Wildlife, Quiet Mind

Jetsunma's Wildlife Habitat sign
Jetsunma's Wildlife Habitat sign

The following are tweets by Jetsunma about caring for wildlife.  Her home is a designated wildlife sanctuary.

I am creating a sacred grove as an animal refuge. We put in fruits, berries, wildflowers for the critters.

I have bee plants and bees, butterfly plants and bird plants. Also water, birdfeeders. My offering.

Wherever I am the wild ones are well cared for. Including bird houses for nesting.

I collect wildflower seeds. How the butterflys love wild nettle! Finches too. I am an official wildlife sanctuary!

We plant forage for deer and offer corn n apples. When I see animal friends I sing OM MANI PADME HUM for them.

How lovely to see the critters happy. Don’t forget p’nut butter for squirrels n Jays! Esp when cold.

Om Mani Padme Hum. Try to give the heart some room to LOVE. Chant OM MANI PADME HUM every day.

Today I saw a praying mantis stalk, capture and eat his pray. Never doubt that samsara is filled with suffering

In the future the hunter will be hunted. The pray will be the hunter. Karma is exacting

How fortunate the being who strives to do no harm and gather virtue. This is the cause of happiness.

How pitiful that the cycle of cause and result continue, and we are ignorant of the equation.

But the real Karma here is I always provide habitat, food, forage and housing for all wild beings.

I believe that is the cause of this kind result. I am never without a lovely home and my family is fed.

How could I accept these gifts if I did not pay it forward with kindness toward all beings? I bow down to the Buddha in all.

It’s really fall! The air is sweet and crisp. I notice salt blocks for deer and other critters need changing up- down to the nubs now.

The deer know me and allow me to sing Mantra to them. We also have a great blue heron who hangs out here. Magnificent wingspan! And posture.

Took a long walk today. The colors and fall sunlight- like precious jewels. I offer all to my Root Guru for the sake of sentient beings.

I feel grateful to live with such splendor. Wildflowers, giant trees, lush fields, fruit bearing trees and bushes for the animals! Very cool

I am watching local birdies set up roosting for the winter cold. Cute- and busy. We have dozens of bird houses. Always getting more.

Better Listen

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Crazy Wisdom lives inside my head.
Holy dreams when I go to bed
Bitter tears that I cannot shed
Ya better listen.

So much suffering that we cannot see
That’s the way it will always be.
Until you yourself set your mind free
Ya gotta listen.

When your only dream is about yourself
And your heart so cold you love no one else.
Will you die this way? Or ask for help?
Ya better listen.

I know only love is worth our time.
Will we reach our bliss with a life sublime
Or just continue to run blind?
Ya gotta listen!

Return Beloved

Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava
Guru Rinpoche and Mandarava

The sky, deep and clear
Remind me of Your mind.
This great tree, having born much fruit
Remind me of Your life.
The water flowing through the land
The stream of benefit You brought.

My thoughts always return to You.
From the habit of so many lives
At Your feet. And Your eyes
Enchant me, as always, seen in memory.
I will always know You, and You me.
Only space between us. Only time.

Still I drink from Your deep well.
Nourished by Your great kindness.
And await the blessing of Your holy face.
Await the sound of Your holy steps.
The wonder of Your precious voice.

Oh, Beloved, Great Warrior, King of Light.
Return to me, to all who yearn for You!
Though You bless us still- return!
You are the beat of my heart, my joy!
You, my strength, my Guide, my source-
Led by example, I will benefit beings.
Following You, I will practice.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Pith Dharma

Jetsunma visiting rescue dogs at Tara's Babies
Jetsunma visiting rescue dogs at Tara's Babies
The following Dharma nuggets represent tweets Jetsunma sent on October 29, 2009
  • I worry when I see a Buddhist who shows no sign of compassion or is full of judgment. I know that person hasn’t heard the teachings truly.
  • Compassion or Bodhicitta is the very basis of Mahayana Buddhism, the first
thing we are taught. And we are reminded at every teaching.
  • If the practitioner cannot be kind, they have not tamed the mind. Haven’t learned the first thing about Dharma. Hateful speech is not Dharma.
  • There R methods 2 correct lack of compassion. Contemplation on suffering; equality of ALL that lives, striving 2 B happy, praying 4 others.
  • Some just feed the ego by studying about Dharma but not practicing it. What a waste! Like eating crumbs under the table of a banquet.
  • Liberation is possible! We can climb that hill! So why waste time drawing yet another map? It has been done by the Buddhas+ Bodhisattvas!
  • This life is short. No time 2 waste. We must walk our talk, or it’s not worth much. Pontificators not needed. Practioners much needed. Much!
  • Bottom line- you can’t change Dharma to suit you. You gotta change yourself to accomplish Dharma. That is the way and the truth.
  • If you practice Dharma but say U have nothing to give- wrong. U have shoes, food, clothes, arms to hold, heart to love, eyes to guide, etc.
  • May your feet move willingly, and your heart open wide! May U always be a healing presence, a friend. Walk that talk, please or we R lost!
  • If you have everything and brag, what is that? If you have nothing and brag, what is that?  So be humble in spirit- not arrogant.
  • If you have or have not- doesn’t matter. Have a good heart and offer charity and strength to those less fortunate. True Dharma.

