True Refuge

Dharma and Buddhist teachers should unite in giving, and support each other. A true Dharma teacher will unceasingly give to other people and to one another, support. Any Dharma is good if it is pure in intention.

If we develop a good heart, we will progress to true compassion and awaken Bodhicitta. This is the way of the Buddha’s method.

Buddhism in any form is precious. And the forms are many, all lovely and useful. And can lead to Enlightenment. It is taught that VajrayanaIs the quickest and most profound. But I think Buddhism works. Period. And all types are profound.

My leadership is Nyingma, Palyul.All my effort goes to Palyul, and serving the poor as well as animals who need it. Many need help, and refuge.

The trick is keeping the ego in check. Because you sit under a tree does not make you Buddha. Being true refuge does, and the seed is your primordial nature. Unborn and spontaneously complete. You cannot contrive primordial nature. It is as it is. Pristine. And your accomplishment is as as it is and also cannot be contrived. Or maybe briefly, but only to dummies. It all comes out eventually. My advice: stick with Palyul, and wait upon His Holiness. His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and His Holiness Karma Kuchen. Stay pure. Honor the Boddhicitta before all.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo. All rights reserved


Incalculable Blessings for All

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Today I thought to share with you the Prayer Wheels of KPC. Having seen them in India I fell in love with Stupas and Prayer Wheels and determined to contact a Lama who is a specialist in the necessary steps. My students became well trained in compiling and stuffing them.

These Prayer Wheels are well kept, and filled with every conceivable Vajrayana mantra. All Lamas there blessed and sealed them. Hooray!

Here they are! Glorious.

There is method here, no ordinary artist can make one. They are to spin clockwise, and circumambulated clockwise (this is me demonstrating.) As many thousands have done over the years:

We have many testimonies that the Prayer Wheels and Stupas have healed so many. Many blessings. I invite all people suffering from illness, including cancer, mental illness, HIV-Aids to make a pilgrimage here to heal and receive blessings, as well as joining our 27 year, unbroken Prayer Vigil.

Here is the main Stupa, we have several here in Poolesville, Maryland and two in Sedona which are much loved by the community:


I am happy to have offered this blessing to the people of the world, and all worlds.

© copyright Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo All rights reserved.

Growing Up Spiritually

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Every sentient being has suffering, and we should contemplate that. But not judge, as we cannot see through the fog of our own reaction.

We can use our own suffering as method. If one breaks a leg it is awful. But it gives more time to rest and Practice Dharma. There is no use in whining, blame, rumination, holding on to the idea that one has been wronged. It does no good, and it is just karma playing out. Events that affect us seem to come from outside. Seem to be caused by others. But every perception is our own mindstream, born of habit and the inability to understand and think in full equations. Such as “if this, then that” cause and effect. We also refuse to take responsibility and in that way we deny ourselves the ability to be strong, and to “grow up” spiritually and emotionally, to make progress. It is lost opportunity.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved


Choose Well

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

I can understand how bad the economy is for all of us. Many people, even former good citizens are turning to money crimes, sadly. They don’t see any other way to get funds. So they turn to illegal means to survive. The really awful thing is how temporary that gain can be! Once the “deal with the devil” is made, one has lost their way, spiritually, as well as character, ethics, purity and samaya. Then when the money is gone, no more happy times remain. And one has lost everything, all virtue diminishes, and future poverty and suffering is assured.

Why is greed so difficult to overcome? Or the urge to gather power and be on top? Perhaps no true understanding of the law of karma? Some will even allow themselves to try to take what another has earned. Even to the point of destroying the victim. That is just the perfect method to destroy oneself. The fact is, most people dumb enough to commit crimes are actually made stupid by their own lust for gain and mostly get caught. Or their criminal friends turn on them. There is no honor among thieves, they cannot be trusted.

I’ve learned so much about this in my life alone. We should always remember that some people are very, very weak. And some people are very, very strong. It is almost impossible to tell the difference. Until the thief turns demonic. Then they are easily known. Remember this. And choose well!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Peerless Guru: His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo: I wish there was no corruption in any religion. I wish there was no corruption in Buddhism. I wish there was no corruption in humans. When Tsawei Lama Third Drubwang His Holiness Penor Rinpoche was alive there was never any such thing. His Holiness always emphasized purity, honesty, bodhicitta. His Holiness Kyabje Penor Rinpoche ruled with care, and love. He was never in His life spoken of badly by anyone that mattered. All loved and revered him. His Holiness Penor Rinpoche kept his vows, outer, inner, and secret ones, all without stain. He began and built Palyul in India with his own hands! What Tulku, Khenchen, monk or nun could ever hope to accomplish the same? His Holiness Penor Rinpoche was peerless! Now we’ve lost Him. Who will keep Palyul pure? I can say this. No one should make money off Dharma. It should pay the bills, yes. KPC has no major donors, just many small ones. But we keep the doors open. Money goes to help sentient beings, like Garuda Aviary and Taras Babies or feeding the poor. Not lining pockets. Everyone, for the most part, wants money for themselves. Money is power. And it feels good until the Bardo, where all we will have is our selfishness without interruption! Everyone, except Kybje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. He only wished to preserve the purity of Palyul and to empty samsara from its depths! May His Holiness Karma Kuchen rise up and do His work. And offering the precious jewel Mandala I beg and cry out for His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s Yangsi to appear and return to us who mourn! Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved originally published Sept. 2, 2011

