Special Events

Medicine Buddha Initiation

Bestowed by H.E. Dagmo Kusho
Sunday: March 15
Time: 1:30 pm
Suggested contribution: Public $35, Members $25
Prerequisite: On the day of the empowerment, one must be vegetarian (no eggs, meat, alcohol, or garlic) and celibate the entire day (24 hours).

The Medicine Buddha, or Bhaishajyaguru, alleviates suffering, sickness, and injury and thus prolongs human life, improving the human opportunity to attain enlightenment. The Medicine Buddha is a manifestation of Shakyamuni Buddha, who gave medicine teachings to the Fourfold Assembly. He holds a medicine bowl and radiates healing rays of energy to all sentient beings.

Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya was born in Kham, Eastern Tibet. As the niece of one of the most highly realized Sakya Masters of the twentieth century, H.E. Dezhung Rinpoche III, her training in Buddhist practice began at an early age. She has received extensive teachings and empowerments from many great lamas of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism throughout her lifetime. Dagmola is married to H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya of the Khön lineage, a Head Lama of the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism. Dagmola specializes in Tara empowerments, practices, and teachings, and has many students throughout the world.

Preserving Bhutan's Spiritual Heritage

A Presentation and Discussion of Sacred Historical Buddhist Sites and Artworks
By Ashi Kesang Choden Tashi Wangchuck

Friday, February 6th
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public; $15 Members


Ashi Kesang Choden T Wangchuck is an up and coming young writer, art conservator, translator, and active volunteer in her nation’s efforts to keep their history, traditions, and spiritual legacy thriving. She is also the granddaughter of the Royal Grandmother of Bhutan. Her publication on Guru Rinpoche’s history and significance in Bhutan, Zangdok Palri: Lotus Light Palace of Guru Rinpoche, has received excellent international reviews. Kesang Wangchuck also manages the monastic Thimphu Thangka Conservation Center, where she works side-by-side with a group of monks to preserve sacred paintings, murals and appliqués. As a participant of her culture’s living spiritual traditions, Ashi Kesang brings an important perspective to the unique considerations of restoring sacred works, specifically, how to balance technical conservation needs with the need for these historical sites and artworks to remain alive, relevant, and accessible for the benefit of all. This presentation will include stunning images and accounts from her book, as well as a discussion of present-day preservation efforts, struggles, and successes. The audience is invited to stay afterwards for an informal Q & A.

Special Lecture: Dependent Arising and the Rice Sprout Sutra

Wednesdays, February 25th and March 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Attendees will receive extensive class texts - RSVP so enough copies are available

Description: Dependent arising is a key teaching for understanding the Buddha's Dharma. Shantideva in his Compendium of Training recommends the study of dependent arising for the development of discriminating insight. Nagarjuna in his Verses on the Root of the Middle Way equates dependent arising with the middle way and emptiness. One of the most quoted sources for the teaching on dependent arising is The Rice Sprout Sutra. We will read a translation of this Sutra accompanied by Kamalashila's commentary. Kamalashila is an Eighth Century East Indian master who traveled to Tibet. The translation is further annotated using a longer commentary to both the Sutra and a verse commentary. We will read and discuss the Sutra and Kamalashila's commentary and its annotation, translated by Jeff Schoening. Anyone interested in studying dependent arising is welcome.

Jeffrey Schoening (Upasaka), holds a PhD in Buddhist Studies, and is a longtime member and interpreter at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Jeff is the author of The Shalistamba Sutra and Its Indian Commentaries (Vienna 1995), a two-volume study on teachings about dependent arising. He has worked as a health care chaplain and as a private practice spiritual director.

Red Chenrezi Initiation, Lord of the Lotus Dance

By H.E. Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: Public $35, Members $30
Prerequisite: Vegetarian before the Initiation

Chenrezi is the embodiment of the universal compassion of all the Buddhas. The meditation and recitation of Chenrezi is the main practice of Sakya Monastery, dedicated to the temporal and spiritual welfare of all sentient beings. Of the many sacred Chenrezi practices held within the Sakya tradition, the form known as the Lord of the Lotus Dance is a very special means to empower the accumulation of merit; to eliminate attachments; to evoke healing, wish-fulfilment, and to awaken love and compassion in our hearts.

It is a wonderful opportunity that H.E. Sakya Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche is returning to Seattle to bestow the uncommon initiation of the Lord of the Lotus Dance for the first time. With his inimitable warmth, clarity and insight, His Eminence will also provide a detailed explanation of the background and processes of the practice in fluent English.

