His Holiness Penor Rinpoche Heart Teaching from Palyul Ling

HH Penor Rinpoche Bumpa

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche offered this teaching prior to doing a Ganachakra Puja for Jetsunma’s long life at New York Palyul Retreat Center in 2005.

Today is the 15th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar.  Jetsunma has some sickness or obstacle, so we are doing this Rigdzin Dupa Ganachakra Puja for her.  Some of Jetsunma’s students here requested this puja.

I met Jetsunma a long time ago.  I examined her for a while, and then recognized her as the incarnation of Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab’s sister known as Ahkön Lhamo.  Ahkön Lhamo, the sister of Rigdzin Kunzang Sherab lived near the Palyul monastery in a nunnery, which is in front of the monastery, and then in a place called Trong Mar, which means Red Valley.  It is called Red Valley because there were lots of nuns.  Ahkön Lhamo used to give teachings there to the nuns who wore red robes, filling the small valley, so that is why the place is called Trong Mar, the Red Valley.  Since then there has always been a nunnery there.  Even these days there are still about 200 nuns there.

I recognized her and then at KPC a long time back we did an enthronement ceremony.  Before I met her, she was giving the teaching on generating bodhicitta. Just among her disciples, there are 2-3 at all hours of the day and night trying to meditate on bodhicitta.  And she carries on Dharma activity in accordance with the other activities.

Since I named her in that way, there are lots of people in America who are jealous and have all sorts of problems with it.  That kind of jealousy doesn’t harm her; it harms the person who is jealous.  Many people also try to complain and say things to me.  Although people ask me many questions about that, I don’t have to humiliate myself, because I am a Palyul Throneholder, and I have my own rights regarding what I need to recognize.  Of course I cannot tell lies, but what I need to do, I’ll do.

Most of the other Nyingma schools just believe whatever I say, and especially all the Palyul traditions or Palyul monasteries.   Of course they believe me 100%.  There isn’t just one Palyul Monastery.  There are hundreds and thousands, and in all those monasteries there are a hundred monks or a thousand monks, and all of them respect whatever I command.  There is nobody who says, “This is right or this is not.”  But in America because of jealousy, some people say certain things, but there is no meaning.  In general America is a strange country.  Sometimes it is said that, “In your tradition there are mostly male teachers, and there aren’t any female teachers.”  And then Jetsunma is appointed and then again they are jealous and say something else.

Since we are human beings of course it is possible to make mistakes.  There is no one who just sits there like an enlightened Buddha.  Just because one doesn’t understand or makes a little mistake or does something, then you start complaining.

Jetsunma is a good and perfect teacher.  I don’t think she is deceiving anybody.  And among Jetsunma’s students, there are a whole bunch of monks and nuns, and she disciplines them all.  There is nobody else among women in America who could do that.  She is good and special. It is good for everybody to know that she is also one of the Palyul tulkus.  These days she is getting older and she has all sorts of sickness.  So for her longevity of life, we are doing this Ganachakra Puja.

It’s not just Jetsunma.  In America there are many other females and males who are incarnated ones.  But the problem is that the nature of Americans is to have so much pride.  With the recognition, the pride and ego develop so much that in the end it is difficult to benefit. As a practitioner and as a bodhisattva family, then naturally one should be humble and peaceful and loyal to the practice.  Developing pride doesn’t really help anybody.  When it is said that you are good or something special, then their pride or ego develops.  If that happens, then it is more harmful than beneficial.  For those who are noble beings, receiving all these teachings and doing the Dharma practice can benefit other beings.  Otherwise thinking that, “Oh, I’m something very special,” is like having a horn on your head and walking around.  It doesn’t help anything.

Anyhow, today we are doing this Ganachakra Puja for the longevity of her life.  Thank you.

 

Astrology for 7/31/2016

7/31/2016 Sunday by Norma

Magnetic love is in the picture: notice what captivates you today, what electrifies and encourages you. It’s good. A combination of enthusiasm and precision enables people to have an “AHA” moment and then write down the exact 47 steps required to put the plan into action. Carry a pad and pencil with you and make notes, they’ll be helpful later. Brilliance and organization travel together today. Magdalen Nabb said, “Never get so fascinated by the extraordinary that you forget the ordinary.” You must continue to watch for hidden things and people. Work is excellent, planning is great, love is fun and it’s a good day to have a party. Sports enthusiasts are happy today.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message reflects your life today!

