2012 Visitors to Sakya Monastery

by Adrienne Chan

May 17, 2012-----Sakya Monastery was honored to host a World Affairs Council delegation from Indonesia. The delegation was composed of 11 members of various religious backgrounds: Muslim, Buddhist, Christian. They sat in a circle on the Monastery shrine room carpets; and led by Venerables Tulku Yeshi and Khenpo Jamapa, they learned a bit about Tibetan Buddhism. The delegation respectfully listened to Tulku-la and Khenpo-la and subsequently, asked questions. After group discussion and photographs, we all went down to the Cultural Hall for tea. It was heart warming to see the cooperation and respect between the various faiths.


May 24, 2012-----On May 24th Bhikkhuni Venerable Guo-Jiann a visiting Buddhist nun from Taiwan met with Venerables Khenpo Jampa and Tulku Yeshi. The nun requested the visit so to learn more about Sakya Monastery and the Dharma in the west. While the nun and her attendants enjoyed tea in the Cultural Hall, Khenpo-la and Tulku Yeshi-la introduced them Tibetan Buddhism. The lamas explained to the nun and her attendant about the four sect of Tibetan Buddhism; the history of the Sakya Sect, which originated from the 5 Founding Fathers, over 900 years ago; and that the main Sakya Monastery is still active and that it is located in Sakya, Tibet. In conclusion, the guests went upstairs to our Holy Shrine room to pay their respects.

June 23, 2012-----The Harmony Run USA committee selected Sakya Monastery as their Seattle starting point for the 25th Anniversary of the World Harmony Run. The World Harmony Run was founded by Sri Chinmoy. It is a global torch relay that symbolizes humanity’s universal aspiration for a more harmonious world. The relay began in New York City on April 12th. Seattle was the 34th city on the Harmony Run USA relay route. The runners visited a total of 58 cities and returned the torch to New York on August 15, 2012.


The World Harmony Program at Sakya Monastery began with tea and cookies in the Cultural Hall followed by a presentation of a katag to each of the 23 Harmony Run participants. The Harmony runners represented people from all over the world: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, and USA.

After the katag welcome, Tulku Yeshi and Khenpo Jampa each gave inspiring speeches for peace and harmony. The Harmony runners then sang their “World Harmony Run Theme Song”. In appreciation, the Harmony leaders then presented to Sakya Monastery a special medallion. The enthusiastic and warm-hearted group of international Harmony Runners and Monastery members then moved upstairs to the Shrine room to continue the program.

In the Shrine room, Tulku-la led them in a meditation and then they circumambulated the Buddha reciting “Om Mani Padme Hung”. The group then moved to the entrance steps, where the harmony touch was lit, a Certificate of Appreciation was given to Sakya Monastery and the march began… The entire program was memorable and awesome---the love, respect, camaraderie was beautiful and energizing!


Letter from H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche

We would like to share with you a letter written by H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche to his younger brother H.E. Abhaya Rinpoche. While it was written as an informal letter, H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche has consented to publish it here as it contains an excellent and concise biography of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen’s father, H.H. Ngawang Thutob Wangchug. We are sure that you will enjoy it.

Dear Abhaya-la,
I hope this letter finds you well. All is well here in Dzongsar with my life and studies. I was just thinking that you like to read and learn a lot about history, especially you show interest in our ancestors, so although I can’t explain a great deal about all of them and I don’t have so much free time between study-sessions to write a lot, at least I thought I could share a little of what I know about our great-grandfather, Trichen Dorje Chang, Ngawang Thutob Wangchug, as there isn’t much written material about him yet.

To read the rest of the letter please download it here.

H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Visits the San Francisco bay area

On June 13, 2012, by Kim Abbey interviewed H.E. Dagmo Kusho about H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya's visit of the Sakya Tsechen Ling/Center in Oakland, CA. Please visit our Office of H.H. J.D. Sakya page to read more!