His Eminence Khondung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche is the elder son of H.E. Khöndung Zaya Vajra Rinpoche and Dagmo Lhanze Youden. He was born into the illustrious Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang Family in Seattle in 1993. At the young age of six, he began his training in India in order follow in the footsteps of his noble Khön forebears. Since that time, he has received an uninterrupted stream of transmissions and teachings, including the Lamdre Tsogshay, from his grandfather, H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. He has also received many teachings from his paternal grand-uncle H.H. Sakya Trizin (including the Lamdre Lobshe), and many high Lamas of the Sakya tradition. Having mastered the intricate rituals of the Sakya lineage, completed meditation retreats and presided as Vajra Master of the 2009 Vajrakilaya ceremony in Darjeeling, he enrolled at Dzongsar Institute of Higher Buddhist Philosophy and Research in 2010. To gain proficiency in the classic treatises of the Sakya philosophical tradition, he is successfully building on his extensive learning of the Buddha Dharma with a program of study and dialectics.

Beholding the Face of the Gurus

By H.E. Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Time: 10:00 am (Following Chenrezi)
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: Donations accepted
Prerequisite: None

A special reading transmission (Loong) for the Prayers to Virupa and the Five Founding Masters of Sakya.

To support the annual Guru Pujas (la-choe) held at Sakya Monastery that commemorate the most important Lineage Lamas of the Sakya tradition, H.E. Sakya Dungse Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche will bestow for the first time the unbroken reading transmissions (loong) of the full prayers to the Mahasiddha Virupa and the Five Founding Masters (Jetsun Gongma Nga). His Eminence will also make copies available (donations welcome) of His inspiring new booklet, ‘Beholding the Faces of the Gurus,’ which includes all the prayers in Tibetan and English with His Eminence’s own elucidating annotations. Sunday Chenrezi will be as usual and the reading transmission will be at the end of the session.

His Eminence Khondung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche is the elder son of H.E. Khöndung Zaya Vajra Rinpoche and Dagmo Lhanze Youden. He was born into the illustrious Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang Family in Seattle in 1993. At the young age of six, he began his training in India in order follow in the footsteps of his noble Khön forebears. Since that time, he has received an uninterrupted stream of transmissions and teachings, including the Lamdre Tsogshay, from his grandfather, H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya. He has also received many teachings from his paternal grand-uncle H.H. Sakya Trizin (including the Lamdre Lobshe), and many high Lamas of the Sakya tradition. Having mastered the intricate rituals of the Sakya lineage, completed meditation retreats and presided as Vajra Master of the 2009 Vajrakilaya ceremony in Darjeeling, he enrolled at Dzongsar Institute of Higher Buddhist Philosophy and Research in 2010. To gain proficiency in the classic treatises of the Sakya philosophical tradition, he is successfully building on his extensive learning of the Buddha Dharma with a program of study and dialectics.

Dharma Lecture: Oral Transmission of the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Bestowed by Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
Sunday, January 18th
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $30 Public, $25 Members
Prerequisite: Refuge

After you receive the Shitro empowerment you need the oral transmission in order to fully practice the teaching in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. If you read this book all the time then when you are dying or after your death you will recognize these deities inside your body without fear and can achieve enlightenment, or go to the pure land, or be born in a higher realm.

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche is a Dzogchen master and the reincarnation of Dzogchen Gyaltsab Thodo Rinpoche. He was recognized by H.H. Dalai Lama's Nyingmapa teacher Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche. He received teachings from twenty-five masters representing all five schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Tulku Yeshi has written thirteen books, ten of which have been published, on the subject of Tibetan Buddhism and culture, including “A One Thousand Year History of Sakyapa.” He has published three books in English: his autobiography “A Modern Liberation Odyssey - An Autobiography of a Tibetan Nomad Lama”, “Handbook for Half-Buddhas” and “Tibetan Zen.” He also writes novels, poetry for mind training, provides Tibetan astrology readings, can advise people on how to enjoy their life, and can bestow empowerments. Currently he is working on Dharma activities at Sakya Monastery in Seattle. He is now working on producing a documentary on His Holiness Jidgal Dagchen Rinpoche’s life.

Movies with Meaning: A Place at the Table

Saturday, January 17th
Time: 7:00 pm

Please join us for the first in a series of movie screenings at Sakya Monastery. This series will begin with the screening of A Place at the Table, a powerful documentary tackling the hunger epidemic in America. Please bring a food donation to this event. The second film shown will be Happy, a documentary that explores human happiness through interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries, weaving in the newest findings of positive psychology. Donations are welcome at this screening. We look forward to seeing you at these, and future movie nights.