Letter from His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche photo by Mannie Garcia
His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche photo by Mannie Garcia

October 23, 2009

Dear Palyul Students and Friends:

The Great Vidyadharas – all of the Palyul Throne Holders of the

past up to our present root teacher, the late His Holiness Pema

Norbu Rinpoche, the Eleventh Throne Holder – have purely upheld

the authentic teachings of the Palyul Lineage.

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche has enthroned me as the Twelfth

Throne Holder of the Palyul Lineage, and following his advice

and enlightened intention, along with the assistance of his two

heart sons, I have accepted the responsibility for upholding the

Buddha Dharma, as well as overseeing and serving the Palyul

mother monastery, and all of its branch monasteries and dharma

centers worldwide. I have full-heartedly taken on this

responsibility, and I am doing my very best.

Therefore, I advise all of our Palyul students and friends to

not become entangled in any unnecessary confusion and worries

but rather to devote yourselves to learning and practicing the

dharma, and to continue your support of the Palyul dharma

centers. At this time, for the sake of peace and harmony for

all, it is my fervent request that you mingle your mindstream

with the dharma and earnestly practice the teachings.

With blessings,

Signed

Paltrul Karma Kuchen

NGA GYAI TSUG GYEN PEN CHEN BIMALA

You are the crown jewel of five hundred scholars,

LAR YANG SID PA ZUNG WAI TSUL TEN CHING

The great scholar Vimalamitra, who has taken birth once again;

NYING POI TEN PA PEL LA DA DRAL WA

You who have no rivals in spreading the heart essence of the

teachings:

PEMA NORBUI ZHAB LA SOL WA DEB

I pray to Drubwang Pema Norbu.

GANG GI YANG SID CHOG GI TRUL PAI KU

Hold us with your compassion

NYUR WA NYID DU JON PAR TUG JE ZUNG

Through the swift coming of your reincarnation, the supreme

emanation!

This email was sent to those identified as members of the CLOSE

STUDENTS list of the Palyul.org email list who have expressed an

interest in thi type of content. The contents of this letter are

intended for Dharma students of Palyul and anyone else who might

benefit.

May all beings benefit!

October 23, 2009
Dear Palyul Students and Friends:
The Great Vidyadharas – all of the Palyul Throne Holders of the
past up to our present root teacher, the late His Holiness Pema
Norbu Rinpoche, the Eleventh Throne Holder – have purely upheld
the authentic teachings of the Palyul Lineage.
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche has enthroned me as the Twelfth
Throne Holder of the Palyul Lineage, and following his advice
and enlightened intention, along with the assistance of his two
heart sons, I have accepted the responsibility for upholding the
Buddha Dharma, as well as overseeing and serving the Palyul
mother monastery, and all of its branch monasteries and dharma
centers worldwide. I have full-heartedly taken on this
responsibility, and I am doing my very best.
Therefore, I advise all of our Palyul students and friends to
not become entangled in any unnecessary confusion and worries
but rather to devote yourselves to learning and practicing the
dharma, and to continue your support of the Palyul dharma
centers. At this time, for the sake of peace and harmony for
all, it is my fervent request that you mingle your mindstream
with the dharma and earnestly practice the teachings.
With blessings,
Signed
Paltrul Karma Kuchen
NGA GYAI TSUG GYEN PEN CHEN BIMALA
You are the crown jewel of five hundred scholars,
LAR YANG SID PA ZUNG WAI TSUL TEN CHING
The great scholar Vimalamitra, who has taken birth once again;
NYING POI TEN PA PEL LA DA DRAL WA
You who have no rivals in spreading the heart essence of the
teachings:
PEMA NORBUI ZHAB LA SOL WA DEB
I pray to Drubwang Pema Norbu.
GANG GI YANG SID CHOG GI TRUL PAI KU
Hold us with your compassion
NYUR WA NYID DU JON PAR TUG JE ZUNG
Through the swift coming of your reincarnation, the supreme
emanation!
This email was sent to those identified as members of the CLOSE
STUDENTS list of the Palyul.org email list who have expressed an
interest in thi type of content. The contents of this letter are
intended for Dharma students of Palyul and anyone else who might
benefit.
May all beings benefit!October 23, 2009
Dear Palyul Students and Friends:
The Great Vidyadharas – all of the Palyul Throne Holders of the
past up to our present root teacher, the late His Holiness Pema
Norbu Rinpoche, the Eleventh Throne Holder – have purely upheld
the authentic teachings of the Palyul Lineage.
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche has enthroned me as the Twelfth
Throne Holder of the Palyul Lineage, and following his advice
and enlightened intention, along with the assistance of his two
heart sons, I have accepted the responsibility for upholding the
Buddha Dharma, as well as overseeing and serving the Palyul
mother monastery, and all of its branch monasteries and dharma
centers worldwide. I have full-heartedly taken on this
responsibility, and I am doing my very best.
Therefore, I advise all of our Palyul students and friends to
not become entangled in any unnecessary confusion and worries
but rather to devote yourselves to learning and practicing the
dharma, and to continue your support of the Palyul dharma
centers. At this time, for the sake of peace and harmony for
all, it is my fervent request that you mingle your mindstream
with the dharma and earnestly practice the teachings.
With blessings,
Signed
Paltrul Karma Kuchen
NGA GYAI TSUG GYEN PEN CHEN BIMALA
You are the crown jewel of five hundred scholars,
LAR YANG SID PA ZUNG WAI TSUL TEN CHING
The great scholar Vimalamitra, who has taken birth once again;
NYING POI TEN PA PEL LA DA DRAL WA
You who have no rivals in spreading the heart essence of the
teachings:
PEMA NORBUI ZHAB LA SOL WA DEB
I pray to Drubwang Pema Norbu.
GANG GI YANG SID CHOG GI TRUL PAI KU
Hold us with your compassion
NYUR WA NYID DU JON PAR TUG JE ZUNG
Through the swift coming of your reincarnation, the supreme
emanation!
This email was sent to those identified as members of the CLOSE
STUDENTS list of the Palyul.org email list who have expressed an
interest in thi type of content. The contents of this letter are
intended for Dharma students of Palyul and anyone else who might
benefit.
May all beings benefit!

