Dharma Lecture: The Sakya School & Five Founding Lamas

Lecturer: Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
Sunday, April 2
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $30 Public, $20 Members

The Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism originated from the early efforts of the five Founding Fathers. They have inspired hundreds of thousands of Buddhist practitioners with their wisdom, knowledge, and compassion. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche will share some of their very important teachings in this lecture.

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche is a Dzogchen master and the reincarnation of Dzogchen Gyaltsab Thodo Rinpoche. He was recognized by H.H. Dalai Lama's Nyingmapa teacher Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche. He received teachings from forty masters representing all five schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Tulku Yeshi has written thirteen books, ten of which have been published, on the subject of Tibetan Buddhism and culture, including “A One Thousand Year History of Sakyapa.”  He has published three books in English: his autobiography “A Modern Liberation Odyssey - An Autobiography of a Tibetan Nomad Lama”, “Handbook for Half-Buddhas” and “Tibetan Zen.” He also writes novels, poetry for mind training, provides Tibetan astrology readings, can advise people on how to enjoy their life, and can bestow empowerments.  Currently he is working on Dharma activities at Sakya Monastery in Seattle.

Dharma Lecture: Sakya Pandita’s Journey To The East; H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang’s Journey To The West

Lecturer: Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche
Sunday, March 5th
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $30 Public, $20 Members

In the history of Tibetan Buddhism, there were many Dharma masters who travelled great distances, even in perilous conditions, to help countless sentient beings. The great Sakya Pandita’s journey to the east is the most powerful example. It teaches us how to take steps on the Bodhisattva path, especially for Sakyapa practitioners. Similarly, H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang’s journey from Tibet to the West is an amazing story. Studying the namtars (biographies of Lamas) can help to instill faith and confidence of being on your own spiritual journey.

Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche is a Dzogchen master and the reincarnation of Dzogchen Gyaltsab Thodo Rinpoche. He was recognized by H.H. Dalai Lama's Nyingmapa teacher Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche. He received teachings from forty masters representing all five schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Tulku Yeshi has written thirteen books, ten of which have been published, on the subject of Tibetan Buddhism and culture, including “A One Thousand Year History of Sakyapa.”  He has published three books in English: his autobiography “A Modern Liberation Odyssey - An Autobiography of a Tibetan Nomad Lama”, “Handbook for Half-Buddhas” and “Tibetan Zen.” He also writes novels, poetry for mind training, provides Tibetan astrology readings, can advise people on how to enjoy their life, and can bestow empowerments.  Currently he is working on Dharma activities at Sakya Monastery in Seattle.

Special Lectures: Combining Compassion and Emptiness-Seven Point Mind Training

Lecturer: Ken Hockett
Wednesdays, March 1st and 8th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Recommended Text: The Great Path of Awakening by Jamgön Kongtrul (translated by Ken McLeod)

Purpose: The purpose of this class is to provide a structure for in-depth practice and analysis of this method of Mind Training using both the Eight Verses and the Seven Points. Hopefully, we all will learn something about ourselves and where we are going on this Path, which combines Compassion and Emptiness. Another purpose of this class is to provide a framework for continuity and positive reinforcement in your practice. It will be helpful to attend each of the sessions, but not absolutely necessary.

1st Session: We start with a short introduction to the history of Mind Training and the scriptural roots with an introduction to the texts we will use for the class. We will discuss the purposes of Mind Training with emphasis on the motivation for this practice. Then, we will discuss Point One (“The Preliminaries”), what the preliminaries are and various approaches to practice. We will discuss Point Two, ("The Actual Practice"), which contains the heart of the practice and explains Bodhicitta in its myriad aspects. We will also be introduced to both the formal practice of Mind Training that you do on your cushion (as described by Jamgon Kongtrul) and the informal part that you practice in your daily life.

2nd Session: This session will begin with a short practice session and progresses to Points Three (Bringing Adversity on to the Path) and Four (Practices for Your Whole Life) and how we can integrate the attitude of Mind Training into our daily life. We will also discuss Points Five (Evaluating Your Mind Training), Six (The Disciplines of Mind Training) and Seven (The Guidelines). These sections contain many slogans to use as supports to Mind Training practice. Some of these are self-evident and some are subtle. We will discuss as many aspects of each one as possible.

Ken Hockett is one of the senior Dharma students at Sakya. After much reading and study, he took refuge before H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Dorje Chang in 1977. His principal interest is in the Mind Training methods and has been teaching these at Sakya Monastery for over 10 years. Having received teachings and initiations from Lamas of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, his main teachers are of the Sakya and Nyingma traditions. He has also produced many of the practice texts used at Sakya Monastery.

Special Lecture: "Victory over Mara," Shakya Chokden's Commentary on the Heart Sutra

Lecturer: Jeff Schoening, Ph.D
Wednesdays, January 18th & 25th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Location: Cultural Hall
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members
Prerequisite: None

Shakya Chokden was a great Sakya scholar in the Fifteenth Century. He was unusual in the Sakya tradition for espousing “other emptiness.” In this commentary on the Heart Sutra, we get both a clear explanation of this Sutra, beloved for its profundity and brevity, and an introduction to “other emptiness.” We will read and discuss his commentary, as translated by Jeff Schoening.

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.

Special Lecture: It's Your Choice(s) -- The Bhavrachakra, Karma

Lecturer: Chris Rebholz
Sunday, January 22nd
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Location: Shrine Room
Suggested contribution: $20 Public, $15 Members per talk
Prerequisite: None

How do you know what you know? How do you make decisions? How does it affect your karma? A lot of the answers lie in the Bhavrachakra, one of the classic Buddhist works of art. You can find a version of the Bhavrachakra on the back wall of the Shrine Room. It provides a visual representation of how we make our choices in life, which directly affects our future paths. This talk will give an explanation of each of the segments of the painting, and how it integrates with your sensory perception. Note: to truly understand the Bhavrachakra, it helps to understand the basic concepts of emptiness and dependent origination.. Please either have an understanding of these two topics, or attend the class on the Heart Sutra which will occur at 8:30 that morning.

Chris Rebholz has been a member of Sakya Monastery since 2006. She is still trying to wake up.

 

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