2016 Losar Message from H.E. Khondung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche
On Tuesday, February 9, H.E. Khondung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche gave a Losar (Tibetan New Year) message in both English and Tibetan. Watch and enjoy!
Watch the message in English:
Watch the message in Tibetan:
H.H. Sakya Trizin's Visit to Seattle (March 31 - April 4)
Because of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya's poor health, we have cancelled the Kalachakra Initiation scheduled to be given by H.H. Sakya Trizin on May 18. Instead, H.H. Sakya Trizin will be visiting Seattle earlier than planned. The current schedule for his visit is as follows:
Thursday, March 31
H.H. Sakya Trizin arrives at SeaTac Airport at 12:05 pm on Lufthansa flight #490.
Saturday, April 2
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Mahakala Puja
Lunch break: Noon - 2:00 pm
Everyone is welcome to come and bring offerings to Sakya Monastery and the lamas. People who have received the Sakya Mahakala Initiation may follow our sadhana. Those who have not received this initiation may stay and observe the Puja.
Sunday, April 3
10:00 - 11:00 AM Dharma Talk: Chogyal Phagpa's "Advice of the Precious Jewel Garland"
To attend in person, register online by visiting: *** EVENT IS FULL, REGISTRATION IS CLOSED ***
To stream the event live for free, visit: hhst2016.sakya.org
Monday, April 4
8:00 - 10:00 AM Tenshug Ceremony and Long-life Prayers for H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya
Requested by H.H. Sakya Trizin.
10:00 AM - Noon Tenshug Ceremony and Long-life Prayers for H.H. Sakya Trizin
Requested by Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang and Sakya Monastery.
All are welcome to attend both Tenshug ceremonies and pray for the long life of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and H.H. Sakya Trizin.
Green Tara Teaching by H.E. Dagmo Kusho
Dagmo Chimey Sakya, Translator.
Notes were taken by Laura Ellis.
October 22, 2015
Prior to the Green Tara initiation at Sakya Monastery in Seattle, H.E. Dagmo Kusho gave the following commentary:
The practice of Green Tara is very important because she is the mother of all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and all sentient being. She is also the representation of one’s own mother. Through her loving kindness and compassion she is accessible to all practitioners, just as one’s own mother is always there for her children. In Tibetan Buddhism there are many deities, all with their own characteristics and powers: wealth, long life, healing and so on. Each deity fulfills all the different needs of all the different sentient beings. Tara is the mother of all beings and fulfills all wishes. She is known for her swiftness in fulfilling wishes. Through the non-dual aspect of method and wisdom she represents loving kindness to all beings. When you practice Tara, she is known for her swiftness. She will come to your aid without any bias or delay. She fulfills all wishes of the practitioner.
The 21 manifestations of Tara are described in the 21 Praises of Tara. When you recite the 21 Praises you will understand each form of Tara has different attributes. Green Tara is the embodiment of all of the twenty one Taras combined.
In Tibetan stories Green Tara was once a princess called Yishe Dawa . She took an oath in the presence of Buddha Amogasiddhi to practice and liberate all beings from suffering. She vowed to always be born as a female, even though she had the ability to be born as a male and others encouraged her to be born as a male. She wanted to be born as a female who could liberate all beings and attain enlightenment. Another story has it that Chenrezi had vowed to Amitaba to liberate all beings but no matter how many he liberated there were always more. When Chenrezi wept, Tara emanated as a tear from his eyes. Therefore there is a strong connection between Green Tara, Buddha Amitaba, and Chenrezi. Tara is also regarded as the feminine aspect of Buddha Avalokiteshwara or Chenrezig.
Green Tara is a very powerful practice. It helps remove the 8 Fears or the 8 Obscurations which reflect the external manifestations of our fears and their corresponding mental obscurations:
1. Lion: pride
2. Elephant: ignorance
3. Fire: hatred and anger
4. Snake: envy
5. Thieves: wrong views
6. Imprisonment: coveting and miserliness
7. Floods: attachment and desire
8. Evil spirits: doubts and suspicions
When we have these fears we pray to Tara and she swiftly protects us from these fears.
The Great Pandita Atisha visited Tibet and later in the holy place of Bodh Gaya he composed a prayer to the beginning of the 21 Praises of Tara. He earnestly practiced Tara and recited the mantra and she appeared to him. She asked him to go to Tibet to benefit the people and to protect Tibet. Since then she is regarded as the protector of Tibet. This initiation has come all the way from Atisha in an unbroken lineage.