Offerings to the Buddha Nature

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche
His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

From Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

I am creating a sacred grove as an animal refuge. We put in fruits, berries, wildflowers for the critters.

I have bee plants and bees, butterfly plants and bird plants. Also water, birdfeeders. My offering.

Wherever I am the wild ones are well cared for. Including bird houses for nesting.

I collect wildflower seeds. How the butterflys love wild nettle! Finches too. I am an official wildlife sanctuary!

There are many ways to make offerings to the Buddhas, all beings have Buddha nature. This is one.

From a series of Tweets.  You can follow Jetsunma on twitter by clicking here!

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche comes to KPC Maryland

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche is coming to the Washington D.C. area tomorrow, October 12th.  His Holiness is the 5th Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, recognized by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and Penor Rinpoche and enthroned as the 12th Throneholder of the Palyul Lineage.  You can read more about this Precious Master here.

To see the schedule for his visit to Washington D.C. please click here.

To see the schedule for his world tour you can visit Palyul.org here.

The Dalai Lama Visits Washington, D.C.

Photo by Lee Pham
Photo by Lee Pham

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is coming to Washington, D.C.—our very own neighborhood! Of particular interest to Buddhists, whether aspiring or practicing, is the teaching he will give at American University on October 10, “The Heart of Change: Finding Wisdom in the Modern World.” His Holiness is renowned for his clear, direct teaching style, his humor, and his excellent command of English.

Winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, compassionate diplomat and peace maker, and leader of the Tibetan Government in Exile, he is the face of Tibet for many around the world.

And the Dalai Lama is much more than a temporal leader. Tibetan Buddhists revere him as an incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion. Spiritual Head of the largest sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the Gelupa, he is honored as a spiritual authority by the other three sects as well (the Nyingma, or Ancient, School, the Kagyu, and the Sakya).

Born in 1935 and discovered two years later as the rebirth of the previous Dalai Lama, His Holiness assumed full political responsibility in 1950, after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Under increasing pressure from the Chinese, he escaped into exile in 1959, and established the Tibetan Government in Exile from his base in Dharamsala, India.

A prolific writer, the Dalai Lama is particularly notable for his interfaith dialogues. His book The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus (by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Wisdom Publications, Boston, 1996) is studied by Buddhists and Christians alike. Others among his widely read works is The Art of Happiness (by H.H. the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, Riverhead Books, New York, 1998) and An Open Heart (by H.H. the Dalai Lama, edited by Nicholas Vreeland, Little Brown and Company, New York, 2001).

Avidly interested in modern science since childhood, His Holiness has also engaged in dialogue with neuroscientists. This interest is reflected in Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brain Science and Buddhism (Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, 1999) and, more recently, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (Morgan Road Books, New York, 2005). Other books by His Holiness—too numerous to mention—are listed here.

We are honored to have his lotus feet touch the earth in our part of the world, and hope that you will engage with this mind of compassion in some form!

