Sixth Annual Guru Rinpoche Bumtsok

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Sixth Annual Guru Rinpoche Bumtsok

by Jangsem Yeshi Tsomo
Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism
Seattle, Washington

Om Ah Hung Benza (Vajra) Guru Pema Siddhi Hung.

At the exquisitely beautiful Sakya Monastery on August 9 and 10, 2019, we assembled to practice our 6th Annual Guru Rinpoche Bumtsok. The following briefly describes the event and the words of our teacher, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche.

Five years ago, His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche gave permission and blessings for our Sangha to practice the Guru Rinpoche Bumtsok at Sakya Monastery. At that time he also consecrated the beautiful “Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche” thangka we display during this special practice. We are thankful to His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche, to Dagmola, and to Sakya Monastery. We practitioners are also very thankful to Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, a qualified Vajra Master, for compassionately and skillfully leading us through the stages of practice.
Tibetan Buddhism came from India originally from Siddharta Gautama Buddha, and of his disciples, only a few of them came to Tibet, including Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. He arrived around the time King Trisong Deutsen, a reincarnation of Manjushri, was middle-aged. Guru Rinpoche remained in Tibet even after the King passed away and stayed until his son became an adult.

Since the eighth century, Guru Rinpoche, himself, including his various manifestations and reincarnations has visited and brought forth pure vision for the practitioners who have strong devotion in Guru Rinpoche and his disciples. While in Tibet, Guru Rinpoche subdued the mountain spirits and consecrated the ground for the first Tibetan Buddhist temple where he gave teachings. He and his manifestations, including Yeshi Tsogyal, hid numerous treasures, called “termas,’ including such things as vajra bells, statues, pieces of holy cloth, writings, and teachings. Guru Rinpoche is very important to we who practice the Vajrayana tradition.

The Guru Rinpoche Bumstok conducted by Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche at Sakya Monastery has been a very popular event these last 6 years. Practitioners look forward to this opportunity to retreat into practice with other devotees for 2 days, bringing their bells, dorjes, and damarus to enthusiastically offer prayers, incense, flowers, and other substances. Each day food is prepared and blessed for the Tsok offering, and we also enjoy delicious potluck meals at break time. This year, the beautiful and strong Tibetan ladies of Sakya Monastery prepared an amazing vegetarian feast that was greatly enjoyed by all.

We began each retreat day by sincerely offering prostrations to our teachers and the lineage masters such as Buddha Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava, His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche; to all the great masters of our tradition, the mahasiddhas, to our Sangha sisters and brothers, and to all dakas and dakinis.

There are a number of biographies published about Guru Rinpoche; I think all of them include passages wherein it is said that Guru Rinpoche promised those who offer Guru Rinpoche statues, paint statues, build temples and monasteries, even just setting up a small shrine or offering flowers or food; the benefits will come to those devoted practitioners. Other common offerings include substances such as water transformed by pure vision into precious wisdom nectar, flowers, and incense. It is written that the kinds of benefits received will be birth in higher realms, liberation from lower realms, birth into a healthy body with a strong mind and a happy disposition, and birth into fortunate circumstances to find their spiritual master, and with access to and knowledge of the holy Dharma.

When we offer the Tsok, we don’t visualize these water bowls, candles, and incense as worldly, samsaric objects. We must visualize in the way of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra such that the offering of even one water bowl or one incense stick is manifested into hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, millions, billions, even trillions and in this way we may receive greater and greater merit. During this visualization practice, we also aim to transform the quality. From our human culture, people often value gold, silver, diamonds and other gemstones, for example. With the leadership of a qualified master, in a sacred place and time, and with our brother and sister yogis and yoginis, we try to transform the ordinary, worldly substances into the most precious of substances. Water becomes holy nectar with the 8 auspicious qualities; it is no longer simply ordinary water from the tap. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche emphasizes the importance of the quality of our visualizations and the purity of our thoughts during this ceremony. He tells us, “Don’t think only a thangka, visualize the real Guru Rinpoche. He already said, ‘If you have strong devotion in me, I’m just outside your door.’ If we have strong devotion and pure vision (no negative thoughts, emotions, don’t give chance, just follow forgiveness, happiness pure vision) he is here 100%.”

