His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya’s 2009 Teachings in Taiwan and Hong Kong

By Adrienne (Yeshe) Chan

Adrienne Chan is the personal assistant to H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and Executive Director of Sakya Monastery.

After a 13 hour plane ride, HH Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, HE Dagmo Kusho, Lama Migmar and I touched down at Taipei, Taiwan airport at about 5:30 am. Although we were exhausted, the arrival was beautiful and heart warming—colors of golden silk, maroon robes, flowing white katags and flowers engulfed us. Dagchen Rinpoche was immediately sheltered by a traditional golden parasol three feet in diameter (reserved for high lamas).  Lama Tashi of Sakya Tsechen Thupten Dekyi Choling, led the welcome party.  Tulkus, lamas, nuns and students of all sects of Buddhism offered katags to Dagchen Rinpoche and Dagmo Kusho. At one point, Dagchen Rinpoche was interviewed by a news reporter.

Once the luggage arrived, students picked up our bags and we were whisked off to Tai Chung, Taiwan, where Dagchen Rinpoche was invited to teach at four Centers. He consecrated Pewa Tulku’s new center and gave a teaching on “Parting from the Four Attachments”.  He also gave a teaching on Chenrezi at a Chinese Temple as well as teachings at the Kagyu center led by HE Chime Rinpoche.  The bulk of Dagchen Rinpoche’s Tai Chung teachings were at the Nyingma Kathog Rigzin Chenpo Dharma Association Monastery, which is directed by HE Kathog Rinpoche.

The Tai Chung teachings began auspiciously on October 20, 2009 at Kathog Rinpoche’s monastery with HE Dagmo Kusho bestowing the Green Tara initiation to many devoted students. Because students worked during the week, it was arranged that Dagchen Rinpoche would bestow the esoteric Dharma teaching to the ordained in the morning and in the evening he would give teachings to all students.  Thus, Dagchen Rinpoche started a week and a half of morning initiations for monks which included initiations/teachings like Kurukulle, Hevajra, and Mahakala.  To all students he bestowed initiations like Red Tara, Hayagriva and Red Zambala.

One day, we were told to dress warmly and to put on mosquito repellent.  We were headed towards the mountains where Kathog Rinpoche had requested Dagchen Rinpoche consecrate a retreat site.  When we arrived at the bottom of the mountain side, an elaborately constructed sedan chair was awaiting Dagchen Rinpoche.  The students had taken a bamboo rocker and securely fastened metal poles to the sides of it.  Dagchen Rinpoche sat in the rocker and 8 strong men carried him up to the retreat site.  The sedan chair even had a petite golden parasol (12’’ diameter) suspended over Dagchen Rinpoche’s head. Seeing eight devoted men carrying Dagchen Rinpoche up the side of a mountain and the little parasol swaying to and fro above his head was awesome.

Once they reached the retreat site a beautiful ground breaking ceremony began. A delicious assortment of food offerings were made to the local deities, prayers were chanted, gyaling horns and drums played.  The ceremony concluded with Dagchen Rinpoche breaking the ground (digging) in a location designated by placement of Padmasambhava’s brass iron staff.

Our final day at Kathog Rinpoche’s monastery was an all day event.  Dagchen Rinpoche wearing a very precious and elaborate Padmasambhava hat, led a Jetsun Nynigdik Wang Druk puja/tsok and initiation.  At the tsok, 12 special people, which included our beloved Dagmo Kusho, were chosen to represent “dakinis”.  Each dakini wore colorful brocade garments and crowns. Then they were assigned to chant offering prayers.  At the conclusion of the prayers, tsok (food) items piled at least three feet high were distributed to everyone.  Our visit at Kathog Rinpoche’s monastery was magnificent and memorable.  We left with visions of dakinis dancing in our heads.

Could anything top that?  No, but could something equal that?  The next day Dagchen Rinpoche and Dagmo Kusho received a grand welcome from HE Chime Rinpoche and his students. The welcome ceremony began with loud explosions of fire crackers and Dragon and Lion Dances.  Two golden lions, six feet long with snapping mouths and adorable wagging tails danced about greeting Dagchen Rinpoche and Dagmo Kusho.  One lion acrobatically danced and skipped on the top of a row of eight poles which were about 12 feet high off the ground.  It was incredible—it was like watching a circus act—a little scary but fun.

After the welcome, Dagchen Rinpoche led Chime Rinpoche, other lamas and monks, including our Lama Migmar, in prayers for the site consecration of Chime Rinpoche’s new retreat center.  The prayer ceremony also included a huge fire puja offering, releasing of 100 birds (assisted by Dagmo Kusho) and tree planting ritual performed by both Dagchen Rinpoche and Dagmo Kusho.

For the next four days, Dagchen Rinpoche bestowed to Chime Rinpoche, his students and other Buddhist practitioners the three wealth deities initiations (The Three Red Ones: Kurukulle, Kamarja, Ganapati), which are from the renown “Sakya Thirteen Golden Dharmas” teachings.  He also bestowed a Medicine Buddha empowerment and led Long Life, Guru Yoga and Medicine Buddha pujas.  Additionally, Dagmo Kusho gave a public talk to eager students on the evening of the third day. On our last day in Tai Chung, November 1, 2009, Chime Rinpoche surprised us all.  He presented Dagchen Rinpoche with a mandala offering followed by gifts and an eight layered birthday cake. The birthday cake was a least five feet high (it looked like a wedding cake).  To be able to celebrate one’s lama’s long life and for the continuation of his teachings is indeed thrilling!  We were able to accomplish that four more times—in Taipei, New Delhi, Lumbini and recently in Seattle!  “Ku Tse Ring” (long life) to our beloved Dagchen Rinpoche!

Next on November 2nd, we arrived at Sakya Tsechen Thupten Dekyi Choling located in Taipei, capitol of Taiwan.  Since November 2nd is Dagchen Rinpoche’s actual passport birthday, Lama Tashi requested that Dagchen Rinpoche lead the lamas, monks and students in a Mahakala puja, which was followed by a mandala offering, more gifts and a delicious birthday cake.  Our reception in Taipei was “regal” and that is no understatement.  Dagchen Rinpoche and Dagmo Kusho were given the “Presidential Suite” in the Hyatt Grand Hotel.  The suite had an audience room with an emperor like throne/chair and six other rooms which included a kitchenette and piano room. 

In Taipei, Dagchen Rinpoche’s schedule was quite busy.  He taught at four Sakya Centers.  At those centers he gave Hayagriva, Yamataka and Vajrakilaya initiations.  Additionally, under Lama Tashi’s guidance Sakya Tsechen Thupten Dekyi Choling requested that Dagchen Rinpoche bestow to 400 students the major mandala empowerment, Vajrayogini. Those students also received from him the six armed White Mahakala empowerment and from Dagmo Kusho the White Tara initiation.

While in Taipei, Dagchen Rinpoche made a presentation at a conference sponsored by the International Tibetan Buddhism Study Institute.  Leaders of the conference were Kathog Rinpoche, Tulku Thupten Norbu, Khenpo Tsultrim Namdag and Geshe Cho Nyi Dontog.    
Including the Honorable Dawa Tsering representative from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s government in Taiwan, four hundred other Buddhist leaders attended the conference.

Our visit to Taipei was incredible. Taipei is a thriving modern metropolis—taxis are every where. Exquisitely designed high rises dot the cityscape. Designer shops abound.  And Taipei even has three Costco stores!

In Taiwan, Dagchen Rinpoche and entourage were treated to numerous 8-10 course banquet meals.  Most often the meals took 2-3 hours to complete. At one banquet, we heard a familiar tune which I suddenly recognized was our own “Magical Chants” CD produced by Chuck Pettis.  It was beautiful to hear Dagchen Rinpoche and Celia’s chants played in a Buddhist restaurant in far away Asia. 

Dagchen Rinpoche’s next destination was Hong Kong.  As Lama Migmar described, Hong Kong is an island of tall and thin high rise apartments with tall and thin double-decker buses slithering between buildings.  To me, I saw Hong Kong as rows of compact high rise bee hives.  It is a dense place but the Buddhist students are very devoted to their Lamas and the Dharma.  That first evening in Hong Kong was emotional and heart warming.  Waiting patiently to greet Dagchen Rinpoche and Dagmo Kusho were about ten young people from Gaba, Kham, Dagmo Kusho and Migmar’s home town.  One of the visitors was named Pechen. She is the daughter of Tulku Sepa, a high Sakya lama in Kham.  She and her fellow Khampas wore traditional eastern Tibetan garments.  They respectfully prostrated before Dagchen Rinpoche and then humbly on their knees belted out in Tibetan, beautiful guru devotional songs.  It was as if we were in Tibet!  At the end, one singer could not stop crying—it was overwhelming!

The next day, Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche (grandson of HH JD Sakya) and Yangsi Lama Kan Tso and their teachers, Gen Tashi Nyima and Gen Kunsang joined our entourage.  Together with Dagchen Rinpoche they participated in the consecrations and Grand Openings of two centers.  The first was the consecration of Dagchen Rinpoche’s new Hong Kong Center, Sakya Tsechen Phunstog Choling.  After that blessing ritual, Dagchen Rinpoche bestowed to the students the Padmasambhava initiation, which was followed by a tsok.

The second consecration ceremony was the grand opening of the Maha Sandhi Yoga Center.  Many years ago the Maha Sandhi Yoga Center was established by the late Lama Kan Tso, who was a Dharma brother to and dedicated disciple of Dagchen Rinpoche. Before Lama Kan Tso’s paranirvana, he requested that only Dagchen Rinpoche should search for his reincarnation. Twelve years ago, Yangsi Lama Kan Tso was identified by Dagchen Rinpoche. While Yangsi Lama Kan Tso has been receiving religious training with Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche at the Sakya Heritage Foundation, New Delhi, his students have been faithfully maintaining the Maha Sandi Yoga Center and their practices.  On November 15th Dagchen Rinpoche led Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche, Yangsi Lama Kan Tso, many lamas, monks, nuns and students in the elaborate grand opening ceremony of the newly located and renovated Maha Sandhi Yoga Center.

Both consecration ceremonies were colorful and full of rich tradition, prayers and ritual music. Overflowing crowds attended both events. 

After Hong Kong, we boarded India’s 21st century Jet Airways airline to New Delhi. Dagchen Rinpoche’s first class seat resembled an egg or pod.  It was amazing, when one lays back to sleep, one is cradled comfortably like being in a cocoon. Can you imagine emerging from a night’s sleep to the sights and sounds and smells of ancient India? To be continued...

Sogyal Rinpoche Captivates Audience

By Chuck Pettis

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane

On Sunday, December 13, 2009, Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, kept a sold-out audience captivated, entertained, and entranced with his teaching on the significance of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) and the Tso Kor Feast Offering Ritual. Sogyal Rinpoche was invited by Sakya Monastery to give this teaching. H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya requested specifically that he teach the Padmasambhava Tso Kor practice.  H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche have a long time dharma connection as they share the same teacher, H.E. Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Rinpoche and received teachings from him at Dzongsar Monastery in East Tibet in the early 1950’s.  

Guru Rinpoche was an Indian tantric master who brought Buddhism to Tibet and is considered by many to be the Second Buddha. Here are a few of the key points that Sogyal Rinpoche made about Guru Rinpoche:
• Guru Rinpoche is the embodiment of the compassion, the blessings, and the enlightened activity, of all the buddhas – all in one.  
• Guru Rinpoche is the active manifestation of enlightenment, whose powerful energy is invoked as a source of refuge and protection amidst the confusion and turmoil of this difficult age.
• If we have devotion and if we pray to Guru Rinpoche, the blessings of his compassion will immediately and certainly enter us.

The Tso Kor practice is one of the central practices of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. On the 10th lunar day of each month, a special feast offering (Tso-Kor) is made to Guru Rinpoche at Sakya Monastery. Sogyal Rinpoche said that the Tso Kor Feast Offering is a powerful method for accumulating merit and wisdom, purifying obscurations, and healing our Samaya link with the master, the practice and our fellow practitioners. Everyone who has taken Refuge is invited to the monthly Padmasambhava Tso Kor practice at Sakya Monastery. Check the calendar for actual dates and times.

Sakya Monastery Next of Kin Committee

By Teresa Lamb and Laura Ellis

What is the Next of Kin Committee?

Under the guidance and direction of our Head Lama, His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, this group of volunteers works to help Sakya Monastery members with their end of life wishes.  As Buddhist practitioners our needs at the time of death may differ from those of other belief systems common in Western society.  Because of this, we hope to provide enough information to help members express their wishes to their Next of Kin. If members do not have family or if they are too far away, volunteers from the NOK committee can assist them at their time of death.

Anyone can join the NOK Committee, and, indeed, we would love to have more volunteers join our efforts to provide information and services to members around end of life issues.  Some projects we have been working on include: 

  1. The NOK Guide: This is a packet of information including a summary of prayers to be recited at the time of death, forms to assist members in deciding what their end of life wishes are, and checklists of legal documents.
  2. Research into Prayers and Protocols: His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche has provided us with information on prayers and protocols for how to handle the body.  We have sought out resources from the community that can help us to follow these protocols.
  3. Advocacy:  We research WA State laws and hospital protocols so that we can advise members on how to request that local authorities and hospital staff handle the body correctly.
  4. Vigil Volunteers:  These Volunteers have helped provide continuous prayers for those who have had serious health conditions or those who required surgery. On the days of a scheduled surgery volunteers sign up for shifts so there is someone praying for that individual almost continuously throughout the crucial time, the night before, and the night after the procedure.  If requested names can be added to the Medicine Buddha Prayer group during their recovery.
  5.  We hold regular events including teachings, classes (download the VEI catalog [PDF]), and workshops.  For those who didn’t look forward to filling out their end of life forms, last month we held an event to make it more pleasant.  We held a pizza party to fill out the forms!  We hope to offer these pizza party events regularly for those who are interested.

We are profoundly grateful to His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche who, through his great kindness, has provided invaluable support and guidance. He has also offered to give us a teaching on death and dying later this spring or early summer.

If you have any questions please contact Laura Ellis at lellisdesign@yahoo.com or Teresa Lamb at Ltclamb@yahoo.com.

H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche Visits Seattle

By Laura Ellis

In April 2009, His Eminence Avikrita Rinpoche, son of H.E. Zaya Vajra Rinpoche, the fourth son of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, visited Seattle for the first time since 2002. Avikrita Rinpoche, born in 1993, has been living in India since the age of four. He began his formal studies at the age of six while residing with his maternal grandparents. At the age of nine he moved to the Sakya Center at Dehradun, and one year later to the Sakya Phodrang in Delhi. He has since alternated his time between the Sakya Phodrang (Sakya Heritage Foundation) and the Sakya Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling. He has been receiving the complete traditional training of his lineage under the guidance of H.H. Sakya Trizin and his holy grandfather H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, who, along with other high lamas of the Sakya tradition, have conferred innumerable empowerments, transmissions and teachings upon him.

Prior to the Seattle visit, Avikrita Rinpoche had just finished his Vajrakilaya exams which entailed leading the grand Vajrakilaya Ceremony. This sacred ritual is an ancient practice upheld by the Khon dynasty and the only grand ceremony of its kind in the Tibetan tradition to remain unbroken for over 1300 years. It is rigorously complex to learn and takes over two weeks to conduct. The ceremony was presided over by H.H. Sakya Trizin and his Eminent Sons. At the ceremony, Avikrita Rinpoche chose the most demanding of the different sections to read, thus qualifying him as a proficient practitioner of Sakya rituals. Avikrita Rinpoche astonished all in attendance with his flawless performance.

The Seattle visit was mainly a vacation and a break after the exams. It was also an opportunity to spend time with his grandfather, H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and receive teachings from him. H.E.  Avikrita Rinpoche was accompanied by his younger brother, H.E. Abaya Rinpoche who has been studying in India over the last year.

Both Avikrita Rinpoche and Abhaya Rinpoche visited the Sakya Monastery in Seattle every day at 9:30 am for the entire six week visit. While Avikrita Rinpoche studied Tibetan grammar with Tulku Yeshe, Abhaya Rinpoche studied Tibetan on his own. They spent time with H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and received oral transmissions and teachings. Besides taking full opportunity in visiting all of Seattle’s famous and fun sites, the Dhungseys spent a lot of their time with family members and especially with their cousins during the weekends. Avikrita Rinpoche’s 16th birthday, hosted by his parents, was celebrated with family and friends at the Monastery.

H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche’s requested that a special Mahakali puja be performed with H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche at the Monastery. The three hour long puja was held on May 8th, 2009. It was lead by H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche himself and attended by Rinpoche’s Great Aunts Jetsun Tsegchen la and Jetsun Chimey la, Dagmo la, Mangtho la, resident monks and members.

One highlight of His Eminence’s visit was the bestowal of a Long Life Initiation on May 24th, 2009. The initiation was requested by H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche and Monastery members. It has been a tradition in Khon Lineage that the first initiation bestowed by a Khon lama be a Long Life Initiation and that it is bestowed to his Khon family members. Avikrita Rinpoche gave this particular initiation (Amitabha, Amitayus, Hayagriva, Padmasambhava) after having received it himself from many lamas such as H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, H.H. Sakya Trizin, and Venerable Luding Khyen Rinpoche.  Avikrita Rinpoche remarked, “It was truly an honor for me to bestow my first initiation to Popo Dagchen Rinpoche at our very own Monastery.”

On returning to India at the end of May 2009, Avikrita Rinpoche immediately began his Vajrakilaya retreat for three months at Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling. After the retreat he will lead the ‘Phurdup’ Vajrakilaya pujas as Vajra Master ‘Lopon’, which will go on for eight days at Ghoom Monastery. In October both Avikrita Rinpoche and Abhaya Rinpoche will attend the series of initiations from Wange Norbu Trengwa text for one month given by H.H. Sakya Trizin, which is continued from 2008. In November they will attend the Sakya Monlam in Lumbini. Next year Avikrita Rinpoche will attend college for his higher studies. Abhaya Rinpoche will continue his studies in India. Both Avikrita Rinpoche and Abhaya Rinpoche commented that the Seattle visit has been “the best ever vacation.”

H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche Long Life Prayer

Son of the Khon Lineage, immaculate divine race from the realm of Clear Light. The Three Races embodied in the Sakya master of expression;
Take hold of existence with the white lotus of your altruistic intention
To spread the supreme Mahayana tradition of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo.

You whose transcendental activities are the spontaneous fulfillment of the qualities of relinquishment and realization;
Avikrita Vajra, please live long in Dharma.

By the blessings and power of the Gurus, Yidams, Dharma Protectors, and the host of Deities,
May you become the glory of the Buddha’s dispensation.

Ordination of H.E. Dhungsey Abhaya Rinpoche

By Dagmo Lhanze Sakya

H.E. Dhungsey Abhaya Rinpoche is a grandson of His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche and H.E. Dagmo Kusho and son of H.E. Zaya Rinpoche and Dagmo Lhanze. He completed his 4th grade education in Seattle in the fall of 2007 and later joined his brother H.E. Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche in India to continue his studies in the beginning of 2008.

His Eminence has received many initiations and oral transmissions from H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, H.H. Sakya Trizin and many other high Lamas of the Sakya sect. Ever since he started his traditional education, H.E. Dhungsey Abhaya Rinpoche has shown keen interest in the Khon lineage of monastic ordination originating with the Great Sakya Pandita, Chogyal Phagpa and Lama Dhampa Sonam Gyaltsen.  His Eminence realizes the importance of continuing such a lineage of ordination. He has no memories of his Great Uncle, H.H. the late Thrinley Rinpoche, as he was only a year old when he passed away, but has been inspired by this great ordained member of the Khon lineage.

On July 25th, the day commemorating the First Turning Wheel of Dharma (Cho-Khor Duchen), with the consent and blessing of H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, it was decided that it would be an auspicious day for the ordination of H.E. Dhungsey Abhaya Rinpoche.  It seemed most auspicious to receive ordination from His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, the senior-most of the ordained Sakya Lamas.  The private ceremony took place in Manduwala, seat of the Ngor-pa sub-school of the Sakya sect in India.  The Luding Ladrang is where His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche and H.E. Luding Khenpo Kushon reside.  H.E. Gyalyum Chenmo and representatives of the Sakya Centre, Rajpur, the different Ngor ladrangs and  others in the area came to pay respect and acknowledge the auspicious occasion .

The Ceremony itself consisted of the Preceptor, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, and ten other fully ordained Lamas and monks amongst whom were H.E. Luding Khenpo Kushon, H.E. Khangsar Shabdrung, Atro Tulku, Gyudra Khenpo Kunchok Gyaltsen and other monks.  Prior to the ordination the head is shaved, leaving just a tuft in the middle of the crown that is later cut during the ceremony.  No lay person is allowed in. Ordination vows are explained and taken, robes blessed and the final refuge consists of taking up the name, dress, signs and ways of thinking of an ordained monk.

H.E. Dhungsey Abhaya Rinpoche’s education will remain unchanged. He will continue to study alongside his brother H.E. Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche. Besides the differences in the physical appearance and the addition of many ordination vows, there are a few additional rituals that an ordained Rabjung Dhungsey will attend (such as the annual yarney and the bi-monthly sojong) that are not required of the white-robed Ngachang Lamas.  All the rest of the rituals and prayers are the same.

His Eminence is currently in Sakya Guru Monastery in Ghoom, Darjeeling, with his brother continuing his studies. They return to the Sakya Heritage Society in New Delhi in September.

His Eminence Sakya Dhungsey Asanga Rinpoche Continues his Dharma activities in Dharamsala, India

By Eric Dulberg and Laura Ellis

On April 12, 2009, on a warm, sunny, breezy morning in the northern plains of India, near Dharamsala, hundreds of people waited for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to arrive to consecrate Lhundrup Chime Gatsal Ling, a new Tibetan Buddhist monastery founded by His Eminence Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche. Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche is a renowned visionary Dzogchen master from the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and a personal advisor to H.H. the Dalai Lama.

Among the many dignitaries present at this auspicious consecration were all the heads of the Tibetan Government-in Exile, His Holiness the Karmapa, many high Nyimapa lamas and His Eminence Sakya Dhungsey Ani Vajra Rinpoche (second of five sons of His Holiness Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche) and His Eminence Sakya Dhungsey Asanga Rinpoche (son of Dhungsey Ani Rinpoche and Dagmo Chimey Dollkar, eldest daughter of Kamtrul Rinpoche). Dhungsey Ani Rinpoche’s and Dagmo Chimey la’s two daughters were also present, Jetsun Aloki la and Jetsun Mamaki la.

H.E. Asanga Rinpoche, who is now ten years old, has been studying for the past five years at the Tharlam Monastery, a Sakya monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. As the maternal grandson of Khamtrul Rinpoche, Asanga Rinpoche was accorded the distinct honor of performing in the monastery’s first event, a long long-life ceremony to honor and pay homage to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Upon the initial arrival of H.H. the Dalai Lama, and after brief prayers at the temple door, His Holiness cut the red ribbon, officially opening the monastery to the public. Once inside the monastery, a long-life ceremony was performed for H. H. the Dalai Lama. As part of the long-life ceremony, there was “The Offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama of the Articles Representing the Eight Auspicious Symbols” which was performed solely by H.E. Asanga Rinpoche. Standing directly in front of H. H. the Dalai Lama, Asanga Rinpoche chanted the long offering prayer to His Holiness from memory. There were several hundred people sitting inside the monastery and many more watching from T.V. monitors outside the monastery. This long and elaborate prayer, lasted over 20 minutes during which time, Asanga Rinpoche held up towards H.H. the Dalai Lama, a tray containing each of the eight auspicious symbols with his two hands and offered each one-at-a time, while reciting prayers particular to each of the auspicious symbols. His Holiness the Dalai Lama received each item with a big smile. It was very unusual for these particular prayers to be performed at a monastery inauguration, especially by such a young lama. Asanga Rinpoche has the unique status of being a Sakya Khon lineage holder as well as the maternal grandson of the monastery’s Nyingmapa founder. His participation in the monastery’s inauguration was very special indeed!

Several days after the inauguration, Khamtrul Rinpoche, still beaming, asked his grandson, Asanga Rinpoche to bestow at Lhundrup Chime Gatsal Ling monastery the oral transmission for the Manjushri practice called "Ghang-lo-ma." Asanga Rinpoche agreed to do so for the benefit of the Khamtrul Rinpoche’s many students who had come from around the world to witness the monastery’s inauguration ceremonies. Asanga Rinpoche made an introduction to the oral transmission, its meaning and significance first in Mandarin Chinese and then in English. Finally, he gave the actual Ghang-lo-ma oral transmission and recitation of the mantras in Tibetan

All of us here in Seattle and the West look forward to the day when Asanga Rinpoche returns to the Sakya Monastery here to give teachings, blessings and empowerments.

Long live the Dharma!
Long live the Sakya Monastery!
Long live Asanga Rinpoche!


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