Victory of View

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

I have been told many times that I worry. I must say I disagree. I do study things, try to puzzle cause and effect, try to glimpse behind the curtain. I love to notice patterns and find their meaning. I like to study abnormal psychology, love to hear about case studies, what makes people tick. I find reactions fascinating! I’ve learned that each bit of phenomena is amazing.

So you may see me with a knit brow…but this life has taught me squarely that it is a dream. One moment you feel mortally wounded, then with a little tweaking it isn’t so anymore. I’ve found if we step back and breathe we can avoid getting all tied up in stuff, and bound in neurosis, insanity. It’s choices.

Life is a whirling colorful, mesmerizing dance with lights, sound and distraction, like a circus. And like a circus it soon packs up and disappears, leaving only dust and tracks in dirt.

If we study life and think in sane full equations that add up, we can manage well. If we sink into reaction, rage, fear, despair, we will be ground into blood and guts and will always be a bee in a bottle. Round and round with no rhyme or reason or true purpose. And certainly with no accomplishment. Meditation, mantra, and prayer, all help soothe and deepen the mind, increases our view, relaxes our ego-clinging, helps us expand our thinking and being into something beautiful. Extraordinary! We can “be” to the degree that we can laugh with pure joy. Dance. Howl at the moon… cry, mourn and recover well. No, I don’t worry about life or death. I am into knowing, connecting, loving, laughing and recovery for all from trauma. I don’t take it so seriously. And I never worry anymore! I’d call that a victory of view!


Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

The Key to Happiness is Merit!

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

In Buddhism there is much ado about merit. Yet it is very simple to understand. There are meritorious acts and non virtuous acts. If there is no knowledge of Dharma these two may seem the same. But in Buddhism there are rules of conduct. These are given as guides to happiness and good spiritual result.

Say one upholds proper conduct; kindness, stable mind, study, teaching, generosity, respect, meditation etc. That one is accumulating merit. Say another one steals, speaks harshly, harms others, is unkind, a criminal, selfish; this is degenerating merit.

Merit is necessary to approach the path honorably; and to continue, make progress. Merit is also necessary to keep living. It is said when the storehouse of one’s merit in this life is depleted then death occurs. Merit is also about habitual tendencies. If one is a criminal with criminal habits, or a murderer with the habit of killing or harming, this person is said to have a large storehouse of non-virtue, and will live a life that displays it.

So a mainstay of Dharma is the gathering of merit and the avoidance of non virtue. This way the habit of wholesome virtue is installed, and the habit of non-virtue is naturally dissipated. Imagine a legal scale; one pile of non-virtue and one pile of merit. As one adds to the merit, the non-virtue by comparison becomes smaller. Enough merit gathered, and non-virtue falls off the radar. In Buddhism we dedicate that merit of the three times, past present and future to the liberation from suffering of all beings; and for oneself as well. So one becomes like a wealthy person with a treasure trove of merit. Like gold it can be exchanged for benefit. If no merit is gathered the spiritual bank is empty. That results in spiritual poverty, and there is no good result. One may wish to be accomplished but the essential ingredient is missing.

By gathering merit one can be healthy, prosperous, smart, beautiful and wholesome. But the motivation is very important. Gathering merit for selfish reasons is almost useless. The merit is mixed like poison with tea. If one were to rob a bank and in so doing must be kind, generous and loving to the banker to “get in” and steal; this is strictly non-virtue due to bad intention. If one is a monk yet stops to minister to a dying woman, even a prostitute, and the intention is pure, then this is meritorious. Therefore we must always gather merit. Eventually the darkest non-virtue, even the gross obscurations can be purified! But not by acting better starting now. That is shallow and insincere. One must become self-honest and persevere in a deep, energetic and profound way to fill the great storehouse of merit. This is not for sissies! Sissies want it easy-pleasy. Saying words that are pleasing in order to be loved and admired. It will never happen, because to be truly loved and blessed, well, you have to have the merit for it. Put this teaching in your pocket; learn and accomplish Dharma to be truly happy!

Thank you very kindly for reading this small effort at teaching. May it touch your heart and bring you joy!

© Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Cultivating Virtue, Pacifying Poisons

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

I have always felt a good way to purify rage, is to film oneself doing it. How even an attractive person becomes ugly, and repulsive.