When we practice the 7-line prayer, we visualize the Thangka coming alive with the actual Guru Rinpoche and his 8 manifestations and with dakas and dakinis from the copper colored mountains. We chant with fervor asking Guru Rinpoche and the millions and trillions of his retinue to come bless us and the Tsok. When we offer the substances, we must visualize and hold pure vision so the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Guru Rinpoche, and millions of dakas and dakinis will transform the offerings into most highly precious and enjoyable substances and treasures by their wisdom and compassion. These items are then no longer ordinary. That’s what we mean by pure vision pure offering.
The Vajrasattva purification practice is extremely important. You remember and acknowledge the bad karma created by your body, speech, and mind in this life and past lives. You sincerely confess with true and deep regret and you must resolve not to continue repeating negative behaviors and thoughts. If you don’t purify these, especially if you have broken samaya between yourself and your Vajra Master, Sangha brothers, sisters, dakas, and dakinis – if you don’t purify – day by day the negative forces multiply. In this worldly life, there are many obstacles. Sometimes we think, “Oh, it’s so important (about politics or religion),” you think you need to say something, but if the result is to judge or condemn, you will have broken your samaya. No matter what the reason, if there is a Vajrayana connection or if you received empowerments from a particular master, if you judge him, you will have broken the samaya. This is very bad for the long life of your Guru and for your realizations. Be very careful. Knowingly or unknowingly, it still matters. We must be careful to practice pure vision at all times.

Many times throughout the Bumtsok event, our kind teacher, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche beckons us to hold this pure visualization throughout recitations and while visualizing yourself as Guru Rinpoche, the temple as a pure mandala with your brother and sister as dakas and dakinis, and the water transformed to wisdom nectar. Also, Guru Rinpoche said that when we recite with a beautiful melody, he will immediately come and bless you. We participants were especially fortunate that Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche is gifted with an especially beautiful singing voice, helping to make our offering even more blessed: Om Ah Hung Benza (Vajra) Guru Pema Siddhi Hung.

Our teacher leads us in the prayers, we ring our bells, and shake our damarus, making a beautiful sound. The sound of the conch shell blows, beckoning these beings to join us, to bless and transform and partake of our offerings. Sakya Monastery serves as our sacred place for this practice and there we see the Guru Rinpoche thangka displaying his 8 manifestations. Golden offering bowls filled with blessed substances and incense are in front of the thangka. To the left is a table with 108 small offering bowls filled with precious transformed substances. At the correct times, our teacher leads us with careful instructions for the visualizations and stages; such as visualizing ourselves as Guru Rinpoche, with a rainbow body, and within the rainbow body, the center of the heart is the white lotus, the moon disk, sun disk, blue hung syllable, and the Guru Rinpoche mantra garland in blue.
When we visualize the mantra garland and blue hung syllable, we raise 2 kinds of light. The upper light goes out towards and through the universe, lingering in the pure land, and these lights carry our offering the gods. The second light goes to towards the impure world, in Tibetan, the name is “matapeshung” and this light is sent to liberate all sentient beings from suffering.

As we continue the Bumtsok practice, there comes a second recitation of the Guru Rinpoche mantra, and in this time, the visualizations go a bit deeper and more complex; yourself as Guru Rinpoche, the Heruka Yabyum, in your heart, and within that heart, the syllable “hung” and the mantra garland. Our teacher again tells us not to give up – that we must visualize the prescribed images and beings as real, and manifesting like a kaleidoscope, or like mirrors upon mirrors, multiplying levels. We must work hard to keep our samayas, to maintain pure vision, and to pray unhesitatingly and with a one-pointed mind.

At the end of each day, we dedicate the merit of our activities for the benefit of all mother-father sentient beings, then we sing the prayer for the swift return of HH Dagchen Jigdal, we pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we pray for the long life of our teacher, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, and for all Dharma practitioners.

It’s a wonderful blessing that we have access to the holy Dharma, to a holy and sacred place for the Bumtsok practice, to a compassionate teacher who is a qualified Vajra Master, and to a community of kind and precious brother and sister practitioners who bring so much loving-kindness and support to each other. Everyone who participates in this annual event feels absolutely amazing afterwards. We all look forward to the 7th Annual Guru Rinpoche Bumstok and pray for the welfare of all mother-father sentient beings. Om Ah Hung Vajra Guru Pema Siddhi Hung.

