Janyang and family, and all members of Heruka family for your valuable support and contributions. Wish you be well and happy always. Happy New Year 2019 to all 14 groups and members of Heruka family!!! 
Let’s rejoice the merits for Rinpoche’s long life and for the benefits of all. Sarva Mangalam. Om Mani Padme Hum.

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Written by Wendy Hung

21號的早上,來自北美不同地區的Heruka 弟子們帶著美麗的鮮花、哈達,以及興奮的心情到達機場迎接仁波切光臨。之後,我們去一家越南餐廳用膳。有些弟子雖然未能參加這次三天的閉關,但仍前來向仁波切問侯。從他們的虔誠舉止跟表情,已經令我生起一種說不出的感動。在座上,雖然大部分都是陌生的面孔,可是卻已經一見如故。其實,他們的友善跟熱情,早在閉關還沒開始之前有所體驗;電郵上互動,交流,並且主動安排機場接送,提供自己居所等,為外地而來的弟子們感到很窩心。


這一所閉關中心名為 Ecodhama Retreat center, 建於1930年,海拔八千多,佔地共一百五十畝,環境安靜又美麗。到達後,Heruka 師兄師姐們展示其團結精神,不用一個小時,便已經各自安頓,並爲接下來的蓮師灌頂作準備。












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Written by Ullas Brian Morales

This year, our Annual Heruka Institute Summer Retreat was in the beautiful mountains of Boulder, Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center. It was co-hosted by our wonderful newly made dharma friends at the center and local Heruka Boulder Sangha.

Every morning, Rinpoche took us on these wonderfully magical walks through the forest on 108 acres of the most majestic meadows and forests, with pristine streams and rocky cliffs. We found a lions den cave on one of our dharma walks. We would walk in total silence in the morning after breakfast, as Rinpoche had instructed us to connect with the universe in every step we took, connecting with each particle and step and every breath. Over the course of three days we received the empowerments of Guru Rinpoche, Yeshe Tsogyal, and Machig Labdron Chod.

The wonderful meals and time that we got to spend together was truly amazing. As we finished our empowements on the third day, we all went out on the beautiful deck and lo and behold, a stunning rainbow hallowing the vast mountain around us.

The accommodations of the Rocky Mountain Eco Dharma Retreat Center were very conducive to all of us being able to work together and gather. We enjoyed dharma conversations with Rinpoche in the evenings and a slide show of so many of his experiences, and journeys through Tibet and around the world.

We are so blessed and thankful to have H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, such an amazing teacher. We so look forward to your return.

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Written by David Swaintek

The Boulder Heruka Sangha hosted Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche and an eclectic group of yogis, lay practitioners, and monks for a three-day retreat at the spacious and visually stunning Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center. We congregated in Boulder at the Jaipur restaurant for some lunch where old friends reconnected and new friends met for the first time. Seekers of enlightenment and samosas arrived from near and far… Boulder, Seattle, Miami, Boston, Toronto and California.

Next stop… Alfalfa’s Market. Our group spread out to secure Tsok, and received an important teaching from Rinpoche… “Yogis eating meat does not make me happy, but yogis drinking red wine makes me very happy!” The congregation happily received this instruction and stocked up on the fruit of the vine. Multiple bottles of water were also purchased as the group heeded warnings about the dramatic change in altitude we were about to experience. Cars stocked with enough suitcases, shrine items, and Tsok to transform the retreat center into Padmasambhava’s Palace, we began our ascent.

The convoy wound its way up three thousand more feet of elevation and majestic mountain scenery before arriving at our home for the next three days. We were greeted by our smiling host Josh. The wisdom of the guru was on display as Rinpoche miraculously transformed Josh’s Helly Hanson logo (“HH”) into an honorific. For the next three days, His Holiness Josh would bestow blessings upon the group in the form of home-cooked vegetarian fare and his miraculous Life Changing Bread. We then unloaded our gear, changed into Dharma-wear, and transformed Zendo into Shrine Room.

We started with a walking meditation in the shadow of the Indian Peaks range. We all did our best to walk with a quiet mind and follow the instruction: “Do not think about walking, think about your feet coming in contact with the entire universe, and with all the sentient beings in the universe.” Rinpoche led the way, ringing his bell, bringing our minds back to the meditation, and ringing out countless blessing. And also dispersing any bears eager to take our “body offering” practice too literally.

The Boulder Sangha’s most auspicious portable throne assembled, thangkas hung, and cushions in place, we received the Guru Rinpoche empowerment. Minds were opened as the various empowerment rituals were performed, mantras were recited, and blessings were bestowed. Musical instruments appeared in the form of gourd banjo, lyre, and laptop as we enjoyed tsok, stories, and vajra songs, and were assured by Aric (MA, Buddhist Studies) that anything by Jerry Garcia was indeed acceptable as dharma music. The empowerment was followed by dinner and an early departure for dream yoga for most as we recovered from the road and acclimated to the altitude.