Beginning Spiritual Training

The following is respectfully quoted from “Reborn in the West” by Vicki Mackenzie:

‘There was no one to put me in touch with Buddhism. Not at all. The only thing that could have connected me, but didn’t, was that my mother took me to Coney Island and a palm-reader there told me I was an old Tibetan. That was all. I had no idea about Tibet. Not a clue. When I thought about Tibetans I thought of smelly old men on rugs!’

When she ran away from home on the advice of the police she headed for Florida, where she met a man, and married him. She had a baby and they moved on to an isolated farm in North Carolina. That was when Jetsunma’s spiritual story began. Finally away from the hubbub of city life and the distress of her own family situation, the greatness that was lying within her began to evolve. Without any particular emotion or even interest in her voice, she explained the extraordinary series of events that followed.

‘I started to have a series of dreams–I’ve had odd dreams all my life. And in these dreams I would be told what to do. A succession of very strange things happened.

‘Most of these dreams told me to look for a sign. The first involved meeting a an old woman, she was like a witch in a turreted castle. This woman placed a circle on my forehead and said, “This is who you are, now you have to commence.” Three days later a friend of mine asked me to go with her to this woman who did astrological charts, which interestingly are drawn in a circle. We thought it would be a bit of a lark, and so we went. This woman opened the door and, as surely as I’m sitting here, she was exactly the same as the woman in my dream. She had the same face and was wearing the same clothes. I remember breaking out in a sweat!

‘She was really old, but somehow I was very attracted to her. I remember looking at her and thinking she was beautiful. Anyway, she said she wanted to do my chart. After a while she came back and said, ‘My dear, I have nothing to say to you. Your whole life is laid out, you don’t need any advice from anybody.’ I think she was very skillful because she didn’t crystalize anything–she let it stay fluid.

‘Three days later I had another dream which showed me the farm where I was living, but there were extra cars outside the porch. A thunderstorm blew in, and the sky was unusually green. Well, three days after this dream–it all seemed to be happening in three-day-periods–I’d gone out shopping and come home with some friends in their cars and the thunderstorm happened. In the dream the voice had said, “When you see this, it is time to begin your meditation.”‘

To say Jetsunma was taken aback would be an understatement. She was just nineteen years old at the time, and wondered why these things were happening to a poor ‘girl from Brooklyn’. Furthermore, she had no knowledge of or training in meditation.

‘I went out to the front porch and looked at the scene to make sure it was exactly like my dream. It was. Then I went back into my bedroom and lay down! I knew that if I prayed for guidance I would get to learn how to meditate, as the dream had instructed. That was the start of my real spiritual training.” she said. It was to be highly individual and quite unorthodox.

‘The first thing I was “told” was that I had to make a very deep commitment that everything I did from here on would be a channel for blessings. So I use to do this meditation where I would say things almost as if I were chanting a mantra: “I commit myself to benefitting all beings, my life has no meaning other than the benefit of all beings.” Unbeknown to her at the time, she was uttering stock Tibetan Buddhist concepts in stock Tibetan Buddhist jargon. Every day she diligently continued feeling her way along her meditations.

‘The picture I had was of being a faucet–the water was in there, and I just had to turn the faucet on, kind of thing. I tried to align myself with the principle of broad-spectrum compassion.”

Astrology for 7/30/2016

7/30/2016 Saturday by Norma

A conversation generates a brilliant idea: write it down, research it and put it into action. Thinking is topnotch and creative. Read, talk, walk around and consider your options. Expose yourself to as many ideas as possible, rejecting nothing. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The invariable mark of wisdom
is to see the miraculous in the common.” Give a speech and listen to speeches, the longer the better! Older people and those who have wisdom are particularly helpful. It’s a great day to engage in energetic activity, to look your best, to speak from the heart and to improve your health.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message reflects your life today!

Meeting Her Teacher

The following is respectfully quoted from “Reborn in the West” by Vicki Mackenzie:

I spent a couple of days at KPC admiring the grounds and meeting some of Jetsunma’s followers. One of them was Wib Middleton, a friendly, open man who was one of Jetsunma’s earliest students and is now the chief administrator. I asked him for his impressions of this first female Western tulku as she ventured out on her mission.