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Medicine Buddha Empowerment Ceremony


by Yeshi Dawa

Buddha Hall Kim Cang Vương Bảo Giác • July 7, 2019

In the early days of 2019 summer season, the sun was bright and shiny. After a happy July 4th day and fatigued for the daily life, Buddhist practitioners gathered at a newly established Buddha Hall in Midway City, California. The Buddha Hall was owned by a Buddhist practitioner Dharma named Tịnh Nguyện and helped to support the Heruka Long Beach practitioners to practice the Medicine Buddha Empowerment ceremony organized by two disciples Yeshi Choga & Yeshi Dawa (BTN).

We were lucky having invited the noble Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, a highly trained Lama with an authentic and powerful lineage, who had maintained the Dharma chief to give teachings and empowerments to us today and others all over the world. The masses were delighted, joyful to the present of Rinpoche’s teaching and empowerment.

I, Yeshi Dawa (BTN) sincerely bowed to welcome the Great Virtue Venerable monks and nuns and Buddhist practitioners. We all received blessings from the Three Jewels. Today’s teaching and empowerment program was fully fulfilled.

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An Evening with a Tulku and Tantric Master

by Yeshi Khandro

South Florida has been blessed with the presence of Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche. During our preparation, we gathered fruits and flowers from the garden to place on the altar as bountiful offerings. The energy of excitement and anticipation filled the air! As Rinpoche arrived in the early afternoon to the Miami Sangha home, he got to meet our big Bodhisattva kitty named Artemis, she laid on Rinpoche’s lap as he chanted mantras to her, what a blessing for out kitties to receive! Shortly after, we sat down to enjoy dinner before the main event. We prepared delicious veggies and salad for Rinpoche and for us all to share! 

The community started to arrive for the event which was a discussion on Buddha Nature and Human Nature. The room got filled rather quickly and due to the South Florida heat, you can feel the room getting warmer, all though I have a feeling it was the energy of the community ready to receive these teachings in great excitement. The discussion was deep and direct, easily digestible for all present. Rinpoche placed a huge emphasis on following a vegetarian diet, which we were all ready to hear. He went deeper into the nature of Buddha and the nature of Human. We learned that Human nature is love and kindness, we ultimately need one another and we are irrevocably interdependent, always. 

Buddha nature is wisdom and clear light, it is found within everything and everyone, Buddha nature is the fundamental essence of all! After the two hour discussion, Rinpoche shared with us his travels from Nepal to Tibet and then to the states, presenting beautiful pictures on the screen. It was wonderful to get to know our teacher deeper. After the evening was complete, the community expressed their immense gratitude for having Rinpoche here to share these auspicious teachings, everyone felt this reunion was much needed and called for, and we couldn’t agree more! 

The next morning, we gathered for a delicious breakfast, as we prepared to go on our meditation walk. The walk was peaceful, six sangha members joined and a baby. We walked around a beautiful park and chanted mantras to the fish and turtles, for their liberation. All of the water animals came to greet us and stayed as we prayed and sang. Each and everyone of us present felt a palpable wisdom as we followed our teachers footsteps. It was an overall wonderful experience and we all feel really grateful to have had the honour to host Rinpoche in South Florida for the first time. We give thank and praise to all the retinue of deities that guide and support our auspicious aspirations. Until next time, Rinpoche, we will always welcome you with open Hearts!

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Orgyen Menla Empowerment in Kansas City

by Yeshi Garkyi Wangchuk

From June 14th to 16th, H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche visited the Rime Center in Kansas City, where he has returned every year for teachings and empowerments since his first visit in 2013. The Rime Sangha always looks forward to Rinpoche’s warm and direct delivery of the Dharma, and we were blessed to have him give clear instructions on the path toward a healthier and happier life.

On Friday evening, Rinpoche gave the opening teaching by explaining the meaning and significance of Orgyen Menla, Guru Rinpoche’s manifestation of Medicine Buddha. He taught about the Eight Medicine Buddhas and about how the great Indian pandita, Shantarakshita, introuduced the practice of Medicine Buddha to Tibet.