HH Josh prepared yet another delicious meal for breakfast on Saturday morning as we prepared for another walking meditation. Where Friday’s meditation had gone downhill, Saturday morning’s meditation headed straight up the mountain. Again we were instructed to quiet all speech, quiet the mind, and come in contact with the universe and all sentient beings. We had stunning views of the Indian Peaks, visits from hummingbirds, sunshine and fresh air., all while the lack of oxygen presented ample opportunity to see negativities as helpers. Praise to the guru.

We were joined by our first four legged friend of the weekend as Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pants announced the arrival of several additional members of the Boulder Sangha. Day two would consist of the Yeshe Tsogyal empowerment. Our psycho-organisms flooded with the fire of Vajrayogini as more empowerments were bestowed, rituals performed, mantras received and tsok shared. In between sessions the group members retreated for walks in the woods; meditation and music on the porch; and dream states in their rooms. There were double rainbows and hummingbirds, and we supplicated for an end to jet lag and an occasional hit off the mini oxygen tanks purchased in town.

As the evening wound down, Rinpoche regaled us with a slide show of his life. We were transported from the Indian Peaks to the snow-capped Himalayas, with pictures and stories of lamas and gurus, lakes and palaces, llamas and yaks, and mountains and monasteries. Rinpoche’s travels have taken him from Potala Palace to Pike Place and everywhere in between, and we eagerly listened to the stories of his path as a teacher and guru.

Rinpoche continued to give more informal teachings to the group’s insomniac members late into the night. We received excellent guidance on some of life’s most pressing questions… from business (“Ask somebody who is a businessman in that business, I’m a spiritual teacher”), to love life (“Maybe we should go back to talking about business”), to extensive questions about the different levels of commitment to the dharma (“No, you should absolutely not become a monk”) and a clarification on the Heruka Institute’s policy on yellow shirts (“Not just for monks, also for yogis, and it feels amazing”) we gratefully soaked in as much wisdom as we could each receive.

Sunday morning sunrise brought another auspicious day of dharma activity. We donned our hats and sunglasses and headed out for another walking meditation. Touching the universe of sentient beings was a lot easier this morning, as our hike stayed mostly flat. We passed by meadows and streams and caves. We were joined on our walk by our second four legged friend of the weekend, a black lab eager to disrupt our meditative stability with slobbering requests to toss him a pinecone. A black lab as we prepared to receive teachings on the Wrathful Black Dakini and Mother Machig from Lab… An auspicious sign indeed!

We finished the retreat with the Machig Labdron empowerment and teachings on the Chod practice, one of Rinpoche’s specialties. Members of the sangha ready to receive the transmission for the first time, or reinforcing teachings and transmissions already received, eagerly rattled the damaru, sounded the kangling, and implored the dakinis to rise up, sever the ego, and bless us to see negativities as helpers.

As we prepared to leave the retreat center, HH Josh gave us our closing instructions and a little more information about the future of the Ecodharma retreat center. Rinpoche bestowed gifts and blessings, thanking Josh, Sergio, Aric, Alexandra, and all of the Boulder Sangha for making the retreat possible. We all then transformed into worker dakinis and began to disassemble thrones, secure thangkas, sweep floors, strip sheets… and pack a little tsok for the flight.

Several members of the group were immediately able to put our compassionate practice into action on the way to the airport as we came upon a cyclist who had taken a nasty spill. Bob and Beth, originally upset about the giant gas guzzling Yukon the car rental company had provided, put the teaching into action as that which was originally perceived as negative was loaded up with an expensive road bike, an injured cyclist, a car full of yogis, and driven to the emergency room. She had sustained a serious injury and was admitted for surgery, but afterwards thanked us for our calm energy during an extremely painful car ride and the fortunate circumstances that allowed us to help get her to safety.

With the Summer Retreat now in the books, the Heruka Institute Sangha eagerly awaits the next Dharma adventure!



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Rinpoche Returns to Sitka

There is only one way to go, and that is up! In more ways then one. Last weekend Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche returned to Sitka to teach his third Dharma workshop. We began our weekend hiking up majestic mountains. Rinpoche played the song Floating Blessings on his flute while overlooking all of Sitka. His hostess’ house was on a secluded island, which is a ten minute boat ride from  of Sitka. Each night, we were surrounded by the wildness of eagles, sea lions, whales, and wild flowers.

The following day, he taught Samantha and a beginners class of Vipassana. Sunday morning, he gave a talk concerning Buddha Nature and Mother Nature to help people understand the innate  Buddha consciousness in all living beings and to awaken one’s respect for all life on the planet through compassion and kindness. That evening, we held a Tibetan Cooking and Culture class. We made the soul food of Tibet called Thukpa . Rinpoche showed a documentary after dinner that he made of his life in Tibet. The documentary encompasses his family, education, history, religion, and the wild life of Tibet. While showing the documentary he took his time pausing and telling personal stories. This connected our hearts to Tibet and deepened our friendship, respect and compassion for his life’s journey.

We learned a lot in a small amount of time and look forward to his return.

Sitka Sangha

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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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