Photos from H.E. Dagmo Kusho’s Teaching Trip to Sravasti Abbey

Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho was cordially invited by Sravasti Abbey in Newport, WA to a give a White Tara Initiation and teaching and a parting away from four attachments on the Sakya teaching from July 20-23.  Accompanying her from Sakya Monastery was Lama Migmar.  This visit was organized by Ani Tarpin, a student of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, and nun at Sravasti Abbey.  The Abbey is named after Sravasti, the place where Lord Buddha spent twenty-five Rains Retreats.  Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron founded the Abbey in 2003 with a mission to nurture a flourishing monastic community where learning and practicing Buddha's ancient teachings cultivate peace in the hearts of the residents and visitors and, by extension, in the world.  H.E. Dagmo Kusho was very impressed by how well the nunnery is managed and really enjoyed being there.

Link for photos: http://www.sravastiabbey.org/gallery/2012/jul12dagmola.html

Drokor Yeshin Korlo and Tenshu for H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche

by Trinly Gyatso   

Long time student of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya aka Dagchen Rinpoche, Tho Luu generously and devotedly sponsored three days of traditional prayers and meals for Dagchen Rinpoche’s, long life.



On June 1st and 2nd  2012,  the lamas and monks of Sakya Monastery participated in two days of Drokor Yeshin Korlo pujas ( White Tara long life prayer service) and prayers of the Three Long Life Deities for the longevity of our revered Head Lama, Dagchen Rinpoche. The pujas  were led by Ven. Khenpo Jampa, whose official title for that occasion was of “Dorje Lopon” (leader).  The religious chants led by Dorje Lopon Khenpo Jampa were supported by Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho, Ven. Tulku Yeshi, Lama Migmar, and Lama Lekshey.  The following day, June 2nd, Lama Lungrik from Nalanda Institute, Olympia, joined the Tibetan sangha.


While the lamas chanted in Tibetan,  Monastery students and guest Vidya Gauci, representative from the Tara Ling, Santa Barbara (founded by Dagmo Kusho), participated by reciting in English the Three Long Life Deities prayer, Aspiration of Samantabhadra, and
Dagchen Rinpoche’s long life prayer.

Friday’s and Saturday’s pujas were graced with snacks, vegetarian lunches, and Tibetan tea prepared by Tsering Drolkar and Tsering Tsechoe--- repasts to please even unfamiliar palates. Superb! Thank you so much, Ladies!

Sunday morning brought everyone (Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang family, members and friends) together at 8:30am for the final recitation of Drokar Yeshin Korlo. When those prayers were completed, His Holiness arrived and Sunday’s early prayers segued into a Tenshu (mandala long life offering prayers). When His Holiness arrived, prayer flags waved gently in the cool morning breeze.  Sakya Monastery Lamas, Board members, students and friends devotedly and respectfully greeted Dagchen Rinpoche offering him long white khatags.

The Tenshu program began with Ven. Tulku Yeshi giving a brief biography of His Holiness.  Ven. Khenpo Jampa then spoke in Tibetan.  Following their talks, eight processions of mandalas were offered to His Holiness.



The first mandala and two sets of auspicious offerings were presented to His Holiness by the Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang Family. The Sakya Khondungs (sons) : Minzu Rinpoche, Ani Rinpoche, Mati Rinpoche, Zaya Rinpoche, Sadu Rinpoche and Ananda Rinpoche made the mandala offerings.  Other Sakya family members made offerings of the Eight Auspicious Symbols:  Parasol, Twin Fish, Treasure Vase, Lotus, Conch Shell, Eternal Knot, Victory Banner,  Dharma Wheel, and the Seven Royal Emblems: Precious Wheel, Precious Jewels, King, Queen, Ministers, Precious Elephants, Precious Horse.

Subsequently, the following groups offered mandalas to His Holiness: Sakya Monastery; Virupa Educational Institute; Sakya Nalanda Institute (Olympia); Earth Sanctuary (Whidbey Is);
Tara Ling (Santa Barbara, CA); and the Tibetan Association of Washington /Tibetan Youth Congress. Lastly, sangha members and friends offered their good wishes and khatags.