The next day, Rinpoche bestowed the Orgyen Menla empowerment, and emphasized that spiritual practice requires a healthy body. He reminded us that food is medicine and that we should be particularly mindful about what we eat. “How can you eat sentient beings and then pray to benefit all sentient beings?” asked Rinpoche. He stated clearly that while plant foods provide nourishment and health, meat comes from the suffering of sentient beings. Therefore, we should avoid eating meat and ask ourselves, “How can we enjoy eating meat when we have committed ourselves to ending the suffering of others?”

Rinpoche and most of the Sangha enjoyed a vegetarian lunch that afternoon at a local Indian restaurant. It is always such a joy to be in the presence of such an actualized master who is also so approachable and generous of spirit. Rinpoche shared funny stories and listened patiently as we asked him questions between bites of rice and vegetable korma.

That afternoon, Rinpoche gave the transmission and led us in sadhana practice of Orgyen Menla. He taught us that pure love comes from the heart, and that our commitment to non-violence is not limited to human beings but must include all animals. “When you are practicing walking meditation,” Rinpoche said, “take care not to step on the little ants. They are also practicing walking meditation!” In everything we do, in what and how we eat and take care of our health, we must remember to consider the suffering and happiness of all sentient beings.

Later in the evening, Rinpoche shared a slide show of photos from his childhood and youth growing up in a nomadic family in Tibet. He showed pictures and shared stories of some of his gurus and fellow monks throughout different monasteries. We enjoyed learning about all of the places where he has spread the Dharma and all of the students throughout the world who have been blessed to receive his teachings.

Sunday morning came and Rinpoche gave a public Dharma talk to a large crowd at the Rime Center. Rinpoche again talked about the need to care for our bodies and our health as we seek to cultivate the qualities and attributes of bodhisattvas. He said, “You can become a bodhisattva in this lifetime. If you practice the four immeasurables (compassion, lovingkindness, equanimity, joy) and the six paramitas (generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditative concentration, wisdom) you can attain the first bhumi.” And, he emphasized, we must strive to do all we can to benefit all sentient beings, beginning by not eating them.

It is always a blessing to have Rinpoche visit us in Kansas City. We pray for his long life and we hope for his prompt return.

May all beings benefit.

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Exemple

by Yangchen

When Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche visited, he so tightly interwove the teachings of compassion and wisdom that new understandings and connections arose between the teachings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, their practices & mantras and what actually occurs in our world experience. Personal mistakes in daily behavior became visible, their root causes comprehensible and remedies revealed. Remaining in Hawaii after Precious Rinpoche’s departure, reflecting now on some of the sacred and transcendental teachings he revealed.

Rinpoche began his teaching on compassion and wisdom by having us reflect upon what it is “to be a Buddhist”. He pointed out the comic irony of saying one “is a Buddhist, but does not practice”. If one respects Shakyamuni Buddha sincerely enough to say that one “is a Buddhist”, then one must respect not only Shakyamuni Buddha’s life and example but also his teachings on how exactly to effectively end our suffering. One logically begins with his first teaching- the Four Noble Truths: 1)There is suffering. 2)There is a cause, origin, root of our suffering. 3)There is a path to end our suffering/ to stop the cause of suffering/ to cut the root of suffering. 4) the path is to Analyze the causes and effects of actions. Choose actions that lead to the elimination of our sufferings.

Buddha taught an active not complacent method. Each thought and action must accord with virtuous motivation, virtuous action, everything we do aiming for virtuous effect of cutting the origin of our suffering. Moreover, if we are Mahāyāna Buddhists, we must aim to end not only our suffering but also the suffering of others.

For example, when Shakyamuni Buddha was alive, feeling compassion at the sight of other’s illness, age, and death; seeking wisdom attainment, he scrutinized cause and effect of all he thought and saw, aspiring to renounce everything unless it lead toward an end to suffering. Recognizing that the system of caste and the religion in place failed to address the suffering of sentient beings-he rejected them. Leaving his palace behind, humbly begging for food only when needed, gratefully eating whatever, including meat, was offered to him, he and those who followed him rigorously renounced luxury. Their motivation: Self discipline mind to understand all effects as having a cause, establish pure, positive virtue action as cause, and aim toward wisdom attainment as effect through following the eight precepts and meditation. As mendicants with begging bowls, when cause and effect put meat in their bowls, their humility accepted it, their minds on renunciation and acceptance with view of emptiness aiming toward wisdom stabilization.