‘When we met her it was 1981 and she and her family had moved to Washington. We were really drawn to her. We were a group of seekers, about ten of us, New Age-type people who felt there was a lot more to life and who had an innate sense of wanting to contribute to society. But we didn’t have a vehicle for that. We looked around, but a lot of the New Age stuff seemed to be so self-focused and self-centered. When we met her she had a very expanded way of talking about things. She talked about “planetary consciousness and planetary quickness” and the “vibrational zero” which was her word for emptiness. It was really amazing stuff,’ he said.

‘We went and asked her to teach us, and said said “Sure.” So we began meeting in living rooms about once a week. She started teaching us meditational practices and we’d have discussions which she would lead. Looking back, I can see that she was addressing the specific needs of people around her,’ he said.

‘Although she taught confidently, as though from an inner authority, she never made claims for herself in terms of what her abilities were,’ he continued. ‘She has never done that. In fact, she has always publicly refuted the idea that she has any special qualities at all. She was always very humble. She says things like she is not a very good teacher, that she has no particular abilities. Still, we could see that she had developed certain inner qualities and crossed certain lines of consciousness,” Wib said.

If Jetsunma’s spiritual life was accelerating, her material life was deteriorating quickly. Money and physical comfort were in extremely short supply. She and her family were living in a one-roomed place with crates for furniture. She had steadfastly refused all payment for her meditation classes and was working in the clothing department of a big store while her husband was trying to find a teaching job. When things got really right, Jetsunma announced that she was thinking of returning to North Carolina where her husband had the chance of a teaching position.

‘When we heard that, we went crazy,’ said Wib. ‘We thought, “This is our teacher, we need to keep her around.” The group had grown to about a dozen or more. Late one night we dashed over to her place, knocked on the door and said, “Look, here’s the deal. We’d like to start formal classes. We’ll pay. We’ll start an organization, and the organization pays you.” She replied, emphatically, that she didn’t want to be paid to teach. We said we’d worked it out so that it wasn’t like that. We’d have an organization with a board of directors and we’d take care of it. And that’s what we did. We started formal classes and an organization called the Centre for Discovery and New Life. We had a little logo and a board of directors,’ he recalled.

After that the organization grew organically. Soon there were two classes a week, then three. And all the time the teachings that Jetsunma was giving were becoming deeper and deeper.

‘Every week it would be more mind-stretching, more amazing than the week before. We would walk in and think, “There is no possible way that the information she is going to give us could get more profound”, but it was. She was teaching about the nature of mind, the void, different subtle bodies. At that stage we were between Western metaphysical language and Eastern concepts. We certainly weren’t calling ourselves Buddhists.’

The teachings continued pouring forth out of Jetsunma–week after week. Little did the group know it then, but they were all being prepared for what was to follow. “When it happened, they didn’t notice it at all.”

‘One of our friends introduced us to a Tibetan called Kunzang Lama from a monastery in south India,’ continued Wib. ‘He came to our centre on a rainy night with a lot of carpets he was trying to sell to raise money for the monastery. He also had a book of pictures of small Tibetan kids–mostly young monks who needed clothing, books and food. At the meeting we decided to take them on as a project. None of us knew anything about Tibet and we knew very little about Buddhism. Our knowledge was restricted to Vietnamese monks burning themselves–and there was some confusion with the Hare Krishna movement! It was the typical American response to somebody else’s culture and religion,’ he said, laughing.

Entranced by the pictures of the little monks, they realized there was an excellent opportunity to put Jetsunma’s teachings into practice. ‘Right from the beginning she had emphasized compassion, seeing suffering and doing something about it. She said that suffering came about because thought of ourselves as “separate”. She talked about “union consciousness”–recognizing that there’s one operating principle–and that the one way to understand our own and everybody else’s nature was through love and kindness. She talked a lot about “stewardship” and “caretakership” of the earth and all the creatures on it.’

Within two or three weeks of the carpet-seller’s visit they had managed to sponsor seventy-five children back in south India, and a rewarding correspondence followed. They learned what the little monks were doing and discovered it wasn’t so different from what they were doing in Washington. They also learned that the abbot of the monastery was called His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, who was the head and 11th throneholder of the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.”