At the conclusion of the mandala offering ceremony, Dorje Lopon Khenpo Jampa asked His Holiness Ngawang Kunga Sonam Jigdal Dagchen Sakya to stay with us longer--- His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche replied he would accept the request so long as he was able to continue to share the Buddha Dharma!




Just prior to the final concluding prayers, numerous musical performances were offered to Dagchen Rinpoche. Members of the Tibetan Association of Washington/Children's Tibetan Language class dressed in traditional attire, played traditional Tibetan stringed instruments (one like a xylophone and another like a shamisen) and sang some traditional songs.  Sonam Yangsom and Sonam Tsesom  (both age 7) sang traditional Tibetan songs and the Children's Dharma School sang “Sakyapa Kheno” honoring His Holiness.  They were followed by Tseringkyi, who sang a traditional Praises of Sakya Lamas song. Metta Mayes age 7 offered a violin piece for His Holiness.

After the concluding prayers, we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch together and more performances were offered: Nyima Choedrak sang traditional songs and Wangdu-la age 11 played a violin piece.  Outside the morning clouds dissipated allowing for warm sunshine.  It was a beautiful poetic ending—some members enjoyed their noon meal amongst the blossoms of spring.
Lha Gyalo!!!  Long live H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche!


(note: photos courtesy Khenpo Jampa Tenphel and Tashi Paljor)

Lama Choedak's Summer Visit to Sakya Monastery

by Dennis Oliver and Stephanie Prince


Lama Choedak Rinpoche who has been living and teaching in Australia for many years visited with us July 3-8, 2012.  He was accompanied by his son Sherab. 

Lama Choedak is the author of "Lamdre:  Dawn of Enlightenment," amongst other publications.  We were delighted and honored to receive the Buddhadharma teachings on several topics from Lama Choedak who is in the Sakya Tsarpa tradition of his Root Lama, Chogye Trichen Rinpoche.

Lama Choedak's explicatory overview of the King of Prayers, The Aspiration of Samanthabhadra, was excellent.  He explained the 63 verses with great clarity and thoroughness.  Following the Buddha's teaching of good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good at the conclusion, he delineated the prayer in that manner.  The beginning 14 verses cover the seven fold prayer which is the preparatory stage; then the actual prayer of the aspiration through verse 54 including the benefits of saying prayers; then the dedication of merit verses.  We learned a historical point that the original prayer contained 62 verses and that the Tibetan translators added the 63rd one.  Though it was an overview, it was quite detailed at the same time.  It was an exemplary explanation that we all enjoyed.

The second lecture covered the topics of Motivation and Meditation.  Lama Choedak stressed the importance of the linkage between them, and the need for being fully focused and mentally present for meditation to be truly meditation. 

The two-day Calm Abiding Workshop/Retreat was well attended and again thoroughly engaging.  Lama Choedak continued with the theme of being present in our meditation practice during the retreat.

Lama Choedak taught what he called "active meditation," where one conscientiously engages in a dialogue between the body and the mind. He introduced us to two practices:  scanning the body and the practice of qualified breathing.  Scanning the body involves actively checking the position of the body in the meditation posture, making sure it is in proper alignment.  One checks the body in stages: the legs which are the base, then the hands in the meditation mudra, then the spine, and finally the head.   In the practice of qualified breathing, one takes the breath as the object of meditation, breaking the act of breathing into three parts:  inhalation, retention, and exhalation, and, in turn, each of these is broken down into three parts.  Using inhalation as an example, there is the beginning when the breath crosses the tip of the nostril, the middle part of maximum intake, and the end just before the inbreath stops and the retention begins.  In this practice the mind is actively involved which helps avoid dullness and sleepiness.  These two introductory practices form a firm basis for practicing calm abiding meditation.

We were completely happy to have such a wonderful teacher come to Sakya Monastery and, of course, request that he return again and again!  We thank H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche for making all this happen. 




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