When the stronghold of the Buddha Dharma later shifted to Tibet, winter snow prevented growth of summer foods, the impoverished nomads depended on meat, blood and products of their cherished animals for their survival. Again, eating meat not by choice. Times have changed. While one might say “Oh the Buddha himself ate meat. They ate meat in Tibet.” One fails to accurately see through the lens of changes in circumstance that have occurred and fails to actively assess and apply cause and effect assessment to modern day conditions. In this part of the world, at this time, most of us are not mendicants who renounced luxury of royal birth with a begging bowl in hand. When surrounded by abundance of vegetables and fruit, if we happily profess to “being a Buddhist,” while blithely requesting steak at a restaurant- actively choosing food from the suffering and slaughter of others, we have failed to follow Buddha’s teaching to use human discernment to analyze cause and effect and create a path that will end suffering. We have also not disciplined our mind to make virtuous choice as cause to lead to compassionate wisdom. If we wish to hold Buddha’s compassion and wisdom we must practice them.

After conferring the Avoloketishvara empowerment, Precious Rinpoche also gave the pith instruction to maintaining the strength of any Buddhist empowerment: When reciting a practice, as one imagines the sacred syllables radiating out into all realms, bringing compassion, healing and the release of suffering to all beings, it is crucial to strongly visualize that one’s ordinary body has been completely transformed to the specific Buddha or bodhisattva’s body mind and speech.
This step- you strongly believe this “body of the Buddha or body of the Bodhisattva” is true- is the key that protects and develops the blessings from any empowerment.

When introducing us to mind training through the 5 Doors of Tibetan Zen, Rinpoche had us giggling when he recounted that so many people tell him “Oh it’s too much trouble to visualize all those deities and recite all those mantras, I want to practice ZEN ! “ but ha! To train the mind through stillness is the most difficult ! Tilopa, erudite scholar, realized that he had no control whatsoever over his mind. Despite excelling at philosophy and debate, his mind remained totally impelled by karma. Facing the fact that he was unable to still mind for the length of time it takes a girl to milk a cow, Tilopa left the monastery seeking a method, a cause for wisdom stabilization. Wandering, he came upon a brothel which during the day produced sesame oil by grinding sesame seeds. He saw his chance to simplify. Yes, A monk, staying at a brothel, he did nothing but grind seeds, focusing 100% on the sesame seeds in his hands, for 12 years. Tilopa actively chose to train his busy mind away from seeking causes of happiness or busy mind dialog toward focus upon just the sesame seeds to be ground. Disciplining his mind to stabilization, he attained complete realization. In turn when his student Naropa sought realization, Tilopa assured him that if he explicitly followed everything exactly as Tilopa instructed for 13 years, Naropa too would experience realization! After explicitly following Tilopa’s every instruction for 12 years, Naropa’s Guru devotion, refuge and renunciation 100% pure, all of Tilopa’s mind realizations transferred and merged to Naropa’s Heart! Through the thread of these lineage masters and the devotion of their disciples, arose “mind one with the sky” as was described by Milarepa.
Rinpoche inspired us that anyone can make use of the keys presented by the master and perhaps even go even beyond, given devotion, determination and persistence. We have all we need!