The tale fast-forwards a year to when the group received a letter from the carpet-seller saying that Penor Rinpoche was making his first-ever teaching tour of the United States. He wanted to visit Washington to meet and thank the people who had generously sponsored so many of his young monks.

The group was delighted, but had no notion of who or what Penor Rinpoche was nor how to treat him. By this time Jetsunma had moved to a bigger house because they could no longer fit into her living room, but she was still doing everything herself, including all the cleaning, setting out chairs, organizing the coffee and snacks, and of course looking after her family.

Penor Rinpoche arrived in spring 1985. When the group went to Washington Airport to meet him they found a large crowd of Chinese students already waiting to greet their guru. Unknown to the members of the Centre for Discovery and New Life, Penor Rinpoche was an extremely eminent lama with several established centres in Asia. Later they learned that back in Tibet he had been responsible for a hundred thousand monks and nuns situated in over a thousand monasteries. Like most of the great Tibetan lamas he had left his homeland in 1959 after the Chinese invasion. Starting with three hundred followers, he arrived in southern India fourteen months later with only 26: the rest had died on the perilous journey. Undeterred, he took the five acres of land and the elephant that the Indian government offered and, against what seemed insurmountable odds, proceeded to build a monastery that could hold five hundred. When Jetsunma and Wib met him his monastery was crammed to overflowing with 650 monks, many of whom had fled from the continuing persecution in Tibetn.

“Penor Rinpoche had a burning life.” Since he was young he had prayed to meet, in this lifetime, the reincarnation of Genyenma Ahkön Lhamo, the female Tibetan yogini who with her brother had founded his lineage, the Palyul sect, back in 1665. Penor Rinpoche was sure she was living on this earth somewhere. He had already met Ahkön Lhamo’s brother, a Tibetan who was also teaching in America in Ashland, Oregon. But he knew female reincarnates were immeasurably harder to track down. Tibetan yoginis, although reaching the same exalted peaks of consciousness as their male counterparts, were generally free spirits who did their meditations alone in caves. There was no system set up for finding them.

None of this was known to the small group of Americans who turned out to meet Penor Rinpoche’s plane on that spring day in 1985. What followed next was a scene befitting a Hollywood movie. Jetsunma described it to me in detail.

‘We arrived at the airport and there was this huge group of Chinese people who had got wind that he was coming and had arrived with a limousine. They knew who he was. We didn’t have a clue. They were all grouped around something or someone I couldn’t see, clicking their cameras and carrying on. Now Penor Rinpoche is short, about five foot three inches, and fat. I tower over him. I thought, “Well, I guess he’s in there somewhere, but what’s happening?” Somehow the sea of Chinese people parted, I saw him, and burst into tears!

‘Now I’m not the sort of person who usually does this kind of thing, you understand. I’m a hard-headed lady. I’m from Brooklyn, for heaven’s sake!’ she joked. ‘But I just could not pull myself together. I felt like such a ninny. I cried and cried, I just looked at him and thought, “That’s my heart…That’s my mind…That’s everything.” ‘ Her voice was soft. “How do you feel when you have just seen everything? I just knew that was it. That was what I’d been looking for my whole life. And the tears poured down my face.’

I asked her precisely what that meant.

‘Padmasambhava, the founder of Buddhism in Tibet, actually said, and I’ll paraphrase “I will reappear as your root teacher, the one with whom you have such a relationship that you understand the nature of your own mind. When you meet your teacher you will in some way see your own face, and it will be the face that turns around and moves you. It is the beginning of your awakening.” ‘

 

Astrology for 7/29/2016

7/29/2016 Friday by Norma

A communication is rebuffed or misunderstood and self esteem is an issue. (“Nobody respects me.”). Stop talking immediately if you get into trouble: the more your talk, the worse it gets. The early news is upsetting, but hang in there, things pick up as the day progresses. Beverly Sills said, “There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.” Problems are being resolved in a way that is binding and durable. Contracts or decisions made now are excellent. This is a great day to dress up, have fun, let people know you love them and conduct business that ends well.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message reflects your life today!