Chu-Tsa Teaching with H.E. Dagmo Kusho and Ven. Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche
By Laura Ellis
On Sunday, October 4th, 2015, H.E. Dagmo Kusho, Venerable Khenpo Jampa and Dharma students from Sakya Monastery gathered at Carkeek Park in Seattle, to make sacred Chu-Tsa offerings. The word ‘chu’ means ‘water’ and ‘tsa’ means ‘mold’. The word ‘tsa sa’ typically refers to the clay images of buddhas and bodhisattvas that are consecrated and used to fill the inside of stupas. Dagmo Kusho la explained that another way to make tsa sa is from of water.
Dagmo Kusho la gave a brief teaching. She said that, according to His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche, water tsa sa are especially beneficial because water sustains life, it remains forever on the earth and it goes all over the world. Therefore the blessings imparted by the chu tsa will remain in the world forever.
There is great healing benefit for oneself and all beings. When one performs the chu tsa offering one is helping other beings to heal. Therefore the result is that one self will also receive healing blessings. In waterways it is said that for every four foot stretch of water there is a water goddess. The goddess helps purify the water. That is why in Tibet, one person can be seen washing clothes upstream and downstream another person is drinking from the river. Tibetans believe this. The chu tsa offering can purify the water in the same way. Practicing the chu tsa offering is very easy, it does not cost anything, benefits all beings, and the accumulation of merit is tremendous. For these reasons it is a good practice for lay practitioners. In Tibet, it is traditional for groups of lay practitioners (even entire villages) to gather on auspicious days of the year and perform chu tsa.
Everyone was delighted and surprised when H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and his son, H.E. Zaya Rinpoche, unexpectedly arrived at the park. Dagchen Rinpoche led us in the recitation of the Aspiration of Samantabhadra. We then recited the Three Long Life Deity prayers for our holy teachers before going down to the beach at the place where the fresh water stream meets the sea.
Dagmo Kusho la showed us how to make the chu tsa by placing the mold mindfully in the water in an upright fashion so that the image is imprinted perfectly upon the water. Just as with clay tsa sa, the water has to fill the entire mold in order to make a perfect image. Dagmola emphasized how important it is to do the practice in the proper way. Then one repeats the process many times while reciting mantras. One can recite any mantra one chooses, usually Om Mani Padme Hung.
Khenpo-la playfully showered participants with blessings from his tsa sa mold. It was a beautiful sunny day. Perfect weather for engaging in this meritorious activity by scenic Puget Sound surrounded by mountains, a blue sky, a fresh breeze and clear water to carry the Buddha’s adamantine blessings all over the world.
May our precious teachers live long and may the Buddha Dharma spread and increase!
How To Become A Good Practitioner
by Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
Our Sangha recently had the pleasure of receiving a glorious teaching from Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche entitled, “How to become a good practitioner.” Rinpoche began his lecture with the following words:
In many ways, you know more than me. Because there are so many books about Tibetan Buddhism that are written in English, you have had the opportunity to read from many masters from many different schools. You can read teachings from Thai, Chinese and Zen Buddhism books as well as from the Indian and Tibetan Masters.
Yet, I have received many teachings from lots of Tibetan Masters, many of them being realized Masters. It is hard to really know who is on the path or who is realized. However, from my side, I respect them as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. For me, they are very important spiritual teachers, the most important beings in my life. More than my parents, or the same as my parents.
This means that we are like 50/50. You know more than me in one way, by being able to read so much information on the Buddhadharma. Then, I know more than you in another way that I can share with you. That is why I am here today to sit down and give this talk, to be able to pass down to you the teachings that I have received over many years. I have tried very hard to learn English to be able to communicate with you in the best way possible, to save the time that it takes to translate.
If you would like to read the complete transcript, you can download it here.
The Beauty Of Chenrezi Practice
by Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
This past Saturday, we students had the fortunate opportunity to listen to a precious Dharma teaching from Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche and receive transmission on the two texts that he had explained. After a few days of unexpected summer rainstorms filled with lightning and showers, Saturday came along with radiant sun and warmth. Many students gathered to welcome Rinpoche and he began to teach the glorious Dharma; giving direction and explanation on the two Chenrezi texts used at Sakya Monastery. These two texts are entitled, “An Ocean Of Compassion” and “Filling Space To Benefit Beings”. As we began, Rinpoche shared that traditionally Tibet is called the “Land of Chenrezi” as ancient Tibet is known for being so peaceful. He then gave us an eloquent reminder of the importance of the Dharmic bridge between ourselves and our gurus. We should remember to remain thankful and appreciate this connection that we are so fortunate to have. If someone helps you to practice Dharma, we should think that this person is a good person and be thankful, respecting them. We don’t really know if this person is an emanation of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, but this connection, the Dharma, is perfect. Don’t think that guru means someone wearing a yellow robe or sitting on a throne, those kinds of things. If someone gives teaching of perfect Dharma, that’s your Guru. This person, you can visualize on the crown of your head or in your heart, and respect this person.
If you would like to read the complete transcript, you can download it here.