A Place at the Table description:
This film addresses the fact that 50 million Americans - 1 in 4 children - don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place At The Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place At The Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides -as they have in the past- that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.

Book Reading: Sakya Kongma Series

Author: Chris Wilkinson
Sunday, January 11th
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: Donations welcome

Chris Wilkinson, a student of Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche, Trinly Sakyapa Rinpoche, and Dezhung Rinpoche since 1972, will introduce us to his five volumes of translations of the writings of the Sakya Founders. He will offer short readings and give us an introduction to the great variety of writings and context for building a better understanding of these diverse writers. All of the five Sakya Kongma were brilliant in their use of words. We will look into samples of poetry, praise, prose teachings, and biography to give us an opportunity to understand these gurus and their teachings better. There will be time for questions and answers. Chris will bring several copies of each title which will be available for the discounted price of $25 a book or $108 for the five book series, and will offer a book signing after the talk. Proceeds from this sale will go entirely toward the translation of further works by the Sakya Founders. There are many techniques for the practice of Guru Yoga, one of the best is to read, discuss, and take to heart the writings of the gurus themselves. Please come to enjoy some of the wondrous words of the Sakya Kongma.

Chris Wilkinson has been active in the Sakya tradition since the early 1970's, and is a close student of Dezhung Rinpoche, Trinly Sakyapa Rinpoche, and Jigdal Dagchen Rinpoche. He has been translating the Dharma for over forty years. He has brought out five full volumes of translations of writings by the Sakya Founders, and two volumes devoted to the original transmission of the Great Perfection teachings in Tibet. He has received empowerment in all four transmissions of Tibetan Dharma, and done numerous long retreats.

Introduction to the Next of Kin Guide

Saturday, January 10
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested Donation: $10

Under the guidance of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, volunteers from the Next of Kin Committee have assembled a packet of information to assist Sakya Monastery members in deciding their end-of-life wishes. We will go over what prayers can be request for the time of death, how to handle the body according to Tibetan Buddhist protocols, what legal forms need to be filled out prior to death, and how to make arrangements with your Next of Kin to have your end-of-life wishes fulfilled.

Laura Ellis has been a student of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and H.E. Dagmo Kusho since 2002. She has received many precious initiations and blessings including the Lamdre, bestowed by Dagchen Rinpoche in 2007. Laura is the mother of four year old Tulku Ogyan Kyab and six year old Sonam Yangkyi. Tulku Ogyan is the reincarnation of Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche, a lama from Minyak, East Tibet. He is currently studying Tibetan language at the Phuntsok Phodrang Sakya Heritage Foundation in New Delhi.

Ngondro Teaching: Oral Transmission and Practice Sessions

Lecturer: Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche
Sunday, January 4th (Teaching) and Saturday, February 7th, February 21st, March 7th and March 14th
Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $30 Public, $25 Members (Oral Transmission - on January 4); for Practice sessions, donations are welcome.
Prerequisite: None

After one contemplates the common preliminary practices (precious human rebirth, impermanence, law of karma, and the faults of samsara), one can undertake the extraordinary preliminary practices. They include: Refuge with visualization and prostrations, Bodhicitta, Vajrasattva meditation, Mandala offering, and Guru yoga. Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche will bestow the oral transmission and instruction for these Ngondro practices. The preliminary practices are for removing the two obscurations (emotional afflictions and knowledge defilements).

Khenpo Jampa Rinpoche comes to us from the Dzongsar Insitute in North India, where he taught and served as library director for many years. He received his Degree of Acharya after nine years of study and was graduated as Khenpo in 2004 after thirteen years of study. He spent seventeen years studying with his main teacher, H.E. Khenchen Kunga Wangchuk. He has received empowerments from all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and from many great masters including H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.H. Sakya Trizin, H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, H.H. Karmapa, and H.E. Dzongsar Khyentse. He now teaches intermediate and advanced level classes on Buddhist philosophy, sutra and highest yoga tantra all over the world.

Annual Holiday Sale of Himalayan Handicrafts

Sunday, November 30
Time: 11:00am – 4:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall and Library
Cost: FREE

Come see the cultural hall transformed into a marketplace of Tibetan vendors at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. Items offered for sale include statues, prayer flags, incense, art prints, books, photos of the Dalai Lama, CDs, tapes, prayer beads, jewelry, 2015 Himalayan art calendars, charms, and clothing.

At 12:00 pm enjoy a free tour of the Monastery’s Shrine Room with its traditional Tibetan murals, sculptures, mandalas, and triple life-sized golden Buddha statue.

Tibetan tea will be served.

 

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