India 1996: HH Penor Rinpoche on His Recognition of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

The following is a transcript from Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo’s visit to see her teacher, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche in India in 1996. Two YouTube Videos below show the ceremony from which the transcript was taken:

Kata ceremony in India 1996

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche:

This evening we are gathered here today in our monastery, also together with our Washington sangha.  On this occasion, I would like to reiterate some information that maybe some of you are not aware of and that is initially, of course, the founder of the great Palyul tradition and the individual who is responsible for the establishing of the original monastery together are the great Vidyadhara Kunzang Sherab, his sister, Genyan Ahkon Lhamo, lived her life at that time.  Initially, when I first traveled to the United States and I met Jetsunma, I noticed that she had developed in her mind stream a very great development of the bodhicitta, the awakened mind and that she had taken the vow to work for the welfare of all parent sentient beings according to the meaning of the awakened mind.  Dependent upon that she had certain students who were following her example in that the bodhisattva vow was being taken by them and they were making prayers that were ongoing as a vigil for 24 hours throughout the day and night.  This was something that was going on for some years without ever stopping.  And so, this is what I first came to notice, such a remarkable thing.

At this time, in the Western country, in her situation, it wasn’t really a circumstance whereby she was depending upon a teacher to be trained and that she had been trained and was doing this kind of practice from that point of view of having trained and having learned it from another.  But in fact, it was natural.  It was a natural practice and a natural development of the bodhicitta, and it seemed to be something very pure and great.

And so to me, I felt quite amazed.  And then I thought about it on many occasions after that.  I’m not someone who claims to have much experience or any kind of clairvoyant insight at all, but I do have thoughts which come to mind from time to mind and in examining the reoccurrence of my thoughts, I came to realize that she was an individual who was blessed and carrying the same mind stream and prayer as the sister of Kunzang Sherab, Ahkon Lhamo.  And so, I recognized her to be the reincarnation of Ahkon Lhamo.

However, because in the West, the concept of tulku, which is “intentional manifestation embodiment” is not something that people are necessarily accustomed to or something that they necessarily would understand.  So, realizing that if I sort of suddenly laid out this fact, that it might be something that would be too potent or it would happen too quickly for what people could really understand.  I didn’t speak about it for some time.

Generally speaking, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, for the purpose of sentient beings, they manifest in whatever way can bring benefit to others.  This is due to the force of their prayers and their compassion.  Dependent on that, they will take rebirths that are undetermined and uncertain time and manifest in various ways anywhere and at any time and anyplace.  And so, it’s not to say that they don’t manifest in the Western countries.  Certainly, they do.  But because the tradition of discovering a tulku is not something that is common to the West, then I was not inclined to make a recognition just right away like that, bearing these facts in mind.

And also to make a recognition of a tulku in the West I also came to know is not something that would be disagreeable to the students that was entirely wanted and very agreeable.  So, knowing that and finding the right time, upon my return, I did make a formal recognition and I was overseeing the formal enthronement of Kunzang Sherab’s sister, Ahkon Lhamo, as she is.  Now, this is not something that you don’t all already know about, but I am reiterating it here on this occasion just to make it very clear.

And now in Washington, D.C. under the guidance of Jetsunma, we have a very strong and well established Palyul dharma center that is a seat for the Palyul lineage and it is being upheld accordingly and this is something that has been established and has been maintained for many years now and so, this is the type of activity that she is conducting for the purpose of the doctrine along with the help of her sangha and the honor of the morality that is maintained by the greater sangha community that surrounds her.

In Washington, Jetsunma teaches to her students and the students maintain the confession practices and other requirements and she also maintains regular teachings to several hundred students who are practicing now under her guidance.

And also, in the countries in the West, right now our center in Washington has the largest ordained community of disciples who have taken the formal vows of lay and novice and full ordination.  Of course, there are Western students who have embraced these vows in other centers and in other places, but the largest community is the Palyul Center in Washington under Jetsunma.

Therefore at this time, Jetsunma and several of her students have come here to our monastery, Namdroling, to take a look around and to join us for these few days, so I would like to thank you very much for coming here and taking the time out.  And also, of course, I would like to thank you for your effort in establishing the Palyul doctrine, the Nyingma doctrine in general and the greater doctrine of the Buddha in its entirety.  I would like to thank Jetsunma and all of her students and also for their efforts they have shown towards attempts to help us achieve a free Tibet.  So, thank you very much.