Rinpoche urged us train the mind by going inward. Be happy! “Stop being the police officer of others ! Observe our lovely mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, lovers, grandmothers, grandfathers calmly, with a joyful heart!” As Tilopa himself discovered, the process of attraction and aversion to eye perception, harsh judgemental vision of others, the mind quick to seek and criticize, or compete, all of which have become habitual patterns for most of us, everyday, horribly wastes our spiritual energy. This disturbance occurs through sound imputation too, as well as through all the other senses, harshly compounding into the physical and mental exhaustion we experience on a daily basis. Incessant attraction and aversion arises through our perception of all we experience. If we seek wisdom attainment we must transform this way of perceiving! How ? Usually we look beyond the eyes at objects, or we hear beyond our ears at the objects in the field of focus lying beyond the eyes, ears and so forth, liking or disliking external objects…Tibetan zen methods train us to observe calmly without “interaction between subject and object”. Train the mind by keeping the eyes open, yet keeping the spiritual energy, the inner relaxation energy, inside.Rinpoche had us practice together making us laugh at mind’s inability to hold still even for 60 seconds.He had us gaze softly just for short periods now as we begin to train. With the eyes resting in eyes’ gaze itself, letting mind rest within the faculty of vision itself. Likewise rest the mind through focus on the faculty of hearing and so forth- for all of the senses. This pratyahara withdrawal from the senses creates a space of deep internal calm in the mind where 6 senses remain aware, yet without a focus that distinguishes object from mind.Rest in equanimity, develop clear sight, saving energy, protecting the mind. Without grasping/ pushing away, reactively judging, forms, appearances and experiences will become soft like rainbow awareness. The result? Eye consciousness goes into a deeper level. Mind perception refines. With practice, all sense faculties soften expansively.

As far as sound and the other senses go, purify motivation! Even when we can not totally transform the karma of others we CAN always hold compassion in our hearts, always finding a way to be kind and helpful to our lovely mothers! there are always things that we can do: “Be nice! Be kind ! Make your mind brighter handsome and beautiful, do not do evil things, do not speak critically, be evil or judge others or be jealous or be anger toward others. To purify ear and sound use voice to be kind. ‘’Use voice to think and say kind words to all your lovely mothers!Think I love you to the child, dog, cat.Recite songs of love and harmony to others.”

Precious Rinpoche thus prepared us for Manjushri Boddisattva’s wisdom empowerment. In the afternoon Rinpoche revealed the crucial role of Manjushri Boddisattva’s capacity: Whenever there are two things: ears and eyes, or two people- any two things-any place and at any time- there will always be space between the two in which some confusion, some Māra will try to create discord. Therefore, as Buddhist practitioners, we must always be mindful to hold compassion and wisdom in the space around us for at any moment the Four Māra may swiftly, unexpectedly try to arise! This is for certain ! Therefore we must be vigilant ! If we intentionally call wisdom to occupy space, such as the space between two mindful people, then harmony will exist and will be guarded, and much can be carefully accomplished ! If we are careless, then it is certain that some Māra will swiftly enter, occupy the space, take over, and there will be discord, strife and chaos. This applies to the interior of our mind as well as to all external situations and relationships in our lives as the 4 Māra are always, at every moment ready to intrude taking myriad forms and disguises, disturbing moods, feelings, body sensations to confound and destabilize the mind. Rinpoche gently suggests we would be wise to Cultivate wisdom power through undertaking the cultivation of Manjushri’s practices. Learn to have Manjushri’s wisdom carefully guard the space!

Reflecting on monkey mind/ human mind- If we aim for compassion and wisdom stabilization as Precious Rinpoche has been describing, then we have a chance to a calm, clear, stable human mind . Actively Pursuing happiness, the mind will always be changing like that of an angry monkey throwing things at tourists! Surely Monkeys have good reason to throw things at us! Humans have stolen their homes, stolen their habitats even tortured imprisoned and killed them. it’s horrible! It makes perfect sense that they are upset but we ourselves do not need this kind of reactive mind! Seeking happiness and a relief from distress… how many times has our mind changed even just this morning – in a few hours? Actually, the Buddha nature is calm, pure and stable from the beginning, then slowly slowly irritations disturb the mind- slowly hunger, thirst, attachment, jealously, if you don’t get something it or someone takes what you have… afflictive emotions arise. All animals have these same emotions. Death is inside of us, but at this very moment remember ! we have this human mind which can still be developed, stabilized and steadied through the 9 stages of mental stabilization concentration. As body learns to remain totally calm, relaxed, to calmly support the transforming mind, we must be vigilant at every moment of every day, awake or in sleep and strategize how to make the most of our human capacity. If reborn as a pig or a dog or some creature, will we be able to read or cultivate cultivate mind training ? No ! We would only be able to only bear young, over and over, try to raise them and keep them safe from whatever other creatures would wish to kill us. Now we have human discernment and capacity, we must actually use them! If we cultivate like a monkey for our feelings of happiness and self satisfaction there will be countless arisings of Māra and sufferings of chaos. Instead, we must learn to stabilize compassion for others and work toward stabilization of wisdom attainment!

