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. 



Dhungseys Avikrita Rinpoche and Abhaya Rinpoche Visit Seattle

By Kirsten Throneberry
added Commentary by Zaya Rinpoche



The community of the Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism was recently blessed with a visit from His Eminence Sakya Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche and His Eminence Sakya Dhungsey Abhaya Rinpoche who are the grandsons of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche and Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho Sakya—and—the sons of Dhungsey Zaya Sakya Rinpoche and Dagmo Lhanze. 

The Dhungseys were accompanied by Venerable Tashi Nyima, teacher to Avikrita Rinpoche and Gen Kunsang Gyatso, Abhaya Rinpoche’s primary teacher, and Jamyang Gyalsten, Sakya Heritage Foundation Manager.  H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche and H.E. Abhaya Rinpoche arrived in Seattle on the 20th of January 2012. Taking a break from their studies in India, the eminent Dhungseys enjoyed a reunion with family, bestowed teachings at Sakya centers in Seattle and Southern California, and performed special pujas for the protection of the dharma and all beings.



During the Dhungsey’s stay in Seattle we were fortunate to share in the birthday celebration of H.E. Abhaya Rinpoche who turned 15. In addition to this joyous celebration we were also honored February 5, with the Manjushri Vadisingha Initiation and Teaching as well as a lecture on Transforming the Mind on February 19th, both of which were bestowed by H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche.



Manjushri is considered to be the personification of the Buddha’s wisdom. Manjushri on a Lion embodies the ability to express that wisdom. Saraswati, a goddess of learning and the arts, might be thought of as the female counterpart of Manjushri. The uncommon and fortunate blessing of this Manjushri Vadisingha Initiation and Teaching given by His Eminence gives us the opportunity to enjoy a favorable environment for our own discernment to increase.

During the lecture on Transforming the Mind, H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche explained in some detail the concept of The Exchange Practice (Tonglen) highlighting how essential it can be to our path. This Exchange Practice, he noted, refers to the exchange of our own merit for that of the suffering of others. In other words, offering up our own grace to others while striving to take upon ourselves the burden of their anguish. Among the many kernels of wisdom that he offered throughout his lecture, one was the reminder that there is no greater danger than our own afflicted emotions. When unchecked, they can create an environment where endless karma unfolds. He also emphasized the crucial importance of negative people to our spiritual growth, in their own way—he explained—they are as important in regard to our spiritual development as is the Buddha. To treat them badly is like finding a diamond and throwing it away. Their value lies in the fact that they provide us with a heightened opportunity to practice our own compassion and kindness. H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche shared that The Exchange Practice was at one time a restricted teaching, reserved only for the most advanced practitioners and that it can provide us with an amazingly powerful tool on our spiritual path. Indeed, it was an incredible blessing to have this teaching and the Manjushri Vadisingha Initiation bestowed to us by His Eminence.

On the morning of February 22, 2012 (Losar-Tibetan New Year), At the specific request of The Tibetan Association, H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche gave a speech on culture & religion for the Tibetan people at Sakya monastery which was well-received. Earlier, on February 11th, H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche and H.E. Abhaya Rinpoche each spoke and gave insights to a very fortunate group of teens at a special Teens only discussion group which was also held at Sakya Monastery.

Their diligent commitment to their studies required H.E. Avikrita Rinpoche and H.E. Abhaya Rinpoche to return to Nepal and India with their teachers in late February. Meanwhile, we eagerly look forward to their eventual return and to the continued gift of their presence, wisdom, and guidance in our lives.

Commentary by Zaya Rinpoche
In addition to the wonderful article written by Kirstin, I want to acknowledge the immense appreciation and gratitude to all the people who supported the events mentioned in her article. Besides the teachings in Seattle on January 28th, HE Dhungsey Avikrita Rinpoche gave a very heartfelt and moving Initiation at Rosemead Buddhist Monastery in California of the Three Wrathful Ones – Vajrapani, Hayagriva and Garuda, a sacred transmission that comes from Mahasiddha Legkyi Dorje,. He explained how to conduct a daily meditation and recitation of the Three Wrathful Ones, guiding us on how to best cultivate the benefits of this profound practice for our daily lives. It was held at Rosemead, CA organized by our Tara Ling Center members Jeffrey Wu, and many close friends of H.E Dagmo Kusho. H.E. Minzu Rinpoche, along with many supporters and friends, traveled from other parts of the country to attend the Initiation. It was a memorable moment when H.E. Dagmo Kusho introduced both Dhungseys Avikrita Rinpoche and Abhaya Rinpoche to all her Tara Ling, Santa Barbara members at the Center. This was followed by a Green Tara Puja, which made the occasion all the more auspicious.

On behalf of the Dhungseys Avikrita Rinpoche, Abhaya Rinpoche, the Venerable Teachers Tashi Nyima & Kunsang Gyatso, as well as Dagmo Lhanze & myself, I wish to express the deepest appreciation and profound gratitude for all the support, compassion, and thoughtfulness everyone provided our entourage. Numerous gatherings and family/friend functions were kindly offered to us almost daily resulting in many joyous get-togethers, which created many lasting memories.

Most importantly, with the guidance and leadership of H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, may his vision carry on this most precious lineage and may his teachings continue to flourish and benefit all sentient beings.

Zaya Vajra


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H.E. Dagmo Kusho Shares Tara Teachings in Eugene, Oregon

By Amy Alcaraz

Last Month, Dagmo Kusho and Lama Migmar traveled to the Nyen-Gyud Samten Choe-Ling Center in Eugene Oregon, a Sakya Institute of Wisdom and Compassion.  Dr. James Morris, a long time helper and supporter of the center and its president, was Dagmola’s escort and constant companion. He is also a long time helper to Tulku Jigme, who is the founder of the center.  

During her first day at the center, Dagmola gave a White Tara initiation in the morning followed by a teaching in the afternoon.  On the second day she gave a Green Tara teaching and later led the group in a Green Tara practice.  She was very impressed by the devotion of the members and by the number of students who came for the teachings and stayed throughout the day.  She notes that the quality of the practicioner is more important than the quantity of the practice.  When she teaches and shares the Dharma she feels rejuvenated. Teaching is part of her commitment to the teachings and the merit gained by all who participate is wonderful.

Dagmola liked the small town feel of Eugene, especially the beautiful land and flowers.  She wants to thank Dr. Morris and Nawang’s whole family for the kindness and generosity they extended to her.


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