And as it has gone well until now, I also have an expectation that on into the future, that the entire sangha and our sanghas together will maintain this auspicious connection for the benefit of the doctrine and sentient beings and that year by year, this will only increase and that also all of your studies of the Buddhadharma will be most excellent, very stable and always improving.

Today, although I don’t have too much too offer, very humbly, to indicate the special occasion and also with prayers for Jetsunma’s longevity and the longevity of the doctrine, I offer her the white scarf of auspiciousness.  And in support for her longevity, I offer her the image of Buddha Amitayus; as a support for her enlightened speech to be ever increasing, I offer her the vajra and bell; and as a support for the enlightened mind the stupa, I offer her the collected works of terton Jetsun Nyingpo; and I offer her the crossed vajra as a seat for her to remain upon to indicate her longevity in this world, and the white conch shell, another brocade, a bolt of brocade.  Otherwise, I don’t have too much to offer.

And now, go on about the rest of your journey.  Please know that we are always one family, so you must come again and again.  The door is always open in that way and that Jetsunma and all of her sangha, I will offer the prayer that you will always be well and that your practice and everything that you wish for will always continue to increase and bear fruit.

JETSUNMA:   Please tell His Holiness that his kindness is immeasurable, and tell him and that in this and every future lifetime, I will follow him. I will always do as he has taught me.

Part 1

Part 2

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/28/2016

7/28/2016 Thursday by Norma

An early morning kerfluffle kicks off the day; a mis-communication, a financial mistake or the emergence of a long-simmering issue finally comes to light. If you’ve been obliviously annoying someone, you’ll hear about it now. The issue is self-absorption and inattentiveness. Notice how people react to your words and actions and consider their feelings! The Los Angeles Times said, “When things start going your way, it’s usually because you stopped going the wrong way down a one way street.” It’s a surprisingly nice day after the excitement: men are making steady progress, surprises are in your favor, love is on the menu and an irritating issue is finally resolved! Dress well, speak well and be happy today.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message reflects your life today!

Transforming Appearances Into Dharma

Longchen_Rabjam

The following is respectfully quoted from “Drops of Nectar” as translated by Rigzod Editorial Committee of the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute:

Chapter II
Transforming Appearances into the Dharma

Again at this time, having brought forth strong renunciation and disenchantment with my own and other’s perceptions and the activities of this present life, I sing this song of the points of training.

On the great plane of the ground of all experience, which has no beginning and end,
An ignorant person wanders about with the feet of grasping and fixation,
Oppressed by the suffering of boundless samsara.
Mistaken one, to you I now offer this advice!

Without contemplating the suffering of cyclic existence,
Renunciation and disenchantment with it will have no time to develop;
Without contemplating the difficulty of achieving the freedoms and favors,
There will be no time for joy and inspiration in the sacred Dharma to come forth.

If you do not constantly contemplate death,
Heartfelt Dharma practice will never occur.
If you do not regard the benefits of liberation,
There will be no time of achieving unsurpassed enlightenment.

Without contemplating the causes and effects of virtue and evil,
the white and the black,
You’ll have no time to grasp what to adopt and what to abandon, what is Dharma and what is not.
Without casting off the activities of this life,
You’ll have no time to accomplish the sacred Dharma for the life to come.

If heartfelt renunciation is not born within your mind-stream
There will never be time to give up distractions and diversions.
Without toppling, down to its foundation stone, the wall of amicable relationships,
There will be no time for the mind that is too attached to others to end.

Without leaving behind all deluded activities at one go,
Although you’re busy day and night, you’ll never have time to recognize.
If you don’t always keep humbly a low position,
You’ll never have time to tame your unwholesome mindstream.

Please pursue this excellent permanent aim from today!

The first virtue is to develop the mind of renunciation and weariness,
The second virtue is to abandon concerns for this present life,
The third virtue is to maintain the examples of the holy masters.
This is upholding the permanent domain of Dharmakaya, the permanent domain of the Victorious Ones!

From the Vajra Song of Instructions for Rousing Myself (Longchen Rabjam), this completes the second chapter of transforming appearances into the Dharma. 