About Altars

What is an Altar?

In Buddhism, an Altar is a physical display and support for one’s practice. The Altar is a sacred space dedicated to images representing one’s faith, devotion, and respect.  It is also a place to make offerings of gratitude for our precious opportunity: for the Path which can lead us out of suffering, for the method which can lead us to Enlightenment.

On a deeper level, the Altar is a representation of the goal of the Path.  The images of the Buddha are reminders that it is possible to accomplish the Method and achieve Enlightenment.  Each of the Buddhas started out just as we are now, as ordinary beings with a sincere wish to seek Enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.  As we view the Altar, we are reminded that this goal is attainable.

The Altar also helps us to train in mindfulness.  The Path is about waking up from our deep sleep of non-recognition.  As we view the altar with faith and devotion, we recognize what is truly extraordinary and what is merely ordinary.  Increasing our awareness helps us to cultivate our pure intention to be of benefit to all sentient beings.

How to set up an Altar

There are many types of Altars.  They can be elaborate or simple, but most important is pure motivation.  Otherwise, the benefit is minimal.

An Altar has at least two levels.  The images of the Buddha––pictures, statues, etc.––are placed on the highest level.  The lowest level is for offerings.  Traditionally, eight offerings are placed on an altar: water for drinking, water for bathing, flowers, incense, light, scent or perfume, food, and music.  They represent what one traditionally offered to guests in one’s home.  In the days before motels and inns, travelers would rely on the kindness of strangers in their homes to provide shelter and food.  This is still the case in many remote areas of Tibet.
OfferingBowlscrop

Offering 1 – A bowl filled with water representing clean water for drinking is offered to the Buddha.  It symbolizes all auspicious, positive causes and conditions.

Offering 2 – A bowl filled with water represents clean water for bathing the Buddha’s feet.  It symbolizes purification.

Offering 3 – A bowl filled with flowers represents the beauty of the Buddha’s Enlightenment.  It symbolizes an open heart and the practice of generosity.  (The bowl can be filled with rice and topped with a silk flower. If fresh flowers are used, the bowl is filled with water.)

Offering 4 – A bowl of rice with incense placed on top symbolizes moral ethics and discipline.

Offering 5 – Light of some kind, a candle or butter lamp, is offered to the Buddha’s eyes and is symbolic of patience and a stable mind that dispels ignorance.

Offering 6 – A bowl of scented water symbolizes joyful, enthusiastic effort and perseverance.  (Or a bottle of fragrance can be placed on top of a bowl of rice.)

Offering 7 – A bowl filled with rice with delicious food on top represents the precious nectar of the Path that leads to Enlightenment.

Offering 8 – A bowl filled with rice and topped with a representation of music (such as a conch shell, cymbals, or bells) is offered to the Buddha’s ears and symbolizes the nature of Wisdom.

Please Note: One can simply offer a light and seven bowls of water in place of the above offerings.

How to Open and Close an Altar

An altar is opened and closed in a specific way.  One opens the altar by pouring water into the bowls in a steady, even way, beginning at the far left and moving to the right.  The bowls should be lined up very straight and evenly spaced, about the width of a grain of rice apart.

When the Altar is closed, it is done in reverse:  the water bowls are emptied starting from the right.  The bowls are dried and turned over, as one meditates on impermanence.  Then the merit is dedicated to all sentient beings.

The bowls that contain substances may be left untouched.  But make sure the offerings remain fresh.  For example, if offering fruit, remove it when it shows the first sign of deterioration.

The offering water may be disposed of outside in a clean place, or it may be used to water a plant.  The food offerings may be eaten after they are removed from the Altar.  Since this is blessed food, it should be treated with mindfulness and respect.

Offering Verses

One may recite offering verses when an Altar is opened.  Jetsunma has suggested that RAM YAM KAM may be used when the offering is made, followed by OM AH HUNG.  RAM YAM KAM represents the ordinary elements, and OM AH HUNG represents the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary.

How to Maintain an Altar

The inner posture of maintaining an Altar is the same as if one were caring directly for the Buddha or one’s Root Guru. Treat the Altar with great respect and love, for it represents the precious vehicle by which it is possible to end suffering and achieve the awakened state of Enlightenment.  Keep the Altar and everything on it clean, orderly, and fresh.

Miscellaneous Information Regarding Offerings

We make offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas not because they need them, but for our own benefit, to accumulate merit and wisdom. Offerings are a simple, beautiful way to do what will eventually lead to our awakening.

Traditionally, one does not offer anything sour such as lemons or limes on the Altar, or any of the foods considered “dark,” such as garlic.

If a mala is offered on the Altar, it is usually placed on the foot of the Deity or at the base of the statue. Once a mala has been offered, it is no longer appropriate for personal use.

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