[:en]Fundamentals of Tantra in Kansas City
Written by Sergio (Tenpa Dhargye)
For the past five years the Rime Buddhist Center and Institute for Tibetan Studies has been fortunate enough to welcome Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche annually for precious teachings. During this time, Rinpoche has become a precious and beloved teacher to so many practitioners in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. We always await his return with joy and anticipation.
This past weekend of April 14-16, Rinpoche gave teachings and instruction on the fundamentals of tantra. In attendance were a great number of new and seasoned students, some who travelled from as far as Saint Louis to be here. Rinpoche taught from Jigme Lingpa’s Treasury of Precious Qualities (Yönten Dzö), focusing on the chapter on the Pitaka of the Vidyadharas.
Rinpoche’s compassionate and clear instruction gave students a profound understanding of foundational tantric practices, empowerments, and samaya. With his unique perspective and contagious sense of humor, Rinpoche emphasized the importance of cultivating bodhicitta. He told us, “bodhicitta is the password!” By this he meant that our studies and practices are like the technology that connects us to the internet—our smartphones and computers. But without a password these devices are useless. Therefore, bodhicitta is what grants us access to true nature and liberation.
Students old and new were delighted and grateful for Rinpoche’s clear and comprehensive instruction. He covered everything from the history of Buddhism in Tibet, the various lineages and philosophies that developed over time, the importance and meaning of refuge, pratimoksha, bodhisattva and vajrayana vows, and the virtues of a qualified master and a skillful student.
On Sunday morning, during the Rime Center’s weekly service, Rinpoche delivered a dharma talk to the larger Rime sangha. Observing the occasion of Easter, he remarked on the importance of respecting other religious traditions. He talked about the importance of behaving compassionately toward people of all faiths. “I don’t knock on somebody’s door and say, ‘Buddhism is the best, you must become a buddhist,’” he said. “But when someone knocks on my door, my response is, ‘How can I help you? What can I do for you?’” He exhorted us to do the same, to always look for ways to benefit all sentient beings, whether they share our views or not.
It was a blessed time in Kansas City as Rinpoche bestowed precious dharma and answered questions with kindness and clarity. We are so grateful for the relationship developed between the Rime sangha and this most qualified and precious teacher. Rinpoche’s Kansas City students joyfully look forward to his next visit.[:]