Chöd: by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Vajrayogini

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche offered during retreat at Palyul Ling in New York:

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Heart Teaching HT22

About Guru Yoga 

In the beginning of the practice, try to watch your mind and thoughts.  If you have any afflictive emotions or negative thoughts, try to abandon them.  Then try to give rise to virtuous thoughts, such as devotion, faith and inclination; and in that way try to have the right intention.

Guru Yoga practice is something that we need to carry through until we attain enlightenment.  Some think that we just need to do the Guru Yoga practice during Ngӧndro and the Four Foundations practice, but other than that, we don’t need it.  We should not think that way.  To attain complete enlightenment, Buddhahood, we have to completely depend upon the Guru’s instructions, and rely on the Guru.  As we apply that instruction and teaching into practice, then we could have that fruition.  That is why the Guru Yoga practice is important.  So, without fabrication in one’s mind, abide in the great unelaborated empty nature, and carry through with the supplication prayers.

About Chӧd – Cutting through thoughts and afflictive emotions 

In Ngӧndro, there actually is a Chӧd practice.  Before we didn’t have enough conditions to really do it.  In general, you do the practice with damarus and bells.  Evening is a good time to do some of the Chӧd practices.  At that hour the chant master and other lamas do the Chӧd practices.  As you do the Chӧd, follow along and chant the tunes together.  And when you use your big damarus and bells, follow together as a group in sync, instead of some doing it this way and some doing it that way, which sounds very strange.  Doing it haphazardly like that is a joke.  So always try to do the practice together with everything working together.

The Chӧd practice in the Namchö is only one page, so it is easy and good in that way.  The Tibetan word, “Chӧd,” means cutting through all the afflictive emotions and thoughts, and then establishing the nature of emptiness.  In the Chӧd visualization, as one chants with faith, everything is cut through in the nature of emptiness.

When you say the second Phet, your consciousness shoots out onto the ground as Vajravarahi (Dorje Phagmo), the size of a pea.  When you say Phet again, then Vajravarahi becomes about the size of a finger.  After that when you say Phet, then you visualize Vajravarahi about the size of a cubit.  After that when you say Phet, Vajravarahi becomes huge, filling all space.

In her right hand, Vajravarahi holds a curved knife and in her left hand, she holds a skull cup.  She has all the bone ornaments.  Your consciousness is manifested or transformed into Vajravarahi, and your body is like a corpse.  When you say Phet again, Vajravarahi takes the curved knife and with just one motion your skull becomes a skull cup in front.  Then Vajravarahi with the curved knife places your corpse inside the skull cup.  Then dualistic mind and negative thoughts in the form of bubbles are purified, and everything transforms into the five nectars and five meats, which is very pure substance.  The skull cup becomes as huge as three thousand myriads of universes.  The nectar is whitish with a radiant reddish hue.  Steam rises from the nectar, which symbolizes the five desirable objects of the five senses.  Underneath that skull cup, there are three skull cups, two dry and one wet, which symbolize the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya.    Beneath that, wisdom fire burns. As it burns, everything within the skull cup heats up, purifying all the afflictive emotions and dualistic mind and impure substances, transforming everything into wisdom nectar that fills three thousand myriads of universes.

Then after saying two Phets, instantly Vajravarahi, holds a golden spoon in her right hand and a skull cup in her left.  Then from that skull cup she ladles nectar and pours it, making offerings first to the lamas, and then to the meditational deities, and then the dakinis, and so forth.  After that when one says Phet, Vajravarahi makes offerings to all the local beings and the owners of the land, and so forth.  And then after saying another Phet, Vajravarahi makes offerings to all sentient beings of the six realms.

As one makes all these offerings, one can purify all the debts and loans and negativities from past lifetimes.  After making offerings to all those beings that are owners of sickness, demonic forces, creators of obstacles and negative forces, they are completely satisfied and pleased.  In that way by making offerings to all the gurus and meditational deities and dakinis, one could have complete accomplishment and receive all the blessings.  And by making offerings to all the negative forces and all other evil beings, they are completely satisfied and pleased. One feels as though all karmic debts have been repaid, and everything is purified.

At the end when one says Phet, then all the offerings, the objects of the offerings, and the offeror, all three, cease to exist and dissolve into emptiness.  After that one can do all the dedication and aspiration prayers.