Rinpoche inspired us to renounce monkey mind by recounting stories of wisdom stabilization’s effects brought about not only by His Holiness the Dalai lama in consecutive lives but also recounting astounding feats of capacity stabilized by simple self-disciplined practitioners in these current times as he nudged us to begin.


How to begin ? He urges us to begin holding compassion mind gently, and training eyes as begins the Prajñāpāramitā. Sit with eyes open, gazing with various methods he clearly outlined day before At first only in just 30 or 60 second increments, following with a rest pause and repeating over and again. Overtime, consistently, day by day, senses, perception and mind refine compassion grows and our awareness of experience softens , perception softens and becomes subtle, emotions stabilize, compassion broadens, wisdom stabilizes luminous mind arising. Rinpoche described this the day before. But on the second day of practicing meditation in Rinpoche’s care it was ever so slightly easier and the eager readiness and determination in the room was palpable.

Rinpoche began the teaching of Machig Labdrün and Chöd that afternoon by gently cajoling that he has seen how people are eagerly attracted to the Chöd practice as it looks like fun but most people don’t ask why they are actually practicing or consider seriously what it means that the practice is “to cut off the ego”. He calmly explained to begin with cutting the Māra in your mouth that tells you to eat animals -then extend your understanding to cut off all the Māra, pacify all the demons, ease the suffering of the dead, the sick, mentally ill, drug and alcohol addicts, and the tremendous suffering of those in other realms, like the Nagas, local nature spirits, hungry ghosts, and hell beings- ease the suffering of all the beings in all the realms…Actually a very serious practice ! Remember the Chöd is also a constant practice! Every time we eat, we have the chance to cut off Māra! Shift your daily eating to subdue the first Mara ! From there begin the Chöd of Mächig Labdrün!

Mächig in the 10th century was likewise very smart and serious thinking. When she received the Chöd empowerment at 16, she was able to so clearly visualize the wisdom empowerment instructions that she absorbed into her body the actual tantric practitioners who invisible to others had appeared from the pure lands to confer their blessings. The real tantric masters entered her body, she spoke sacred languages, merging with the wisdom practitioners of the pure realms. As Precious Rinpoche taught:‘’Beyond receiving the empowerment, she effectively practiced the Chöd given her so sincerely and diligently, also studying prajna Prajnaparamita heart sutras-The great wisdom of emptiness so intently, that she realized accordingly: The View: emptiness !
Action: compassion! Job: cut through the ego wisdom subdue the Mara !
Form inner, ? Form outer, ? all the Same !”

Through Mächig Labdrün’s example and those of the cultivators described in his teachings, Precious Rinpoche taught that through the very teachings he had just given us during the week Avoloketishvara’s stabilized compassion practices and Manjushri’s wisdom power cultivation, combined with our effort in meditation, and our disciplined cultivation of Mächig’s example through the Chöd, we can completely transform our perception of the reality as we train our own internal process of perception, such that all appearances are perceived softly as one perceived transparent rainbows, compassion merges with wisdom, mind stabilizes, ease of awareness arises even in difficult circumstances.


Rinpoche meticulously revealed and intimated how this mind training which he had gently extended to us is the root cause for the apparently miraculous effect of rainbow body in the lives of the ancient and modern day victors. Cultivating with beginnings as laypersons with simple lives, this very active process of transformation of consciousness can become the key that leads to sublime compassion and wisdom stabilization and for some to the attainment of rainbow body. He made these teachings utterly applicable and inspiring. We are profoundly moved to continue. We in Hawaii shall practice alone and together and eagerly await his return!

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Exemple

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

Manjushri,
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

Manjushri,
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.

Manjushri,
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!
OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHIH
OM WACHEY DHA NE MA
OM MANI PEDME HUNG –Yeshe Sangwa

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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