Special Lecture: Empowerment, What's it All About?

Lecturer: Stephanie Prince
Sunday, October 18th
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Prerequisite: None

In order to practice deity yoga in Vajrayana Buddhism, one has to receive empowerment, oral transmission, and instructions from qualified spiritual teachers. This session will focus on understanding the different types and aspects of empowerment. We will review what happens during an empowerment ceremony and talk about the meaning of initiation and its significance in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Stephanie Prince has studied and practiced Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition for more than 40 years and holds a B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Washington. She has received teachings and major initiations in the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, including the Sakya LamDre (Path with its Fruit), both the Lamdre Tsogshay and the Lamdre Lobshay. She has taught on general Buddhism and has guided Buddhist ritual classes at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. She also serves as a Buddhadharma mentor and VEI catalog editor.

Green Tara Initiation

Bestowed by H.E. Dagmo Kusho
Translator: Dagmo Chimey Sakya
Thursday, October 22
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: Public $30, Members $25
Prerequisite: One must not eat any meat, eggs, garlic, or consume alcohol on the day of the initiation. One must also be celibate for those hours.

As the embodiment of the Great Wisdom Mother, Green Tara is the Savior of all beings. Meditation on Green Tara is believed to be very effective in releasing beings from distressing circumstances both great and small.

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.

Dagmo Chimey Sakya has over 20 years of international experience
translating for venerable Buddhist masters.

Diamonds on the Path: Readings from the Sakya Founders

Lecturer: Chris Wilkinson
Saturday and Sunday, October 17th - 18th
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 for each session; $50 for all sessions
Prerequisite: None

Session 1:
Saturday 10:00 am - Noon
Sakya Pandita's Magic Net of Aphorisms

Session 2:
Saturday 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsan's Letter of Advice to Yeshe Dorje

Session 3:
Sunday 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Chogyal Phagpa's Rosary of Gemstones: A Discourse for Prince Jibig Timur

We will be doing interactive reading and discussion of the writings of three of the Sakya Founding Fathers. We will be able to discuss how the teachings we read are applicable to our own practices and understandings. The books will be available for purchase, but I will make sure that anyone attending will get the texts we will be reading in the class. Those who come with a sincere wish to share in the wisdom of the Sakya founders will get the most out of it.

The Heart Sutra: A Commentary by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Lecturer: Jeff Schoening, Ph.D.
Tuesdays, October 6th and 13th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Prerequisite: None
Handouts provided

The great nonsectarian lama Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo wrote a commentary on the Heart Sutra when still a teenager. He explains such topics as the relationship between form and emptiness, the Three Doors of Liberation, and how to practice the Heart Sutra. We will read and discuss Jeff Schoening's translation of this treatise, entitled, "Perception of the Definitive Meaning." We will also consider and discuss a summary of the fifteenth century Sakya lama Shakya Chokden's presentation of these topics from his commentary on the Heart Sutra.

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 of teachings on dependent arising. He served as a health care chaplain at Swedish Medical Center and Northwest Kidney Center and is currently a private practice spiritual director.

Tibetan Alphabet and its Pronunciation

Teacher: Eric Dulberg
Mondays: October 5, 19, November 2, 9, 16
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Monastery Library
Instructor: Eric Dulberg
Course fee: $75 Public, $50 Members (Prior students of this course will receive a 20% discount)
Prerequisite: at least 18 years of age
Registration: Please pre-register for this class series

In these five classes, you will learn to read, write, and pronounce the Tibetan alphabet. In October, we will begin a new first year Tibetan language course. The purpose of this course is to enable students to read the Dharma in Tibetan. The course will proceed in three parts: (1) Learn to read, write, and pronounce the Tibetan alphabet; [5 classes]. (2) Learn to read, write, and spell syllables; [7 classes]. You will then be able to read in Tibetan, the ”Refuge & Bodhicitta” prayer and the “Dedication” prayer we will have been reciting at each class. (3) Learn the basics of Tibetan literary grammar, and learn how to translate the “Refuge & Bodhicitta” prayer; [12 classes].

Enrollment: Class size is limited to 10 students. Registration will be completed by the payment of the course fee to the Monastery office. (The course fee will become nonrefundable on September 21st, two weeks before classes begin.)

Eric Dulberg has been a Buddhist since 1975. When he moved to Seattle in the 1990s, he became a member of Sakya Monastery. He began to teach literary Tibetan in 2008. During the past 20 years, he has studied Tibetan with both Tibetan and Western teachers of the Tibetan language. Eric’s professional background includes a BS in physics and an MPH and DrPH in epidemiology.


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