If one cannot give respect, one will never receive respect. All people have the right to dignity and respect.

If one lies, is unethical, hurtful, selfish, causing harm, one cannot expect to ever be truly happy!

To meditate, recite Dharma, practice kindness, generosity, to teach Dharma in order to increase the Sangha, this is meritorious, happiness follows.

If one resents or is angered or jealous of others prosperity or funds…They will never have enough, and their bank will be empty.

Rage is an addiction. It must be immediately pacified so the habit will not escalate, thereby making progress on the path.

I find if one reacts to rage with goodness, a kind heart, and compassion, one remains untouched and joyful!

If one lies, is unethical, hurtful, selfish, causing harm, one cannot expect to ever be truly happy!  If one is often sick or very sick the best remedy is loving, kindness, helping others who are sick, and praying for all beings to be free of suffering.

To those whose past is a harsh burden I say – you can change! With effort and cultivating a wholesome and loving mind!

Never gossip. It will always come around and smack one in the head. And one’s storehouse of merit will be lost. Most non-virtue is habitual, so one can only change from the inside. Be persistent and brave! Soon one’s whole life will transform!

© Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Understanding Our Root Guru

I agree wholeheartedly with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa when he says it is most important to keep one’s samaya with the root Guru. I was once told a story where a dedicated and educated practitioner emerged after several years of retreat and went to his Lineage Master to complain of his lack of progress.

The Guru sent the retreatant back to the cave, saying five more years were needed. In five years this happened again. This time the Guru said, concentrate on the Root Guru!  So the practitioner went back for five more years. Still almost no result! No Bodhicitta, no Wisdom or Recognition. The Guru then shouted, “You did not meditate on your root Guru!”

“Well,” said student “I most certainly did.”  The High Lama said, “I am not your root Guru! I am one of your teachers and you favor me because I have a high throne! That makes you feel that you certainly are high yourself!”

The great lama in his clarity and mercy said, “You fool! The old poor Ani who fed, raised and dressed you also taught you the four contemplations that turn the mind to Dharma, as well as Bodhicitta, the Four Noble Truths, including the Eight-Fold Path! How stupid and arrogant to think you must have the highest Lama! Such pride! A downfall! So go back and meditate on mixing your mind with that old ragged Ani. She is your Tsawei Lama and was also a wisdom Dakini. Her Qualities were peerless, sublime! But pride has closed your eyes.” Then with fury he cast the practitioner away, saying, “Come back when you have thrown away your pride.”

Five years later the retreatant returned with gifts and prostrations. He was, much to the delight of the Great Lama, awake. He had mixed his mind with his true Guru, had given rise to pure Bodhicitta, and had no pride.

Both the Great Lama and the disciple rejoiced together, and could hear the joyous cries of the wisdom Dakini throughout the entire monastery- Kye Ho!

So the Root Guru only needs to be awakened herself, be able to communicate, and have lineage teachings to pass on. “High Seats” are another issue entirely.  It is that one who hooks and aligns you with pure Dharma, connects you with method and result who is the true Root Guru. Praise to the Root of Accomplishment!

Unending Vow

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo on October 26, 2010

My friends are trying to lift my spirits and I feel so grateful for that. Really, I don’t know how I’d manage without your kindness!

I have also received great support from my other teachers, and Palyul Lamas for which I weep with joy. Thank you Khenpo, and His Eminence Gyaltrul Rinpoche and all the others. I love Palyul with my Body, Speech and Mind.

Kyabje His Holiness Penor Rinpoche instilled such love and respect for his hard work to keep Palyul alive and flourishing. I loved his style.

Every Lama has their own style, whether or not they are Tulkus. Just like people!  Some are tough love types. Some are tender and quiet. Some are warriors and some are peaceful. This is throughout Vajrayana. Amazing how the Guru displays just what is needed, if they have wisdom and compassion. A self-cherishing talker could not do that.

I am an American woman. Many find that intolerable. Or don’t like my style. That is OK by me. What I find deplorable is gossip among the Sangha against the Three Precious Jewels. I feel it is lethal to Dharma and to the faith of the students. This is a new land for Dharma.

When Padmasambhava went to Tibet he had to constantly battle the local demons. I was told by BOTH my root Gurus it would be so for me, that I took vows to continue Guru Rinpoche’s work in this new barbaric land. And so it has been and continues to be.

Whenever I complain Gyaltrul Rinpoche says, “You asked for it right to the face of Guru Rinpoche.  You asked to help the worst of the worst,” and so it is. When I complain, forgive me, I do get tired!

But I mean to love you.

I mean to liberate from the suffering of samsara.

I mean to bring benefit until samsara is empty.

May I be the last to be free of suffering.

For your sake.

For their sake.

May I be food, water, and shelter for every being.

And love. May I be love.

Again, I pray and prostrate with prayer to His FACE!

For their sake – my children.

© Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo