Historic Visit of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to Sakya Monastery

By Laura Ellis

On May 9th, 2015, Sakya Monastery had the honor of welcoming His Holiness the 17th Karmapa who, out of his great kindness, had accepted the Monastery’s invitation to bestow a Green Tara blessing for members and friends of the Monastery.

H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa first met with His Holiness Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche in a private audience.  It was the first time that the two great masters had met in person.   H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa then entered the shrine room where a devoted audience awaited his arrival.  H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa addressed the audience before bestowing the Green Tara lung (oral transmission).

Speaking in Tibetan through his translator, H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa expressed how wonderful and fortunate an opportunity it was for him to visit Sakya Monastery of Seattle and how delighted he was to meet the “great master, the Sakya Dagchen and all of his family.”  He said how happy he was to come back here the “glorious Sakya Monastery of Seattle and connect in this way with the Phuntsok Phodrang.”

H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa briefly stated the historical significance of the strong connection between the Sakyapa and Karmapa; “the dharma and personal connections between the two masters”.  He said that the 16th Karmapa had a strong relationship with Dagchen Rinpoche and Dezhung Rinpoche.  They shared the “unified spirit of their activities and spiritual bonds merging together as one.”

He again said how very joyful he was to have this opportunity to visit Sakya Monastery in person.  “It boosts my spirits to see you all.”  He expressed his profound wish that “this pure samaya we share can last from generation to generation and lifetime to lifetime.”

Then H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa acknowledged the importance that the Monastery has played in the founding of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.  When the Sakyas first arrived in America there were not many people at all who understood Buddhism.  The founding masters of this Monastery went through many hardships to establish the Monastery.  Now the Monastery is a strong bastion of Tibetan Buddhism that can benefit many.  He said it is, “An example for us to look at and admire.  I am especially delighted to be here today.”

In conclusion, H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa once again expressed his appreciation for the activities of Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche, “Even though he is advanced in years, he is still exerting effort.”  As H.H. Karmapa Rinpoche began chanting the melodious Praises of the 21 Taras, he asked everyone to dedicate merit to the long life of His H.H. Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche and all of the Sakya family.

Long Life Prayer for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa:

   Karmapa, embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas;
   Karmapa, union of the awakened activity of all the Buddhas;
   Karmapa, empowered as regent of all the Buddhas,
   Orgyen Drodul Trinley, may your life be long.

   Composed by Bokar Rinpoche


View the embedded image gallery online at:

Ane Chime Cremation

As prayers were done at Sakya Monastery on Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm for Ane Chime and Jamyang Lharmo, prayers and a cremation ceremony were being done concurrently (5:00 am, August 9, Nepali time) at Tharlam Monastery. Here are photos of that cremation ceremony.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Welcome Speech for H.H. Karmpa Visit

by David Spiekerman

On behalf of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya (head lama of the Phuntsok Phodrang of the 950 year old Sakya Khon lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and the founder of the first Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in North America), I would like to extend a warm and gracious welcome to His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.  On behalf of the Sakya Dhunseys, Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya, Dagchen Rinpoche’s extended family, our resident lamas, our members, and all other Dharma friends gathered here today, I would like to thank your holiness a thousand times for being here and offering the precious Green Tara blessing and teaching.

The 16th Karmapa had a close relationship with both His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and His Eminence Deshung Rinpoche, so we are deeply grateful that this beneficial legacy continues with the visit of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to Sakya Monastery.  There are several individuals here today who owe the 16th Karmapa an ocean of gratitude for planting the seeds of the Dharma in their mind streams. Those seeds happily found a fertile, holy space to ripen decades later here at Sakya.

It is my extraordinary privilege to thank His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya and His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa with their superior activities and qualities for creating the true and wholesome conditions for the Dharma to flourish. Speaking for all of us at Sakya Monastery, please return here again in the future to bless us with your Precious Dharma activities.


The Six Dharmas of Vajrasanapada

Bestowed by H.E. Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche
Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism
February 18, 19 & 20,  2017

HE Avikrita Rinpoche throneB


***Online Reservations are now CLOSED. Attendees can still pay at the door. Note that once the Shrine Room is full any overflow seating will be downstairs in the Cultural Hall where you can watch on screen. H. E. Avikrita Rinpoche will come downstairs during the initiations whenever he needs to directly interact with the attendees for blessings, conferring the empowerments, etc. ***

Vajrasanapada the Elder was a great scholar and adept of Buddhist tantric practice in early medieval India. From him originate many practices relied upon in Tibetan Buddhism in general and the Sakya tradition in particular. Of his numerous initiations and instructions, six were so highly regarded for their profundity and efficacy that they were maintained as a rare set of practices by the early Sakya Forefathers. For the first time ever, H.E. Sakya Dungse Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche will bestow the entire set of initiations and teachings at Sakya Monastery.

A practitioner may attend one, some or all of the initiations as desired, but only those who attend all six initiations may attend the special transmission at the end and will receive the full practice texts. We encourage you to register early, as space is limited.

For complete descriptions of the events, please download our PDF Brochure
參看本次教學活動完整信息,請下載 (正體版PDF法訊)
参看本次教学活动完整信息,请下载 (简体版PDF法讯)

There are several ways you can register:
1. Online (via Paypal) on our website
通過Paypal在 (網站) 註冊

2. By phone, with the Sakya Monastery Office at 206-789-2573. Please have your credit card number ready.
3. By personal check on a US bank, to be mailed to the Monastery
4. In person at the Monastery.

Most of the attendees will be seated on the floor. Please let us know if you require a chair.
When you register, you will need to tell us which sessions you wish to attend. The prices are as follows:
- All 9 sessions: $300 non-members, $220 members
- Individual initiations (Session 8 not available separately): $40 non-members, $30 members
- There is no charge for Session 9, the Long-Life Mandala Offering, but registration is encouraged.

Please phone or email the office at 206-789-2573 or monastery@sakya.org if you have any other questions.

H.H. the Dalai Lama Birthday Celebration Speech

by David Spiekerman, Board of Advisors President

As millions of fellow human beings celebrate His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama’s magnificent activities and qualities as a world spiritual leader, wishing him good health and a long, happy life on the occasion of his 80th birthday, I would like to listen to His Holiness speak for himself as a Buddhist teacher.  These short quotes from his book The Heart of Compassion written in 1997 capture the essence of the Bodhisattva view, which he embodies with the strength of a million suns.

His Holiness Dalai Lama writes, “All wandering beings desire happiness and do not want suffering.  Therefore both I and others must engage in those means which give rise to happiness and do not bring suffering.  Whatever we may do, there is no more perfect and complete means of establishing the causes of happiness and the elimination of suffering and harm than practicing the dharma.”  On His Holiness’s 80th birthday, we must remember his pure and perfect commitment and motivation to practice the dharma until the enlightenment of all sentient beings is attained.

His Holiness Dalai Lama writes, “To be good followers of the Buddha, it is essential that we practice compassion and honesty.”  He writes, “Showing kindness to others, we can learn to be less selfish; sharing the sufferings of others, we develop more concern for the welfare of all living beings. This is the basic teaching.  To implement this teaching, we practice deep meditation and cultivate wisdom.”

Bodhisattva’s like His Holiness Dalai Lama understand that in suffering there is no distinction between the perpetrator of a harmful, violent act and his victim.  Although our emotions by default immediately identify with the suffering of the victim, forgetting the suffering of the perpetrator, the bodhisattva knows to hold all suffering as originating in ignorance.  

His Holiness Dalai Lama through great mindfulness and wisdom understands in every fiber of his being the transformative power of this wish: May the suffering of all sentient beings ripen in my mind stream.  For in the enlightened mind all defilements and obscurations without exception are utterly pacified and purified.

His Holiness Dalai Lama is our faithful and untiring spiritual guide, lighting the way out of ignorance into the brilliant light of Buddhahood.  His value to our spiritual development is immeasurable.  Thank you your holiness for naturally and joyfully embodying the essential compassion and wisdom of Lord Buddha.

H.E. Khöndung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche’s Hong Kong Teachings 2015

By Laura Ellis

His Eminence Khöndung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche was invited by students of the Mahasiddhi Yoga Centre and the Sakya Tsechen Phuntsog Choling centre to give teachings during the holy month of Saka-Dawa.  He was accompanied by his grandmother, H.E. Dagmo Kusho la and four monks.  Throughout the ten day trip, H.E. Asanga Rinpoche and entourage kept a full teaching schedule and visited several of Hong Kong’s Buddhist temples, centres and holy places of worship.  H.E. Dagmo Kusho la reported that this was the first time Asanga Rinpoche had traveled to Hong Kong on his own and that the teachings went very well.  She was happy to assist Asanga Rinpoche and introduce her grandson to many of her own students as well as other practitioners of the Buddha Dharma.  She was a great help with the aid of her students in facilitating the teaching schedule.  Dagmo Kusho la commented how grateful they were to the students in Hong Kong for their wonderful hospitality, and especially to the administrators of the two centers for making the trip so easy and enjoyable.

People came from all over Asia to receive teachings from Khöndung Asanga Rinpoche.  They traveled from mainland China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, and even Tibet!  H.E. Asanga Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings and blessings on this teaching trip:  VajraKilaya, Medicine Buddha, Refuge Vows, Tsok Offering, Hevajra blessing, and long life blessings.  On SakaDawa Day, Asanga Rinpoche, Dagmo Kusho la, monks and followers performed a live animal release puja and ceremony.  Around 40,000 fish were purchased from the marketplace and given a second chance at life by being released back into the sea with Asanga Rinpoche’s blessing!

View the embedded image gallery online at:

The group also visited two famous Hong Kong Buddhist temples:  Tsz Shan Monastery and Big Buddha Temple.  H.E. Khöndung Asanga Rinpoche was invited by the Tsz Shan Monastery to consecrate a newly constructed Kuan Yin statue that is 5 stories high!  The statue contains the holy relics of Shakyamuni Buddha that were donated to the temple by the King of Thailand.

All in all, the teaching tour was very successful on many levels.  Even though Asanga Rinpoche just turned 16 years old on May 1st, many of those who met him commented on how impressed they were with Asanga Rinpoche’s teachings and presence for someone so young yet so mature and accomplished. 

Long live Khöndung Asanga Rinpoche!  May the precious Sakya teachings spread and increase for benefit and happiness of all sentient beings!


Mailing List

Receive announcements about special events as well as a weekly email detailing all activities for the coming week.


Make a Donation

Help support Sakya Monastery through a donation or by becoming a Member.


Dharma Shop

Purchase select books, CDs, and other items at our online Dharma Shop!